NYC Health + Hospitals Social Workers From Harlem To Hollis Recognized For Dedication To Patients

April 12, 2024

NYC Health + Hospitals today announced 43 social workers from across health system who were honored for their commitment and dedication to their patients.

There are more 1,000 social workers employed at the health system performing a variety of roles, including managers, therapists, researchers, discharge planners, and policymakers. In these positions they work closely with family caregivers, friends, neighbors and community-based agencies to help patients resume their life within the community. This year over 400 nominations were submitted from across the system, and the 43 honorees were selected from this pool by their facility’s individual social work recognition committee. The honorees were recognized for their dedication to their patients and their passion for the mission of NYC Health + Hospitals.

“People who come to our hospitals need more social work,” said NYC Health + Hospitals President and CEO Mitchell Katz, MD. “Not only are they dealing with illness, they are often living in substandard housing, managing family crises and challenges, or struggling with substance abuse. These realities make the job much harder, but also more important. Our communities need social workers in so many ways that medicine alone can’t fix. We couldn’t do what we do without our social workers.”

“We extend our deepest gratitude to our social workers who are on the front lines of our work every day,” said NYC Health + Hospitals Deputy Chief Medical Officer and System Chief of Behavioral Health Omar Fattal, MD, MPH. “As a psychiatrist, I have firsthand experience of the power of social work and the indispensable role they play in patient care. Thank you to all the social workers working tirelessly in our system every day, and congratulations to all the award winners.”

“Every day, in hundreds of ways large and small, our social workers are all making changes in people’s lives that give them help, hope, opportunity,” said NYC Health + Hospitals Director of Social Work Kara Simpson, LCSW-R. “I could not be more honored to celebrate them.” 

Social work is one of the fastest growing professions in the United States, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. There are almost 720,000 professional social workers in the country, and that number is expected to surpass 800,000 by 2030.

The 2024 social work honorees include


  • Adina Safdeye and Casey Linder

NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue

  • Jennifer Gurtman and Mae Siegel

NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst

  • Megan Wall and Romona Jennings

NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem

  • Daniel Griffin and Victoria Lopez

NYC Health + Hospitals/Jacobi

  • Andrea Zvonkovic and Ebone Cruel

NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County

  • Daniella Jacobs and Lissette Vasquez-Restituyo

NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln

  • Lujuanda Rush and Tiffany Slotkin

NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan

  • Donna Delgado and Lisa Hamlett

NYC Health + Hospitals/North Central Bronx

  • Dolly Thomas and Shiza Iqbal

NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens

  • Georgia Tsamasiros and Jolene Lespes

NYC Health + Hospitals/South Brooklyn Health

  • Mindel Boduch and Rachel Lipman

NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull

Post-Acute Care

·       Merary Guzman and Stephanie Kloskowski

NYC Health + Hospitals/Carter

·       Janelle Hartman and Theodore Morrison

NYC Health + Hospitals/Coler

·       Freda Morales

NYC Health + Hospitals/Gouverneur

·       Bibi Saffee-Razak

NYC Health + Hospitals/McKinney

·       Deirdre Figueroa

NYC Health + Hospitals/Sea View

Gotham Health

·       Hazel Ordanez and Nancy Hernandez

NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham, Belvis

·       Morella Bynoe

NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham, Cumberland

·       Evette Vazquez and Nakima Edwards

NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham, East New York

·       Shanda Oliver and Shun Ru Xiao

NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham, Gouverneur

·       Aisse Magassa

NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham, Morrisania

·       Denise Lucero

NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham, Roosevelt

·       Lynnsue Jolley

NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham, Sydenham

Community Care

  • Miguel Valdez and Donna Alleyne

NYC Health + Hospitals/Community Care

Correctional Health Services

  • Meaghan Lammers and Jerry Mims

NYC Health + Hospitals/Correctional Health Services

Central Office Programs

  • Shlomit Levy

NYC Health + Hospitals Central Office

NYC Health + Hospitals

NYC Health + Hospitals is the largest municipal 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

Photo credit: 1) Harlem Hosptial. 2) Post-acute care social work leaders and awardees.

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