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The Spirit of volunteerism

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Through their dedicated efforts, 800 volunteers gave more than 65,000 hours of service to New York Methodist Hospital (NYM) in the past year. To honor these outstanding individuals for their invaluable contributions to the hospital, NYM reheld its Annual Volunteer Recognition Ceremony.

This year’s evening, entitled “Volunteers: The Heart and Soul of New York Methodist Hospital,” featured delicious food provided by the hospital’s Department of Food and Nutrition, live jazz, and lots of smiles and camaraderie among volunteers and staff members.

The Ann Chisena Award for Community Involvement was presented to Phoebe Lithgow. A Harvard graduate, Lithgow has extensive volunteer experience and currently volunteers in NYM’S Step by Step Program, a new initiative to train new parents to recognize developmental milestones, which takes place in the Hospital’s pediatric clinic.

Park Slope resident Bob Jackson was this year’s recipient of the Marie La Ruffa Award for Patient Care. As a Patient Care Volunteer, Jackson offers encouragement to patients, their families and staff members.

The Frank Spera Award for Dependability was presented to Diana Gradus, also a resident of Park Slope. Gradus volunteers in the hospital’s Sparks of Life‚ąíPet Therapy Program, where she and her dog spend their time visiting patients on NYM’s pediatric, physical rehabilitation, geriatric and acute psychiatry units.

New York University student Elizabeth Reagan was the recipient of the Mary Velez Emergency Room Award for Excellence. Reagan is a Project Contact volunteer in the Emergency Department, where she is a designated volunteer trainer who orients new volunteers to the complexity of the Emergency Department.

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