On Wednesday, February 17, 2021, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. held his annual celebration of Black History Month, making surprise visits to honor essential workers at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx.
This event was part of a series of socially distant events being held to recognize essential workers in the borough, the events were not open to the public.
The honorees have been giving back to the community, and exemplifying the best of what the African American community and our borough have to offer throughout the pandemic and beyond.
The event was sponsored by Empire BlueCross BlueShield.
“I am honored to have once again hosted this important annual event, which offers us an opportunity to celebrate the African-American heroes in our community, from the past and those who are building on their admirable work and legacy today,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. “While the celebration looks a little bit different this year, it is imperative that we take the time to recognize and thank these essential workers from Montefiore Health System who have put their lives on the line these past 11 months, and showed up everyday for our borough when we needed it the most. I am thrilled we were able to recognize them for their hard work.”
“Montefiore’s diverse workforce and dedicated frontline staff are a reflection of the community we serve” said Marcos Crespo, Sr. VP of Community Affairs for Montefiore Medical Center. “We are honored to work side by side with these remarkable individuals, and grateful to the Borough President for his unfailing support of our health system and the contributions of the African American community in the Bronx.”
Dr. Deborah J. White, Chair & Division Chief of the Emergency Department at The Jack D. Weiler location of Montefiore, began her career working as an attending physician at the Moses Emergency Department, followed by the Mount Sinai hospital Emergency Department in Manhattan, New York. In 1999, she returned to her roots at Weiler hospital and has been happily working there since. Overtime, she was promoted to Associate Director of the Weiler Emergency Department and earned a Master’s of Business Administration degree from The George Washington University. Subsequently following, was her promotion to Division Chief of Weiler’s Emergency Department and Academic Vice Chair in 2013. Dr. White has been on the frontlines treating patients through the pandemic, and has led a team of medical professionals working to treat CoViD-19 patients.
Sadie Young, a New York City native, has worked in the field of security and was assigned to the Einstein Campus for nearly 16 years. In her capacity, she has excelled to the rank of Security Sergeant. Sadie is best known for her ambassador-like qualities as she assists on a daily basis the many students, faculty and staff that pass through the Belfer building.
Richard Assam, born and raised in Trinidad, has lived in the Bronx since 1987. Assigned to the Einstein Campus for nearly 33 years he maintains an excellent attendance record and is considered a dedicated member of the Montefiore team. He is most notably known for his security performance at Kennedy Center and presently at the Van Etten Building.
Virgil Robinson, born and raised in the Bronx, has been assigned to the Einstein Campus for 25 years. In his position, he oversees security at the Ullmann loading dock, navigating, deliveries, employees and directing visitors on a daily basis. In 2018, Virgil completed high level security training related to research laboratories. In early March of 2020, Virgil was unfortunately diagnosed and hospitalized with CoViD-19. Not missing a step, within three weeks he was back on campus seamlessly performing his duties. Virgil has an excellent attendance and performance record, not to mention he is a Yankee fan.
“Montefiore is an example of an institution that has stepped up and become a lifeline to so many people in the Bronx in this critical moment. I want to congratulate and thank them for continuing to invest in the people of the Bronx,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr.