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Meet Our Team

Hudson Valley Hospital Center prides itself on the individualized, compassionate care that all our patients receive. From our physicians to our environmental services staff, our employees always treat our patients with kindness, compassion and courtesy. In fact, we’ve coined the phrase for this policy: Patientology – noun 1. combining the latest technology with award-winning care and the heart-felt conviction that a patient is ALWAYS a person first.

We'd like you to meet just a few of our 1,100 patientologists:

Sue Andersen

RN, Employee of the Month, January 2011.

Sue divides her time at HVHC, caring for our patients in the Emergency Department and the Cardio Pulmonary Rehab Department.

As an admissions nurse in the Emergency Department, Sue completes an assessment for each patient. This involves reviewing all meds, making referrals to other departments within the hospital, keeping the physicians informed as to any changes in their patients’ conditions, and updating and educating the patient and family as to their plan of care. Sue also re-evaluates each patient’s home situation to ensure safety after discharge.

While caring for our patients in the Cardio-Pulmonary Rehab Department, Sue monitors all cardiac and pulmonary patients during their exercise programs to improve their quality of life. Sue makes every patient feel welcome in the Cardio Pulmonary Suite, and supports and encourages our patients as they complete this extensive exercise program.

In addition to her time at HVHC, Sue volunteers at "Support Connection", a non-profit organization that offers support programs for those affected by breast and ovarian cancer. Sue has touched many hearts. She has also organized and participated in "Support A Walk" and has raised thousands of dollars for the American Cancer Society, as well as raising awareness of the disease.

Quoting her fellow nurses, "Sue is truly a nurse of distinction!"

Reynaldo Andino

From the moment Rey came on board, almost 2 years ago, Rey has “hit the ground running.”   He is the type of employee that takes ownership of his job.   Not only is he efficient, but Rey takes great pride in his work. Rey is very reliable, always pleasant and has great decision-making skills. A challenging assignment?  – Rey’s our man.   

Not only is Rey’s work ethic off the charts, but he has a personality to match.  He always has a smile on his face and treats everyone as a long-time friend.  Rey is the kind of co-worker that everyone likes and respects.  He will stay to help out his department when needed or come in on his day off to help in a pinch.

Rey is known as the “go to guy”. 

Lori Aversa

Lori Aversa

PCT, Progressive Care Unit. Employee of the Month, August 2010.

Any patient who is sick would want someone like Lori to care for their needs. She is gentle, kind, caring, and a wonderful listener. Regarding each patient as an individual, Lori is a comfort to all that are in her presence.

To quote her grateful coworkers:

"Lori is an incredible worker. She is extremely dedicated and constantly looking to improve the quality of care we provide at HVHC."

"Even at her busiest moment, she takes time to greet people, answer questions and support her co-workers."

"Lori displays remarkable empathy, at all times, even when a 'challenging situation' arises. Lori is invaluable to our unit."

"Lori is always ready to jump in and help. She carries out her duties without hesitation, and never likes to sit still. Few people work with such diligence."

Veronica Barry

PCT, Emergency Department. Employee of the Month, September 2010.

As Fridays approach, most 9 to 5ers are wrapping up their work to get ready for a new week ahead. For Veronica, Fridays are the beginning of her work week Every Friday night, Saturday night and Sunday night, you’ll find Veronica working diligently in our Emergency Department.

Veronica moves at a fast pace, ready to help whenever and wherever she’s needed the most. Doctors, nurses, and techs all agree that Veronica takes initiative and always has a positive outlook in every situation. She is a mentor to new staff and an invaluable resource of information. Veronica is very hard-working and is not just a team player, but is also the captain when needed.

Justin Batts

Justin Batts

MIS Department. Employee of the Month, June 2010.

Justin is a great resource for computer information. He always responds to our questions in the nicest way, and is very patient when talking to us “non-techies”. Whenever asked, Justin exceeds our expectations, time and time again.

In addition to his prompt, professional response to every computer request, he is personable, respectful and gracious. He makes you feel as though your request is his most important priority. He is also creative and resourceful…and if you don’t believe me, take a look at our new and revised Intranet. It is a work of sheer genius!

Our Education Department calls Justin "a real friend of nursing." We also want to thank Justin for being an instructor, teaching Outlook classes. Those who attended this class have commented on his clear and thorough approach. Committed to making nurses’ lives a little easier, Justin listens and makes it happen.

