Assn of Hispanic Healthcare Execs Honors Nine for Combating "Disparity"

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(Newsbox) 23-Jun-2011

National Association of Hispanic Healthcare Executives Honors Nine for Work in Combating ‘Disparity’

New York, NY—The Association of Hispanic Healthcare Executives (AHHE) recently honored nine men and women for leading the effort to improve the disparity that exists in health care within the Hispanic community.  The nine honorees received awards at AHHE’s 11th Annual Healthcare Diversity Awards Gala in Manhattan on June 17th. “The honorees have spearheaded programs that helped deliver improved health care services to under-served and uninsured communities,” said George A. Zeppenfeldt-Cestero, President and CEO of AHHE. Luis A. Vaquez, Board Chair of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce on Health, added,  “These men and women exemplify what we celebrate today—better healthcare for tomorrow. Each of them has demonstrated leadership and implemented innovative programs to improve access, equality and delivery of healthcare.”

   Those honored were:

·        Stephen Jones, President and CEO, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital: Hospital CEO of the Year.

·        Deborah Tascone-Kennedy, RN, MS, Regional Executive Director, North Shore-LIJ Health System: Regional Hospital Administrator of the Year.

·        Verona Greenland, Founder, President/CEO, Morris Heights Health Center: Community Health Executive of the Year.

·        Dr. Felix V. Matos Rodriguez, President, City University of New York’s Eugenio Maria de Hostos Community College: Academic Leader of the Year.




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·        Elaine Medin, M.A., Vice President, The Healthy Kitchen, Inc./La Cocina Sana: Lifestyle Health Advocate of the Year.

·        Dr. Robert Dell’Amore, Founder, The Healthy Kitchen, Inc./La Cocina Sana: Lifestyle Health Advocate of the Year.

·        Representative Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), Member, House Energy and Commerce Committee; Ranking Member, Health Subcommittee: Legislator of the Year.

·        New York State Senator Adriano Espaillat (D-31st District): Legislator of the Year.

·        Daniel Velez, SouVez, Inc.: M/WBE Company of the Year

     In opening remarks, Miguel Centeno, a vice president of Aetna, one of AHHE’s national partners, said that Aetna has committed more than thirty million dollars in grant funding to address ethnic disparities in health care. He noted that the company is working to increase screenings and treatment in the Hispanic community for breast cancer and diabetes, which he said are two major health problems often neglected or untreated in the Hispanic communities. 

     In addition to Aetna, the Greater New York Hospital Association is a national partner of AHHE. Regional partners are Healthfirst, Healthplex, Inlanet Digital Marketing, New York Presbyterian Hospital, North Shore-LIJ Health System, Roundtable of Hispanic Professional Associations, SouVez, Inc. and TIAA-CREF.

     AHHE Policy Committee Chair Mirian Zavala, DNS ©, M.S., RN, said “AHHE serves as a resource to assist our country in implementing the 2010 Affordable Care Act to eliminate healthcare disparities for all. It is time to refocus, reinforce, and repeat the message that healthcare disparity exists and that health equity benefits everyone.”

     More than 300 individuals from government agencies, community organizations, colleges, and local businesses attended the gala. Further information on AHHE is available from George Zeppenfeldt-Cestero at (212) 877-1615. The AHHE web site is


June 23, 2011                                                                          Contacts

George Haber

Information Services/Public Relations

Tel: (516) 822-9756

Fax: (516) 931-4707


George Zeppenfeldt-Cestero

Association of Hispanic Healthcare Executive

Tel: 212-877-1615

Fax: 212-877-2406


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