UHF Honors 63 NY-Area Health Care Professionals as Quality Improvement Champions

Honorees Recognized for Efforts to Improve Quality, Safety, and Equity of Patient Care
TD Bank Lead Sponsor for Event

NEW YORK, NY—May 8, 2023—United Hospital Fund today honored 63 extraordinary quality improvement leaders from 32 health care organizations across the metropolitan region for their tireless efforts to improve the quality, safety, and equity of patient care at their institutions.  
The fifth annual Tribute to Excellence in Health Care event was held at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City and was attended by some 500 members of the New York area’s health care community. TD Bank was the lead sponsor of the event, and keynote remarks were given by Michelle Morse, MD, MPH, Chief Medical Officer and Deputy Commissioner for the Center for Health Equity and Community Wellness at the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

The honorees include physicians, nurses, physician assistants, pharmacists, and a broad range of other health care leaders, each selected by a senior executive at their institution. They represent 32 hospital systems, long-term care facilities, home care organizations, independent practice associations, federally qualified health centers, medical groups, and behavioral health organizations.

“New York has some of the best health care institutions in the world, but we all recognize that we must relentlessly continue to improve quality,” UHF president and CEO Oxiris Barbot, MD, told the attendees. “We are proud to be working with all of you on these shared goals. Indeed, this tribute was created to recognize and nourish this essential work.”

Cary A. Kravet, a UHF board member and trustee of Northwell Health, was the event chair.

The honorees and their institutions are below and can also be found online here.  

Following are the 2023 honorees, listed by organization. 

BronxCare Health System
Gilda Diaz-Fuentes, MD, Chief, Pulmonary/Critical Care

The Brooklyn Hospital Center
Anu Iyer, MS, CPHQ, CJCP, Senior Director, Quality Management

Coalition of Asian-American IPA (CAIPA)
Xiaoxia Zhang, MD, CAIPA Member, CAIPA Shareholder

Catholic Health  
Chukwuma J. Egbuziem, MS, RN, CPHQ, Assistant Vice President for Performance 

Community Healthcare Network
Nicholas Martin, Center Director – Crown Heights Health Center

Elizabeth Seton Children’s Center 
Caryn B. Leggio, BSN, RN, CPN, Nursing Supervisor

Gurwin Jewish Nursing & Rehabilitation Center
Maria L. Franco, PharmD, BCGP, Chief Pharmacy Officer

Hackensack Meridian Health 
Jose M. Azar, MD, Executive Vice President, Chief Quality Officer

Hospital for Special Surgery 
Catherine H. MacLean, MD, PhD, Chief Value Medical Officer

Institute for Community Living
Edward Tabasky, MD, Medical Director, East New York Health Hub

Institute for Family Health 
Alba C. Pumarol, MD, Regional Medical Director, Bronx

The Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services
Laura M. Yacino, RN, Chief Nursing Officer

Maimonides Health

Maimonides Medical Center
Sameh Samy, MBBCh, MSA, CPHQ, CSSBB, Chief Quality Officer and VP, Quality Management Department

Maimonides Midwood Community Hospital
Charmaine Rose, MBA-Healthcare, BSN, RN, CPHQ, Vice President of Quality Assurance and Performance Improvement

MediSys Health Network
William Lynch, MPA, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Jamaica Hospital Medical Center

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Tania N. Bubb, PhD, RN, CIC, FAPIC, Senior Director, Infection Prevention and Control


Isabella Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing Care
Karen Harper, BS, MS Ed, CNA, CTRS, CDP, Director of Dementia Care

Menorah Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing Care
Kendra D. Ray, PhD, MPH, MBA, MT-BC, LCAT, Dementia Program Director

MJHS Homecare
Anna Briskman, MSN, RN, COS-C, Clinical DirectorMontefiore Health Syste

Montefiore Health System

Burke Rehabilitation Hospital 
Kathleen Dundee, MSN, RN, CWON, Director of Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Care

The Children’s Hospital at Montefiore 
Kevin Fiori, MD, MPH, MSc, FAAP, Director of Social Determinants of Health in the Office of Community & Population Health and Director of Community Health Worker Institute

Montefiore Medical Center, Einstein Campus
Brenda Pinder, MSN, MBA, RN, NEA-BC, FACHE, Assistant Vice President of Nursing

Montefiore Medical Center, Moses Campus
Kristine Torres-Lockhart, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine

Montefiore Medical Center, Wakefield Campus
Daniel G. Fein, MD, Director of the Medical and Surgical Intensive Care Unit and Director of Inpatient Pulmonary Services for Montefiore Medical Center

Montefiore Mount Vernon Hospital   
Jill M. Ferson, MA, LCSW-R, ABD, Program Director, Substance Abuse Treatment Program

Montefiore New Rochelle Hospital
Maureen Miller, MSN, FNP-BC, RNC-OB, C-EFM, RN, Maternal Child Health Clinical Nurse Specialist

