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NYC Health + Hospitals/Coler is the First Post-Acute Care Facility in the Nation to Receive Prestigious Nursing Award

The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses recognized the Memory Care units at Coler with a silver-level Beacon Award for Excellence

Jun 21, 2024

NYC Health + Hospitals/Coler Memory Care units celebrate their distinguished milestone at a special award ceremony on Roosevelt Island.

Today NYC Health + Hospitals/Coler announced it received the Beacon Award for Excellence, making it the first post-acute care facility in the nation to receive the prestigious nursing award. The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) recognized the Memory Care units at Coler with a silver-level Beacon Award for their work in long-term care with residents living with dementia and Alzheimer’s. The Beacon Award for Excellence — a significant milestone on the path to exceptional patient care and healthy work environments — recognizes caregivers who successfully improve patient outcomes and align practices with AACN’s six Healthy Work Environment Standards. Units that achieve this three-year, three-level award with a gold, silver or bronze designation meet national criteria consistent with the ANCC Magnet Recognition Program®, the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award and the National Quality Healthcare Award.

“We are overwhelmed with pride for the incredible work and passion of our Memory Care units at NYC Health + Hospitals/Coler,” said NYC Health + Hospitals Senior Vice President for Post-Acute Care Khoi Luong, DO. “As the first, and only, long-term care recipient of this distinction in the nation, Coler has truly set the standard of nursing excellence in Memory Care. Congratulations on this outstanding accomplishment!”

“Congratulations to Coler’s person-centered Memory Care Teams which are comprised of stellar clinical and support staff dedicated to providing extraordinary care to our residents with cognitive impairments,” said NYC Health + Hospitals/Coler Chief Executive Officer Stephen Catullo, LNHA, MBA. “The award-winning Memory Care units are a testament as to why our residents’ chose the tagline, Coler is the place to be!”

The Memory Care unit team provides person-centered comfort care and interactive group activities to ensure meaningful engagement with Coler residents.

“I am extremely pleased and proud to recognize the NYC Health + Hospitals/Coler Memory Care Units for becoming the first and only post-acute care facility in the entire nation to earn the silver-level Beacon Award for Excellence from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN),” said NYC Health + Hospitals Senior Vice President, Chief Nursing Executive Natalia Cineas, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN.  “Our Coler post-acute care facility has been providing exceptional care to New Yorkers for more than 60 years at its Roosevelt Island location, and its Memory Care Units offer tender and compassionate care to residents living with dementia. As the first post-acute facility in the country to receive this prestigious recognition, Coler’s Memory Care Unit definitely is setting the standard for nursing excellence. We celebrate and applaud our nurses’ momentous achievements.”

“We are excited for this prestigious honor, but the greatest satisfaction is our life-changing impact to the lives of 150 residents with dementia who have been impacted by social determinants of health like poverty and homelessness as well as pre-existing mental illness and behavior disorders,” said NYC Health + Hospitals/Coler Memory Care Director Deepa Vinoo, RN. “Our units serve as the safety net for those who otherwise would lack access to high-quality person-centered dementia care.”

“Congratulations to the compassionate nurses and staff of Coler’s award-winning Memory Care units, who devote their careers to improve the quality of life for those living with Alzheimer’s and Dementia,” said NYC Health + Hospitals Board Member Jackie Rowe-Adams. “Our public long-term care facilities continue to raise the standard and truly embody excellence in every way!”

“Congratulations to the Coler Memory Care Unit on winning this well-deserved reward. Coler is integral to the NYC Health + Hospitals system and a lifeline for New Yorkers with cognitive impairments,” said Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine. “Coler’s work is unparalleled, and I’m thrilled that the staff is receiving this distinguished recognition.”

“Kudos to the extraordinary Memory Care team at Coler whose compassionate and efficient care has been recognized with a Beacon Award for Excellence,” said New York State Senator Liz Krueger. “May the supportive and caring hands of this distinguished team continue to benefit the residents of Coler.”

“I commend NYC Health + Hospitals/Coler CEO Stephen Catullo and the staff of the Memory Care Unit on the occasion of receiving the Beacon Award for Excellence, the first in the nation to receive this recognition,” said New York State Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright. “The care and dedication by the team at Coler for residents living with dementia and Alzheimer’s are shining leaders in the H+H system and the field of memory care.”

Memory Care Nurses provide daily wellness check-ins with Coler residents to ensure they feel safe, comfortable and have everything they need for a productive day.

AACN President Terry Davis, PhD, RN, NE-BC, CHTP, FAAN, applauds the exemplary efforts of the caregivers in the Memory Care Unit at NYC Health + Hospitals/Coler for working together to meet and exceed the high standards set forth by the Beacon Award for Excellence.

“These dedicated healthcare professionals join other members of the exceptional community of nurses who set the standard for optimal patient care,” said AACN President Terry Davis, PhD, RN, NE-BC, CHTP, FAAN. “The Beacon Award for Excellence recognizes caregivers in stellar units whose consistent and systematic approach to evidence-based care optimizes patient outcomes. Units that receive this national recognition serve as role models to others on their journey to excellent patient and family care.”