Says Justin of his job: "Helping people is what I do. It brings me joy knowing I may have made someone’s day a little easier."

Katie Beaver

Katie Beaver

Methadone Clinic, Employee of the Month for March 2010.

You may remember Katie as a member of HVHC’s Wellness Club team. Katie worked at the Wellness Club for three years, and but moved to Texas. Fortunately, Katie missed living in the Empire State and returned to HVHC and has worked at Methadone since 2008.

Here’s what Katie’s colleagues at Methadone have shared with us:

"Katie has completely transformed our department with her talent, wit and positive “can do” attitude. She has re-energized our team."

"Katie’s organizational skills are second to none, and she does all of this with a smile. She is a pleasure to work with, and to be around."

And here’s a quote from one of our patients:

"I would like to commend the powers that be in their choice for the new addition to the Methadone staff – Katie Beaver. She’s usually the 1st person I see when I come in, in the morning. She’s very personable and always seems to have a smile. Good Choice!!"

Katie, thank you for making our patients feel welcome and respected, and thank you for the warmth you’ve spread throughout the Methadone Clinic and the hospital. Congratulations!!

Katie says of her job: "Blessings come in small ways, and I am delighted to see the progress our patients make every day."

Ramil Betua

Employee of the Month, November 2010.

Ramil Betua is a phenomenal nurse. He is a seasoned professional who continues to handle any situation with calmness and with a genuine, positive attitude. Compassionate and sensitive to the unique needs of each patient, Ramil always includes the family in his plan of care. To watch him hold an elderly patient’s hand and console her after receiving disappointing news from her doctor, to explaining and reassuring a patient about his plan of care, and making him feel safe before surgery, is something Ramil does from the heart.

Ramil rallies the staff to implement unit innovations to raise patient satisfaction such as – keeping patients informed, educating patients regarding their medications, and maintaining a quiet environment. He acts as a preceptor for HVHC’s graduate nurses and has received praise for his support and patience. He’s recently completed courses in Pressure Ulcers and also Dementia because Ramil knows that the majority of his patients are elderly and he wants to learn "best practices" for his patients. Because of the nature of the patient population he serves, he is also studying geriatric certification.

Bindu Cherian

Bindu Cherian

RN, 3 South, Employee of the Month, April 2011 and Hudson Valley Magazine's Nurse of the Year 2011.

Driven by her passion for nursing, Bindu raises the bar for quality care. Her clinical skills, coupled with her desire to help others, make her an excellent resource for the entire staff. She has won the faith of physicians and coworkers as well as patients with her efficiency and extraordinary nurturing behavior.

The combination of Bindu’s kind heart, leadership, motivation, and resourcefulness qualified her to be the recipient of Hudson Valley Magazine’s 2011 Nurse of the Year Award. She was chosen from among 65 nurses in the Hudson Valley for this honor. Nominated with nine other nurses from the HVHC staff, Bindu’s remarkable assets earned recognition from a committee of medical professionals and editors of the magazine. Her tireless efforts to constantly improve patient care are seen in the development of the Hospital’s Chaplain program to better meet the spiritual and religious needs of patients and their families. She is truly an exceptional individual who contributes to the quality of HVHC.

physicians say of Bindu…

"Bindu is very pleasant and soft spoken. She is efficient and reliable – patients love her!! Bindu has a great depth of knowledge and takes excellent care of her patients."

"Bindu is an excellent nurse – very professional and reliable. She has a wonderful personality and very easy to get along with."

Her colleagues tell us…

"Bindu is always willing to help. She is consistently pleasant, always ready to jump in and contribute more than is asked, and is always smiling – even when faced with the toughest of situations."

Eileen Clark

Eileen Clark

Surgical Services. Employee of the Month for July, 2010.

In every situation, Eileen Clark consistently applies her strong clinical and leadership skills, whether she’s coordinating the schedule or scrubbing and circulating on surgical cases.

Eileen is an extremely dedicated nurse. She is respected by the entire staff for her professionalism and generous heart. Eileen is a wonderful listener, and as a result, manages to bring about changes by providing solutions.

