Volunteers at CMMC Honored for the 62nd Time at Annual Service Awards Luncheon

CMMC 2019 Service Awards Luncheon

In photo (from left to right): Javier Alvarez, Director of Patient Experience; Tania Manago, Assistant Director of Patient Experience and Volunteer Services; Angela Cuozzo-Zarro, President of the Clara Maass Auxiliary; Robert Brautigan, MD, President of the Clara Maass Medical Center Medical Staff; and Joe Wojtecki, Assistant Director of Patient Experience with Dr. Mary Ellen Clyne, President and Chief Executive Officer, Clara Maass Medical Center.


Belleville, NJ --The week of April 7-13, 2019 marked the annual celebration of National Volunteer Service Week and Clara Maass Medical Center, a facility of RWJBarnabas Health held its annual luncheon to recognize its volunteers. The recognition luncheon has been held every year – for 62 years during a national, week-long celebration of volunteerism.

According to the Points of Light, National Volunteer Week is an opportunity to celebrate volunteer service and the power that volunteers have in tackling society’s greatest challenges and in helping to build stronger communities, and thereby serving as a force in transforming the world.

“When it comes to volunteerism,” said Mary Ellen Clyne, President and Chief Executive Officer of Clara Maass Medical Center, “we honor our volunteers each year for giving themselves and devoting time to provide visitors and patients with an additional level of care. Our volunteers are a key part of our team and I truly appreciate you all.” Clyne said.

“It is truly and honor award our volunteers for their service throughout the year” said Robert Brautigan, MD, a general surgeon at Clara Maass Medical Center. Brautigan is also the President of the Medical Staff at the hospital.

Clyne also shared fond memories of Marie Vander Zwan, with whom she shared a very special relationship and who was a volunteer at Clara Maass for over 30 years – right up until she passed away last month. Vander Zwan was fiercely devoted to Clara Maass, and volunteered at the Medical Center every Thursday for more than 30 years. She was honored with the prestigious New Jersey State Governor’s Jefferson Award for Volunteerism last year. During the program, an angel was presented to Marie’s daughter Joan, as a symbol of Marie’s continued presence at Clara Maass as a guardian angel.

The luncheon this year was organized by Tania Manago, Assistant Director of Patient Experience and Volunteer Services at Clara Maass. Its theme, “Making a Difference Every Moment,” embodied a tribute to the contributions of all volunteers. “As an employee [of the Medical Center] for 18 years who was also born here, I can honestly say that what makes Clara Maass so special is that our volunteers really do make a difference. Whether they are keeping a patient company, or getting a patient a warm blanket or greeting visitors and family members as they arrive, every volunteer makes a huge difference in the lives of our employees, patients and visitors” said Manago.

More than 200 volunteers were recognized for their work in supporting hospital programs such as the Hospital Elder Life Program (HELP), Pastoral Care, the hospital Auxiliary, with Certificates of Appreciation to recognize groups such as the AARP Chapter 2051 of Belleville, the Belleville Senior Club Tuesday Division, the Belleville Senior Club Friday Division, the Fewsmith Memorial Presbyterian Church Crafters, the Maplewood Women’s Club and Temple Ner Tamid of Bloomfield.

Angela Cuozzo-Zarro, President of the hospital’s Auxiliary announced a donation of $10,000 in support of the hospital’s programs and services. Throughout the year, the Auxiliary sponsors activities such as raffles, jewelry sales, plant sales, baby photos and fashion shows to raise money for the benefit of the hospital and its patients.

Six volunteers were recognized individually for their years of service to Clara Maass: Catherine Fiducia, 20 years; Connie Santasieri, 15 years; Julia Bogan 10 years; Paul Del Polito, Mauro Ferone and Carol Mateyka, 5 years of service.

Debbie Moloughney, RN, BSN, Manager of the Same Day Surgery and Endoscopy was recognized with the Volunteer Resource Award, for her help in creating meaningful learning experiences for student volunteers within the hospital’s Same Day Surgery and Endoscopy Departments.

Sixty-six volunteer knitters received recognition, including the Holy Hookers Knitting Club of Holy Family Church in Nutley that knits and donates blankets, hats and other handmade items for newborns at Clara Maass Medical Center.

National Volunteer Week was established in 1974 and has grown exponentially each year, and is an opportunity for communities around the country to highlight volunteers and thank them for lending their time, talent and voice to make a difference in their communities.

About Clara Maass Medical Center
Located in Belleville, NJ, Clara Maass Medical Center, an RWJBarnabas Health facility, provides a complete continuum of care to residents of northern New Jersey. Clara Maass recently completed state-of-the-art campus expansion project featuring a new four-story 87,000 square foot building with a private, 32-bed Intensive Care Unit, new Main Entrance and Lobby, Retail Pharmacy, Patient Registration Area and designated new space to accommodate our future Emergency Department expansion. Clara Maass’ services include: The Cancer Center, Center for Breast Health and Disease Management, Radiation Oncology, Infusion Therapy, Cardiac Services Elective and Emergency Angioplasty and Cardiac Rehabilitation, The Pain Management Center, The Joint & Spine Institute, a Vascular Lab, The Vein Center, The Wound Center, The Center for Sleep Disorders, The Bariatric Surgery Center, Rehabilitation; Therapy Services which includes, physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy, The Eye Surgery Center, Maternity Services and Parent Education, Pediatrics, Center of Excellence for Latino Health, and the Health and Wellness Center. Clara Maass has been recognized eleven Grade ‘A’ scores for patient safety and quality by The Leapfrog Group. It is listed by the American Hospital Association as one of Healthcare’s Most Wired hospitals. In 2016-17 Clara Maass has received the Healthgrades Obstetrics and Gynecology Excellence Award and the Labor and Delivery Excellence Award. Clara Maass received Disease Specific Care Certification from the Joint Commission for Acute Coronary Syndrome (ACS), Congestive Heart Failure, Hip Replacement, Knee Replacement, Cardiac Rehabilitation and Advanced Certification in Palliative Care. Clara Maass earned Clara Maass’ steadfast commitment to improve the health and well-being of the communities it serves is exemplified through award winning programs including the nationally recognized HELP Volunteer program, recipient of the American Hospital Association 2017 HAVE Award, and the Wellness Assessment Van for Elders (WAVE) which was recognized as the New Jersey Hospital Association’s 2017 HRET Community Outreach Award. For a physician referral or more information about Clara Maass, call 1-888-724-7123 or visit www.rwjbh.org/claramaass.

CONTACT: Stacie J. Newton
Office: 973-450-2989
Mobile: 201-424-9678
E-mail: Stacie.Newton@rwjbh.org