peace award

Esther Duncan, LCSW; Caitlin Van Ess, RN


PEACE recognition announced

These employees received PEACE (Patient Experience Award for Caring and Excellence) recognition for going above and beyond to meet patients’ and families’ needs.

Esther Duncan, LCSW, Social Work, was honored for going above and beyond to provide family-centered care. Duncan, who provides mental health services at the school-based health center at New Haven’s Hillhouse High School, noticed an increasing number of students who were homeless or displaced to shelters due to family poverty. She worked with the Connecticut Food Bank to create the state’s first food pantry in a public school. Students who qualify for assistance can “shop” for weekly groceries to help feed their families.

Caitlin Van Ess, RN, Neuroscience ICU, was recognized for her compassion with a pedestrian who was struck by a car in West Haven. The pedestrian, the victim of a hit-and-run, was left critically injured on the street. Police reports indicated that several cars passed by him without stopping. Van Ess, who was on her way to work, stopped to assist the pedestrian and called 911 to report the accident. She stayed at the scene until the ambulance arrived so the pedestrian would not be alone. The man did not survive; however, his family wrote to express their gratitude for Van Ess’ actions and care.


All employees, physicians and volunteers are eligible for the monthly PEACE recognition. Send nominations to: PEACEaward@ynhh.org.