Annual Humanism Awards, July 2017


On July 17, 2017, The Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey celebrated its 20th Anniversary at its Annual Lester Z. Lieberman Humanism in Healthcare Awards Event.  Two hundred fifty colleagues and guests were in attendance as 38 individuals and all former Leadership and Legacy Award winners were honored by the Foundation.


Dr. Nicole McGrath, DDS, Founder and CEO of the KinderSmile Foundation, Receives 2017 Leadership Award.

This year’s Lester Z. Lieberman Leadership Award for Humanism in Healthcare was presented to Dr. Nicole McGrath, DDS, whose passion for children’s health has propelled her since her school days to provide oral care for low income, underserved children.  In 2007, Dr. McGrath established the KinderSmile Foundation and assembled a team of over 200 volunteer dentists to provide free care for kids.  Together they have served over 30,000 children and partnered with more than 30 schools and community organizations to provide access and treatment.  In 2016, Dr. McGrath founded the KinderSmile Community Oral Health Center in Bloomfield.  There she and her team provide free dental care to needy, uninsured kids, and free dental care to perinatal moms during their pregnancy and for the first year of their children’s lives if they agree to take classes about caring for the oral health of their children.

The Healthcare Foundation is proud and privileged to honor Dr. McGrath and present her with its 2017 Lester Z. Lieberman Leadership Award for Humanism in Healthcare.


Former Lester Z. Lieberman Leadership Award Honorees recognized by HFNJ

As part of the evening’s celebration, HFNJ invited all of its previous Leadership and Legacy honorees to attend, be recognized once again, and light candles on the Foundation’s cake to symbolize the light that each brings to their patients and to the cause of motivating others to practice humanistic healthcare.  Honorees who were present lit candles on behalf of their colleagues who had passed away or were unable to attend.  They are:

2003    Melvin Wallerstein* – Founder, Grotta Fund for Senior Care

2004    Stuart Cook, MD – Past President, UMDNJ

2005    Arnold Gold, MD & Sandra Gold, PhD – Founders, Arnold P. Gold Foundation

2006    Dorian Wilson, MD – Director, Healthcare Foundation Center for Humanism & Medicine at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School

2007    Riki E. Jacobs, Esq.* – Executive Director, Hyacinth AIDS  Foundation

2008    Theresa Redling, MD – Gerontologist, RWJ Barnabas Health

2009    Lester Z. Lieberman, PE* – Past Board Chair, Newark Beth Israel MC & Founder, The Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey

             Gloria McNeal, PhD – Dean, School of Health & Human Services, National Univ.

2010    Richard S. Panush, MD – Keck Medicine, Univ. of Southern California

2011    Alice J. Cohen, MD, Director, Frederick B. Cohen Cancer Center, Newark Beth Israel MC

            Frederick B. Cohen, MD – Founder, Frederick B. Cohen Cancer Center

2012    Cherie Castellano, MA, CSW, AAETS, LPC – Founder/Director, Mom2Mom, Cop2Cop, Vets4Warriors,
and other programs at Rutgers University Behavioral Health Center

2013    Joshua D. Schor, MD – Medical Director, Daughters of Israel

2014    Hosseinali Shahidi, MD – Asst. Prof., Rutgers NJ Medical School and Chief of Community Medicine & Public Health
Co-founder, Rutgers Community Health Worker Project

            Cindy Sickora, DPN, RN – Executive Director, School of Nursing Univ. of Texas
Co-Founder,  Rutgers Community Health Worker Project

            George Heinrich, MD – Dean of Admissions, Rutgers NJ Medical School, Vice Chair/CEO, New Jersey Health Foundation

2015    Michele Elkins, MD, PhD – Medical Director, Overlook Hospital Geriatric Services

             Lester M. Bornstein, MPH – Past President, Newark Beth Israel MC, Founding Trustee, HFNJ

2016    Thomas Krever – CEO/Founder, The Hetrick-Martin Institute

They were joined by Nicole McGrath, DDS, this year’s Leadership Award honoree.




38 Others Receive Community Awards for Compassionate Interactions  with Patients, Families, and Colleagues

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

This year 38 honorees were feted by 250 guests at the Foundation’s July 17th awards dinner.  We are proud to list them here:

Agency/Institution:         Honoree:
Broadway House for Continuing Care Marvean Dixon-Phillips, RN
Cerebral Palsy of North Jersey Denise Campbell, House Manager
Children’s Hospital, Newark Beth Israel Medical Center Celeste Johnson, Unit Clerk, Pediatrics

Colleen McQueen, RN

Children’s Specialized Hospital Cathleen Cahill, APN
Clara Maass Medical Center Jose Fernandez, Director of Radiology

Tracy Thompson, Unit Clerk, Emergency Department

Daughters of Israel Gail Browne, CAN
JESPY House Lisa Jasinski, CSW, Shared Housing Supervisor
Jewish Family Service of Central NJ Nicholas Pepice, LSW
Jewish Family Service of MetroWest NJ Suzanne Berman, Director of Volunteer Services
Jewish Service for the Developmentally Disabled Shila Baidoo, Residential Aide
Jewish Vocational Services of MetroWest NJ Janet Sewell, Job Placement Counsellor
Morristown Medical Center Dana Eke-Okoro, LCSW

Teresa Esposito, Nurse Educator Navigator

Newark Beth Israel Medical Center Martha Diaz, CPCS, Credentialing Specialist

Will Thomas, RN

Newark Community Health Centers Jean Bien Amie, Certified HIV/AIDS Counselor
NJCRI Corey DeStefano, Director of Clinical Services
Overlook Medical Center Suzette Francis, Wound Healing & Hyperbaric Business Coordinator

Barbara Jurkiewicz, RN

Planned Parenthood of Northern, Central & Southern NJ Brenda Goldston, Medical Assistant
Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan NJ Sandra Mercorelli, Certified Application Counselor
Rutgers New Jersey Medical School Thomas Di Vitantonio, Medical Student
Rutgers School of Nursing Ann Bagchi, PhD, DNP, RN – Instructor

Lubna Qureshi, BSN, RN – Student

Saint Barnabas Medical Center Caitlin Ridge, BA, CCLS

Rosann Kravetz-Toma, DPT

Seton Hall University College of Nursing Cindy Catao, Senior Nursing Student

Mary Ellen Roberts, DNP, RN, APC-C, FAANP, FAAN

Spectrum 360 (The Children’s Institute) Megan Maguire, MEd, BCBA
Trinitas Regional Medical Center Erlinda Hubac, RN

Gina Totino, LCSW

Trinitas Regional Medical Center School of Nursing Mabel Mansing, LPN, Student

Maja Morales, MSN, RN, CCRN, Student

University Hospital Diane Scapillati-Chapogas, Senior Radiation Therapist

Ilona Jacniacka-Soto, RN

Zufall Health Center Monica McKenzie, Patient Navigator for Seniors