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Press Releases

As Part of National Social Work Month, 43 Social Workers Honored for Their Commitment to Their Patients

Social workers are an integral part of NYC Health + Hospitals; there are more 970 social workers employed throughout the health system

The honorees were nominated by their colleagues and were chosen by their facility’s individual social work recognition committee

Apr 04, 2023

As a part of National Social Work Month, NYC Health + Hospitals honored 43 social workers from across health system for their commitment and dedication to their patients. The theme for this year’s month was “Breaking Barriers.” Social workers perform a variety of roles at NYC Health + Hospitals, including managers, therapists, researchers, discharge planners, and policymakers. In these positions they work closely with family caregivers, friends, neighbors and community-based agencies to help patients resume their life within the community. Nominations were submitted from across the system, and the 43 honorees were selected from this pool by their facility’s individual social work recognition committee. The honorees were recognized for their dedication to their patients and their passion for the mission of NYC Health + Hospitals. 

“Social workers are a critical part of NYC Health + Hospitals, and I’m proud to recognize this year’s honorees,” said NYC Health + Hospitals President and CEO Mitchell Katz, MD. “Whether it’s helping someone apply for benefits or offering talk therapy, social workers have a rich and varied role in providing our patients with the highest level of care.” 

“As part of the continuum of care, our social workers advocate for their patients to ensure that no barriers stand in the way of their healing process and recovery. They are the connectors, the glue, that makes the transition for patients from the clinical environment to the community that much easier,” said NYC Health + Hospitals Senior Vice President and System Chief Medical Officer Machelle Allen, MD.

“Social workers are essential clinical members of our care teams” said NYC Health + Hospitals Co-Deputy Chief Medical Officer and System Chief of Behavioral Health Omar Fattal, MD, MPH. “Every day, our social workers go above and beyond making sure that our patients have the services they need. I am grateful to our social workers for creating a safe and healing environment for our patients and their families” 

“Every day it feels like we’re ‘breaking barriers,’ and that we really do so much for our patients,” said Kara Simpson, LCSW-R, Interim Director of Social Work, NYC Health + Hospitals, Office of Behavioral Health. “We are transforming lives.”           

Social work is one of the fastest growing professions in the United States, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. There are almost 720,000 professional social workers in the country, and that number is expected to surpass 800,000 by 2030. 

“We are always looking for mission driven, talented social workers – like our honorees — to join our teams across the city. To learn more about social worker opportunities at NYC Health + Hospitals, please visit www.nychealthandhospitals.org/careers,” Michael Katzab, NYC Health + Hospitals Chief Human Resources Officer.

The 2023 Social Work honorees include:


  • Marielle Fisher and Vincent Lomoriello
    NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue
  • Gina Abenante and Eden Gettinger
    NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst
  • Sofia Commito and Janienne Palmer
    NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem
  • Olga Brito and Whitney Walton
    NYC Health + Hospitals/Jacobi
  • James Donohue and Merlyn Jeffrey
    NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings
  • Priscilla Collado
    NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln
  • Stefan Heise and Priscilla Santiago
    NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan
  • Julie Gilgore and Randy Ramphal
    NYC Health + Hospitals/North Central Bronx
  • Kamila Aghababayeva and Christal Hickman
    NYC Health + Hospitals/South Brooklyn Health
  • Andrea Cooney and Mayra Feijoo
    NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens
  • Jennifer Casey and Jermiah Jones
    NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull

Post-Acute Care

  • Ada Diallo-Bolly and Emily Jolly
    NYC Health + Hospitals/Carter
  • Emily Alletto
    NYC Health + Hospitals/Coler
  • Anna Bernabeo
    NYC Health + Hospitals/Gouverneur
  • Briyana Henry and Arlene Nelson-Sasson
    NYC Health + Hospitals/McKinney
  • William Burfeind
    NYC Health + Hospitals/Seaview

Gotham Health

  • Nancy Hernandez
    NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health, Belvis
  • Craig Crabtree
    NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health, Cumberland
  • Shamika Charles and Antoinette Smart
    NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health, East New York
  • Jorge Aragon and Jane Lima-Negron
    NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health, Gouverneur
  • Yanill Quezada
    NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health, Morrisania
  • Nadine Stimpson
    NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health, Sydenham
  • Katherine Vasquez
    NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health, Tremont

Community Care

  • Augusto Honrado and Asantewa James

Correctional Health Services

  • Ricardo Faustin and Pauline Saintu

Central Office Programs

  • Sylvia Huang and Orkideh Yazhari

MEDIA CONTACT: 212-788-3339; PressOffice@nychhc.org

About NYC Health + Hospitals
NYC Health + Hospitals is the largest municipal 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 43,000 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 FacebookTwitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.