What makes Eileen so special is her wonderful personality. She always has a pleasant smile and seems very much at ease in the stress-filled environment of an operating room. The entire Surgical Services staff, as well as our physicians with whom she works, would like to thank Eileen for her 23 years of dedication to HVHC.

Quoting one of her staff members, "Whenever one of us is assigned to the same OR suite as Eileen, we all know it’s going to be a good day."

Maria Diesta-Acbo

Maria Diesta-Acbo

Intensive Care Unit, Employee of the Month, April 2010.

With nominations for Maria from many, many departments and units throughout this hospital, everyone agrees that working with Maria is a delight.

Maria delivers exceptional care to her patients. She has impeccable communication skills and her patients and families feel very safe in her presence. Maria has an eye for detail, excellent leadership skills and is well-respected by her peers.

Marie is a true example of a Magnet nurse, certified in her specialty area (critical care) and serving as mentor and coach for the night shift. She has initiated evidence-based changes in practice to enhance quality of care, a key component of our magnet environment. It is very important to Maria that we maintain the highest level of excellence as we care for our patients.

It is often challenging managing staff schedules at a busy hospital, but Maria’s staff tells us that she has a special talent for finding someone to work if an emergency arises – and Maria is always there to step up and put her staff's needs first.

Maria says of her job: "As a critical care nurse, I know I can make a difference."

Salvatore DiMaio

Salvatore DiMaio

Engineering Department, Employee of the Month, October 2009.

Salvatore, our Michaelangelo, has been "WOW"ing people wherever he's assigned. Sal has added so much to our Engineering Department since he arrived in 2008. He has such a fabulous reputation for being warm, caring, respectful, polite and extremely hard working. Sal produces excellent, quality work, day after day. Sal takes time to listen to the needs of our staff, and then takes control of the situation.

The staff at HVHC’s Cold Spring site share the following story:

"The first day Sal came to our site, he greeted us with a smile and introduced himself. He addressed all of our needs, and during his stay, he took it upon himself to walk around and handled other repairs that needed attention, which had gone unnoticed. It is a pleasure to have a co-worker that goes the extra mile. Sal's attention to detail is outstanding, and our office really looks wonderful!!!"

Sal says of his job: "As we provide excellent care to our patients, it's important to keep our hospital looking its best."

Melanie Ello

Melanie is our Inpatient Coordinator of Physical Therapy.  She has been a physical therapist for 12 years and she is the consummate professional – delivering excellent care, in the kindest and most compassionate manner.  Melanie’s day at HVHC involves evaluating and treating our inpatients.  From floor to floor, from room to room, Melanie helps individuals achieve independence as she works with each inpatient and determines their needs.  

Melanie has developed an excellent working relationship between our physicians, nursing staff and case managers.  Her insight helps our physicians determine the best plan of care for our patients. 

Besides working with our inpatients and staff, Melanie is involved monthly, with the hospital’s Nursing Orientation and Orthopedic Product Line Development. 

At Nursing Orientation, Melanie instructs our new nurses in body mechanics, mobilizing our patients, and employee safety.  And it’s not unusual to see some of our “nursing veterans” sitting in on this class as a refresher course.

Orthopedic Product Line Development is a monthly pre-op class for joint replacement patients.  Melanie informs these patients what their PT expectations will be.

Thomas "Gene" Holcombe

Thomas Holcomb

Environmental Services. Employee of the Month, September 2010.

It didn’t take long for us to realize how lucky we are to have Gene join our hospital family. His friendly, sincere, and gentle manner is recognized by everyone he encounters. Gene works diligently in the Emergency Department, and the ED staff will tell you – Gene is excellent – always making sure it is a clean and safe environment for our patients and staff alike.

In addition to his duties in Environmental Services, this is what makes Gene so special:

"There was a patient in the ER making his way to the restroom. Unsteady on his feet, this gentleman was determined to get to his destination. Before he was ready to take an unfortunate tumble, there was Gene, catching him in the nick of time."

"While cleaning an area in the ER, a patient accidentally left behind several thousand dollars. Without hesitation, Gene made sure the money was returned to the rightful owner."

"One day, an elderly patient was very frightened and began crying while on a stretcher. Gene noticed that this patient was alone, and stayed by her side; patted her hand in a soothing manner to offer comfort and reassurance, until her family arrived."

Gene is modest about this service:

"I take pride in my work, and I enjoy helping our patients, because they are very important to us," he says.

