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At the annual Care Associates celebration Nov. 15, three staff members received Frances Grindell Scholarships to pursue nursing degrees: Latreese Atkinson, clinical technician, Nursing Resource Operations Center; Nicole Nieves-Sanzo, ED technical associate; and Kimberly Spearman, psychiatric mental health worker. 


Two employees received the Care Associate Circle of Care Award: Taylor Derienzo, ambulatory care associate, Pediatric Surgery Center; and Jennifer Shea, patient care associate, Heart and Vascular Center EP 5-7. 

Hope, inspiration mark care associates’ celebration

The Care Associates Committee could not have found a more appropriate keynote speaker for their Nov. 15 annual celebration, themed, “When the world says, ‘Give up,’ Hope whispers, ‘Try Again.’”

For the first time, the keynote speaker was a care associate: Malissa Williams, a urology technician. Her passionate, inspiring speech referenced the role of hope in overcoming COVID-19 and other challenges throughout history. 

“Hope is impactful. Hope is what inspires us. Hope drives our ambition. Hope is what gets us over these hurdles of life,” Williams said. “Hope is what empowers us to pull together. As a healthcare community, we rose up; we rose to the occasion. We supported our coworkers; we supported our patients. They knew they were loved. No matter what their families were not able to do for them, we were there. We were going to breathe hope into them.”

Care Associate Week honors Yale New Haven Hospital’s ambulatory care assistants, ambulatory care associates, clinical technicians, emergency department technical associates, ED technicians, medical assistants, mental health workers, milieu counselors, patient care associates, radiology care assistants, technical associates and urology technicians. For the second time, the annual event was held via Zoom.

“Thank you all for the incredible and amazing work that you’ve done, not only today, but also over the past 20 months and for every single day that you spend at YNHH,” Keith Churchwell, MD, hospital president, said in his remarks. “Your abilities, and what you do for patients and for all of us, 24/7, 365 days a year have made a tremendous impact.”

The event recognized care associates who have advanced on the clinical ladder, and those who received the Frances Grindell Scholarship, awarded annually to care associates pursuing nursing degrees. Two employees received the Care Associate Circle of Care Award for dedication to patients, commitment to peers and service to the community.