The COVID-19 pandemic has continued to prove the resilience and dedication of our entire VNSNY staff. The following are excerpts from a few of the many recent letters, phone calls, and emails that we’ve received from grateful patients and family members that reflect an outstanding consumer experience.
“My Mother was Prepared Spiritually and Emotionally”
Bronx— “I am writing to let you know how much I appreciated the support given to me by nurse Sherma Wheeler and social workers Leona Abrams and Fernando Otero,” wrote the daughter of a VNSNY Hospice patient who recently passed away at the age of 103. “Each one gave advice and moral support to help me understand and process what my dying mother was going through, and what I could do to help her pass away with dignity and peace. They allowed me to be a part of my mother’s care in a loving and supportive manner, and being there for her during her dying process gave me the gift of grieving as it unfolded. I was able to keep my promise to my mother and grant her most important wish; that of dying in her own home. She was well cared for, all of her needs were met, and she was prepared spiritually and emotionally each step of the way.” In addition to this letter, the daughter also sent a donation in support of VNSNY Hospice.
“I will Be Forever Grateful”
“I want to express my sincere gratitude for all of your help in securing a home health aide to help me during radiation for cancer,” wrote a Partners in Care client in an email to Melissa Martinez, administrative supervisor for Partners in Care’s Private Care Services. “I will be forever grateful to you for your help, and for always assuring me that everything would be fine when I was concerned about having an aide to assist me. It would have been impossible for me to receive my radiation without an aide to push my wheelchair from my taxi to radiation oncology and back. Your kindness and support helped me to get through tough days!”
“Excellent Supportive Care”
Brooklyn— A VNSNY employee wrote a touching letter to the members of the VNSNY Hospice team who cared for her grandmother in her final days. “I wanted to inform you that hospice nurse Verlina Sylvester and home care nurse Joyce Henry provided excellent care and treated my grandmother with dignity and respect from the beginning to the end, and licensed social worker Carla Kerman also provided excellent supportive care,” wrote the employee. “I am appreciative and grateful to these three amazing human beings—they are the epitome of benevolence and compassion. My heart was filled with gratitude for the care, professionalism and privacy my grandmother received. It was what my family and I needed during such a difficult time. I wanted to allow my grandmother to find peace in the end, surrounded by her family in a familiar environment. You helped to fulfill our wish and we appreciate it more that we can say. Thank you, Verlina, Joyce and Carla, for going above and beyond. As an employee of VNSNY, I am here to say that we are the BEST!”
Manhattan— In an especially moving email written to former President and CEO Marki Flannery, the daughter of a hospice patient thanked home health aides Yvonne Everett, Bernice Gardner, Shinnay Lettsome, Maribel Vega, and Rosetta Watson for tending to her mother in her final days. “Confined with a loved one whose days were numbered during this time was an indelible experience that seared my heart, yet working from home I was fortunate to be with my mother and get a bird’s eye view of the HHA experience,” wrote the patient. “What an eye opener! I have a better perspective and deep respect for what these professionals do. Talk about unsung heroes! Each aide brought her own perspective and had a unique way of doing things. I owe it to my mother and feel it my responsibility to bring to your attention Yvonne, Bernice, Shinnay, Maribel, and Rosetta, who were truly angels who walk amongst us. All went beyond the ordinary and expected. These ladies travelled to our home, risking their own health, during a pandemic.” The daughter added that each of the aides greeted her mother with a cheerful, positive attitude on every occasion. “They engaged her in conversation, regaled her with interesting stories, and lovingly instructed her how to handle certain things to make the ordeal easier. They gave of themselves and expected nothing in return. I could probably write a page on each lady, but I hope you will herald their service and give them some kind of special recognition. They truly deserve it!”