Barbara Katona

Barbara Katona

Human Resources, Employee of the Month, February 2010.

Barbara has impeccable character and great integrity. Besides hiring the ideal candidate, Barbara reaches out to every employee when in need - whether it’s a family medical situation, employee relation issue, answering benefits questions, or supporting the HR staff. Barbara is always there to assist colleagues when challenging situations arise. She researches solutions and is always gracious to, and respectful of, all she encounters.

Barbara has received "rave" reviews for her Lunch and Learn program. This program helps our managers with their transition into our hospital family. Barbara is highly respected by everyone, lives the Code of Conduct, and contributes every day to making HVHC the Employer of Choice.

Barbara is a positive force and touches so many lives.

Barbara says of her work: "Working in HR, I interact with so many caring and wonderful people who share my passion for this hospital."

Herath Marapana

Herath Marapana

Food & Nutrition, Employee of the Month, December 2009.

Cheerful and energetic are two words that come to mind when describing Mara. He’s always happy and ready to lend a helping hand. Add-on luncheon meeting in Wagner for 40 people? “No problem”, says Mara. Ran out of coffee in Dining Room B? "I’m on my way," says Mara.

Mara is very attentive to detail. Maintaining order is high on his priority list. Whether it’s receiving a shipment, organizing the walk-in closet or setting up a luncheon, Mara’s work is immaculate. Mara also sees to it that HVHC’s cafeteria is spotless and inviting to employees and guests. Mara has a wonderful personality and brings out the best in everyone.

"I find it very rewarding as I serve our patients, and see the progress they’ve made here," says Mara.

Nancy Nastri

Nancy Nastri

Environmental Services, Employee of the Month for May, 2010.

At Hudson Valley Hospital Center, we are proud to have such dedicated, hard-working employees in Environmental Services like Nancy Nastri.

Nancy radiates warmth wherever she goes. She’s the kind of person you would want to visit you every day while recovering in the hospital. Her gentle approach and caring way are felt by all her patients. Nancy works closely with nursing to ensure safe care for our patients and tirelessly maintains her area. She is always two steps ahead of everyone, maintaining the flow of the patient rooms. Nancy is an extremely conscientious employee, with an incredible knowledge of infection control and patient safety.

Nancy graciously takes on the added responsibility of mentoring and training new staff in her department. Her upbeat personality and winning smile makes everyone feel comfortable and welcome in her presence.

Dawn Pecorino-Kaylor

“I Love My Job” are words you hear every day from Dawn Pecorino-Kaylor, and she always completes her night shift with the same winning smile that she arrived with.  When choosing Dawn, two words that were used over and over again were Energy and Caring.

Dawn’s energy is contagious.  She is such a positive force on the 2 South Unit and creates a very warm atmosphere for her co-workers.  Patients adore her.  When Dawn meets her patients, she listens to their needs with undivided attention and makes every patient feel special – especially those who are confused or scared.  If there are patients in the hospital for an extended period of time, Dawn will surprise her patients with crafts, such as paint-by-numbers, crocheting and has even been known to help them build a ship!  Dawn truly understands her patients’ needs – physically and emotionally.  Her goal is to deliver care with respect, love, humor and preserve their dignity.

Fortunately for us, Dawn left the investment world to follow her heart…and work for Hudson Valley Hospital Center.  Dawn’s mission was to “give back” to her medical community and thank them for taking such good care of her and her family.  Dawn and her husband have been blessed with a beautiful son, Christopher, also referred to as “Mr. Miracle”.  Dawn is the author of a book titled, “Diagnosis Down – The Christopher Kaylor Story” which is a very touching, heart-warming book that shares the rewards and  understanding of raising a child with Down Syndrome.  Christopher is now 9 yrs. old, and we thank Christopher for sharing his mom with us.

Jean Smith-Rakotz

RN, Emergency Department, Employee of the Month, March 2011.

Every patient coming through the doors of HVHC’s Emergency Department wants a nurse who is gentle, kind, caring, a strong advocate and an excellent listener. And that nurse is Jean!

Jean is the calming force during the most trying and stressful situations. Her gentle approach, her reassuring smile and her great sense of humor makes a world of difference when you’re sick. Jean exhibits clinical expertise and professionalism at every opportunity in the most humbling way. She’s a teacher and preceptor to the new staff, and a great role model for those planning to further their career in nursing. She is innovative and presents new and better ways to promote great care.

