Award Recipients Celebrated

Home Care Aide Sally Tomanek (left) and Supervisor Judy Olson, RN

On October 5, Family & Children’s Society honored staff and community members for outstanding service. Congratulations to Home Care Aide Sally Tomanek who was recognized for 30 years of service; Leadership Award Winner Holli Stayton, a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner with Family & Children’s; and Esther W. Couper Award Winner Dr. Laura Bronstein, Binghamton University’s Dean of the College of Community and Public Affairs.

Tomanek has been a valued employee of the Home Care program for three decades, something few have achieved. In fact, she is one of only seven staff to reach this milestone in the 75 year history of the agency. Her dedication to the individuals we serve through the Home Care program has led to the overall success of this vital community service.

Leadership Award recipient Holli Stayton with nominator Jim Golden

Stayton was selected for the Leadership Award for being “the epitome of the expression ‘leads by example’” as described by her nominator. Criteria for selection include excellence in leadership, fostering open interaction, building teamwork, improving quality of care and improving him/herself personally and professionally. Stayton was recognized for taking on a leadership role during staff transitions — managing her existing caseload as well as additional clients and serving as an exceptional model for teamwork and professionalism by putting clients first, and demonstrating effective communication and productivity. Said her nominator, “Holli receives consistently high praise from the children and parents with whom she works.”

Dr. Bronstein was named Family & Children’s Society’s 2017 Esther W. Couper Memorial Award recipient. The Couper Award was established in 2001 to recognize outstanding service and dedication to the children and families of our community. Dr. Bronstein was selected for her role as a founding member of the University’s Department of Social Work, and as someone who has always focused her energies on behalf of the community’s aging population, adolescents and children.

Esther W. Couper Memorial Award winner Dr. Laura Bronstein, Family & Children’s CEO Lisa Hoeschele and nominator Patricia Gazdagrace at the event.

In addition to her academic responsibilities, Dr. Bronstein works with agencies and schools to write grants. From 2009 to 2013, she helped develop and lead the Safe Schools-Healthy Students grant, which garnered $3.2 million for nine local school districts to address violence, mental health, early childhood education, substance abuse and psychosocial issues that impede academic success. This grant laid the foundation for the Broome County Promise Zone, which promotes equity for children from low-income families through school partnerships. According to her nominator Patricia Gazdagrace, Dr. Bronstein does not stop when challenges present themselves – she becomes even more determined to find a new approach to address barriers and help families. She has left “a huge footprint” in the community because of what she does for others. Said Gazdagrace, “Dr. Bronstein personifies exactly what the Couper award celebrates: an individual whose work is to elevate the lives of others and honor their voices. The Couper family would be proud of this scholar and activist for social justice, and friend to all who reside in our community.”

Congratulations to these three outstanding individuals!