Five SJC Long Island alumni were honored at the campus’ sixth annual Alumni Achievement Awards in Health Care and Human Services Thursday in the McGann Conference Center.
In his presentation, “Mental Health Matters,” the event’s keynote speaker Michael Stoltz, CEO of the Association for Mental Health and Wellness, addressed the connection between mental and physical health, and the importance of taking a team approach to treating both.
“Form a relationship that transforms boundaries,” Stoltz said. “See that we are one health care domain. Winners tonight need to help bring change and start the conversation when it comes to mental health.”
For too long, Stoltz said, people treated physical health as something completely separate from mental health. He encouraged the award recipients to bridge that gap and work together to fight the stigma surrounding mental health.
SJC’s change agents honored this year were Joseph Aliano, Jr. ’18, director of food service at John T. Mather Memorial Hospital; Shanna Williams ’13, M.B.A. ’15, project manager at Suffolk Care Collaborative; Chris Spence ’16, director of quality improvement at SCO Family of Services; Carlene Williams ’10, M.S.N. ’13, R.N., nurse for 16 years and an instructor at SJC; and the first-ever hospitality and tourism management major to receive this award, Michael DeCicco ’18, access control coordinator at Northwell Health’s Huntington Hospital.