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Press Releases

City’s Public Hospitals Honor Volunteers

More Than 8,000 Caring Individuals Provide Nearly One Million Hours of Service

May 18, 2010

New York, NY

Kevin Xu, HHC Volunteer of the Year,
has given 916 hours of service to Healthy
Outlook,a special geriatric program
at Elmhurst Hospital Center.

The New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) today recognized thirty-four outstanding volunteers at their Annual Volunteer Recognition Ceremony and luncheon at Coler-Goldwater Specialty Hospital and Nursing Facility. These volunteers were chosen from the more than 8,000 men and women who have dedicated nearly one million hours of service to the city’s public hospitals over the last year.
“HHC volunteers are a vital element of our safe and efficient healthcare system. It’s the quality of caring and assistance that they donate to the patients we serve that makes all the difference. They are an important part of what makes HHC great,” said HHC President Alan D. Aviles.
Volunteers are in hospitals, long-term care facilities and diagnostic and treatment centers. They serve as language interpreters, sexual assault counselors, feed elderly patients, rock babies, play with children, read to adults and comfort family members. They tend to patients’ spiritual lives by bringing them to chapel and visit those who otherwise would not have any company.
Their dedication is exemplified by the 2010 Volunteers of The Year, Tiburico “Grandpa” Roldan and Kevin Xu.
At 93 years old and after 28 years of helping to care for babies at North Central Bronx Hospital (NCB), volunteer grandparent Tiburcio Roldan has no interest in a well-deserved break. Grandpa Roldan became a volunteer at NCB in 1982. He has helped care for babies in the Inpatient Pediatric Unit, playroom and GED program. Grandpa holds, feeds and entertains the babies and toddlers of teen mothers who are working towards obtaining their high school diplomas. He also volunteers in the hospital’s Women, Infant and Children (WIC) program, where he watches the children while their mothers are in the WIC educational programs or other appointments. He is a dedicated family man, married 71 years to his wife Rosa. They are proud parents of nine children, 22 grandchildren, 29 great grandchildren and three great-great grandchildren.
Kevin Xu joined Elmhurst Hospital Center’s volunteer program in August 2007. He has given over 916 hours of service in Healthy Outlook, an activity and companionship program on the Geriatric Unit. His duties include talking with the patients at bedside, assisting them with meals and snacks and helping with activities when the patients are in the day room. Inspired by his patients’ response to music, he plays his cello for them and has invited high school choirs to come and perform. He is a high school student with a busy schedule who still finds time to fulfill his volunteer commitment.
In addition, thirty-two other outstanding volunteers from HHC’s hospitals and nursing facilities were recognized at the luncheon attended by their friends and families. Those honored were:


Coney Island Hospital
Leticia Sanabria
Rebecca Smith
Dr. Susan Smith McKinney Nursing and Rehabilitation Center
Andre Adolphus
Sonia Harry
Kings County Hospital Center
Monica Braham
Denise Forbes
Woodhull Medical and Mental Health Center
Irma Oriol
Aurea Melendez


Jacobi Medical Center
Zarife Haxhiaj
Iris Resto
Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center
Thomas Smith –”Loonie Louie” Clown
Angela Toro
North Central Bronx Hospital
Eliza Jaquez
Earthin Thompson


Bellevue Hospital Center
Nicole Charles
Charles Curcio
Coler-Goldwater Specialty Hospital and Nursing Facility (Coler Campus)
Padmini “Bubu” Arya
Mannie Campbell Wilson
Coler-Goldwater Specialty Hospital and Nursing Facility (Goldwater Campus)
Chris Guth

Reynaldo T. Lauron
Gouverneur Healthcare Services
Mei Juan Lin
Yong Tao Ou
Harlem Hospital Center
Louise Hall
Wayne Hobbins
Metropolitan Hospital Center
Zoa Goele
Lydia Rodriguez


Elmhurst Hospital Center
Sebanti Bhowmik
Juan Garcia
Queens Hospital Center
Charmaine Farquharson
Gwendolyn Harrison

Staten Island

Sea View Hospital Rehabilitation Center and Home
Diane and John O’Connor

Contact: Ian Michaels (HHC) (212) 788-3339

About HHC

The New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) is a $6.7 billion integrated healthcare delivery system with its own 420,000 member health plan, MetroPlusHealth, and is the largest municipal healthcare organization in the country. HHC serves 1.4 million New Yorkers every year and more than 475,000 are uninsured. HHC provides medical, mental health and substance abuse services through its 11 acute care hospitals, four skilled nursing facilities, six large diagnostic and treatment centers and more than 70 community based clinics. HHC Health and Home Care also provides in-home services for New Yorkers. HHC was the 2008 recipient of the National Quality Forum and The Joint Commission’s John M. Eisenberg Award for Innovation in Patient Safety and Quality. For more information, visit www.nychhc.org/hhc or find us on facebook.com/NYCHealthSystem or twitter.com/NYCHealthSystem.