Louisa Morrison provides exceptional care at Mt. Sinai Hospital to New York congressman though unaware of his position of importanceWhen he was discharged, the patient returned to personally thank Louisa Morrison, Certified Nursing Assistant/Nurse Technician, and to express how very much her kindness had meant to him during his stay at Mt. Sinai Hospital. All she had done, she explained humbly, was try to do her best.Louisa, an Allen School Jamaica campus graduate, has been working at Mt. Sinai of Queens since her graduation in 2005. She had no way of knowing that this particular patient was a prominent New York congressman. It would not have mattered.Nor did Louisa know that her name had been featured in a front page article in the hospital’s nursing department newsletter. A co-worker pointed out the article that announced that Louisa had received a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition for the excellent care she had provided to a patient. Subsequent hand-written notes of acknowledgement were given to her from the Vice President of Nursing and the Executive Director of the hospital.Allen School administration and faculty noted with admiration Louisa’s return to campus in January 2008 for twelve successive six-hour Saturday classes in Phlebotomy and EKG in order to add Nurse Tech to her credentials. While she was completing the Nurse Tech program, the special congressional recognition was awarded.Married for 12 years to Scott Morrison, an RN whom she met at the ER of St. John’s Hospital in Queens while she was having an asthma attack, Louisa credits her husband’s “exceptional dedication and skill,” the mentoring of her nurse manager at Mt. Sinai, another RN, and her training at Allen School, with her decision to become an RN herself. She is now taking the prerequisites for the RN program.“I am so very grateful to my wonderful manager at Mt. Sinai, Anne Pisciotta,” said Louisa. “She is an angel without wings, so very gentle. She always finds a way to make even difficult people feel good and happy and that is what I learned from her. My inspiration comes from her, my husband and from my very special teachers at Allen School, especially Miss Persaud.”Allen School is proud of Louisa Morrison and honored to have played a part in launching the career of an individual whose respect for and devotion to patients comes from a true place in her heart, unrelated to their status or station in life.
The Speed Staffing System™ lives up to its reputation for S-P-E-E-D!Brooklyn Medical Assistant graduate Jeanette Alicea received three interview requests on the Speed Staffing System™, one each week for three consecutive weeks. It was a hectic time. She found herself rushing from one medical facility to another for interviews.The job Jeanette ultimately took was for two extremely busy pediatricians, Drs. Dupiton and Grant, in Cambria Heights, Queens, where she has the opportunity to use her bi-lingual English/Spanish skills with those patients who prefer to speak Spanish.“I am getting to put to use what I learned at Allen School,” Jeanette said. She is working with two medical assistants who have been there for an extended period of time and she feels that she is handling herself well, “learning new things every single day.”“The Speed Staffing System™ was really great. It helped me to land my first job,” Jeanette said, “I didn’t have to wait very long to get called. It was so quick.” She explained that the process of preparing to make a sixty-second statement on the Speed Staffing System™ and putting together the information for an individual online page was integral to preparing her well for interviews.“During the interview for the job I got, the doctor told me that she really liked what was written about me,” said Jeanette. “The fact that she saw [on the Speed Staffing profile page] that I had worked at Head Start was of interest to her and when I came in, she mentioned that. She also knew who to expect when I arrived – because of my photo!”“On another interview,” Jeanette said, “the doctor mentioned about my perfect attendance. He saw that on my profile page.”Summing up her entire experience with Allen School, Jeanette said, “It was great- the instructors, the staff, Ms Jackson, Speed Staffing – it was actually fabulous!”
