• Community Leaders Honored at Affinity’s Women of Distinction Awards Reception

    Date: March 2019

    Bronx, NY Every year, Affinity Health Plan’s Community Engagement team searches throughout New York City, Long Island counties, and surrounding upstate districts to identify women who have made a significant impact in the communities in which they live and work. This year Affinity Health Plan proudly honored six extraordinary female community leaders at the 2019 Women of Distinction Awards Reception held on Thursday, March 21stat Terrace on the Park.  

    Honorees ranged from a state senator to one of NYPD’s finest to a community activist who helped over 200 Puerto Rican families migrate to New York after Hurricane Maria. This was the first year that nominators turned their search inward to include an Affinity Health Plan employee who demonstrates a personal commitment to community involvement and volunteerism.

    The night kicked off with a networking hour, complimented by hors d’oeuvres and live music, followed by the awards program at 7:00 p.m.  Denise Pesich, Affinity’s Chief Marketing Officer, was the master of ceremonies; Chief Financial Officer Rachel Amalfitano, in her opening remarks, shared the origins story of Women’s History Month beginning with President Jimmy Carter’s proclamation in 1980.  “Women make up almost 70% of our organization and almost half of our leadership team is female,” said Rachel as she described Affinity’s commitment to and appreciation for its female workers. The program continued with the presentation of awards to the 2019 Women of Distinction Honorees, who are:

    • Wilma Alonso, Executive Director of the Fordham Road Business Improvement District and Trustee at St. Barnabas Hospital – Ms. Alonso’s advocacy efforts on behalf of the over 300 local Fordham businesses has made Fordham Road a prime shopping destination. She’s created new and inventive ways to address district needs and to attract more visitors.
    • Detective Adriane Johnson, Community Affairs Officer in Queen’s 115th Precinct – For 18 years, Detective Johnson has worked with community council presidents, elected officials, civic and block associations and religious leaders. Although honored with numerous recognitions, it’s her work with and for the residents of Jackson Heights, East Elmhurst and North Corona that gives her the most pride.
    • Quanda Jones, Corporate Training & Development Specialist at Affinity Health Plan – Ms. Jones is a key member of Affinity’s Human Resources team with more than 20 years of experience in health care. In addition to being a stellar contributor at work, Ms. Jones dedicated more than 120 community service hours in 2018.
    • Monica R. Martinez, New York State Senator – 3rd Senate District and former Brentwood teacher and assistant principal – Senator Martinez has funded numerous anti-gang/anti-violence programs offering safe environments and mentorship, and established the first Suffolk County Child Care Commission. As the Domestic Animal Welfare Committee chair, Senator Martinez is committed to strengthening animal rights.
    • Weijing Shi, Chinese Outreach Manager for CaringKind, The Heart of Alzheimer’s Caregiving – For over 17 years Ms. Shi’s community service has included giving guidance, education, and advocacy support to the Chinese community. In her current professional role, she provides assistance and resources to the family, caregivers and persons affected by Alzheimer’s.
    • Sonia Velasquez, Founder and Director of Your Network Caring Community Advocate – Ms. Velasquez’s passion for community service goes beyond Brooklyn, where she grew up. When Hurricane Maria destroyed Puerto Rico, Ms. Velasquez spearheaded the relocation of over 240 affected families to New York. 
    Women of Distinction Group PhotoWomen of Distinction Group Photo
    From left to right: Raymond Felix-
    Affinity’s Director of Community Engagement,
    Wilma Alonso-Fordham BID, Weijing Shi-CaringKind,
    Sonia Velasquez- Your Network Caring Community Advocate, Quanda Jones-Affinity Health Plan,
    and Det. Adriane Johnson-NYPD Precinct 115
    From left to right: Rachel Amalfitano-Affinity’s CFO, Sen. Monica Martinez, Wanda Arroyo Coronel, Raymond Felix-Affinity’s Director of Community Engagement

    Media Contact
    Sasheika Tomlinson, Manager-Marketing Communications
    T: 718.794.5773

    About Affinity Health Plan

    Founded in 1987, Affinity is an independent, not-for-profit organization driven by the mission to help its members, their families and their communities lead healthier lives. Over the past 32 years, Affinity has built one of the area’s largest physician networks, which includes 40,000 providers and more than 85 of the top hospitals in the Greater New York region. Affinity offers a variety of programs under Medicaid, Child Health Plus, Essential Plan and Enriched Health on the New York State of Health Marketplace for members in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island, as well as in Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester, Rockland and Orange counties. For more information, visit AffinityPlan.org, or follow Affinity Plan on Twitter and Facebook.