Department of Child and Family Well-Being Director L’Tanya Williamson, Medical Director Dr. Thomas Ortiz, and Public Health Nursing Director Roslyn Goodwin honored all of the Department’s 22 nurses on May 9 for their years of community service and commitment to excellence in healthcare at the City of Newark’s National Nurses’ Week Luncheon. This year’s celebratory theme was “Nurses: Advocating, Leading, Caring.” In attendance were Council Members-at-Large Mildred C. Crump and Carlos M. Gonzalez, and Fire Director Fateen A. Ziyad.
“Nurses provide the professional care, human compassion, and spiritual strength that is necessary to heal bodies and souls,” said Mayor Cory A. Booker in a statement. “It is a privilege to honor these distinguished nurses who have dedicated their lives as caregivers, researchers, and health educators to the residents of our beloved City.”
“This annual event celebrates and recognizes the dedication, compassion and caring our Public Health Nurses provide to the citizens of Newark. Our Nurses always encourage their clients to become more actively involved in managing their own healthcare and to continue partnering with their medical providers for better health outcomes,” said Director Williamson.
Held at the Department of Child and Family Well-Being at 110 William Street, the luncheon and awards ceremony was Newark’s observance of National Nurses’ Week, an annual celebration of the vital role professional nurses play in health care in emergency rooms, school-based clinics, homes, and medical schools across the country.
“As the Director of Public Health Nursing, I’m excited to recognize our hard working staff. This event is an opportunity to say thank you to our nurses for their dedicated service, their presence within the community, and their continued commitment to the welfare of Newark’s residents,” said Ms. Goodwin.
National Nurses’ Week coincides with the May 12 birthday of Florence Nightingale, who is considered to be the founder of modern nursing.
“I’m happy to be here to celebrate a profession that never stops giving,” said Council Member Crump. “On behalf of the Municipal Council, I congratulate and thank you.”
“I thank Director Williamson for inviting me to this incredible event. Any time we have the ability to recognize our staff for the work they do is both the honorable and the right thing to do,” said Director Ziyad. “I applaud Director Williamson for recognizing her staff.”
At the ceremony, all 22 Newark nurses were honored. Each nurse received a handbag that bore the inscription, “Thank you for the lives you touch – you’re appreciated so much.”
“Nurses are the key to the success of personal health care and the public health system. There has never been a greater demand for nurses or a more exciting time to enter a career in nursing. I congratulate all of our nurses during their week of recognition,” said Dr. Ortiz.
Ruby Huntley, Nurse Supervisor for Medical Care Services, one of the honorees, said: “I have truly enjoyed my experience here at the Department of Child and Family Well Being as it encompasses clinical services, community outreach, special events and patient advocacy. There’s never a dull moment.”
Another honoree, Myriame Zamilus, said, “It makes me feel warm to know that what we do doesn’t go unnoticed. Working for the City has been my first nursing job, and it’s a really good place to learn. Everyone has been really helpful. I love the community service aspect of my job.”
Newark is one of a few municipalities nationwide that provides uninsured City residents access to affordable, quality healthcare. Extensive services include but are not limited to pediatric care, an adult medical practice, communicable disease control and prevention, a dental clinic, and access to the Women, Infant and Children (WIC) Nutrition Program. The Lead prevention program provides a continuum of care including inspections, abatements, case management and interim housing, and provides free screenings for children Monday through Friday at 110 William Street. These services are largely supported by local, state and federal funding including philanthropic organizations.