United Hospital Fund Honors Three MJHS Staff

Three of our very own were honored at the fifth annual Tribute to Excellence in Health Care event hosted by the United Hospital Fund on May 8, 2023.

Kendra D. Ray, PhD, Dementia Program Director at Menorah Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing Care; Anna Briskman, Clinical Director for MJHS Home Care; and Karen Harper, Director of Dementia Care at Isabella Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing Care, along with 60 other health care professionals from 32 health care institutions were honored for their “tireless efforts to improve the quality, safety, and equity of patient care.”

Kendra D. Ray, PhD, MPH, MBA, MT-BC, LCAT, the renowned leader of the memory care program at the Menorah Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing Care, demonstrates that dynamic music and art therapy programs, as well as other nonpharmacological interventions, reduce depression and decreases agitation among nursing home residents with memory loss. She is now continuing her evidence-based research by teaching families how and when to use music to see how it helps reduce burnout and improve the quality of life for everyone at home. The free, home-based program is recruiting participants.

A key member of the MJHS Home Care leadership team, Anna Briskman, MSN, RN, COS-C, is a fierce advocate for our clinicians who provide quality, culturally-sensitive health services. Her success as their champion is especially important during a time when many staff and caregivers are experiencing burnout. Anna is also fundamental to the agency achieving accolades for providing safe and quality patient care, including earning the Gold Seal of Approval by The Joint Commission – joining the heart failure disease management program.

An invaluable member of the Isabella Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing Care therapeutic recreation team, Karen Harper, BS, MS Ed, CNA, CTRS, CDP, uses her unique perspective, with over 20-plus years of experience, to provide quality care with compassion, dignity and respect, as well as teach others how to address the needs of those with memory loss. Years ago, Karen even took a certified nursing assistant (CNA) training course, allowing her to adjust how she talked about, explained, and reinforced the benefit of nonpharmalogicial approaches to resident care. CNAs are now better prepared to incorporate them into residents’ activities of daily living, resulting in an even better quality of life.

Three women holding up awards at the UHF Awards ceremony
MJHS Honorees Dr. Kendra D. Ray (left), Anna Briskman (middle) and Karen Harper (right) attending United Hospital Fund’s fifth annual Tribute to Excellence in Health Care event on May 8, 2023 in New York City, NY.

The other UHF honorees included: physicians, nurses, physician assistants, pharmacists and a broad range of other health care workers from across the New York metropolitan area. They were drawn from hospital systems, long-term care facilities, home care organizations, independent practice associations, federally qualified health centers, medical groups and behavioral health organizations. See the full list of the winners.