SALINAS, CA, May 10, 2019- Hundreds of people gathered this week for an afternoon celebration at Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System (SVMHS) as the Nurse and Employee of the Year accepted the staff nominated honors. SVMHS honors its dedicated staff serving the community and each other with STAR values. STAR stands for Support, Teamwork, Accountability and Respect.

“Our employees are the pillar of our Healthcare System,” says Pete Delgado, President/CEO of Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System. “They provide exceptional and compassionate care to our patients and their families. This week we honor and celebrate them for their contributions to our community.”

Employees at SVMHS selected Aizel Castaneda, RN as the 2019 Nurse of the Year. She is staff nurse II in Med Surg who joined Salinas Valley Memorial in 1996. Castaneda was nominated for her compassion and for the exceptional medical care she provides patients. She was also nominated for being supportive, reliable and respectful and for always sharing her knowledge with other nurses.

“My role as a professional nurse is to nurture, care and promote the best health for my patients,” says Aizel Castaneda, RN. “I care for each patient as they were my own family member, with dignity, respect, compassion and the quality of care they deserve. I appreciate my colleagues and nursing leadership team for their support, hard work, commitment and dedication as we work together to promote optimum outcomes.”

The SVMHS 2019 Employee of the Year is Julia Venoy. She is a unit assistant I in the Ortho/Neuro/Spine (ONS) Unit and has worked in several units including as a Central Supply Technician and as a Surgical Sterile Processing Technician in the Surgical Sterile Processing Department. Venoy was nominated for her compassion, for being a team player and for always helping others. Venoy has worked at SVMH for 28 years and in her acceptance speech she expressed how proud she is to work at the hospital and how much she appreciates the support of her co-workers.

“It’s a blessing to receive this recognition,” says Julia Venoy. “In my current role as a unit assistant, I greet patients and their family members with a smile letting them know they’re in great hands. I couldn’t do my job without the support of my dedicated colleagues.”

Castaneda and Venoy were selected during an extensive house wide nomination process. Other SVMHS staff nominated for Nurse of the Year were recognized with a Certificate of Appreciation and include Mary Ann Artuz, RN, Dalila Ceja, RN, Norma Coyazo, BSN, Patricia Deblois, RN, Victoria Delgado, RN, Mackenzie Denaro, RN, Martha Galaz, RN, Lisa Garcia, RN and Ashika Sundar, RN.

Peer nominations for Employee of the Year include Dolores Amorsolo, Debbie Arias, Aida Aromin, Tracy Burchell, Julia Crisostomo, Gina Perez, Sophie Sanchez, Yolanda Torres, Crystal Uribe and Cynthia Vargas. Each received a Certificate of Appreciation.

Events celebrating the dedication and contributions of SVMHS employees kicked off Monday May 6th. In addition to an employee BBQ, there are other activities including National Nurses Week Cake Pop Celebration, a yogurt social, wall of appreciation and free neck and shoulder massages. National Nurses Week and Hospital Week festivities conclude Friday, May 10th.

Photo left to right: Aizel Castaneda, RN, Pete Delgado, President/CEO of Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System and Julia Venoy, Unit Assistant.