Correctional Health employees receive honors

Six UMass Medical School employees honored at State House for service

By Kristen O’Reilly

UMass Medical School Communications

May 16, 2011

Six UMass Medical School Correctional Health employees were among 31 state and county correction professionals honored at the 2011 Correctional Employees of the Year ceremony on Friday, May 13, for their bravery, dedication and public service to the commonwealth. 

"Every day, these men and women put themselves in harm's way to ensure our safety. That alone deserves our highest appreciation,” said Secretary of Public Safety and Security Mary Elizabeth Heffernan during a State House ceremony in the House chambers. “Today's ceremony is an opportunity to highlight the leadership of many brave men and women, whose extraordinary work and efforts have protected the safety of residents across the commonwealth." 

Elizabeth Stephanian, RN; Marion Yuille, LPN; and Phyllis Santaskas, LPN, were among a group of Old Colony Correctional Center staff members who received Meritorious Recognition Awards for their response to an inmate who was semi-conscious due to self inflicted wounds. The inmate’s life was saved due to the dedication and professionalism of the group, which also included Lt. Stephen Kennedy and Lt. Corey Cotta, and correction officers John Rodrigues, Gerald Andrews, Michael McGinn, Michael Lewis, Robert Herrick, Matthew Lee and James Barrett. 

Community Service Awards were given to Patricia Ruze, MD, lecturer in family medicine & community health, Sarah Maria, RN, and Nancy Todd, RN, from MCI Concord, who volunteered to provide medical aid to the Haitian earthquake victims in the Dominican Republic in January and February 2010. In addition to obtaining donations, medical supplies and clothing from their colleagues at MCI Concord and UMass Medical School, the three provided medical care on site.