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Hospital and Nurses Week Celebrations Commemorate CHS’ I-CARE Core Values

May 9th, 2018

Hospital Week is celebrated nationally from May 6-12. St. Catherine of Siena Medical Center in Smithtown, member of Catholic Health Services (CHS), joins in the annual celebration with festive week-long activities. Each year, hospitals across the country join in to celebrate with one common theme, this year the theme is “Caring is Our Calling.” The national theme coincides with CHS’ core values, I-CARE, an acronym representing: Integrity, Compassion, Accountability, Respect and Excellence.

This year, National Hospital Week and Nurses Week fall within the same timeframe, providing a layered opportunity to recognize staff throughout the facility, equally. The week has been filled with regaling activities, including, Nursing Clinical Ladder Awards, Nursing Excellence Awards, Clinical Excellence Awards and Departmental Team Member Excellence Awards. Hospital administration also announced its nomination for the 2018 Nassau-Suffolk Hospital Council’s Nurse of Excellence—Nursing Director of Women-Child Care Center Neila Hernandez, MSN, CBC, RN, WHNP-BC—for  her notable leadership in guiding the hospital to becoming a Baby-Friendly Designated facility as of August 2017.



In addition, the hospital held the Health Care Exploration and Internship Program (HCEIP) Awards Ceremony during the landmark week on Tuesday, May 8, 2018. The program, coordinated by St. Catherine’s Director of Public Affairs Heather Reynolds, included students from Smithtown High School East and West, Commack High School, Our Lady of Mercy Academy and Harborfields High School. Students were presented with awards from New York State Senator John J. Flanagan by St. Catherine’s Senior Administration team.

The students had to complete 16 sessions on-site at the hospital, along with volunteer hours to gain their New York State Department of Education credit. “Some students worked in our Rehab and Nursing Care Center helping to transport patients to their therapies, some worked in our physicians’ offices, some worked in the Emergency Department, and many students took on an important job of surveying our community about their health needs,” said Mrs. Reynolds.


The 16-Week HCEIP program, now in its 10th year provides high school students with practical experience and exposure to careers in the health industry. This year, students participated in exercises at CHS’ Patient Safety Simulation Center based in Melville, learned about sterilizing surgical equipment and even performed mock surgery using robotic equipment. “What I love most about the program is that the physicians and nurses, all of the clinicians really share not only what they do now, but their journeys of how they came to be—that is the most important piece for young students,” said Diane Neilson of Commack High School. St. Catherine of Siena is committed to offering the HCEIP program to local school districts and forging dialogue to appeal to future health care administrators and clinicians.

The sentiments captured in both Hospital and Nurses Week are mirrored in striving for healthcare clinical excellence and fostering superior patient outcomes. The week provides an opportunity for hospital administration to take a moment to recognize extraordinary people for the efforts that make each and every day.

To close the week, staff have been invited to participate in hospital-wide contests, including an investigative and fun scavenger hunt, along with onsite stress reducing activities such a yoga.