Dr. Michael Brescia leads moving ceremony and tribute
BRONX, NEW YORK – On September 19, Calvary Hospital presented the inaugural James E. and Dorothy A. Cimino Award to Cathy Kalinski, RN, BSN, CWON. At the ceremony, Dr. Michael J. Brescia, Executive Medical Director, gave very poignant and moving remarks about Dr. Cimino’s legacy at Calvary, their decades long friendship, and their joint collaboration inventing the Brescia-Cimino arteriovenous (AV) fistula for artificial kidney (hemodialysis).
At the time of his death in 2010, Dr. Cimino had served Calvary patients and families for nearly 50 years. The James E. and Dorothy A. Cimino Endowed Fund honors Dr. and Mrs. Cimino’s lifelong dedication to Calvary Hospital and its model of palliative care. The generosity of the Cimino family, and of the countless friends and colleagues who have added to the Fund, ensure that James and Dorothy will be remembered in perpetuity. The Fund is a fitting way to acknowledge Dr. Cimino’s devotion to the care of people everywhere who are facing the end of life, and his extraordinary kindness and compassion with his many patients.
Led by Dr. Michael J. Bresica, the committee members were: Dr. Alma Carrington, Peggy Looney, Lucy Hernandez RN, and Michael Troncone FACHE. The committee chose Ms. Kalinski because they felt she best exemplified the example set by Dr. Cimino.
Ms. Kalinski, a 34-year veteran, has worked in a number of capacities at Calvary including Staff RN, Assistant Head Nurse, Enterostomal Therapist, and Acting Director-Community Services. In 1982, she attended Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center’s school for Enterostomal Therapy, and she is now a certified wound ostomy nurse. Ms. Kalinski handles serious wound care issues for inpatients at Calvary’s 200-bed hospital in the Bronx, and its 25-bed Brooklyn Satellite. She also consults with clinicians of Calvary’s Center for Curative and Palliative Wound Care, and its home hospice.
During her tenure, Ms. Kalinski worked with Dr. Cimino for many years. She emulated him in many ways. Ms. Kalinski is well-known for the kindness and compassion she gives patients, advocating for them, making herself available to families (even on her days off), supporting and mentoring new staff, and always looking for new ways to better care for our patients.
Dr. James E. Cimino (1928 – 2010)
Dr. Cimino is best known for his pioneering work on the Brescia-Cimino arteriovenous (AV) fistula for artificial kidney (hemodialysis) with Dr. Michael Brescia, the transformation of the House of Calvary nursing home to an internationally recognized model of a palliative care hospital, and the creation of the Palliative Care Institute, Calvary’s research and teaching arms.
Dr. Cimino joined the House of Calvary in 1962, after serving as a nephrologist at the Bronx VA Hospital. Dr. Cimino became Chief of Medicine, and later Medical Director. Under his leadership, Calvary was transformed first into an accredited institution where terminal patients could die with dignity and later, as a revolutionary new institution that has influenced the hospice movement in the United States and abroad.
Through Calvary’s Palliative Care Institute, which he helped establish, Dr. Cimino taught generations of medical students, residents, and fellows the Calvary model of end-of-life care and importance of non-abandonment for terminally ill patients. He served as PCI director for a decade and continued to teach until shortly before his death.
Dr. Cimino was published extensively over five decades. He was honored many times for his work in renal dialysis and in terminal cancer care, from leading organizations such as the Veterans Administration, the National Kidney Disease Foundation, the American College Physicians (two Laureate awards), and New York Medical College.
Dr. Cimino dedicated his life to caring for thousands of terminally ill cancer patients and their families at Calvary. The establishment of this award honors his legacy of compassion and kindness to our patients and their families, and to the dedicated staff of Calvary.
Calvary Hospital is the nation’s only fully accredited acute care specialty hospital devoted exclusively to providing palliative care to adult advanced cancer patients. A 225-bed facility with locations in the Bronx and Brooklyn, Calvary is the model for the relief of cancer pain and symptoms for more than a century. More than 5,600 patients are cared for annually by Calvary’s inpatient, outpatient, homecare, hospice, nursing home hospice, and wound care services. To learn more or sign up for the e-newsletter, Calvary Life, please go to www.calvaryhospital.org
Calvary Hospital recently presented the inaugural James E. and Dorothy A. Cimino Award to Cathy Kalinski, RN, BSN, CWON. Dr. Cimino served Calvary patients and families for nearly 50 years, until his death in 2010. This award honors the Ciminos’ lifelong dedication to Calvary Hospital and its model of palliative care. Dr. Cimino was famous for his devotion to the care of people at the end of life, and for his extraordinary kindness and compassion with his many patients. Ms. Kalinski is a 34-year veteran of Calvary. Currently, she is a Certified Wound Ostomy Nurse, handling wound care issues for in-patients at the Hospital’s 200-bed facility in the Bronx, and its 25-bed Brooklyn satellite. Pictured: Ms. Kalinski and Dr. Michael J. Brescia, Executive Medical Director, Calvary Hospital.
Calvary Hospital recently presented the inaugural James E. and Dorothy A. Cimino Award to Cathy Kalinski, RN, BSN, CWON. Dr. Cimino served Calvary patients and families for nearly 50 years, until his death in 2010. This award honors the Ciminos’ lifelong dedication to Calvary Hospital and its model of palliative care. Dr. Cimino was famous for his devotion to the care of people at the end of life, and for his extraordinary kindness and compassion with his many patients.
In addition to announcing the inaugural honoree of the Cimino award, Calvary also dedicated and renamed the Hospital’s 6 North Unit in the doctor’s memory. Dr. Michael Brescia (far right) joins Dr. Cimino’s extended family (pictured above) for the dedication of the patient unit.