Protective Services ceremony honors courage — and courtesy — of its officers
Three officers who received Distinguished Service Awards at the ceremony are shown with senior leaders. Left to right are: Steve Merz, vice president, Administration; Specialist Randal Brown; Senior Patrol Officers Paul Sorensen and John Luedee; Nicholas Proto; and Abe Lopman.
Every other year, Protective Services holds an awards and recognition ceremony to celebrate the work of its 150 officers who work on the York Street Campus and Shoreline Medical Center. Future ceremonies will recognize officers who work on the North Haven Medical Center and Saint Raphael campuses.
At last month's celebration, Angela Rowley, chaplain, Spiritual Care, gave the benediction and told the officers, "You make patients and families feel safe so they can heal. And you make doctors, nurses, technicians and others feel safe, so they can do their jobs. For this, we all thank you."
Nicholas Proto, director of Protective Services, Parking and Transit, welcomed guests to the auditorium at 300 George Street for the ceremony that honored officers for acts of selflessness, kindness, Service Excellence and heroism between 2009 and 2012.
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"The quality of our officers is exceptional and I am so proud of how they handle themselves in many situations that require diplomacy and kindness," said Proto. "The majority are former municipal and Connecticut state police officers so they join us well trained and experienced. But I also tell our officers constantly, every person who walks through those doors is your boss and every one of them deserves your respect and courtesy."
That respect and courtesy was a theme at the awards ceremony through stories of YNHH officers who skillfully and quietly diffuse situations before they escalate into serious situations that could compromise the safety of patients, staff or visitors.
Abe Lopman, senior vice president, Operations, who has worked for more than four decades in the health care industry, praised the officers.
"You are the best group of officers I have worked with in my career. You perform magic; the doors open and you make vulnerable people feel safe," he said. "Every day, you find the balance between maintaining a sense of openness and keeping the hospital and everyone in it secure. And you do it with a smile and a thank you."
Awards were presented to the officers in a variety of categories, including: Outstanding Service, Outstanding Service (medical assists), Certificates of Commendation and Distinguished Service Awards.
Senior Patrol Officer Steve Staurovsky, who joined YNHH two years ago after 24 years on the Milford Police Department, enjoyed the ceremony.
"It is an honor and privilege to work at Yale-New Haven because the staff is truly dedicated and knowledgeable," said Staurovsky, who serves on the York Street and Saint Raphael campuses. "And the patients — especially the kids — always make me feel that I'm having a good day. The awards ceremony is something special — it is really nice for officers to be recognized and appreciated for the work we do."