Calvary Recognizes Employees for Service Excellence

Bronx and Rockland County Residents Honored for their Professionalism

BRONX, NEW YORK, July 2017 – Calvary Hospital recently honored three outstanding employees with the “DAISY,” “Catch A Star,” and “Excellence” Awards for the first half of 2017.


Vineetha Philip, RN, CCC, was honored as the recipient of the “DAISY” Award.
A 4-year employee of Calvary, Vineetha graduated from Rajiu Gandhi School in India, where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing. Vineetha is described in one of her nomination letters as having a “caring and compassionate presence” and is frequently recognized for her “calm demeanor and ability to handle the most difficult of situations with great skill.” A family member also describes her as “showing compassion beyond expectation.” Vineetha is also described as being a very warm and compassionate person who is completely committed to her patients. During her spare time, Vineetha enjoys shopping and spending time with her loved ones. She resides in Rockland County with her family.

DAISY ( is an acronym for Diseases Attacking the Immune System. The foundation was formed in January, 2000, by the family of J. Patrick Barnes who died at age 33 of complications related to Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP). Patrick really liked Cinnabons at the end of his life and always made sure there was enough of this culinary treat for all the nurses in his unit. As a result, all DAISY honorees are treated to Cinnabons at every presentation. Each hospital also receives a special banner to hang in the recipients unit as a way to celebrate the DAISY Award honors and the nursing profession.

To date, 700 health care facilities (U.S., Canada, Middle East, and Germany, etc.) now give out DAISY awards to honor excellence on their nursing staff. The organization’s main goals are: 1) to pay tribute to nurses who make such an enormous difference in the lives of people they touch every single day; 2) fund grants for nurses who do research and evidence-based practices in the field of cancer; and 3) to give out the DAISY faculty award to inspiring teachers in nursing school.


Oresta Martinez, CCT, a 10-year veteran, was honored as the recipient of the Catch A Star Award. Oresta is described as one who is “very courteous, caring, and helpful.” She is dedicated in addressing the unique needs of all patients under her care. She is committed to go above and beyond her duties. She began working at Calvary in 2007 as a nurse’s aide and soon graduated as a Cancer Care Technician (CCT). She is the first person in her family to work in the healthcare field and finds it very fulfilling. She went into nursing because she enjoys taking care of people, but she also enjoys the team she works with at Calvary Hospital. Oresta enjoys videography during her spare time. She resides in the Bronx with her family.


Vivian Thomas Smith, is a 16-year veteran of the hospital, she was honored as the recipient of the Unit Secretary Excellence Award. A family member describes her as “the most caring and helpful person you ever want to meet, she is kind, warm, courteous, and friendly. She follows up with patients and families and anticipates their needs, this is what caring is all about.” Vivian began working at Calvary in 2001 as a per diem secretary and was later promoted to unit secretary. Vivian graduated from Washington Irving High School.

Honorees of the Catch A Star and Excellence Awards are selected using the following criteria:

  • Demonstrate exemplary individual achievement, contribution and performance in their jobs and other related duties beyond their job description.

  • Inspire and support Calvary’s values of Integrity, Compassion, and Non-abandonment.

  • Demonstrate a positive attitude toward responsibilities, family members and colleagues.

  • Exercise leadership, take initiative and accept and carry out additional responsibilities beyond their assignments for the good of the hospital.


    Vineetha Philip, RN, CCC, (Honoree) DAISY Award

    Oresta Martinez, CCT, (Honoree) Catch A Star Award

    Vivian Thomas-Smith, Unit Secretary (Honoree) Excellence Award

    Leonila C. Quinones, RN, MA, DON, Director of Nursing Operations;
    Lucy Hernandez, MS, APRN, NP, BC, Senior Patient Service Manager;
    Vivian Thomas-Smith, Unit Secretary (Honoree) Excellence Award;
    Oresta Martinez, CCT, (Honoree) Catch A Star Award;
    Fran Nunziata, Assistant Director of Human Resources, and;
    Margaret Pelkowski, RN, MSN, Vice President, Patient Care Services.

Since 1899, Calvary has been the nation’s only fully accredited acute care specialty hospital devoted exclusively to providing palliative care to adult patients with advanced cancer and other life-limiting illnesses. Each year, thousands of patients receive CalvaryCareSM throughout the greater New York area. To learn how Calvary can help you and your family, please visit:

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