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Robert Wood Johnson University Hosts its Annual Nursing Excellence Awards Ceremony in Celebration of National Nurses Week


Honors the Dedicated Nurses at the Hospital’s New Brunswick and Somerville Campuses

Somerville, NJ- During National Nurses Week, which is observed from May 6 through May 12, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH) celebrated the dedicated nurses at its New Brunswick and Somerville campuses by recognizing the vital role that all nurses have in the medical community and honoring their commitment and dedication to their patients in Central Jersey.

“Our nursing teams at RWJ New Brunswick and RWJ Somerset have a reputation for excellence earned on a foundation of exceptional bedside care, innovative research, sharing best practices and an unwavering commitment to quality,” said Stephen K. Jones, FACHE, President and Chief Executive Officer of Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital and Robert Wood Johnson Health System. “Our nurses’ compassion and commitment to caring extend beyond the walls of our New Brunswick and Somerville campuses. Whether it is volunteering to serve at our many screenings and health education events in the community, or leading medical missions abroad to bring essential health care services to those in need, our nurses are an inspiration to us all.”

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RWJUH held its Annual Nursing Excellence Awards Ceremony in New Brunswick on May 4 and in Somerville on May 6. The ceremony recognizes nursing excellence and demonstrates gratitude to nurses for their efforts to improve the lives of the hospital’s patients, their families and the community.

Ka Ying Lee, BSN, RN, OCN, RN-BC, WCC, of Monroe Township from the New Brunswick campus, was named the 2015 Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Magnet Nurse of the Year. The Somerville campus recognized Lynn Freeland, MSN, RNC of Maternity Services of Roselle Park with the top nursing honor, the 2015 Jean Dougherty Award, named after Jean Dougherty, a late nurse supervisor who worked at the medical center for more than 30 years. The following awards were also presented to at the celebration ceremonies:

New Brunswick Campus:

  • Virginia H. Joseph Award: Teresa Damito, BSN, RN, RNC-OB CNIV , of Freehold
  • Friend of Nursing Award: Brian Dobosh, of Newtown, PA, who works in Info Systems
  • CCT/PCT Award: Junerose Gambito, CCT, of Manalapan
  • Advanced Practice Provider Award: Susann Krane, MSN, RN, ACNP-BC, of North Brunswick, and Anthony Patten Jr., PA-C, of Roselle
  • Transformational Leadership Award: Myrna Young, MSN, RN, CNOR, of North Brunswick
  • Structural Empowerment Award: Brain Aneurysm Support Group
  • Exemplary Professional Practice Award: Victoria Pangilinan, MSN, RN, CCRN, of Piscataway
  • New Knowledge Innovation and Improvement Award: Mary Racel Villarica, BSN, RN-BC, of Dayton
  • Recognition for its Nurse Residency Graduates: Tamara Alexander, BSN, RN, of New Brunswick; Kristin Andrews, BSN, RN, of Manalapan; Diana Faye Blaza, BSN, RN, of Scotch Plains; Annmarie Crowley, BSN, RN, of Piscataway; Jeanette Galindo-Lopez, BSN, RN, of New Brunswick; Juliet Lee, BSN, RN, of Cherry Hill; William Navarro, BSN, RN, of Matawan; Elizabeth Palamara, BSN, RN, of Somerset; Darshi Patel, BSN, RN, of Old Bridge; Kirsten Prins, BSN, RN, of Hawthorne; Naomi Rindenau, BSN, RN, of East Brunswick; Amanda Sawasky, BSN, RN, of Lawrenceville; Lindsey Setaro, BSN, RN, of Red Bank; Charles Smith, BSN, RN, of North Brunswick; and Emily Vogt, BSN, RN of Edison


Somerville Campus:

  • Exemplary Professional Practice Award: Agnes Salamon, MSN, RN, ONC, of Bridgewater, who is the breast cancer patient navigator at the Steeplechase Cancer Center
  • Performance Improvement Award: Barbara Muldowney, RN, of Stockton, who works in the hospital’s Maternity Pavilion
  • Professional Development Award: Marta Kordal, RN, CMSRN, of Hillsborough, who works in the hospital’s Orthopedic Pavilion
  • Patient/Family Education Award: Stacey Alphas, BSN, RN, of Hillsborough, who works in the hospital’s Oncology Clinical Research Department at the Steeplechase Cancer Center
  • Transformational Nurse Leadership Award: Valerie Moore, BSN, RN, of Annendale, who is director of the hospital’s Same Day Surgery Department, Pre-Admission Testing Department and Post-Anesthesia Care Unit
  • Kathleen Cummins Advanced Practice Nurse Award: Denise Gerhab, BSN, RN, WCC, OMS, of Iselin, who works as Clinical Nurse Educator with Wound Care Specialty
  • Clinical Care Technician (CCT) of the Year: Alex Perez, of Bound Brook, who works in the hospital’s Medical Library

To learn more about RWJUH, please visit For a referral to a physician affiliated with RWJUH, please call 1-888-MD-RWJUH. Follow us on Twitter at and Facebook at

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