The silver-level Beacon Award for Excellence earned by the Memory Care Unit at NYC Health Hospitals/Coler signifies an effective approach to policies, procedures and processes that includes engagement of staff and key stakeholders. The unit has evaluation and improvement strategies in place and good performance measures when compared to relevant benchmarks. Under the clinical leadership of NYC Health + Hospitals/Coler Chief Nursing Officer Yves-Rose Pascal, RN, MSN, RAC-CT, the Memory Care Units earned their silver award by meeting the following evidence-based Beacon Award for Excellence criteria:

  • Leadership Structures and Systems
  • Appropriate Staffing and Staff Engagement
  • Effective Communication, Knowledge Management and Learning and Development
  • Evidence-Based Practice and Processes
  • Outcome Measurement

“As part of Coler’s Memory Care Unit, I am filled with pride for this prestigious honor and recognition from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses,” said NYC Health + Hospitals/Coler Memory Care Nurse Rosilimol Clement, RN. “With every restorative care intervention performed, we provide maximum comfort and improved quality of life for our residents. Many older adults spend their final days among the loving arms of nursing staff of all colors and cultures, with all levels of knowledge. We are experienced with the tricks of the trade necessary to optimize their quality of life.”

The award-winning Memory Care Unit is home to long-time resident and poet, Zahra Dhakkar. Though not a writer originally, Zahra started writing to record her thoughts and help with her memory issues. With her art to guide and inspire her, and the staff to support her, Zahra increased her confidence and independence. Now, she can spend her days outside, wandering through the gardens or watching the East River flow by while she writes. 

“At NYC Health + Hospitals/Coler, my poetry is inspired by the simple things I do and interactions I have throughout the day. I gradually build it up to things I see outside and anything else that captures my imagination,” said NYC Health + Hospitals/Coler Resident Zahra Dhakkar. “I’m stimulated by the variety of activities that we have here. I am drawn in to something, and inspiration takes flight by itself.”

“The Memory Care units offer the most challenges, and the staff are to be commended for their knowledge, compassion & kindness to all residents,” said President of the NYC Health + Hospitals/Coler Auxiliary Judith Berdy. “The award is not just for the units but for all the Coler staff who work together to make the lives of all our residents better.”


MEDIA CONTACT: Rafael Dominguez, 646-694-4910
Jovemay Santos, 212-848-5849


About NYC Health + Hospitals/Coler
NYC Health + Hospitals/Coler is an 815-bed skilled nursing facility located in Roosevelt Island, providing comprehensive skilled nursing, medical and rehabilitative care for more than 70 years. Coler is committed to serving New York City and the surrounding communities, while setting an example as a leader in memory care programming and rehabilitation. Rated as a “Best Nursing Home” by Newsweek, with a ranking of 5th best in New York State, the facility earned a Five-Star CMS rating which designates them among the top 10 percent of skilled nursing facilities in the country. The facility also ranks in the top 1st quintile in the New York State Department of Health Nursing Home Quality Pool. For more information, visit www.nychealthandhospitals.org/coler.

About NYC Health + Hospitals
NYC Health + Hospitals is the largest public health care system in the nation serving more than a million New Yorkers annually in more than 70 patient care locations across the city’s five boroughs. A robust network of outpatient, neighborhood-based primary and specialty care centers anchors care coordination with the system’s trauma centers, nursing homes, post-acute care centers, home care agency, and MetroPlus health plan—all supported by 11 essential hospitals. Its diverse workforce of more than 43,000 employees is uniquely focused on empowering New Yorkers, without exception, to live the healthiest life possible. For more information, visit www.nychealthandhospitals.org and stay connected on FacebookTwitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

About the Beacon Award for Excellence
Established in 2003, the Beacon Award for Excellence offers a road map to help guide exceptional care through improved outcomes and greater overall patient satisfaction. U.S. and Canadian units where patients receive their principal nursing care after hospital admission qualify for this excellence award. Units that receive the Beacon Award for Excellence meet criteria in six categories: leadership structures and systems; appropriate staffing and staff engagement; effective communication, knowledge management, and learning and development; evidence-based practice and processes; and outcome measurement. To learn more, visit www.aacn.org/beacon or call 800-899-2226.

About the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses
Founded in 1969 and based in Aliso Viejo, California, the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) is the largest specialty nursing organization in the world. AACN represents the interests of more than half a million acute and critical care nurses and includes more than 200 chapters in the United States. The organization’s vision is to create a healthcare system driven by the needs of patients and their families in which acute and critical care nurses make their optimal contribution. To learn more about AACN, visit www.aacn.org, connect with the organization on Facebook at www.facebook.com/aacnface or follow AACN on Twitter at www.twitter.com/aacnme.