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  • Monica Puga

    Memorial Healthcare System Appoints Monica Puga Chief Nursing Executive

    Monica Puga, RN, MSN, a nurse leader for nearly 20 years at Memorial Healthcare System, has been named chief nursing executive. The new senior vice president will utilize a data-driven approach to enhance care delivery, workforce development, and drive innovation.

    “A large part of my role is care transformation and cross-continuum care redesign, which will enable us to remove inefficiencies and improve on our high-quality outcomes,” said Ms. Puga, a graduate of both Nova Southeastern and Barry universities. “Our people, culture, clinical excellence, and passion for innovation will improve the Memorial experience for patients, families, staff, and providers.”

    Puga, a Weston resident, began her career at Memorial as a registered nurse in 2001, quickly advancing through a variety of clinical and administrative leadership positions that led to the executive suite. One of her first strategic initiatives will be replenishing, retaining, and recognizing nursing staff impacted by COVID-19. Puga says she’ll begin by promoting workforce development programs that include more residency and fellowship opportunities, introducing innovative staffing models, and creating an environment that focuses on the health and wellness of the entire care team.

    “Monica has a distinctive leadership vision for nursing and patient care delivery which, in these challenging healthcare times, I’m confident will help us advance on many fronts,” said Nina Beauchesne, FACHE, executive vice president and chief transformation officer at Memorial Healthcare System.

    As she has for the past seven years, Puga will continue to oversee Memorial’s population health initiatives and Care Coordination Center.

    Puga took her place on Memorial’s Executive Staff in September. She succeeded Maggie Hansen, RN, who retired after nearly 40 years with the healthcare system.

  • JDCH Special Needs Fair 2022

    Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital Hosts Free Special Needs and Inclusion Fair at Signature Grand in Broward County

    Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital will host a fun and informative day for the whole family at the annual Special Needs and Inclusion Fair on Saturday, September 24, 2022, from 10 am to 2 pm at Signature Grand in Davie. This event will once again be held in person, and while the kids participate in a variety of activities, attendees, such as parents, caregivers and healthcare providers may learn more about programs and resources from organizations throughout Broward County that cater to persons with special needs and disabilities.

    “Come out and learn about all of the important resources available for families with children with special needs. This year there will be an informative workshop session focused on navigating the transition from adolescence to adulthood,” said Vanessa Nazario, chief of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Memorial Healthcare System.

    More than 30 agency booths filled with resource information are participating, including YMCA of South Florida, Family Network of Disabilities and Lighthouse of Broward. There will be special performances from the South Florida Cloggers and Exceptional Theater Company.

    The fair is free and open to the public, yet we highly encourage registration. Attendees will enjoy refreshments, giveaways, activities, entertainment and even a quiet area.

    Signature Grand is located at 6900 State Road 84, Davie, Florida 33317. There is ample parking on property.

    For more information or to arrange for an American Sign Language interpreter, contact the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion team at dei@mhs.net. Visit Special Needs Fair to register for this event.

  • Laura and Judd Zebersky in front of Joe D Peds ER Registration Area

    Broward-Based Philanthropists Making a Difference for Kids, Families at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital

    There’s an old expression that ‘success is not measured in the amount of dollars you make, but rather in the amount of lives you impact.’

    Fort Lauderdale residents, Judd and Laura Zebersky, are an example of that, using personal and corporate philanthropy to improve the present and future for kids and families at Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital. The two, who lead the Sunrise-based toy company, Jazwares, have donated $2 million to the “Catch the Love” capital campaign to expand the pediatric facility, created a Lotsy Dotsy doll to honor the hospital’s resident clown and comfort patients in moments of uncertainty, and annually contribute a countless number of toys to provide hope and happiness to those hospitalized during the holiday season.

    “Laura and I firmly support the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital mission,” said Judd Zebersky. “Not only are they a top-notch pediatric facility, but they also provide quality medical care regardless of a family’s ability to pay.

    We wanted to expand our personal philanthropic giving to the hospital because putting a smile on children’s faces, especially when they are at the hospital, is at the heart of everything Laura and I do in business, family, and life.”

    The Zeberskys have been recognized for their impact at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital with the naming of the Pediatric Emergency Department Registration Area and the Outpatient Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Unit. Their generous donations have also benefited the Lotsy Dotsy Fund, providing additional resources for activities and supplies that are used to entertain children.

    “One of our greatest memories was making a very special toy for the hospital in honor of their most famous clown, Lotsy Dotsy. To see how the kids interact with the doll, and how it gives them the ability to feel just a little bit better, is so inspiring that it compelled us to want to do more,” said Laura Zebersky.

    The Zeberskys found the outlet for their giving through the children’s hospital foundation’s capital campaign. The fundraising effort will underwrite a substantial portion of the estimated $170 million cost to expand the children’s hospital from four floors to eight, a construction project expected to be completed later this year. In addition to a leading-edge Child Life Zone, the expanded Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital will add state-of-the-art patient rooms, cardiac hybrid operating rooms, additional surgical and interventional radiology suites, intensive care and cardiac intensive care units, and an intraoperative MRI.

    “The contributions the Zeberskys and Jazwares have made to our efforts is a testament to their sincere desire to help children and families in difficult circumstances,” said Kevin Janser, president of the Memorial and Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital Foundations. “Their impact is significant, both today and in the time to come, as South Florida will have one of the nation’s premier pediatric facilities to care for its kids.”