The Second Annual Centers Patient Advocacy Award 2018 is now in the history books. This year’s event was another fabulous show of support for social workers everywhere, and this winner is an outstanding successor to our inaugural winner in 2017, Ms. Angela Heller.

Nationwide coverage by more than 250 news organization told the story of Ms. Yanette Tactuk, LMSW, and Clinical Social Worker at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and her heroic efforts to lift her patients above the trials they suffer daily.

Her colleagues describe Yanette as “A social worker who inspires, who encourages, who helps expand the horizon of social work, who challenges and augments the abilities of all she meets”. And the examples they shared were touching demonstrations of the impact that a social worker can make on so many lives. Yanette Tactuk clearly continues the Centers Patient Advocacy Award tradition of excellence.

Yanette’s commitment knows no bounds. She is certainly not limited by the bounds of her job description. In one instance her efforts to help a family took her to the U.S. Embassy, a foreign consulate, international medical teams and more, all the while showing an uncanny ability to cut through massive governmental and regulatory red tape. All to help one man’s family bear the end of life burden their loved one was facing. With absolutely no time to waste, Yanette petitioned philanthropic programs to secure travel grants and cover interim living expenses. No hurdle was too great, and through her determination, the family was reunited and able to spend their loved one's final days together.

Yanette’s dedication isn’t limited to her patients however. While she works tirelessly with her patients and their families, she is always there for her many colleagues who have come to rely on her judgment, advice and direction. She and a colleague facilitate a support program for RNs working with patients facing the end of life. Her endless energy, generosity and enthusiasm is always demonstrated by her willingness to be helpful to colleagues and her readiness to share the load when others need assistance.

Yanette skillfully maintains the delicate balance of realism and optimism, of practicality and idealism, and does it all while wrapping each patient, and each family member in understanding, compassion and love.

Yanette is an inspiration to social workers and care givers in whatever role they play. Congratulations Yanette, and thank you for all you do.

Centers Health Care Patient Advocacy Award 2018 Finalists

Jessica BreckerInternational Rescue Committee
Willing Chin-Ma Grand Street Settlement
Christene GantosCrouse Hospital
Gina Jean-Baptiste SUNY Downstate Medical Center
Pamela KaitinMount St. Rita Health Centre
Stuart KauferMaimonides Medical Center
Lydia Kelly Brooklyn VA Medical Center
Iesha Sims James J. Peters VA Medical Center
Kelly Zunner- Daniels Lifespan of Greater Rochester

Award Winners

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