Rita Byrne Honored for Over 5,000 Hours of Service to Children
STONY BROOK, N.Y., July 21, 2010 – Rita Byrne, a dedicated, hard-working Stony Brook University Hospital volunteer, has won the President’s Call to Service Award at the National Conference on Volunteering and Service. The meeting is the world’s largest gathering of volunteer and service leaders from the non-profit, government, and corporate sectors.
Ms. Byrne won the award for her service to the pediatric patients being cared for at SBUH. A volunteer since 1996, Ms. Byrne has contributed nearly 5,000 hours of service to date.
This distinction for a hospital volunteer is the only presidential award that is bestowed upon a citizen of the general public. It recognizes volunteer hours served, the results of that service and the positive impact that the service had on a community.
“The hospital is grateful for Ms. Byrne’s loyalty, service and leadership in the Department of Volunteer Services,” says Kathy Kress, Assistant Director of Volunteer Services at SBUH. “It is the volunteers who are the heart of the hospital and this year, Rita’s heart beats loudest of all. Our congratulations to her for everything.”
Many opportunities exist for women and men throughout the hospital. They serve in both patient-care and non-patient-care areas and are greatly appreciated by staff, visitors and patients alike.
Volunteering is taking on new importance at SBUH now and in the future with the development of more inpatient, outpatient and stand-alone facilities and services. Ms. Kress noted that with the new Stony Brook Long Island Children’s Hospital alone, numerous volunteers will be required for their vital assistance.
On June 30, 2010, SBUH launched Stony Brook Children’s, a unique regional resource dedicated to delivering expanded, specialty and tertiary healthcare needs of children and adolescents in Suffolk County. Stony Brook Children’s is the only dedicated children’s hospital east of the Nassau/Queens border.
Stony Brook University Hospital houses the only tertiary care hospital and Level I trauma center in Suffolk County. The hospital operates 571 beds and employs more than 5,100. It is the largest hospital in Suffolk County treating approximately 30,000 inpatients, more than 250,000 outpatients and is where more than 15,000 surgical cases are performed. The Heart Center performs the only open-heart surgery in Suffolk and the Cancer Center and Cardiovascular Center attract patients from throughout the region with cutting edge diagnostic and treatment facilities. Stony Brook is home to Long Island’s first kidney transplant program which has performed over 1,100 transplants, and initiated the nation’s first Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis Center. The hospital is also the regional referral center for trauma, perinatal and neonatal intensive care, burns, bone marrow and stem cell transplantation, cystic fibrosis, pediatric and adult AIDS; and is the regional resource center for emergency management. Stony Brook’s Stroke Program is certified by the Joint Commission and the New York State Department of Health. The Cody Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities is located here as is Long Island’s first comprehensive ALS Center.