Transfused at birth in 1983 with HIV-contaminated blood, Michael, the newborn preemie, would have his life cut short at the age of fifteen by actions taken within hours of being born. The transfusions were provided to the infant without parental authorization for a condition called Necrotizing Enterocolitis, a gastrointestinal disease that mostly affects premature infants and causes destruction of the bowel.Fatefully, the transfusions transmitted to the tiny new baby would later be found to be the HIV virus, although the virus at that early date had not yet been named, nor had laws regulating transfusions been implemented. There were definitely laws in place, however, that required parental authorization prior to transfusing a minor!During the last three weeks of Michael’s short life, the medical profession redeemed itself in his mother Emelinda Jackson’s eyes, after fifteen years of her having harbored bitter and intense hatred for doctors, nurses and anyone remotely connected to the industry. Jackson, a career professional in the corporate world, gave up a six year position as the right hand to Smith Barney’s VP of Investments, preceded by 7.5 years negotiating guest rooms for the international market of Marriott Corporation, to be able to stay at home to care for her only son during the last two years of his life. Emelinda was inconsolable about Michael’s suffering and her rage at everything and anything medical was the outcome.It was not until the final three weeks of Michael’s short life, however, that the passion of Emelinda’s anger was transformed into the passion of what would turn out to be her real career purpose: assisting medical support personnel to find their own careers.Sharda, a certified nursing assistant, came to Emelinda through the Visiting Nurse Service during the last five weeks of Michael’s life. Emelinda was instantly hostile to her and told her straight from the beginning that she wasn’t welcome in the house. Sharda peacefully told Emelinda repeatedly, “I’m just here to help you…” and for almost two weeks, Emelinda refused to talk to her. The complete selflessness of the CNA who – with three small children of her own for whom she paid childcare while remaining at Michael’s side – insisted on staying overnight for the entire last three weeks of his life. It was there and then that the last two caregivers at Michael’s bedside, Emelinda and her angel CNA, Sharda, bonded in what would turn out to be a lifelong friendship.As if by some divine plan, just as Michael passed on, Emelinda was recruited by Allen School for the position of Placement Director. Her sales background and experience dealing with multi-cultural individuals melded with the credentials required by the school. Emelinda was asked to consider coming in and setting up an entirely new placement department to meet the ever-exploding numbers of job requests coming in from medical facilities. Newfound respect for medical support personnel – and a pressing awareness of the need to do ever more meaningful work to honor Michael’s memory – impacted on Emelinda’s decision to take the position nine years ago.Through the professionalism, selflessness and empathy of a dedicated CNA, Michael’s life journey provided impetus and meaning to what would become his mother’s personal commitment to medical career school graduates. Thousands of students have gone on to careers as medical support personnel in facilities all over the country as a result of the placement assistance provided by Emelinda Jackson.Michael’s spirit remains close at heart at every moment at the Allen School as his mother, Emelinda Jackson, transcending the physical, sees in each graduate loving reflections of her own child, fulfilling Michael’s legacy by helping each graduate to fulfill their own.
Allen School Student Body Explores Human Bodies at Seaport “Bodies Revealed” Exhibition“Astonished” is, perhaps, the ideal word to describe the reaction of Allen School Brooklyn Medical Assistant students as they entered the “Bodies Revealed” exhibition at the South Street Seaport, in lower Manhattan prompting one student to remark, “I know they are dead, but they sure do make the subject come alive!”Fourteen real full body human specimens and over 200 organs are respectfully displayed in the three-dimensional exhibition that permits visitors of all ages to explore deep inside of the human body in a way that textbooks cannot possibly portray.Approximately 200 Allen School Brooklyn Medical Assistant day and evening students participated in field trips to the exhibit, which is currently on display in Spain, Brazil and in eleven US cities. The evening classes visited on Friday, February 22nd and the daytime classes, on March 7th. Evening students were accompanied by instructors Frederick Rutherford, MD, Ian Surrey, MD and Tyrell Pichkhadze (“Mr. P”). Day classes were accompanied by Dean Robert Jannicelli, MD, Bob Shapiro, Chairman of the Media Center and Study Skills Department, and instructors Frederick Rutherford, MD, Ian Surrey, MD and Abdulla Saudi, MD.Each full body specimen in the exhibit is dissected to totally reveal the function of an entire anatomical system and to demonstrate how that particular system is integrated into the body as a whole. Some of the organs presented are diseased and some are healthy. The bodies are preserved using polymer impregnation, a relatively new method of preservation that has replaced in many cases the use of formaldehyde for storage of cadavers for medical study.The students agreed that the various interactive displays furthered their understanding of the body in a way that they would never have experienced had they not gone. Only in medical school would a student, prior to this exhibit, have the opportunity to get so up close and personal with a cadaver. They all concurred with the student who said of the bodies, “I know they are dead, but they sure make the subject come alive!”
