2021 Super Stars

Akua Afriyie, Division of Hematology and Medical Oncology, has been with her division for only a year and has already earned recognition for her outstanding work as a Medical Assistant (Technician). Her division credits her with ensuring smooth patient care, including during the most challenging days of the COVID-19 pandemic. Even behind the mask, her colleagues know she is keeping a smile on her face! Her communication skills with staff and patients, her “amazing heart,” and her “turbo charged” approach on busy days make her a true Super Star.

Debrie Allen, Administrative Assistant, Division of Hematology and Medical Oncology, has played an integral role as an administrator in Dr. Joseph Ruggiero’s office for nearly 35 years. Exemplifying the highest level of excellence and dedication, Debrie is known for going above and beyond in support of the patients while “caring for everyone as if they are her family.” Supervisors, patients, and colleagues alike consider Debrie to be a true star and recognize her as an outstanding ambassador in the realm of patient service at Weill Cornell Medicine. Simply the best!

On the heels of being recognized as a Super Star during the last awards cycle, Elias Baez is again being recognized for being a “steadying force, reassuring all of us, and skillfully and immediately addressing all tech issues that arose” during the division’s fellowship candidate interview season. Physicians in the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism continue to assess Elias’s skills and work ethic at the highest level of excellence. Elias has now achieved a Silver Star award.

Katelyn Bastert, Research Coordinator, Division of Cardiology, is not only adept at coordinating research activities, she has become known for going above and beyond her job responsibilities in order to assist patients. Even if she needs to make phone calls over a weekend, or in an emergency situation, to assist a patient, she is there and will find a solution. A true Super Star, Katelyn exemplifies professionalism and dedication.

Gabriel Calderon, Senior Medical Secretary, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, is recognized for his superb administrative skill and his outstanding work ethic. Working in a busy clinical setting, Gabriel maintains the highest standards in all of his interactions, including with co-workers, physicians, and patients. He knows how to juggle responsibilities and always goes the extra mile to help patients navigate through the hospital system. No matter how difficult, Gabriel is there to assist with skill and compassion. Super Star!

Matthew Calhoun, Administrative Coordinator, Division of Hematology and Medical Oncology, has excelled at the highest level of excellence in all of his responsibilities for many years at Weill Cornell Medicine. He is known for his exceptional efficiency and attention to detail, his unwavering integrity, and his congenial demeanor. Proactive and knowledgeable, Matthew defines professionalism and sets the bar high. Matthew’s loyal and outstanding service is truly appreciated. A genuine Super Star!

Ying Chen, Medical Secretary, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism, receives comments from patients on a regular basis attesting to her efficiency, communication skills, and compassion. Patients appreciate the respect she shows them and how she goes the extra mile at all times. Their comments include: “I truly wish we could clone her!” and “Whatever I could say about Ying, it wouldn’t be enough!” Working in a challenging clinical setting, Ying has demonstrated complete reliability and an outstanding work ethic. Ying is a proven Super Star!

Elizabeth Connolly, Administrative Supervisor, Division of Infectious Diseases, is recognized for her distinguished service in managing administration for the Cornell Clinical Trials Unit. Not only is Elizabeth extremely adept in handling administrative activities, she has demonstrated that she can meet a challenge with the utmost enthusiasm and skill. She is known for being ready to help whenever needed, and, at the same time, always looking out for the needs of her colleagues and the entire division. She is a super star!

Asha Devi, Senior Medical Secretary, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, possesses outstanding skills in coordinating and facilitating patient activities. She is known for making a patient’s life much easier in all types of situations, from scheduling an appointment to arranging medical tests. Patients describe Asha as an “extraordinary professional” and a “tribute” to the Weill Department of Medicine. The department is happy to recognize Asha as a Super Star!

Lori Di Toro, Senior Medical Secretary, Division of Infectious Diseases, has managed a physician practice in the WDOM for many years. Lori has demonstrated unwavering professionalism, as well as the highest level of efficiency combined with a can-do attitude. In addition, Lori is recognized for her outstanding knowledge, quick response time, kindness, and her overall upbeat demeanor when interacting with patients. It is often said by patients that Lori is the most amazing employee they have ever met in a medical setting. A true super star!

Brianna Gonzalez, Patient Access Coordinator, Division of Cardiology, has demonstrated outstanding efficiency in coordinating patient activities in a challenging and busy clinical setting. Physicians and fellows have recognized her exceptional organizational skill in managing patient calls, appointments, and patient follow-up activities. She is also known for her superb attention to detail. Both patients and physicians alike consider Brianna to be a Super Star!

