Annual Humanism Awards, July 2016


On July 18, 2016, The Healthcare Foundation of NJ presented its 19th Annual Lester Z. Lieberman Awards for Humanism in Healthcare.  Over 200 colleagues and guests were in attendance as 39 individuals were honored by the Foundation.


Thomas Krever, CEO of The Hetrick-Martin Institute, Receives Leadership Award

This year’s Lester Z. Lieberman Leadership Award for Humanism in Healthcare was presented to Thomas Krever, visionary CEO of The Hetrick-Martin Institute.

The biggest challenge that LGBTQ youth face, Krever says, is to not be able to live their authentic self, a challenge that can become a crisis, turning a young person either inward – leading to suicide – or outward, expressing itself in violent homophobia or other forms of aggression.  Thomas Krever is determined to do all that he can to ensure that every young person has a safe place to talk, to express doubts and fears, to learn about safe lifestyles, and to just relax and be with people who care.

To fulfill that mission, Krever developed the Harvey Milk School in NYC, the first school founded to provide a place of safety and growth for high-school aged lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth who have difficulty in a regular school or who are not in a safe school environment.  The program has grown to serve not only full-time students, but an additional 2,500 teens in its after-school program in NYC and, with HFNJ support, has expanded to Newark and other locations in NJ.  And Krever is the extraordinary Chief Executive Officer who conceived and oversees it all.If Krever has his way, HMI Newark will be the first of many mini-HMI programs across the country that help give voice to LGBTQ youth.  He wants The Hetrick-Martin Institute to be the first federated model in the LGBTQ community, much like the Boys & Girls Clubs are for all kids.  We have no doubt that with Thomas at the helm, they will get there!

The Healthcare Foundation is proud to honor Thomas Krever with its 2016 Lester Z. Lieberman Leadership Award for Humanism in Healthcare.



Master Sergeant (Ret.) Rod East receives Amster Bornstein Veteran’s Award

The Amster Bornstein Veteran’s Award for humanism in healthcare was established this year to honor two beloved, respected, and dedicated trustees of HFNJ:  Richard (“Dick”) Amster, a veteran of the US Navy who served our country in the Pacific during world War II and who passed away this year, and Lester Bornstein, also a veteran of World War II, who received the Bronze Star for his heroism on behalf of the US and its Allies in the Battle of the Bulge and who continues to work on behalf of humanistic, compassionate healthcare.

The first recipient of the Amster Bornstein Veteran’s Award is Master Sergeant (Ret.) Rod East, a compassionate, dedicated, and humanistic mental health practitioner who began treating patients as a Rutgers University social work student intern at FAMILYConnections last year.

Rod served for more than 20 years in the US Air Force with assignments in Korea, Turkey, and the US.  He did tours as Chief of Security Forces and a Squadron Superintendent in the Middle East, with his primary work in Anti-Terrorism and Force Protection.  When he retired, he made the decision to help other veterans and enrolled in Rutgers School of Social Work to obtain his MSW.

Rod’s personality, background, and education have enabled him to provide mental health services to veterans in a culturally-sensitive, empathetic manner.  He and his fellow students provide counseling to veterans regardless of discharge status and treat veterans suffering from PTSD, depression, anxiety, sexual assault, and other traumas.  His first client, for example, was a female veteran – a lesbian – with a horrific history of sexual abuse during childhood and in the military who had not had been successful seeking treatment through the VA.  She felt trapped, with no way out of her pain.  Despite the obvious gender and other cultural divides between therapist and client, Rod was able to help her make many positive changes in her life.

Rod East is proudly recognized by HFNJ for his wonderfully grounded, calming presence, his passion to be of help, and his ability to provide compassionate care to his clients.


37 Others Receive Community Awards for Compassionate Interaction with Patients & Clients

Each year, the Healthcare Foundation honors healthcare employees, nursing students, and faculty in the greater Newark region.  Nominated by their peers, these special workers are models of selflessness, empathy, and cultural sensitivity.

This year 37 honorees were feted by more than 200 guests at the Foundation’s awards dinner, which took place on the evening of July 20th at the Crystal Plaza in Livingston.  Those honorees are:

Agency/Institution:         Honoree:
Cerebral Palsy of North Jersey Diane Scott
Children’s Hospital, Newark Beth Israel Medical Center Miriam Kula, RDCS, RDMS, Supervisor, PediatricEndocardiology Lab

Godfrey Williams, Env/Housekeeping Specialist

Children’s Specialized Hospital Monica Lazo, RN
Clara Maass Medical Center Maria Colon-Bloschock, RN, MSN, CNOR, RNFA

Marissa Dizon, RN

Daughters of Israel Assif Neisha, LPN
JESPY House Muriel Bowness, RN
Jewish Family Service of Central NJ Kathleen McMahon, ED.M., MA, RN
Jewish Family Service of MetroWest NJ Lisa Traiger, LCSW
Jewish Renaissance Medical Center Ayanna Bradshaw-Sydnor, DDS
Jewish Service for the Developmentally Disabled Letiticia Waymer, Dir., Residential Services
Jewish Vocational Services of MetroWest NJ Kristi Collins, MSW
Morristown Medical Center Tara Freundlich, Patient Liaison

Janet Viera, RN

Newark Beth Israel Medical Center Jacqueline C. Heal, BA, RN, CBCN

Gloria Bright-Hudson, Senior Clerk

Newark Community Health Centers Shirley Scott, RN
Overlook Medical Center Gifty Dzanku, Patient Care Technician

Diane “Dini” Carson-Griebert, RN

Planned Parenthood of Central & Greater Northern NJ Anne Ferraiolo, RN, VP-Medical Services
Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan NJ Kalimah Johnson, CAC/Support Services
Rutgers New Jersey Medical School Michael Cacoilo, Student
Rutgers School of Nursing Zainab Poonawalla, Student

Robert Marsh, PMHNP, APRN, BC

Saint Barnabas Medical Center Randy Ramcharitar, MD, Resident Physician

Stephen L. Shuman, Respiratory Therapist

Seton Hall University College of Nursing Alyssa Ingravallo, Senior Nursing Student

Lisa D’Antonio, MSN, RN, CNL

Spectrum 360 (The Children’s Institute) Pamela Barnes, RN, CSM-NJ, M.Ed.
Trinitas Regional Medical Center Daisy Adrias-Lantin, RN

Carol Olsen, Physical Therapist

Trinitas Regional Medical Center School of Nursing Amanda Palladino, Student

Diana Varela, Student

University Hospital Cathy Carter, Occupational Therapist

Sima Farid, Social Worker

Zufall Health Center Gloria Aldana, Dental Assistant Supervisor


Congratulations to Everyone!