Batman and Robin. Romeo and Juliet. Vicki and Erika. Huh? Vicki and whoooooo?You mean you don’t know? The famous Allen School mother and daughter pair, Vicki and Erika Speller of Queens, who both, within a single week, had the identical idea to become a Medical Assistant and, unbeknownst to each other, applied at Allen School and were accepted!Vicki and Erika, each busy filling out applications, arranging work schedules, purchasing uniforms and setting their individual affairs, personal schedules and apartments in order, had not found a moment to call each other to mention that they would be attending school. They each figured that they would share the news the next time they had a moment to get together.Orientation Day. A room full of new students. Suddenly, a shriek – from both sides of the room – and a burst of laughter! Erika and Vicki spot each other across the room and realize that they are both starting Medical Assistant training – at the same school, in the same class! The surprise and shock on their mutual faces should have been photographed for posterity! It was truly a moment of extraordinary surprise, further amplified by the fact that they had both met with the same career planner, Ryan Otterway, who never put two and two together that the two applicants were related.The most remarkable coincidence of all is that both mom and daughter were selected at the end of their training to appear on the Speed Staffing System™website and they attended the coordination meeting together.Wouldn’t it be funny if they ended up working in the same medical facility as one starts her career and one changes hers?
Meet Former Marine Corps Drill Sergeant, Eddy Whitten, Director of Admissions, Queens Campus, Sir!Drill instructor duty is considered one of the most honored and valuable positions a Marine can hold. A veteran of twenty years in the Marine Corps, rank E-7 Gunnery Sergeant, selected for E-8 First Sergeant, Eddy Whitten was stationed in North Carolina, Virginia, California, Hawaii, Japan, Hong Kong, Thailand, Australia and the Philippines. As drill instructor, Eddy was the initial person to provide basic knowledge to new recruits. He trained and mentored enlisted men, officers and non-commissioned officers, “I got them into shape, made Marines out of them!” he says with great pride.The art of instilling Marine corps values of “honor, courage and commitment” transitioned Whitten’s experience into what has become eight years as Director of Admissions at Allen School. Guiding his large team of career planners as it screens new applicants and makes critical selection of those who meet the criteria for admission, Whitten draws a strong parallel between the training and mentoring he did in the Corps with the training and mentoring he provides to his team. Under his guidance, the career planners are entrusted with selecting only “a few good men” (and women) for the Allen School programs. All candidates selected are further assessed by Whitten to determine whether they have what it takes to make the sacrifices necessary to get into shape for meeting the challenges of a career in the medical field and for making it into the Allen School Speed Staffing System™ program at the end.Graduation day for Eddy Whitten is a celebration equal to that of graduating a platoon. “You can’t help but remember,” he says, ” the first day you met the student and feel great respect and appreciation for what they have accomplished as they are poised to enter their career of choice.”Whitten is a champion in every way, including Racquetball for which he achieved #2 ranking in competition in San Diego, California (1995). He is also the father of daughter Latoya, who is also in the medical field, and grandfather of Elijah, 6.5 yrs. old
Giant blood drive at Borough Hall draws television camerasWhat do you get when over 100 Medical Assistant and Certified Nursing Assistant students participate in a massive blood drive? You get 63 pints of blood! And, as student Medical Assistant Sherman McMullen knowledgeably told the reporter from Brooklyn’s News12 television cable network, on Wednesday, October 3, 2007, “One pint of blood helps five people!” It was called “Blue Wednesday” on campus, a nod to the Allen School’s Medical Assistant students whose royal blue scrubs create a “Sea of Blue” that traditionally draws attention to their annual on-street blood drive, an event that this time included the school’s Certified Nursing Assistants. McMullen was one of the energized and highly motivated Allen School donors who, for six hours, in conjunction with the Staten Island/New York Blood Center, turned the front of Brooklyn’s Borough Hall, at 209 Joralemon Street, into a monumental on-street lifesaving effort.
