Montefiore St. Luke’s Cornwall emergency room nurse Brenda Taylor earned the Senate Commendation Award. New York State Senator James Skoufis presented it to her in front of her peers and supervisors at the Newburgh campus.
State Commendations are one of the highest honors presented to exceptional New Yorkers who have shown a dedication to, and made lasting contributions within, their communities.
Nurse Taylor is working to create a stress management debriefing team for local emergency medical service personnel. For many emergency responders, Nurse Taylor noted that recognizing stress as something worthy of management and attention is often stigmatized. However, stress is a key component of their work, she said. Emergency personnel encounter traumatic, or even life-threatening, situations in their day-to-day response activities. Few in Orange County receive adequate support to manage the emotional toll these situations take. Nurse Taylor has initiated conversations with healthcare and emergency professionals in surrounding counties to help guide her program’s development.
Senator Skoufis observed, “Brenda Taylor’s effort to address the stress management and mental health needs of our frontline emergency responders is sorely needed. At a time when ambulance corps in our area are struggling to find new members, the last thing we want to do is push our experienced EMS personnel to their breaking points. Those who care for our communities need and deserve care themselves, and I applaud Brenda’s work to bring this program to fruition.”
New York State Attorney General Letitia James recently said of health care workers, “You were heroes before this pandemic, you will be heroes after this pandemic, and New York is forever grateful for you.”
Taylor was also the recipient of the 2021 “Registered Nurse of Excellence” award given by Orange County, the Hudson Valley, and New York State EMS Councils for her effort.