Crain’s New York Business Recognizes VNSNY

Categories: People & Places.

Photo of team members: Willis Partington, John Anderson, Ben Cirlin, Janet King, Mary Kay King, Jean Metzker, Kei Okada, Gladys Ortiz-Alvarado, Debra Oryzysyn, Dianna Sandiford, Elizabeth Santana, Monica Santiago, Pamela Yew Schwartz and Rosanne Sonatore.

Crain’s New York Business Recognizes VNSNY Hospice Bereavement and Emotional Support Team in 2020 Notable in Healthcare Report

As the country scrambled in the face of the coronavirus outbreak, uncountable numbers of doctors, nurses, hospice workers, home health aides, physical therapists and others, rose to the occasion with heroic grit and determination, working around the clock, to save lives. Among those, more than 100 leaders and teams were recently recognized in the Crain’s New York Business 2020 Notable in Health Care Report, which includes the Visiting Nurse Service of New York Hospice Bereavement and Emotional Support Team. In this special compilation of individuals who “helped bend the region’s steep infection curve downward and are still working to alleviate the economic and humanitarian toll,” the skills, compassion and efforts of VNSNY’s Hospice clinicians were the catalyst for an initiative that continues to expand and support VNSNY’s 13,000 employees.

From the beginning, the VNSNY Hospice Bereavement and Emotional Support Team quickly rallied to establish counseling and emotional support resources for patients, family caregivers and VNSNY colleagues alike, and as the pandemic has continued, this ad hoc team, which started as a small group, has evolved into a much larger platform and now brings together staff from across VNSNY who support thousands of nurses, home health aides, physical therapists, social workers and other clinicians, care coordinators and managers.

Under the guidance of Willis Partington, the team has become a beacon offering ongoing group support forums for processing stress, fear, anxiety and grief related to the daily task of caring for sick, dying and grieving COVID-19 victims. The team conducts virtual support groups via Skype where participants are encouraged to share their experiences in the field or their personal lives. At a time when we are advised to remain physically distant from others, this virtual platform gives staff the opportunity to connect and express feelings in a confidential, safe and nonjudgmental space, in addition to learning powerful techniques for self-care. The team was also instrumental in putting together a Zoom memorial service honoring the lives of colleagues and staff family members who were lost in the pandemic. By maintaining these close social bonds, the Hospice Bereavement and Emotional Support Team aims to ensure that VNSNY’s fight against COVID-19 remains strong and supported.

Also worth noting, VNSNY CEO Marki Flannery was recognized in the 2020 Notable in Health Care report as well—for the third year. A 38-year veteran at VNSNY, Ms. Flannery’s work in swiftly transitioning thousands of employees to remote work and helping to procure more than $5 million in protective gear and other supplies were noted in her profile.

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