North Shore-LIJ Honors Top Performers

honored with President’s Awards
Lorenz Buddy Mayer of Smithtown NY associate director of environmental services at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset NY was recognized with the Presidents Award for Innovation

GREAT NECK, NY -- The North Shore-LIJ Health System announced today that three individuals and one team of employees were honored with President’s Awards, in recognition of their outstanding devotion to patient care, innovation and teamwork.

North Shore-LIJ President and Chief Executive Officer Michael J. Dowling began the President’s Award tradition in 2007 to honor individuals and teams demonstrating extraordinary leadership, compassionate care and dedicated service. President’s Awards were presented to employees in three categories: exceptional patient experience; teamwork and innovation. Winners were selected by an external selection committee comprised of local and national leaders.

Janine Lipari of West Islip, a senior radiation therapist from LIJ Medical Center in New Hyde Park, NY, and Diane Werneken of Staten Island, a registered nurse at Staten Island University Hospital North, were named co-winners of  the President’s Award for Exceptional Patient Experience.

On her own time, Ms. Lipari developed a pediatric hat program in which she created and paid for customized, often “themed,” knit hats for children with cancer undergoing radiation therapy. Ms. Werneken organized a maternal bereavement group, voluntarily providing support to others on her own time. The program provides each patient with a remembrance box to memorialize their baby and help with the grievance process. Ms. Werneken also assisted in promoting the passage of a bill to provide mothers who experience still birth with a New York State birth certificate.

Each of them was awarded $10,000 bonus, a crystal award and a seven-day cruise to their choice of destination.

The President’s Award for Innovation was presented to Lorenz “Buddy” Mayer of Smithtown, associate director of environmental services at North Shore University Hospital, in recognition of his revolutionary idea to sew a cleanable “leading edge” to privacy curtains in patient rooms, with the goal of reducing the spread of infection and disease.  The “leading edge” has cut maintenance costs in half and reduced the time required to clean patient rooms. The new creation, currently awaiting a patent, will be displayed at health care conferences nationwide. Mr. Mayer was awarded a $10,000 bonus, a crystal award, two tickets to a Broadway show and dinner for two in New York City.

The President’s Award for Teamwork was presented to the North Shore-LIJ Health System’s Employee Emergency Resource Center Team, for its assistance in helping hundreds of health system employees who lost their homes and belongings during Super Storm Sandy. The team, led by Jude Williamson of the health system’s Human Resources Department, sprung into action immediately following the storm to create a call center and website dedicated to offering assistance to employees, from counseling to organizing ride shares and financial assistance. In recognition of their efforts, the 10-member team will split $10,000 and each member will be given two Broadway show tickets and dinner for two in New York City.

Long-time health system trustees Donald and Barbara Zucker helped underwrite the $400,000 cost of this year’s President’s Awards program, which included awards banquets for all nominees at the Garden City Hotel in June.

The judges for the awards were: Frank Castagna, principal of Castagna Realty Co.; Jeffrey R. Fina, executive vice president at Michael C. Fina Co.; Rebecca Hollander, marketing director at the Americana Manhasset; Larry Tilson, senior vice president of employee and physician engagement services at Press Ganey Associates; Donna Drummond, senior vice president and chief administrative officer at North Shore-LIJ; and Joseph Cabral, senior vice president and chief human resources officer at North Shore LIJ.

The winners of the President’s Award for Exceptional Patient Experience were chosen from the following nominees selected by their individual hospitals and facilities. Each was awarded a $5,000 bonus, a crystal award, two tickets to a Broadway show and dinner for two. 

 Paul Colagrande of Kings Park, a maintenance mechanic at Broadlawn Manor, Amityville
 Elizabeth Popp of Oceanside, service care coordinator at the North Shore-LIJ Stern Family Center for Rehabilitation, Manhasset, and Home Care Network.

  •  Janice Collica, RN, of Baldwin,  an assistant nurse manager at  Cohen Children’s Medical Center, New Hyde Park
  •  Eric Payne of Farmingville, patient care associate at Forest Hills Hospital
  •  Margie Kirincic of Franklin Square, a nursing attendant at Franklin Hospital, Valley Stream
  •  Karen McKinney of Bayville, assistant nurse manager at Glen Cove Hospital
  •  Judie Hutchinson of Brooklyn, patient engagement specialist at Zucker Hillside Hospital, Glen Oaks
  •  Susan Cotona of Wantagh, senior receptionist, Hospice Care Network, Woodbury
  •  Mark McGrath, RN, of East Northport, high tech registered nurse, Region Care, Great Neck
  •  Frances Persico of Centerport,  registered nurse, Huntington Hospital
  •  Jason Bates of Bellmore, doorkeeper, Lenox Hill Hospital
  •  Paulette Miles of Great Neck,  cosmetologist, North Shore University Hospital, Manhasset
  •  Travis Sherer of New York, physician assistant, the Manhattan Eye, Ear & Throat Hospital
  •  Judy Roberts-Velapoldi of Lido Beach, MDS coordinator, Orzac Center for Extended Care and Rehabilitation, Valley Stream
  •  Geraldine Francis of St. Albans, lobby service representative, Physician and Ambulatory Network Services ( PAANS)
  •  Jessica Daigle of  Glen Head, senior occupational therapist, Sports Therapy & Rehabilitation Services
  •  Elissa DiPasquale of Smithtown, assistant director of Pharmacy Clinical Education Services, Plainview Hospital
  •  Carrie Cheeseman of Centereach, operational manager, South Oaks Hospital, Amityville
  •  Diana Sattanino of Hauppauge, registered nurse, Southside Hospital, Bay Shore
  •  William Pagan Jr. of  Staten Island,  motor vehicle operator, Staten Island University Hospital South
  •  Ashley Olivieri of  Huntington, dietician, Syosset Hospital

About North-Shore LIJ Health System
The nation's 14th-largest healthcare system, North Shore-LIJ delivers world-class clinical care throughout the New York metropolitan area, pioneering research at The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research and a visionary approach to medical education highlighted by the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine. North Shore-LIJ cares for people at every stage of life at 16 hospitals and nearly 400 outpatient physician practices throughout the region. North Shore-LIJ’s owned hospitals and long-term care facilities house more than 6,000 beds, employ more than 10,000 nurses and have affiliations with more than 9,400 physicians. With a workforce of more than 46,000, North Shore-LIJ is the largest employer on Long Island and the third-largest private employer in New York City.  For more information, go to


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