Jonas Center Honored with NYC Health + Hospitals Nursing Champion Award

Awardees honored for their extraordinary contributions to caring for New York City

(New York, NY ― October 25, 2016) NYC Health + Hospitals hosted its annual awards celebration honoring six nurse professionals from across the health care system who demonstrate dedication, leadership, and talent for the nursing profession and for the patient care they provide each day. Awards were given in six categories, including clinical nursing (inpatient), management, education and mentorship, advancing and leading the profession, home, community or ambulatory care, and volunteerism and service. This year the Jonas Center for Nursing and Veterans Healthcare was honored with the “Nursing Champion” award.

“Nurses at NYC Health + Hospitals are the true face of our health care system, having more contact with patients than any other members of our professional team,” said Dr. Ram Raju, President and CEO, NYC Health + Hospitals. “Each day they bring skill, motivation, and commitment to a tough job, during some of the most difficult moments of our patients’ lives. Congratulations and sincere thanks to our Nursing Excellence Award winners.”

More than 160 nurses from across the health system were nominated by their colleagues in recognition of their exceptional achievements and commitment to providing the best possible care and experience for patients. The nurses honored today are among the 8,000 nurses at NYC Health + Hospitals – women and men who provide care each day for New York City in hospitals, post-acute care centers, neighborhood health centers, nursing homes, and home care, across the five boroughs.

“NYC Health + Hospitals is fortunate to have a wealth of amazing people among the thousands of nurses in our system who are devoted to providing outstanding care to our many patients,” said Lauren Johnston, RN, MPA, NEA-BC, FACHE, System Chief Nurse Executive, Vice President, Patient Centered Care. “I am honored to work among the many talented and passionate nurses who are doing extraordinary work each day and are on the frontlines of care for New York City.”

2016 Nursing Excellence Award winners:

Excellence in Clinical Nursing, Inpatient

  • Norma Moreira, RN (19 years of service): The delicate issues associated with preparing for end-of-life care are among the special challenges faced by Head Nurse Norma Moreira and her colleagues who care for the long-term residents of NYC Health + Hospitals/Sea View. Distressed by seeing residents who had not prepared advance health care directives being dispatched to unfamiliar acute-care facilities during their final phases of life, Moreira made it her mission to share information about the advance directive process, palliative care, the delegation of a health care proxy, and the DNR process with facility residents and their families. Taken together, these preparations help ensure that end-of-life care aligns with a patient’s wishes, needs, and beliefs. In addition to educating her colleagues and her patients, Moreira reached out to every surrogate of those residents who were not capable of comprehending the process for themselves. Moreira’s unwavering advocacy saw Sea View increase the portion of residents with advanced directives to more than 60 percent. Today, proactive discussion about advance health care directives has become the norm and is a best practice within Moreira’s unit.

Excellence in Management

  • Deepa Vinoo, RN-BC, MSN (10 years of service): As director/coordinator of the Memory Care Unit at NYC Health + Hospitals/Coler, Deepa Vinoo leads an interdisciplinary team that utilizes innovative techniques to effectively, holistically, and compassionately care for residents diagnosed with dementia. Vinoo has spearheaded ongoing training that has updated Coler’s caregiving approach to align with Alzheimer’s Association best practices and has helped 95 percent of her team to earn National Council of Certified Dementia Care Practitioners certification. “Music & Memory” is a standout program led by Vinoo at Coler; this program uses familiar music to reach behind the veil of dementia in order to draw out persons hidden behind the disability and reengage them with the world. Through this and other advanced treatment programs led by Vinoo, Coler has achieved significant reduction in antipsychotic medication administered to residents diagnosed with dementia, increased engagement and satisfaction among residents’ families, and fostered better interaction between residents and staff – a relationship vital to improving successful long-term care.

Excellence in Education and Mentorship

  • Rosetta E. Apisiga, RN, MPH (15 years of service): In her role as Clinical Educator for Maternal-Child Health at NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull, Rosetta Apisiga has strengthened and revitalized the facility’s nursing education program by establishing a curriculum that fosters critical thinking, responsibility, accountability, and sound clinical decision making. Apisiga’s Fetal Heart Rate Monitoring course has improved outcomes for mothers and babies by empowering staff to more quickly and accurately detect, identify, and address fetal heart rate changes, and the protocols she helped develop for prompt recognition and response to maternal hemorrhages work to better address risks associated with the most common cause of maternal mortality in New York State. Apisiga earns outstanding evaluations from her training course participants – under her effective guidance, newly hired or transferred nursing staff at Woodhull are consistently successful in completing their orientation in the prescribed 12-week time period or less.

