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Coronavirus Pandemic Adds to the Admiration as Hospital Honors Local EMS Members

May 31, 2020

Overlook Medical Center honored EMS responders

SUMMIT & UNION – MAY 2020 – Overlook Medical Center celebrated the work of the dedicated EMS first responders throughout the communities it serves with awards, gifts and other recognition as part of the national EMS Week, May 18–22.

“The first responders throughout our region have been our steadfast partners through the height of the pandemic, and their collaboration in caring for our patients during this event has only deepened our appreciation for them,” said Christopher Amalfitano, MD, chairman of the emergency department at Overlook.

“As we move forward together, we will continue to rely on them to ensure that people in our communities have safe access to care for all of their medical needs,” said Sharon Kelly, RN, director of emergency services at Overlook Medical Center’s Summit and Union campuses.

While the need to maintain social distancing and prevent mass gatherings in order to fight the spread of COVID-19 precluded Overlook’s annual Excellence in EMS Awards Celebration, a gala event normally held in late May, Overlook was undeterred from recognizing the dedication of the region’s EMS members.

“If anything, the pandemic has only further emphasized the importance of highlighting these brave individuals, who have been on the front lines within our communities,” said Jennifer Moran, RN, nurse manager for Overlook’s emergency department, one of the organizers of the annual event.

Throughout EMS week, Overlook Medical Center emergency team members created a festive week of activities including balloons, posters, pictures, “thank yous,” treats and daily raffles. Raffle winners included:

  • Alex Cohen – Summit Volunteer First Aid Squad
  • Kari Phair – Summit Volunteer First Aid Squad
  • Daphne Ciccarelli – Summit Volunteer First Aid Squad
  • Andrew Shones – Springfield First Aid Squad
  • Mike Peski – Springfield First Aid Squad
  • Andy Fresen – Springfield First Aid Squad
  • Lelys Rivera – Union Emergency Medical Unit
  • Michael Joy – Union Emergency Medical Unit
  • Jessica Romera – Westfield Rescue Squad
  • Paula Giacometti – Westfield Rescue Squad
  • David Birnbaum – Berkeley Heights Volunteer Rescue Squad
  • Jefferey Yosyrgaz – Kenilworth Fire Department and Rescue Squad
  • Jamie Pereira – Mountainside Rescue Squad
  • Peter Broder – Millburn-Short Hills Volunteer First Aid Squad
  • Todd Sweeney – Cranford First Aid Squad
  • Nick Leakowski – Union County

Included in the raffle winners were several members of Atlantic Mobile Health, which includes the organization’s own emergency medical responders, which serve communities throughout the region:

  • Mohamed Mohamed – Atlantic Ambulance
  • Melissa Kowalewski – Atlantic Ambulance
  • Rachit Patel – Atlantic Paramedic
  • Lisa Ferdinando – Atlantic Paramedic
  • Heather Trudegeon – Atlantic Ambulance
  • Rodney Rodriguez – Atlantic Ambulance
  • Paulina Ziemba – Atlantic Ambulance
  • Dan Rizos – Atlantic Ambulance

Throughout the pandemic, Overlook Medical Center undertook significant measures to ensure patient, family, staff and first responder safety. As cases of COVID-19 have continued to drop throughout Atlantic Health System and New Jersey, Overlook has put several measures in place, including triage screening at the ED door, separate entrances for COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients, deep cleaning process and temperature screening, all to ensure patients can safely access care.

Learn more about what Atlantic Health System is doing to keep patients safe >

About Atlantic Health System

Atlantic Health System has a long-standing tradition of providing exceptional patient outcomes and experiences. Home to seven award-winning hospitals including Morristown Medical Center, the number one hospital in NJ according to U.S. News & World Report, Castle Connolly and Newsweek’s World’s Best Hospitals, the system has been ranked first in New Jersey in consumer preference by Monigle and first among health systems in New Jersey as a “best workplace” by both Modern Healthcare and Fortune Magazine.

Many of the system’s programs have received national accolades and designations, including Morristown Medical Center’s Cardiology and Heart Surgery program ranked among the top 30 in the nation by U.S. News and World Report; Morristown Medical Center’s Orthopedics program ranked among the top 35 in the nation by U.S. News and World Report and Atlantic Health System’s Cancer Care program, New Jersey’s first and only National Cancer Institute National Community Oncology Research Program. Additionally, Atlantic Health System Neuroscience at Overlook Medical Center, working with Atlantic Mobile Health, was the first in the nation to deploy and use portable Telestroke technology in ambulances for routine pre-hospital assessment of stroke patients.

Powered by a passionate workforce of 17,000 team members and 4,800 affiliated physicians dedicated to building healthier communities, Atlantic Health System serves more than half of the state of New Jersey, including 11 counties and 4.9 million people. The system provides care for the full continuum of health needs across a wide array of settings, including Atlantic Medical Group, one of the largest multi-specialty practices in New Jersey with more than 1,000 physicians and providers, 12 urgent care centers, Atlantic Rehabilitation Institute, Atlantic Visiting Nurse and Atlantic Anywhere’s Virtual Visits. Facilitating connections between these services on both land and air is the transportation fleet of Atlantic Mobile Health.

With a clear sense of purpose and an unparalleled culture, Atlantic Health System attracts top leaders in the field of health care, from CEO Brian Gragnolati, who was Chairman of the American Hospital Association in 2019, to the numerous team members who serve as leaders across national clinical associations and research entities.