New York Methodist Hospital Recognizes Volunteers for Their Devotion

Mar 18, 2009


From left, Phoebe Lithgow, Bob Jackson, Elizabeth Reagan, Diana Gradus and Maurice Pahalan were this years honorees at the 2009 Volunteer Recognition Ceremony held each year by New York Methodist Hospital.

Through their dedicated efforts, 800 volunteers gave more than 65, 00 hours of service to New York Methodist Hospital (NYM) in the past year. To honor these outstanding individuals for their invaluable contributions to the Hospital, NYM recently held its Annual Volunteer Recognition Ceremony on Thursday, April 23, 2009.

This years evening, entitled Volunteers: The Heart and Soul of New York Methodist Hospital, featured delicious food provided by the Hospitals Department of Food and Nutrition, live jazz, and lots of smiles and camaraderie among volunteers and staff members.

Volunteers are very valuable to our society, said John E. Carrington, chairman of NYMs board of trustees. I am always delighted to be here to say thank you for all that you do.

The Ann Chisena Award for Community Involvement was presented to Phoebe Lithgow. A Harvard graduate, Ms. Lithgow resides in the Upper West Side. She has extensive volunteer experience and currently volunteers in NYMS Step by Step Program, a new initiative to train new parents to recognize developmental milestones, which takes place in the Hospitals pediatric clinic.

Bob Jackson was this years recipient of the Marie La Ruffa Award for Patient Care. As a Patient Care Volunteer, Mr. Jackson offers encouragement to patients, their families and staff members. He resides in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

The Frank Spera Award for Dependability was presented to Diana Gradus, also a resident of Park Slope. Ms. Gradus volunteers in the Hospitals Sparks of Life-Pet Therapy Program, where she and her dog spend their time visiting patients on NYMs pediatric, physical rehabilitation, geriatric and acute psychiatry units.

Elizabeth Reagan was the recipient of the Mary Velez Emergency Room Award for Excellence. Ms. Reagan is a Project Contact volunteer in the Emergency Department, where she is a designated volunteer trainer who orients new volunteers to the complexity of the Emergency Department. A student at New York University, Ms. Reagan lives in Yonkers, New York.

The New York Methodist Auxiliary Award for Outstanding Service by a High School Student was given to Maurice Pahalan, a science teacher at Clara Barton High School, who has been an influential participant in the Hospitals partnership with the high school. Mr. Pahalan resides in Canarsie, Brooklyn,

We are grateful to all our volunteers who contribute so much to our Hospital each year, said Mimi Makovitzky, director of educational and volunteer resources at NYM, to event attendees. It is truly joyful to celebrate with them.

New York Methodist Hospital encourages all interested individuals to apply for volunteer opportunities at the Hospital. To apply, go to, click on community outreach, and then select volunteer opportunities to complete an application.