Excellence in Advancing and Leading the Profession

  • Dana R. Deravin Carr, DrPH, MPH, MS, RN-BC, CCM (14 years of service): Dana Deravin Carr has been described as a trailblazer. A leader for the Care Management Department’s Transitions of Care Initiative – an important program that helps prevent avoidable patient readmissions – Carr takes an active role in formulating innovative discharge interventions for patients with high-risk diagnoses, including congestive heart failure, asthma, and diabetes. These initiatives have seen Carr forging connections within ambulatory care and the community, helping ensure that patients maintain access to the hospital and its programs upon discharge. A strong believer in “paying it forward,” Carr mentors peers and has conducted local nursing workshops for the Department of Nursing Education at NYC Health + Hospitals/Jacobi and for the new Care Management initiative at NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem. Carr is an active lecturer, she currently serves on the editorial board of The Journal of the New York State Nurses Association, and her writings on a variety of health topics have appeared in publications including the American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Care and the Journal of Palliative Medicine.

Excellence in Home, Community, or Ambulatory Care

  • Stephanie L. Donohue, RN, MSN, FNP, NYSAFE (7 years of service): Stephanie Donohue has been instrumental in transforming the care provided to survivors of sexual assault by streamlining processes, removing barriers, and improving communication. Under her leadership, Donohue has standardized a Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) process at NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan, NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue, and NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem that mobilizes a team of specialized registered nurses, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants
to perform necessary exams within an hour of being contacted. Donohue has established networks linking hospitals with law enforcement and rape crisis counselors to more holistically treat and support sexual assault survivors, sharing data from the three hospitals with the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office and other agencies to help identify trends in the community. A passionate leader and advocate for survivors of sexual assault, Donohue is often called upon to share her experience and expertise.

Excellence in Volunteerism and Service

  • Heidi T. Batomalaque, RN (30 years of service): Using her personal time and at her own expense, Heidi Batomalaque has participated in three annual medical missions to the Philippines to help improve the lives, well-being, and health of those in need. Batomalaque is part of a team of doctors, nurses, and dentists who treat adults and children, providing free medicine, surgical and dental procedures, and outreach through food donation programs. Batomalaque’s vast experience in the area of infection control has played a critical role during her medical missions in educating target populations about the prevention and spread of infection through proper hygiene practices. She is an active member of several community organizations and serves as a Praise Ministry coordinator, community worship leader, and Life in Spirit Seminar ministry coordinator in her local church. In her role as infection preventionist at NYC Health + Hospitals/Carter, Batomalaque is responsible for monitoring infection prevention and control activities, and implementing and evaluating infection prevention and control measures. She also educates others regarding infection risk, prevention, and control.

Nursing Champion Award

  • Jonas Center for Nursing and Veterans Healthcare: Founded in 2006 by Barbara and Donald Jonas, the Jonas Center for Nursing and Veterans Healthcare (Jonas Center) is a philanthropic organization dedicated to improving American health through the support of nursing. Through a range of philanthropic programs, the Jonas Center helps shape future generations of nurse leaders by developing outstanding instructors, advancing nursing scholarship, and sparking innovative practice.

The Jonas Center offers the Jonas Nurse Leaders Program, which seeks to increase the number of faculty with advanced degrees available to teach in nursing schools nationwide, as well as the number of advanced practice nurses providing direct patient care. The organization’s Jonas Veterans Healthcare Program aims to increase the number of advanced practice nurses and faculty who are trained specifically in the unique needs of our veteran population.

In 2006, the Jonas Center provided funding for NYC Health + Hospitals’ Leadership Academy for Nurse Leaders. Over the three-year grant period, a cohort of NYC Health + Hospitals nurses received training in the Academy’s intensive curriculum designed to build business skills, improve patient safety, and groom NYC Health + Hospitals’ future nurse leaders.

The 2016 Nursing Excellence Awards program is available in its entirety at

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About NYC Health + Hospitals

NYC Health + Hospitals is the largest public health care system in the nation. We are a network of 11 hospitals, trauma centers, neighborhood health centers, nursing homes, and post-acute care centers. We are a home care agency and a health plan, MetroPlus. Our health system provides essential services to more than one million New Yorkers every year in more than 70 locations across the city’s five boroughs. Our diverse workforce of more than 42,000 employees is uniquely focused on empowering New Yorkers, without exception, to live the healthiest life possible. Visit us at and stay connected on Facebook at or Twitter at @NYCHealthSystem. 

About the Barbara and Donald Jonas Family Fund

The Barbara and Donald Jonas Family Fund was established in 2005 with monies raised through an auction at Christie’s of a portion of the family’s noted contemporary art collection. The Fund’s lead initiative is the Jonas Center for Nursing and Veterans Healthcare, a first-of-its-kind philanthropic program dedicated to advancing nursing scholarship, leadership and innovation. Other areas of focus include environmental health and low vision and blindness. To date, the Jonas Family Fund has awarded $25 million in grants.