Maimonides Health gathered community leaders and neighbors for its first-ever Hispanic Heritage Month celebration in Sunset Park on Sept. 28.
The festive event at Azteca Hall featured an awards ceremony, a buffet dinner, hands-on clinical education, and live singers and musical entertainment — with guests including Maimonides CEO Kenneth Gibbs and local Council Member Alexa Avilés.
Three advocates were honored during the awards ceremony for their “inspirational and exceptional dedication” to their neighbors and to Maimonides: Grisel Amador, executive director of United Senior Center of Sunset Park; Daniel Ramos, a lifelong Sunset Park resident who has worked as a patient representative at Maimonides for more than four decades; and Nathaly Cabrera, a community relations worker at Maimonides.
Amador was was honored on Thursday for her “powerful role” building connections between Maimonides and the Hispanic community in Sunset Park.
She was born and raised in Puerto Rico and earned a degree in Science of Human Services from Boricua College in 1986 — while raising three children on her own. Shortly after she graduated, Amador took a job at United Senior Center of Sunset Park as a bilingual case worker — and, after ten years of hard work, was promoted to executive director.
Now, Amador leads a team as they serve meals to local seniors and provide other much-needed services and referrals to other organizations.
Ramos moved to Sunset Park from Puerto Rico at age 8, and attended school at P.S. 1 and John Dewey High School. In 1977, though, he dropped out to get a job and support his family. Two years later, he was hired at Maimonides. For the last 42 years, he has held a number of roles at Maimonides — housekeeper, messenger clerk, business manager — and now works as a Patient Relations Representative.
In his current role, Ramos works with and advocates for his patients and their families, and has become a welcome and friendly face in Sunset Park. Maimonides honored him for his many years of service at the hospital.
Finally, Cabrera, a Venezuelan native who moved to New York City to attend the Rochester Institute of Technology when she was 18, is the most recent hire at Maimonides — but has made quite an impact as a Community Advocate in just a few months. In her new role, Cabrera works with locals who have left their homes, and was recognized for the way she advocates for the local Hispanic community.
Maimonides, Brooklyn’s largest healthcare system, is anchored by Maimonides Medical Center and the Maimonides Children’s Hospital on 10th Avenue, just outside the eastern border of Sunset Park — which has a population that is roughly 45% Hispanic.
With its inaugural Hispanic Heritage Month event, Maimonides hoped to honor Hispanic cultures, traditions, and leaders — and to promote diversity and foster important relationships with local organizations that serve the Hispanic community.