Sue Sokira, Christiana Care’s inaugural Jefferson Awards winner, was chosen to represent the health system at the National Jefferson Awards ceremony held in Washington, D.C., in June.
As Christiana Care’s representative, Sokira is eligible to win a national award at the event. She is the first Christiana Care employee or volunteer to receive the honor in the health system’s initial year of Jefferson Awards participation.
In honoring the community service of all nominees, Michele Schiavoni, senior vice president of External Affairs, said, “Ours is a mission of service, and that service does not stop at the wall of our hospitals. Your day-to-day involvement in making your communities a better place speaks to the core of our mission of service.”
Sokira embodies the spirit of the Jefferson Awards. Her co-workers describe her as one of the most giving people they know.
When not at work as a transfer-center representative in the Emergent Transport Access Center at Christiana Care, Sokira works as a firefighter and EMT. She raises money each year for the March of Dimes and for several 5Ks, including the Tunnel to Towers run in memory of a New York City firefighter.
During the holidays, she adopts a family and raises funds for supplies for men and women in the military. If that isn’t enough, she convinced the Cranston Heights Fire Company to donate a used vehicle to a local family in need.
“All of our award winners this past year have defined the concepts of service, leadership and caring, and bring our core values to life,” said Margarita Rodriguez-Duffy, manager of Volunteer and Student Administration. “Congratulations to all of them.”
Christiana Care started the Jefferson Awards recognition program in June 2010 to honor individuals who volunteer and provide community service beyond the work they do each day as employees or volunteers for the health system.
The National Jefferson Awards, known as the “Nobel Prize for public service,” are presented each year to a broad array of honorees—from high-profile individuals who have dedicated the better part of their lives to public service to celebrated professional athletes to largely unheralded community-based volunteers.
Christiana Care recognizes and values the importance of volunteerism. Our health system depends on community volunteers to help deliver a consistently high level of service and care. Last year, 1,362 volunteers donated a total of 91,375 hours of service.
Two volunteer programs are making a huge difference. A pilot Ambassador program on three units at Christiana Hospital focuses on improving the sense of caring in the patient environment through personal visits and assistance—and has boosted patient-satisfaction scores.
The No One Dies Alone program, winner of the President’s Award in the Focus on Excellence Awards, provides 61 trained and qualified volunteers to the bedside for patients who have no family to accompany them during their final hours.
Christiana Care volunteers also:
- Delivered more than 4,000 flowers and nearly 8,000 pieces of mail to patients.
- Gave 25,129 rides to patients and their families.
- Assisted more than 2,000 infant hearing tests.
- Supported countless departments with clerical support and special projects.
Volunteers do their jobs quietly from the heart and expect little in return. So take a moment to thank our volunteers for their time and commitment.