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NYC Health + Hospitals Honors 12 Employees for Their Dedication to Patients with Substance Use Disorders

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“The Substance Use Treatment Excellence Awards recognizes the tireless work that our employees do to help New Yorkers overcome their addiction,” said Mitchell Katz, MD, President and CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals. “The 12 honorees are just a few of the many doctors, nurses, social workers, addiction counselors and support staff that help treat the 90,000 patients who seek our help for substance abuse.”

Substance Use Treatment Excellence Awards culminated a month of events in recognition of National Recovery Month

Edited by: JV Staff

In recognition of National Recovery Month, Mitchell Katz, MD, President and CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals, and Dr. Charles Barron, Deputy Chief Medical Office for the Office of Behavioral Health at NYC Health + Hospitals, honored 12 employees for their dedication to their patients with substance use disorders. The Substance Use Treatment Excellence Awards were given to doctors, nurses, social workers, addiction counselors, and peer counselors at a ceremony at NYC Health + Hospitals/Carter in East Harlem.

Awardees were nominated by their peers, supervisors, and leadership at their facility with a focus on honoring those who have been with NYC Health + Hospitals for many years. NYC Health + Hospitals’ Office of Behavioral Health this year inaugurated the First Annual Addiction Awareness Recovery Month. The Substance Use Treatment Excellence Awards culminated a month of events in recognition of National Recovery Month, which included events and trainings throughout the public health system. The month-long series celebrated the efforts of NYC Health + Hospitals staff in addiction treatment, and shared stories of healing and hope from patients.

“The Substance Use Treatment Excellence Awards recognizes the tireless work that our employees do to help New Yorkers overcome their addiction,” said Mitchell Katz, MD, President and CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals. “The 12 honorees are just a few of the many doctors, nurses, social workers, addiction counselors and support staff that help treat the 90,000 patients who seek our help for substance abuse.”

“Today we recognize the outstanding work of champions in substance use treatment who have spent their lives caring for our patients and helping them live their healthiest lives,” said Charles Barron, MD, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Office of Behavioral Health at NYC Health + Hospitals. “These champions work tirelessly day in and day out, and serve as an inspiration to us all to continue the life-saving work of caring for this vulnerable population.”

“We are thrilled to recognize the dedication of our staff and the healing they bring to their patients,” said Rebecca Linn-Walton, PhD, LCSW, Assistant Vice President, Office of Behavioral Health at NYC Health + Hospitals.

Honorees of the 2019 Substance Use Treatment Excellence Awards included:

  • Mary Aikuele, RN, Nurse at NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull (31 years of service)
  • Jantra Coll, Administrator at NYC Health + Hospitals/Jacobi (3 years of service)
  • Sal Florio, Substance Use Disorder, Director at NYC Health + Hospitals/Coney Island (13 years of service)
  • Donna Crummell, Associate Director, Office of Behavioral Health at NYC Health + Hospitals (9 years of service)
  • Sylvia A. Ford-Williams, Senior Addiction Counselor at NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health, Cumberland (17 years of service)
  • Netty Hamilton Rivera, Senior Addiction Counselor at NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens (32 years of service)
  • Meghan Hedges, Social Worker at NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue (12 years of service)
  • Ilir Isufi, Peer Counselor at NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem (1.5 years of service)
  • Sandra Knight-Lewis, Senior Addiction Counselor at NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan (32 years of service)
  • Angela Torres, Senior Addiction Counselor at NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln (24 years of service)
  • Gloria Tovar, RN, Nurse at NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst (31 years of service)
  • Susan Whitley, MD, Physician at NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County (9 years of service)

“I am happy to celebrate the Substance Use Treatment Excellence Award honorees. These nurses, social workers, doctors, and team members are proof that the NYC Health + Hospitals system is comprised of some of the most skilled leaders confronting this public health crisis,” said State Senator Gustavo Rivera, Chair of the New York Senate Health Committee. “It is my honor to recognize them for their exemplary service and their many years of devotion caring for our neighbors.”

NYC Health + Hospitals offers substance use disorder treatment and addiction services at its 11 hospitals, seven Gotham Health centers and through its Correctional Health Services unit. The health system treats about 90,000 patients for substance use annually and offers a wide array of evidence-based, inpatient and outpatient treatment programs to support long term recovery.

Treatment programs include Consult for Addiction Treatment and Care in Hospital (CATCH), which helps bridge patients to ongoing care. Launched at NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln, NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue, NYC Health + Hospitals/ Metropolitan, and NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst and funded in part by Mayor de Blasio’s Healing NYC initiative, the CATCH program, provides care to patients with substance use disorder admitted to the hospital for any condition. Next year, two more CATCH teams are expected to launch at NYC Health + Hospitals/Coney Island and NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull. Once fully implemented, the CATCH program’s target is to reach and deliver treatment to more than 8,000 patients per year across the six hospitals.

For more information about Substance Use Disorders Services at NYC Health + Hospitals, visit the Mental Health Care webpage. Patients can make an appointment by calling 844-NYC-4NYC.

 

About NYC Health + Hospitals

NYC Health + Hospitals is the largest public health care system in the nation serving more than a million New Yorkers annually in more than 70 patient care locations across the city’s five boroughs. A robust network of outpatient, neighborhood-based primary and specialty care centers anchors care coordination with the system’s trauma centers, nursing homes, post-acute care centers, home care agency, and MetroPlus health plan—all supported by 11 essential hospitals. Its diverse workforce of more than 42,000 employees is uniquely focused on empowering New Yorkers, without exception, to live the healthiest life possible. For more information, visit www.nychealthandhospitals.org and stay connected on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/NYCHealthSystem or Twitter at @NYCHealthSystem.

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