Hitting us with their best shot! CNG honors Carib healthcare workers!

They’re our islands in the sun! CNG congratulates our Caribbean American Healthcare Awards honorees with an awards gala at Paradise Caterers in Gravesend.
Photos by Louise Wateridge

They were feelin’ good.

Caribbean Life and Community News Group honored 32 of Gotham’s greatest Caribbean healthcare workers for their fine work and proud island heritage during a June 23 awards gala at Paradise Caterers in Gravesend — the salute topping our 2016 Caribbean American Healthcare Awards magazine, published last week to commemorate national Caribbean American-Heritage Month.

The honorees, who included doctors, nurses, officer workers, and trade unionists, were exceptional New Yorkers for helping to advance the national healthcare system, said the mistress of ceremonies.

“They are contributing to the shaping of America,” said Claudette D. Powell, the Jamaican-born assistant director of nursing at the Health and Hospitals Corporation Home Health Care Regulatory Affairs, and a registered nurse for more than 35 years.

The awardees were as diverse as the prism of cultures pulsating through their ancestral lands, representing a healthy cross-section of the Caribbean’s more than 700 islands, islets, reefs, and cays, and hailing from Antigua, Barbados, and Cayman Islands, among other isle nations.

All of them were following in the footsteps of their pioneering forbears, including Jamaican microbiologist and pathologist Louis Grant [1913–1993] who helped to isolate the deadly dengue virus, and compatriot Mary Seacole [1805–1881] who brought her mother’s herbal remedies to the Crimean War’s battlefields, self-financing her trip to the Black Sea peninsula to treat wounded soldiers after being passed over by Florence Nightingale.

Their combined efforts were a dose of greatness for New York, according to Community News Group’s publisher.

“The Caribbean community is a large and integral part of our city’s healthcare system — from nurses to doctors to home healthcare workers to administrators — and it is safe to say our world-class healthcare system would be a far lesser system without it,” said Jennifer Goodstein.

The illustrious ranks included a pastor’s daughter inspired to become a nurse by her father’s kind service to neighbors, a union vice president who started her career as a volunteer first responder, and a nurse who cared for injured civilians in the Middle East.

Internationally known HIV specialist Dr. Ricardo Orlando Dunner provided a touching moment when he accepted his award still recovering from the multiple facial fractures, concussions, and other serious injuries he suffered during a winter volunteer health mission in Honduras, when his bus careened into a ravine and tragically killed several mission workers.

The medical marvel was a testament to the local medical industry, said Caribbean Life’s associate editor.

“Dr. Dunner is living proof that we have the best treatments, services, and healthcare workers in New York,” said Kevin Williams.

More from Around NYC