On Nov. 16, the Visiting Nurse Service of New York held its annual ESPRIT Awards at the New World Stages, an off-Broadway theater in Manhattan, N.Y. The awards were presented to 62 peer-chosen VNSNY employees who personify the organization’s ESPRIT values: “excellence, service, people, fiscal responsibility, initiative and teamwork.”
Carol Raphael, MPA, VNSNY president and CEO, welcomed attendees to the theater, home to award-winning shows such as “Avenue Q” and “Rent.” Raphael said the setting was fitting for the evening’s events. “Our ESPRIT awards are like the Oscars or [like] being the MVP at the World Series,” she said.
Scheduled to leave her position in late 2011 after 22 years, Raphael hosted the awards for the last time. She told the audience she was proud of the strides VNSNY has made.The Voices of VNSNY choir sang two selections to end the ceremony.
“We’ve cared for people through the 19th and 20th centuries, and now, in the 21st century, we’re working to try to change how healthcare is delivered in this country,” Raphael said. In 2010, VNSNY donated more than $28 million in charitable care for more than 5,000 people without insurance, she said.
Recognizing those who helped provide that care, Joan Marren, RN, MA, MEd, COO at VNSNY and president of VNSNY Home Care, presented ESPRIT awards to 62 of its employees during the ceremony. Among those, 20 RNs were recognized. Winners received a certificate and a glass obelisk engraved with their achievement. The program was uploaded onto a flash drive given to each attendee.Jeanne Dennis, senior vice president of VNSNY Hospice Care, served as a judge during the hospice unit’s uniform competition.
A highlight of the event was the uniform contest sponsored by VNS hospice and palliative care services. Third-year students in the fashion design program at Brooklyn’s Pratt Institute created uniforms for VNSNY’s Haven Hospice Specialty Care unit at Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan.
Jeanne Dennis, senior vice president at VNSNY Hospice Care, said 22 students visited the unit for inspiration. Student Hannah Ross’s design won first place. The 100% cotton, three-piece ensemble incorporated pockets with a stylish, comfortable design that can be worn outside of work. The Voices of VNSNY choral group ended the ceremony.