NewYork-Presbyterian/Hudson Valley Hospital Celebrates Everyday Heroes

Wall of Heroes is an example of why the Hospital is one of the top places to work

Oct 23, 2014

Cortlandt Manor, NY

a man and a woman looking at a framed picture

In what has become a special annual tradition, NewYork-Presbyterian/Hudson Valley Hospital this week recognized its unsung heroes by adding the portraits of 12 more employees to its Wall of Heroes in honor of their contributions to the hospital and their patients.

On Oct. 23, HVHC unveiled 12 new portraits at a ceremony in the lobby of the Hospital at 1980 Crompond Road, Cortlandt Manor.

Each month the Hospital recognizes an employee who has been nominated by co-workers. At the end of the year, that employee is honored at the Heroes Ceremony and a large, professional portrait is hung on the wall along the front corridor of the hospital, where it remains for the year. It’s one of the reasons that the hospital has been cited - by Press Ganey and Westchester Magazine - as one of the top places to work in Westchester.

"This is something that means a lot to our employees – to be recognized by their peers for excellence," said Hudson Valley Hospital President John C. Federspiel. "These portraits let everyone in the hospital, and the community, know how much we value our dedicated employees and the job they do."

Susan Sheehy, captain of the Hospital’s reward and recognition team, has worked on the Heroes project for past nine years. She says she looks forward to preparing for the event, writing the bios of each employee and arranging for professional portraits to be taken of each.

"It’s really an honor to work on this project," she said. "We have so many special employees. "It’s really wonderful to see them receive this recognition for their work."

This year’s everyday heroes are as follows:

  • Maggie Adler, RN-C, MSN, WCC: Maggie joined HVHC in 1996 working in ICU, nursing administration, and is currently Associate Director of Standards & Quality in HVHC’s Education Department. Maggie is certified in geriatric nursing, and was instrumental in developing a program to earn the hospital its designation as a NICHE facility (Nursing Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders). This program concentrates on treating older patients with compassion, helps keep their health from deteriorating, and works with their families to prepare patients as they leave the hospital.
  • Sofia Di Maio, Physical Therapy: While earning her Bachelor’s Degree in Health Science, Sofia worked part-time as a receptionist in the hospital’s Surgery Center until last April when she joined the Physical Therapy Department as a physical therapy aide. Sofia greets patients in the waiting room with warmth and kindness...making them feel special, and escorts each patient to their treatment area.
  • Jennifer Fairchild (Central Supply/Store Room): Jennifer has worked at HVHC since 2004 and currently works in central supply and storage. She is very knowledgeable in all aspects of the hospital’s operations. Jennifer is an invaluable asset to the department. She is currently pursuing her degree in nursing.
  • Ruth Gonzalez, Food & Nutrition: Ruth began her culinary journey at HVHC in 2011. She always maintains a friendly and professional demeanor, no matter how busy the kitchen or dining room may be...and no matter how long it takes for her customers to make their decision on the lunch line. Ruth always takes great care of her customers.
  • Julie Gorman, RN, CRN, Ambulatory Surgery Center: From the County of Westmeath, Ireland, Julie joined HVHC’s Ambulatory Surgery Center in 2006. Certified as a Radiology nurse, Julie worked with Radiology until 2011 when she began her new assignment as Assistant Clinical Nurse Manager of the Ambulatory Surgery unit. Julie’s compassion and competence made her, hands-down, the ideal choice for this newly-created position in Ambulatory Surgery.
  • Billy Lang, Patient Care Technician – Emergency Department: Billy’s the first in a patient’s room with a gown, a warm blanket, an EKG machine and Accucheck, all at the same time. He received more than 30 nominations from physicians, PA’s, nurses and volunteers for this honor. He is currently pursuing his nursing degree.
  • Karen McCarthy, Volunteer Services: Karen works as Surgery Center Receptionist from 6 -11 a.m. Karen is the first face patients see when they enter the Surgery Center in the morning. Karen greets each patient and family with kindness, and guides them through each check point until it’s time for their procedure.
  • Maria Myslinska, PCT – 2 South: Arriving from Poland in 2002, Maria began working at HVHC in January 2009 as a member of our Environmental Services Department. At the end of that year, Maria was certified as a Personal Care Technician, and joined the night shift on 2 South. Maria was nominated by many of her co-workers for her dedication to her patients, and her outstanding personality.
  • Linda O’Buck, RN – OB: Linda’s nursing career at HVHC began in 1980, when she worked nights in the Medical/Surgical Department, and also covered ICU and OB when needed. After 15 years on the night shift, Linda began working days and joined the OB team in the Maternity Department. Linda is OB’s unit preceptor... educating our staff, and assisting in all annual competencies.
  • Olga Paredes, Environmental Services: Olga has been a member of the Environmental Services Department since January 2010.She was chosen as Employee of the Month because of her tremendous work ethic and caring attitude. Olga is always willing to go out of her way to help... not only co-workers, but patients and visitors who enter the hospital. She takes pride in what she does, and it shows.
  • Albert Swansen, Security: Al joined HVHC three years ago after a lengthy and distinguished career with the New York State Police. During his 25 years of service with the NYSP, Al served on the Governor’s Protective Services Unit, ran the Crime Scene Unit/Group K, and was involved in many other units throughout his career with the State Police. Al uses his professional training and experience to improve the response of NewYork-Presbyterian/Hudson Valley Hospital’s Security personnel.
  • Shelifa S. Vasta, RN, BSN, Case Management: As a nurse for 13 years, and a case manager at HVHC since March 2013, Sharon possesses excellent interpersonal, communication and listening skills and is highly sensitive to the needs of patients and their family members. Sharon focuses her time in the Emergency Department, providing information and resources which help patients and families make important decisions regarding their plan of care.

NewYork-Presbyterian/Hudson Valley Hospitalis dedicated to serving the health care needs of the community and to providing quality, comprehensive medical care in a compassionate, professional, respectful manner, without regard to race, religion, national origin or disease category. Offering state-of-the-art diagnostic treatment, education and preventive services, the Hospital is committed to improving the quality of life in the community. In fulfilling this mission, the Hospital will strive to continuously improve the care provided and develop and offer programs, facilities, systems and alliances that most effectively respond to community health care needs. NewYork-Presbyterian/Hudson Valley Hospital is located on Route 202 (1980 Crompond Road) in Cortlandt Manor, New York.914-737-9000 or visit