June Greenberg, Research Nurse Administrator, Division of Hematology and Medical Oncology, has been recognized for her flexible and efficient approach in assisting patients in a variety of situations. Her management and leadership skills are described as “amazing.” Patients, as well as the employees who report to her, benefit significantly from June’s professional and compassionate presence. June defines what it is to be a Super Star!

Natika Martin, Senior Medical Secretary, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, is recognized for her superb administrative skill and outstanding work ethic. Natika excels at the highest level of excellence and is known for going above and beyond to help all patients, including those in the most distress. She is highly efficient in finding solutions while maintaining a calm and compassionate demeanor even in the most challenging situations. She is considered by physicians and patients alike to be a true Super Star!

Azemina Redzematovic, Financial and Grants Coordinator, Division of General Internal Medicine, is a new employee in her division who, in record time, has demonstrated an extraordinary ability to coordinate and submit grants while meeting all deadlines. She is known for her professional demeanor, efficiency, collegiality, and dedication. Her assistance on grants has proven highly valuable to the many principal investigators she supports. A newly recruited Super Star of the highest caliber!

Christina Reyes, Senior Medical Secretary, Division of Hematology and Medical Oncology, has been recognized by her supervisors, colleagues, and patients alike for her outstanding skills in office management. She is a role model of excellence in managing patient requests in a challenging clinical setting. She is amazingly organized, detail-oriented, and possesses a talent for communication in helping patients to navigate the hospital system. A congenial and extremely dedicated employee, Christina always goes the extra mile. A true Super Star!

Dolores Reynolds, Research Administrator, Division of Cardiology, is known for her professionalism, leadership, and efficiency in coordinating research activities. Dolores sets a superb example as both a leader and a team player. She is always ready to take on a new project in support of patient-driven research while demonstrating thorough attention to detail and working as many hours as needed to get the job done. Supervisors and co-workers consider themselves to be “lucky” to have Dolores on board. She’s a star!

Adriana Rivera, Senior Medical Secretary, Division of General Internal Medicine, is part of an administrative team that is enabling patients to access services through the Integrative Health and Wellness Program. Adriana has become known as a super star due to her exceptional efficiency in juggling complicated schedules and carrying out many other necessary tasks as needed, which has included the successful development of an insurance workflow system for the office. Adriana has also been recognized for her exceptional service throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, having demonstrated professionalism, diligence, patience, and dependability.

Penelope Savinon, Patient Coordinator, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, is known for treating patients as if they truly matter. She is adept at assisting patients navigate what can, at times, be a complicated system. She is there for them every step of the way, whether it is ensuring that they receive their prescriptions or are scheduled for a much-needed test. She is that bright star who is always ready to help and viewed as a role model for her coworkers. One patient wrote that Penelope is not only a Super Star, but a Super-Duper Bright Star!

Alicia Sicangco, Registered Nurse, Division of Cardiology, is an extremely loyal and hard-working team player. She is known, not only for her superb nursing skills, but also for her willingness to step up in meeting challenges. When additional support is needed, Alicia is first to respond. She also maintains a positive demeanor at all times. She is a Super Star!

Jacqueline Yunga, Senior Medical Secretary, Division of General Internal Medicine, has been recognized for her superb administrative skill in managing a group acupuncture program for the Integrative Health and Wellness Program. Jacqueline has demonstrated an ability to work as a team player while helping patients to navigate within a very busy patient care setting. She has also shown outstanding skill in organizing multiple provider schedules in addition to her exceptionally prompt response to emails. All of this she accomplishes with a friendly smile and a professional demeanor.

Contact Information

Mailing Address

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/
Weill Cornell Medical Center
Weill Department of Medicine
525 East 68th Street, Box 130
New York, NY 10065

Office of the Chair

530 East 70th Street, M-522
New York, NY 10021
Tel: (212) 746-4720
Fax: (212) 746-8793

For information on major gifts, contact:
Emily Anderson
Principal Gifts Officer
(646) 962-7687

Administration Office

1320 York Avenue, HT-621
New York, NY 10021
Tel: (212) 746-4007
Fax: (646) 962-0215

Residency Office

530 East 70th Street, M-507
New York, NY 10021
Tel: (212) 746-4749
Fax: (212) 746-6692

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