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White Plains Hospital Celebrates Nurse Apprentice Graduation

August 14, 2015

Twenty-two Students Complete Richard P. Biondi
Nurse Apprentice Program, Now in its Tenth Year

White Plains, NY (August 14, 2015) – White Plains Hospital today recognized 22 students who completed an intensive, seven-week apprenticeship program during the summer months. A graduation ceremony was held in the hospital’s auditorium, attended by Hospital leaders, staff members, the graduates and their families. Representatives from the offices of Congresswoman Nita Lowey, who is a longtime supporter of the program; New York State Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins; and Westchester Country Executive Rob Astorino were also in attendance.

During the rigorous full-time, five days per week program schedule, the apprentices experience working in clinical areas in the Hospital including pediatrics, the emergency department, endoscopy, post-anesthesia care unit, ICU step-down, labor and delivery, maternal-child, medical-surgical, oncology and neonatal intensive care. They also perform supervised tasks such as answering call bells, taking vital signs, assisting patients with meals, assisting nurses as needed and sitting with patients, reading to them and keeping them company. They further receive instruction from members of the nursing staff on a range of topics such as patient safety, infection control, and general patient care.

“This is a highly selective program and we are once again very fortunate to be congratulating a truly amazing group of young men and women who have shown such passion and dedication in their path to a nursing career,” said Annie Norris, M.S. Nurse Apprentice Program Counselor. “It is wonderful for us to see them develop and gain valuable experience that they can carry with them for years to come, and the Hospital, in turn, benefits as well by hiring so many of them back as full-time nurses after they complete their studies.”

Named after the late Richard P. Biondi, who was a Senior Vice President of White Plains Hospital and was instrumental in leading fundraising initiatives on its behalf, the nurse apprentice program has been coordinated by Norris and Monica Purdy. They direct the community outreach program at local schools and screen, select, evaluate and oversee the apprentices. The program was initially made possible by a grant from the Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, as well as funding from White Plains Hospital.

“After 10 very successful years, we know with certainty that the Nurse Apprentice Program brings top talent to our organization, and also gives nursing students an edge in today’s competitive job market,” said White Plains Hospital Senior Vice President of Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer, Leigh Anne McMahon, RN. “It’s a win-win.”

This year’s apprentices are:

  • Jose Saire – Port Chester
  • Mark Soriano – White Plains
  • Catherine Petitti – Eastchester
  • Luiza Andrade – West Harrison
  • Mildres Aguirre – Port Chester
  • J’ana Aikman – White Plains
  • Emily Frantzen – Blauvelt
  • Shaina Hernandez – White Plains
  • Jennie Chieco – Bedford Corners
  • Julie Berkery – Pearl River
  • Kathryn Linehan – White Plains
  • Ginger Fitchett – Pomona
  • Darien Pierce – White Plains
  • Anthony Kellman – Bronx
  • Chrissy Ryan – Tappan
  • Tiffany McAuliffe – Tuckahoe
  • Hope Wilkinson – White Plains
  • Taylor Hubner – Yorktown Heights
  • Julia Gonfiantini – Katonah
  • Nickole Morgan – Mamaroneck
  • Alexa Fratarcangeli – Yonkers
  • Kelly Castro – New Rochelle

About White Plains Hospital
White Plains Hospital (WPH) is a 292-bed not-for-profit health care organization with the primary mission of providing exceptional acute and preventive medical care to all people who live in, work in or visit Westchester County and its surrounding areas. Centers of Excellence include the Dickstein Cancer CenterThe William & Sylvia Silberstein Neonatal & Maternity Center and The Ruth and Jerome A. Siegel Stroke Center. The Hospital’s Flanzer Emergency Department is the busiest in Westchester County, seeing over 55,000 visits a year. White Plains Hospital is the only community hospital in Westchester County to perform lifesaving emergency & elective angioplasty in its Joan and Alan Herfort, M.D. Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory. The Hospital is fully accredited by the Joint Commission and earned its recognition as a Top Performer for Key Quality Measures® in 2013. The Hospital is also an eleven-time winner of the Consumer Choice Award, an honor given to the nation’s top hospitals by the National Research Corporation, and received Magnet® designation in 2012 from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). In 2014 White Plains Hospital received the Outstanding Patient Experience Award from Healthgrades®, given to only 5% of hospitals nationwide. White Plains Hospital is a member of the Montefiore Health System. For additional information, visit