Montefiore Nyack Hospital  
Thomas J. Mattice, CHESP, CMIP, T-CHEST, Senior Director, Support Services

Montefiore St. Luke’s Cornwall  
Veronica Ferencz, DO, FACOS, MBA, Breast Program Director

White Plains Hospital 
Karen M. Banoff, DNP, Vice President, Organizational Performance

Mount Sinai Health System

Mount Sinai Beth Israel
Joy A. McIlvaine, MS, RN, NPD-BC, ANP-BC, L.Ac., Director Patient Care Services, Quality, Standards and Practice

Mount Sinai Brooklyn 
Karen Brody, MSN, RN, GERO-BC, CIC, Infection Surveillance Officer

The Mount Sinai Hospital 
Amanda J. Rhee, MD, MS, Medical Director of Patient Safety, System CMO Office, and Associate Professor of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine

Mount Sinai Morningside 
Alondra Hernandez, MSN, RN, Director of Nursing

Mount Sinai Queens
Yendy L. Ozoria, Population Health and Administrative Director

Mount Sinai South Nassau 
Lina Fonseca, BA, Certified Healthcare Interpreter™-Spanish, Manager of Language Services and DEI Development Programs

Mount Sinai West 
Danielle Kaufman, PA, Chief Physician Assistant, Department of Orthopedics

New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai 
Masako Chen, MD, Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology and Director of the Comprehensive Ophthalmology Clinic

The New Jewish Home
Shiny Mathew, DNP, RN, ANP-BC, CCRN, WCC, Nurse Practitioner (Manhattan Campus)
Sarah Neuman (Westchester Campus)
Leeada Durant, BSN, RN, Assistant Director of Nursing

Northwell Health 

Center for Equity of Care
Johanna Martinez, MD, MS, Vice President of Health Equity

Center for Global Health
Eric Cioè-Peña, MD, MPH, Director

Center for Gun Violence Prevention
Chethan Sathya, MD, MSc, FACS, FRCSC, Director

Center for Maternal Health
Dawnette Lewis, MD, MPH, Director

COVID Related Outpatient Work Navigators (CROWN) Program
Gita Lisker, MD, Director

Long Island Jewish Medical Center
Margaret Murphy, DNP, RN, NE-BC, Chief Nursing Officer, Associate Executive Director Patient Care Services

Long Island Jewish Valley Stream 
Isabel Law, RN, MSN, CCRN, Director of Patient Care Services

Northwell Health At Home
Irina Mitzner, RN, MSN, Senior Vice President, Clinical Operations, Nurse Executive

Plainview and Syosset Hospitals
Marianna Vazquez, MSN, RN, NE-BC, Associate Executive Director for Patient Care Services, Chief Nurse Executive

NuHealth/Nassau University Medical Center
Matthew J. Bruderman, Chairman of the Board of Directors

NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull
Jillian Diuguid-Gerber, MD, Medical Director, Adult Primary Care and Health Equity Lead

One Brooklyn Health

Brookdale Hospital and Medical Center
Sandra R. Scott, MD, Executive Director

Interfaith Medical Center
Andrea Schulters, RN, Senior Director of Quality and Performance Improvement
Donna A. Pritchard, MA, BSN, RN, CNOR, NE-BC, Director of Nursing Perioperative Services

Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center
Tony Renteria, Vice President for Operations

Parker Jewish Institute for Health Care and Rehabilitation
Lorraine Breuer, Senior Vice President, Research and Grants and Compliance Officer

Richmond University Medical Center
Philip E. Otterbeck, MD, MBA, Chair, Department of Medicine and Chief, Division of Endocrinology

SBH Health System 
Manisha Kulshreshtha, MD, Senior Vice President, Chief Clinical and Strategy Officer

St. John’s Episcopal Hospital 
Leigha Clarkson, MD, Chairperson Emergency Medicine

St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children 
Ariana Ruiz, Associate Director Quality, Safety and Emergency Preparedness

SOMOS Community Care
Henry S. Chen, MD, Co-Founder and President

Stamford Health 
Mary A. Laucks, MSHA, BSN, RN, CCM, Executive Director, Care Management

Summit Health
Ashish D. Parikh, MD, Chief Quality and Population Health Officer

Urban Health Plan
Debbie Lester, LMSW, MS, Chief Quality and Social Impact Program Officer

About United Hospital Fund 
United Hospital Fund works to build an effective and equitable health care system for every New Yorker. An independent, nonprofit organization, we are a force for improvement, analyzing public policy to inform decision-makers, finding common ground among diverse stakeholders, and developing and supporting innovative programs that improve health and health care. We work to dismantle barriers in health policy and health care delivery that prevent equitable opportunities for health. For more on our initiatives and programs please visit our website at www.uhfnyc.org and follow us on Twitter.


May 8, 2023
Focus Area
Quality and Efficiency
Quality Institute