Shining stars: Schneps Media recognizes remarkable Healthcare Heroes

2024 Healthcare Heroes presented by Carmelite Systems
Photo by: Corazon Aguirre

On Wednesday, May 1st, 49 extraordinary healthcare leaders were honored at Schneps’ annual ‘Health Care Heroes’ event, held in the ballroom of Terrace in The Park at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.

This year, the honorees were treated to an exclusive VIP cocktail reception, where they donned their best attire and networked before heading to the main ballroom. Schneps Media founder and President Victoria Schneps welcomed the vibrant crowd, along with Schneps CEO Joshua Schneps. “We are the number one newspaper group in New York State, and you are the number one healthcare heroes. It’s very important to us as a company to be able to put the spotlight on the wonderful things you do and the difference you make in everyone’s life,” said Victoria Schneps.

Wednesday’s event was sponsored by The Carmelite System, a Catholic non-profit health system that provides compassionate care to seniors in their long-term care facilities. Patricia ‘Trish’ Gathers, president and CEO of the Carmelite System, said she was honored to represent her organization at Wednesday’s event. “One of the reasons why we sponsored the events is that we wanted to really highlight the Carmelite sisters, whose founders died 40 years ago. They’ve been around for 95 years serving the elderly,” she said. “We really wanted to honor them and how they made it through the pandemic.”

Carmelite Sisters, Victoria Schneps, Joseph Levine, Trish Gathers, Sam Orih, Ana Tagle, Chloe Melas. Photo by Corazon Aguirre

Dr. Sandra Scott, interim CEO of One Brooklyn Health(OBH)- Central Brooklyn, spoke highly of the employees of her healthcare system who were honored at the event. “This is a beautiful opportunity to celebrate the frontline staff who make everything work for our community,” she said. Scott added that Schneps Media truly understands the importance of celebrating their tireless work to keep our communities safe. “I appreciate them, Schneps media appreciates them, and Brooklyn appreciates them,” she said.

Dr. Kirwin Gibbs, radiology chair at OBH, said he was honored to be recognized for his work at the hospital. “It’s a passion; I don’t look for the recognition. Recognition comes from knowing I’m doing the right thing and helping people,” he said. Gibbs’ colleagues, including Samuel Khalil, director RNH Rehab at OBH–Kingsbrook Medical Center, echoed his views. “I’m very thrilled to be a part of this event,” he said.

Dr. Kirwin Gibbs, radiology chair at One Brooklyn Health. Photo by Athena Dawson

Other OBH staff honorees, including Dr. Ramy Abdel-Naby, chief of trauma surgery at OBH-Brookdale Medical Center, emphasized the importance of teamwork within the healthcare system. “It’s important to understand that it’s not just me that provides the care that we do; it’s the team of nurses and residents and really everyone in the hospital,” he said.

“I am so honored. I am only one in a wonderful group of people who do a lot for healthcare,” said Renee Minutello, VP of financial operations at OBH—Brookdale Medical Center.

Renee Minutello VP of Financial Operations One Brooklyn Health. Photo by Athena Dawson

After the VIP reception, the honorees migrated to the grand ballroom, where they were warmly received by hundreds of supporters, including family and fellow staff members eager to celebrate their achievements. The audience was treated to a decadent dinner and a few video presentations from the array of sponsors of the evening.

A few honorees expressed their passion for serving others in the medical field.

Remi Saji, head nurse at NYC Health+Hospitals- South Brooklyn Health , shared her decades-long passion for nursing. “I’m looking back to 2001 when I became a nurse. I started off with an associates degree, so now, when I stand at this point, I think this is the best decision I made,” she said. Saji’s colleague and fellow head nurse, Iryna Stembkvoska, shared similar sentiments. “I’ve been working at South Brooklyn Health for 8 years now. I have wanted to be a nurse since I was 4 years old. I never had any doubts as to what I wanted to do in my life,” she said.

Remi Saji, Head Nurse at NUC Health + Hospitals- South Brooklyn Health. Photo by Athena Dawson

Some of Schneps Media’s long-term supporters were also honored at the Health Care Heroes event.

“It’s truly an honor to be here representing Bethpage and receiving the Health Care Hero Award. I give a lot of credit to my team. I wouldn’t be here without them. I’m just really happy to be able to help the true healthcare heroes, the frontline nurses and doctors and all the healthcare systems we help take care of financially through financial wellness,” said Kyle Caravousanos, manager of business development healthcare at Bethpage Federal Credit Union.

Robert Sabella, manager of the Family Call Center at Parker Jewish Institute, shared how he was exhilarated to hear that he won his first individual award at this year’s event. Sabella added how important it is for healthcare workers to receive their accolades. “It’s really important because what happens a lot of the time in healthcare, more than anything else, is that we see the end product. But you don’t see what goes into that, so everybody that is here tonight getting awards are the people that go into those things helping [patients],” he said.

Dr. Alan Roth, a palliative care expert with Medisys Health Network, shared views similar to Sabella’s. “I’m thrilled to be here tonight to take the honor not for myself, as it’s not about me; it’s about Medisys and Jamaica Hospital Medical Center. We’re committed to the care of the patients of our diverse, underserved community,” he said.

