Denise C. Soares: Makes history at Harlem Hospital

Born in New York City, Denise C. Soares is the daughter of parents from Mandeville and Smithfield, Jamaica.

With a BSN from Hunter College-Bellevue School of Nursing and an MA from Teachers College, Ms. Soares has spent 42 years — a lifetime in the profession she loves — in nursing and hospital administration.

The senior vice president of the Generations+ / Northern Manhattan Health Network, executive director of Harlem Hospital Center and the Renaissance Health Care Network, and a HHC corporate officer, she is the first nurse in the history of Harlem Hospital to hold the position.

Ms. Soares is charged with the operational and fiscal oversight of the hospitals, diagnostic and treatment centers in the network and nearly 20 community and school based health centers in Northern Manhattan and the South Bronx.

“We must connect on a very personal level and let patients know we care what happens to them beyond the walls of our facilities as they return to their community,” she says.

Two mottos inspire and drive her: “The patient’s perception is our reality” and “Patients don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

Her parents were a tremendous influence. “They instilled in us that you must remember where you come from, celebrate your ancestors, acknowledge the shoulders upon which we stand and provide the same opportunities for future generations.”

“I believe compassion for others and commitment to community service is a value that begins at home with family. These values are also requirements for healthcare.”

Ms. Soares stresses, “Being able to give back reminds me every day why I chose nursing and healthcare as a career.”

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