An instructor with a vision for his studentsIn 1948, a Carmelite nun, Teresita Castillo, in a convent in Batanga Province, fifty miles from Manila in the Philippines, reported seeing a vision, an apparition of the Virgin Mary, a reporting that came to be known throughout the world as the Miracle of Roses. The archbishop insisted that Sister Teresita deny the vision, one of a total of nineteen visions that she would ultimately report. She refused and was expelled from the convent. Teresita made her way to the big city and devoted her life to a large parish taking care of the poverty-stricken and destitute, where she found the most meaningful work of her entire life. Sister Teresita is the aunt of Virgilio Castillo Tiongson, affectionately called Mr. T., who has taught Business English, Career Development and Computer Applications at the Jamaica campus for eight years. Not unlike his aunt, Sister Teresita, Mr. T.’s path to career fulfillment took a different path than the one he originally intended. Armed with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from the Ateneo de Manila in the Philippines, considered one of the best private universities in Asia, the alma mater for many presidents, generals, artists and celebrities of the Philippines, Mr. T. began a career in the corporate world and then made a career shift to the world of Education. “Although there is not big money in Education, money is not everything. The thing that kept me in the field is the fact that the students would come back and tell me about their own success. It [has always] kept me going to know that when you contribute something to students and they improve their own lives…that’s what counts for me.”
A virtuoso performance by staff and studentsMany high level representatives of the area’s leading medical facilities including Beth Israel Hospital, St. Luke’s Hospital, Roosevelt Hospital, Long Island College Hospital and NY Eye & Ear Infirmary were there for the “serenade of graduation” on June 15, 2007. The Deans of Philips Beth Israel School of Nursing, Long Island College Hospital School of Nursing and the Helene Fuld College of Nursing were honored guests, as well. Physicians also attended who are in private practices that regularly hire Allen School graduates and/or provide internships for them. Opening remarks, a work of thoughtful composition, by Jill Luke, Director of Queens, were followed by a duet of fond affection and respect, with Lillian Mitchell, Director of Brooklyn, to honor the original CEO, President and visionary of the Allen School, Loretta Teich. Following the interlude of honor and reverence for Mrs. Teich, was the keynote address, presented by Travis Williams, Senior Manager of Corporate Human Resources for HLTH Corporation (formerly Emdeon Corporation and WebMD).
Allen School’s one-of-a-kind online staffing solution makes a big difference for Dr. AstWith 72% of the population in the United States using the Internet as a resource, it is little surprise that Dr. Frederick Ast, Manhattan allergist/rheumatologist/internist, discovered the Allen School’s Speed Staffing System™ online. What is a surprise, however, is how many Allen School graduates he has hired through the system. Recent Medical Assistant graduates Michelle Castellano, Sandra Mendez, Samantha Rakoff, and Yashminie Singh currently have the privilege of gaining extensive experience under Dr. Ast’s close supervision and caring instruction. Dr. Ast, practicing since 1994, graduated from SUNY Health Science Center (formerly Downstate) in Brooklyn and did his residency at St. Luke’s Roosevelt. He holds a fellowship in Rheumatology at NYU Hospital for Joint Disease and one in Allergy and Immunology at Mount Sinai. He has two offices in Manhattan, one on Park Avenue and one on West 57th Street.