Here’s what Jean’s patients have shared with us:

"Jean deserves a 10 instead of a 5! I have never been treated so kindly as I was by nurse Jean anywhere – EVER! She is the most caring, compassionate and professional nurse that I have ever met. There should be more people like her in this world!"

"Jean is the best – professional, skilled and extremely attentive to my needs."

"I've worked in a few hospitals, but I’ve never met a nurse like Jean. The care she gave to me and my husband, and the kindness and thoughtfulness she showed to us, will never be forgotten."

Bart Roman

Physical Therapy, Employee of the Month, October 2010.

Bart has incredible insight and compassion as he delivers care to our patients. He defines excellence as a physical therapist, and Bart manages to bring out the best in his patients.

After surgery, following a stroke, or maybe working with someone who’s just "given up", Bart inspires our patients to do better. As he approaches each patient, his encouragement and support enables them to get out of bed, grip that walker and begin their therapy – one step at a time. At the end of their PT session with Bart, it’s not unusual for our patients to give Bart a big hug or smile from ear-to-ear and thank him for helping them to do what they considered the impossible. And throughout the South Tower, you can see the inpatients waving to Bart as he makes his rounds, hoping to be his next patient – and if they not his patient that day, he always finds the time to say hello to them and wish them well.

Rosemary Rudowich

Technician, Ultra Sound department, Employee of the Month, February 2011.

Let's face it, having an ultra sound can be a bit challenging – fasting from midnight, drinking and holding 32 oz. of water and ready to explode, and of course the anxiety and worry you experience before your test.

Anyone lucky enough to have Rose as their technician knows that from start to finish, Rose treats those in her care as her most important patient that day. As Rose greets each patient in the waiting room and puts the patients at ease with her winning smile, her comforting voice, and her thorough explanation of the testing to be done. The hospital’s Radiology Department receives many, many calls from grateful patients, each week, thanking Rose for the wonderful care they received at HVHC’s Ultra Sound Department.

Rose is also a great mentor and role model for staff members. From new employees to seasoned employees, Rose is a fabulous AIDET educator, and has a powerful impact on those who work with her.

Having the right people is the key to having the best place to work, and providing the best care to our patients. Having Rose there to care for our patients makes HVHC a better hospital.

Eric Schore

Materials Management, Employee of the Month, December 2010.

If you were to ask anyone who works at HVHC who is involved in almost every area of the hospital, their answer would be Eric Schore. Besides overseeing Environmental Services, Central Supply and Receiving, which keeps Eric extremely busy, Eric took the lead when called upon to coordinate a parking plan on campus. That, in itself, is a full-time job. Eric collaborates with every department in the hospital, as well as 10 off-sites and shares best practices to enhance patient safety, while making sure the hospital follows Governing Agency Codes, including the Department of Health, Joint Commission, OSHA, and the EPA.

As the opened its new Patient Tower in June 2010, it was Eric and his staff that made it shine: Beautiful furniture, state-of-the-art equipment, and hours and hours of elbow grease, allowing our patients to heal in a clean, safe environment.

Here are a few quotes from those who work with Eric:

"Eric is always willing to help. He really cares for his employees and is a true gentleman."

"Eric works alongside his employees – no matter what needs to be done. He just rolls up his sleeves and takes action."

"Eric is a professional who can always be counted on to successfully complete a project in a timely manner."

Edna A. Tan

Any patient with a serious illness would want a nurse who is gentle, compassionate, warm, skilled and efficient.  This definitely describes Edna Tan.  For over 16 years, Edna has grown and established her excellent critical nursing skills at HVHC.  She is very professional and maintains a great attitude at all times.

Edna serves as a wonderful role model, mentor, and resource for both the new and current ICU and PCU staff, in addition to a great working relationship with our medical staff and ancillary departments.  Edna is instrumental in collecting data for the ICU PI regarding hand-off communication, and shift-to-shift report.  A true team player in any scenario, Edna is always there to lead the way and guide the staff with her skills, knowledge and kind words. The countless lives she has helped is a true testament to her lifetime commitment to nursing.

 If there were an MVP for nursing, it would be Edna Tan. 

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