VNSNY’s Family Ties

For a number of our staff members, working at VNSNY is a family affair. Click through this slide show to view photos and profiles of four families that have multiple generations providing care or office support to VNSNY’s patients, clients and plan members. We think you’ll find their stories—and their enthusiasm—inspiring.


For home care nurses Kathleen and Amanda Wendt, the phrase “like mother, like daughter” is especially apt. After her three children were born, Kathleen returned to school to earn her bachelor’s degree in nursing. “I saw nursing as a way of giving back to the community,” she explains. In 2001, after serving in various roles at South Nassau Communities Hospital (SNCU), Kathleen fulfilled her wish for longer-term engagement with her patients when she joined VNSNY. The fact that her daughter followed Kathleen to VNSNY is no surprise. “I was in the third grade when my mother went into nursing,” Amanda recalls, “and right away I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up.” She went on to get a bachelor’s in nursing herself and joined the staff at SNCU while also doing part-time work for VNSNY. This year she joined VNSNY full time as a member of Manhattan Interdisciplinary Care Team 1—the same ICT her mother works for. “I love my work at VNSNY,” she says, “and I really enjoy working on the same team as my mom.”


Cindy Hsin was born in Hong Kong but earned her nursing degree halfway around the world, in Texas. Marriage to a New Yorker led her to the Big Apple and a job at a New York City hospital. After a colleague moved over to VNSNY, Cindy joined her there in 1985, working as a home care nurse in the Manhattan region. Thirty-two years later, she says “I still find my job just as fulfilling as it was from the start.” Cindy’s love for her work inspired her son, Joe, to become a nurse as well. Joe joined VNSNY in 2007 as a field nurse in Queens region, and went on to earn his master’s degree in nursing at NYU. Today he works as a scheduling and assignment manager at 1250 Broadway. “When fellow employees hear my last name for the first time, they always tell me, ‘Oh, you must be Cindy’s son,’” he says. “I never dreamed I would one day work alongside with my mother at VNSNY, with both us doing what we love.”


If any family knows the pleasures of working in the same office, it’s Lyudmila Kandinova and her two daughters, Irina Pinkhas and Olga Pinkhasova. In the mid-1990s, all three women ended up in New York City. Their previous studies in economics and bookkeeping led Olga and her mother to do volunteer office work at VNSNY, and eventually all three family members became full-time employees in the Revenue Cycle Department.

Today, Lyudmila, Irina and Olga, who live in Brooklyn, Long Island and Queens respectively, have a family reunion each day at work. “We’re one of those rare cases where we can bring our home life to work, and it actually makes the workday better,” smiles Irina, who serves as Revenue Cycle Manager. Her sister Olga is a business analyst for the department, while Lyudmila does Medicare bill processing—a job from which she is planning to retire later this year. “We’re proud to be working for an organization whose mission is to provide high quality, cost-effective home health care,” says Olga. “My mother was always my inspiration growing up,” adds Irina. “Being able to work with her and my sister under one roof is a wonderful experience.”


VNSNY Employee Relations Manager Brenda Sand, who joined the organization in 2005 armed with an MBA in Human Resources, helps keep VNSNY’s workplace operations running smoothly by managing employee relations issues such as investigating complaints, and also coaching managers on how to appropriately document and handle employee performance issues and related matters. “My job is fast-paced with multilevel challenges,” she says, “so I try to follow the old Five P’s adage: proper planning prevents poor performance.” Her daughter Dara, now in her third year at VNSNY, works as an Intake Coordinator in the Business Development Central Intake office, where her job includes processing referrals for home care services from the five boroughs and setting up the appropriate clinical care. “ I enjoy my job,” says Dara, “because I truly love helping people, and feel like I can make a difference in their lives by getting them the assistance they need.”


Partners in Care home health aide Jacqueline Cummings began her career in Guyana, where she was born and raised. After moving from Guyana to Brooklyn, she took a job with a home care agency on Long Island—but the commute, she says, was “just too much.” A cousin told her about Partners in Care, and she took a position there as a home health aide, working in her home borough of Brooklyn. Her change of locale not only relieved Jacqueline of her commute but also strengthened her determination to promote her clients’ independence. “What I love most,” she says, “is helping those I provide care to do things they weren’t able to do for themselves before.”

For Jacqueline’s daughter, Kendrea, taking care of her grandmother and aunt in Guyana was early training for her own career as a home health aide. When she followed her mother to New York a few years later, she was so inspired by Jacqueline’s work that she underwent formal training and joined Partners in Care as well. “I love being around older folks,” says Kendrea, who began serving in Manhattan last year. “Caregiving helps me understand my clients better, and also enriches my experience.”