“Schneps has been a great partner with us for a decade. I think it’s great that they get the word out that our healthcare heroes are there and working,” shared Megan Ryan Esq., interim CEO, president, and chief legal officer at NuHealth(NUMC), a Holly Patterson Extended Care Facility.

Toward the end of the evening, honorees got to strut their stuff on the red carpet showcased at the center of the ballroom. The honorees were met with rounds of applause and cheers as they went up to the stage to receive their awards from Victoria Schneps and the emcee of the night, Chloe Melas, an entertainment correspondent with NBC News. The event included a special raffle, the proceeds of which were donated to Life’s WORC, an organization that provides compassionate services and support t


The 2024 Healthcare Heroes are as follows:


The Carmelite System

*Trish Gathers: President & CEO

*Karen Reich: Chief Operating Officer and Strategy Officer

*Simone Faulkner-Smith: Vice President of Human Resources, Volunteers, Reception & Security Cabrini of Westchester

*Ana Tagle: Assistant Administrator Ozanam Hall of Queens

*Scott LaRue: President and Chief Executive Office ArchCare

*Joseph Levine: CEO, SNF Venture Director of Acquisition, Carith Foundation

*The Founders/Sponsors of the Carmelite System, Inc. 


One Brooklyn Health

*Dr. Kirwin Gibbs: Chair, Radiology

*Josh McDonald: Director of Security at One Brooklyn Health-Interfaith Medical Center

*Dr. Roodia Joseph: Senior Director, Case Management/Social Work/Transitional Care at One Brooklyn Health-Interfaith Medical Center

*Dr. Ramy Abdel-Naby: Chief of Trauma Surgery, Trauma Medical Director at One Brooklyn Health-Brookdale Medical Center

*Renee Minutello: VP Financial Operations at One Brooklyn Health-Brookdale Medical Center

*Emily McClure: Director Child Life/Young Adult Recreational Therapy at One Brooklyn Health-Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center

*Samuel Khalil, PTA, OTR/L, MOT: Director RNH Rehab at One Brooklyn Health-Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center


*Kyle Caravousanos: Manager of Business Development Healthcare, Bethpage Federal Credit Union


NYC Health + Hospitals/South Brooklyn Health

*Alisa Grant: Patient Care Associate 

*Iryna Stembkovska: RN Head Nurse

*Remi Saji: RN Head Nurse

*Hector Felix: EVS Service Aide



*Karen Lenard: VP of Behavioral Health

*Nakesha E. Nelson: Acting Associate Director of Quality Assurance and Clinical Quality Manager


*Medisys Integrative Health Center


*Megan C. Ryan, Esq.: Interim CEO, President and Chief Legal Officer, NuHealth/NUMC and A Holly Patterson Extended Care Facility


*Hannah Loeffert: Chief of Strategy, Quality, and Safety at New York City Health + Hospitals Woodhull/Community Care

*Sophia Issac: Regional Chief Human Resources Office at New York City Health + Hospitals Woodhull/Community Care


*Rev. Edward Lai: SVP of Business Development at Bensonhurst Center for Rehabilitation & Healthcare


*Michelle Lewis: Chief Executive Officer at NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health


*Henry Thompson, DSc: FACHE Chief Executive Officer at Community Health Center of Richmond, Inc. 


*Robert Sabella: Manager, Family Call Center, Parker Jewish Institute for Health Care and Rehabilitation


*Serena Muñiz: VP of Equity, Community Relations and Communications, Union Community Health Center 


*Victoria Berti: Coordinator, Residential, Nursing & Psychiatric Services, Life’s WORC


*David L. Reich, MD: President, The Mount Sinai Hospital


*Edward R. Matthews: CEO,  ADAPT Community Network


*Khalid Hachil: Electrical Engineer, Stantec


*Michael N.Brown: CEO, Fellow Health Partners, Inc.


*Thomas Mandelkow, Executive Vice President, CAO/CFO, CP Unlimited


*Leonard Achan:President & CEO, LiveOnNY


*Christine Mahoney, DNP, RN, AGACNP-BC, NEA-BC, CCRN: Chief Nursing Officer and Senior Vice President; Vice President, Critical Care Nursing, Mount Sinai Beth Israel and Mount Sinai Downtown


*Erna Blackman: Founder, Butterflies by Blaq Inc.


*Mercedes Crespo-Reyes: Senior Director of Patient Experience, New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Queens


*Pat Wang: President and CEO, Healthfirst


*Dr. Stephen T. Greenberg, M.D., F.A.C.S: Cosmetic Plastic Surgeon, Greenberg Cosmetic Surgery


*Joan M. Curcio, MD, FACP: Director of Inpatient and Observation Services for Medicine, Chief of General Medicine and Associate Director of The Department of Internal Medicine, NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst


*Dr. Terry Grant DMD, DABSCD, FASGD, FICD, FAS: Geriatric, Cosmetic and General Dentist, Mobile Gentle Dental & Gentle Dental LI


*Saindyse Germain: CEO, Germain Consulting Service, RN, PLLC


*Juancy J. Rodríguez: Family Nurse Practitioner, HOTT Program, Callen-Lorde Community Health Center


*Hercules Ford: Volunteer outreach services to Alcoholic/Drug Addicts, New Spirit II AA Group


*William Li, MD, MSC: Director, Radiation Oncology, NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens


*Camille Edwards: Founder, CFE Consulting Services, LLC