“Wonderful Sense of Humor and Upbeat Personality”
Queens— “There are physical therapists, and then there are physical therapists like Elisa Resuello,” wrote one Queens patient. “The exercises she prescribes have strengthened both of my legs, and as a result I don’t have to use my walker as frequently. Before our sessions are over, she always confirms that I know the exercises well, and her wonderful sense of humor and upbeat personality serve to diffuse my blue moods, enabling me to continue with them.” The patient added that Elisa has been empathetic and that she provided a constant source of encouragement. “Elisa is the best PT I have ever had—I feel lucky that she has helped me so much!”
“Your Care Has Given Me Hope”
The daughter of another Queens patient commended coordinator of physical therapy services Yik-Ming Yam in a review left on VNSNY’s Facebook page. “My 95-year old dad had a stroke around Thanksgiving, and when he was discharged from the hospital his primary care provider recommended I call VNSNY.” wrote the daughter. “I am forever grateful for the six weeks of home visits from Yik-Ming, who came and helped my dad with exercises to improve his muscle strength and balance. I could clearly see the improvement in my dad’s physical strength, as well as his mental health! Yik-Ming also noticed that my dad’s hand was negatively affected by the stroke and arranged for an occupational therapist to come to the house as well. My dad is very hard of hearing but the therapist was able to demonstrate the exercises for him, even coming up with a chopstick routine to practice his finger agility!” In closing, the patient thanked VNSNY for leaving her father in better health than prior to his stroke. “Your excellent care has given me hope that he will live to be a centenarian!” she added.
“A 5-Star Employee!”
“I wanted to let you know what a wonderful, caring employee you have in home health aide supervisor Jorene Peters,” wrote the daughter of a Partners in Care client in an email to unit manager Shama Barrett. “Every time I speak with Jorene, she is pleasant, professional and empathetic. I try to stay on top of my mother’s care and needs, but since I live 1,300 miles away in Florida—it’s not always easy when you’re not right around the corner. Jorene, however, finds a way to put my mind at ease and always has an answer for my questions. She is diligent in her follow-up and calls when she says she is going to call. Please know that you have a 5-star employee, and that she deserves to be recognized for the work she does every day!”
“Angels on this Earth”
“I know my dad would want me to let you know what a great job your staff has done taking care of him for over six years,” wrote the daughter of a client in another email to Partners in Care unit manager Shama Barrett. “I want to commend his case manager, home health aide supervisor Marcia Roberts-Smith, for being so helpful, understanding and flexible, always trying to do what was best for my dad. I also want to commend her predecessor, Georgiana Morgan, who was his case manager for many years and was also wonderful and so helpful. I can’t speak highly enough about the wonderful aides who took care of my Dad and he would want to make sure you took good care of all of them. They have become family to my family—and are truly angels on this earth. So, on behalf of my Dad, please take care of his angels: home health aides Marva Ferdinand, Elizabeth Jean, Latchmin Patiram, Chandradavi Ramdial, and Gerda Desravines, as well as Desiree Pierre and Darlene Smart-Farley, who filled in on one occasion and were also wonderful. Thanks again for everything!”
Westchester—A patient who recently underwent surgery wrote an email praising the “wonderful team” who provided post-op care to him, led by Branch Director Elsa Lam. “Elsa has to be one of the most competent and caring individuals I have ever encountered, and the rest of the team, including nurses Kanique McLeod-Gooden and Doretta Galasso and physical therapist Laura Valedon, were also the best,” he noted. “If not for Laura, I might not have picked up on a very serious post-acute infection. My case was extremely complicated because of this infection, and the VNSNY team was very diligent in their advocacy to bring my predicament to the attention of hospital clinical staff. With much persistence, I was finally able to be taken under the care of a hospital physician and we finally cleared up the issue. The advocacy of these staff was most key to having the situation resolved.” The patient also extended his thanks to his friend, SVP of Business Development Sue Caputo, for checking in on his recovery. “Thank you all so much,” he concluded. “I am doing much better and was back at work within four weeks due to the wonderful care I received from VNSNY!”
To read more letters and commendations, click here.