Holliswood Center, a Jamaica-based nursing home, honors its staff who served in U.S. Army

Holliswood Center
Holliswood’s U.S. Army veteran nurses are honored at a luncheon event. (Left to Right: Annemarie Ramos, Nurse Tyera Curtis, Marie Houanche, Nurse Cindy Dorsainvil, Dovid Liff).
Photo courtesy of the Holliswood Center

Staff members of the Holliswood Center, a nursing home for seniors located in Jamaica, gathered for a special luncheon earlier this month to celebrate three of their nurses who served in the U.S. armed forces.

The three honorees, who came together for the event on Apr. 12, were recognized for their service in the U.S. Army and included Holliswood Center’s Floating Director of Nursing Marie Houanche, Practical Nurse (PN) Cindy Dorsainvil and Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) Tyera Curtis.  

Nurse Houanche served in the 8th Medical Brigade at 344th Hospital and was a commissioned officer.  She served from 1982-2011 and held positions as a major, assistant chaplain and officer. 

Nurse Dorsainvil was stationed at 627 Hospital Center in Fort Carson, Colorado. She was a rank E4 Specialist and served as a communications specialist from 2020 to 2024. Meanwhile, the final honoree, Nurse Curtis, was a 377 MCD, a ranking E4 Specialist who served as a medic at Fort Hamilton from 2004 to 2011.

Houanche, who has been working at Holliswood since February, said her time at the center has been rewarding. “It’s a great place. The staff is wonderful. There’s a lot of work to be done with the patients, but so far so good I love it,” she said.

Houanche grew up in France and came to the U.S. in her teens. Her love for nursing came from watching her mother and cousins excel in the profession. “I love taking care of people. My mother was a nurse, I came from a family of nurses,” she said. “I myself believe in taking care of people holistically, which means mind, body and soul.”

Houanche reminisced about her time working as a nurse in the military, saying it was a unique experience compared to civilian life. 

“It was eye-opening because basically when you’re in the military, you’re on the front line taking care of a patient, but most of your patients are basically your soldiers, the people that you work with. So you’re there to provide preventive medicine and also to be there to give them all the support that they need,” she said. 

During the luncheon, Holliswood Center Administrator Dovid Liff and Director of Nursing Annemarie Ramos spoke about the honorees’ selflessness. 

 “Marie, Cindy and Tyera are prime examples of bravery and what it means to put patient care first and foremost. They are very well-liked by their colleagues and they have learned a great deal from them. On the other side of the coin, the residents get all of their attention and that brings these special nurses closer to them,” Liff said.

Ramos echoed Liff’s praise, saying how the honorees have set a great example for younger staff members. “The younger Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA’s) and Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN’s) all look up to them as leaders and who you can learn from. They have had ‘real world’ experience and that’s something you cannot put a price tag on,” she added.