Section: Saint Barnabas Medical Center News

Saint Barnabas Medical Center Employees Honored for Humanism in Healthcare

07/22/2016

Pictured, from left, at the 2016 Humanism in Healthcare Award Ceremony from Saint Barnabas Medical Center are Stephen P. Zieniewicz, FACHE, President and CEO; Paul C. Yodice, FCCP, FCCM, Chairman, Department of Medicine, Associate Professor of Surgery and Medicine; honorees Stephen L. Shuman, RRT-NPS, AEd-C, Respiratory Therapist, and Randy Ramcharitar, MD, ICU Resident; Maria E. Dimi, MBA, RRT-NPS, Regional Administrative Director, Respiratory & Neurodiagnostics Services; and Céu Cirne-Neves, CPHQ, FACHE, Vice President.

Congratulations to two Saint Barnabas Medical Center (SBMC) employees who received the prestigious 2016 Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey (HCFNJ) Lester Z. Lieberman Humanism in Healthcare Award on July 18. The recipients were selected among others for living up to our mission, so much so that they were mentioned in letters by a patient or family member.

Stephen L. Shuman, RRT-NPS, AEd-C, Respiratory Therapist
As a result of a career change, Stephen joined our SBMC family nearly 5 years ago. He was a new graduate from an affiliated respiratory therapy school. He was also a new grandfather. His career change was partly inspired by encounters with family and friends who suffered various forms of respiratory illnesses. In particular, his father during his last days was ventilator dependent where Stephen witnessed how healthcare professionals interacted and cared so well for his father. His career transition became more profound after one of his grandsons was born with expected congenital lung malformation. Along with the malformation, the young prince had to undergo surgeries and hospital visits. Not to be outdone, two of his other grandsons also suffered asthma and are susceptible to respiratory complications. During these times, Stephen’s dedication to providing excellent care to the sick became even more of a passion as well as a mission!

It was however very apparent right from the start that Stephen was a “natural” in the caring business. It was not uncommon for his manager to be stopped by clinicians and nurse managers to be informed of their appreciation and admiration of Stephen, often requesting that he be their “regular RT”. He is loved and praised by his patients. A true professional!

His passion in providing best care for our patients is also evidenced by his voluntary efforts in acquiring Tobacco Treatment Specialist certification as well as certification in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and Asthma Education, all of which require hours of classroom time, research, patient interactions and completion/passing of a difficult certification testing. In addition to his work obligations for the Respiratory Care Department, he has also taken part in community outreach and education programs coordinated by our Community Health and Outreach Department.

While others may think that Stephen’s plate is now full, it is far from the truth. He often finds time to volunteer at education sessions by partnering with his community library sponsoring education events on Asthma. He is a true community ambassador for wellness initiatives.

It is all smiles once Stephen walks into his patient’s rooms and assigned units. Clinicians know that “everything will be fine now”, patients will be “well-cared for” and to sum it up, there will only be excellent patient outcomes when Stephen is part of the team.

Randy Ramcharitar, MD, Intensive Care Unit Resident
There can be no doubt that Randy Ramcharitar engenders and demonstrates all that the Lester Z. Lieberman Humanism in Healthcare Award represents and much more. He is tireless in his pursuit of excellence in all that should be embodied in those dedicated to the lives of others. For Dr. Ramcharitar it is more a function of recognizing what "is right for one is right for all" and putting that principle into practice not only for himself but teaching that practice to all for whom he is responsible.

Dr. Ramcharitar leads by example. His affable personality enables him to integrate with a team comprised of therapists, nurses, residents and critical care attendings - a difficult position for anyone to simply walk into. He demonstrated the appropriate level of humility and respect in an area where death and dying were a daily part of life and treated both as a professional should and must. Through it all he remains the consummate professional and incredible leader to other residents, students and to our nurses.

All of this is vitally important in the care of our patients but not more important than the following. Dr. Ramcharitar’s words and actions remind us that those for whom we care are not simply patients but are people. People with wives and husbands, sisters and brothers, children and parents - all of whom suffer along with the loved one who is in that hospital bed. Dr. Ramcharitar cares for these suffering non-patients as he does for the people in hospital beds; as he would expect to be done for his own family members; as we should for everyone we encounter every day in our lives. Whether we call it sympathy, empathy or humanism, Dr. Ramcharitar reminds us in his daily actions, words and behavior that helping others to heal is much more than administering medicines and machines to a patient in a bed; it is applying a salve to all involved and waiting with them in hopes that it helps to heal their soul.

HFNJ is an independent, endowed grant-making organization dedicated to reducing disparities in the delivery of healthcare and improving access to quality healthcare for vulnerable populations in the greater Newark, NJ area and the Jewish community of MetroWest NJ. Each year, the Foundation recognizes a select group of individuals for their outstanding contribution to patient care.

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