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Employee Giving

Employee’s passion to honor a colleague gives birth to a new labor and delivery room

After Marianne’s passing in February 2018, her colleague Linda Spadafina set a team goal of raising $25,000 to name a labor-and-delivery room in Marianne’s honor within the new Gruppuso Family Women & Newborn Center.

Marianne DiStefano never counted the number of babies she delivered in her 30-year career, but it’s safe to say there were thousands. Everyone she encountered — coworkers, patients and families — recognized how much she loved her job as head nurse in labor and delivery at Staten Island University Hospital. It brought her indescribable joy.

This spring her coworkers honored her passion through the 2019 Northwell Health Walk at Staten Island. After Marianne’s passing in February 2018, her colleague Linda Spadafina set a team goal of raising $25,000 to name a labor-and-delivery room in Marianne’s honor within the new Gruppuso Family Women & Newborn Center, slated to be open late 2021.

“Marianne was a mentor and leader to many nurses during her career at Staten Island University Hospital,” says Laura Wenzel, senior director of maternal and child nursing. “It was heartwarming to see Linda and the staff collaborate with Marianne’s family to keep her legacy alive. Marianne continues to live on in the hearts of the nurses and families she impacted over the years.”

A star fundraiser raises the bar

Since the inception of the Northwell Health Walk at Staten Island in 2016, Linda Spadafina has been an exemplary committee member and team player who is made for unwavering support. As captain of Team Baby Steps, Linda raised more than $34,000 in the walk’s first three years to benefit Staten Island University Hospital. From “Taco Tuesdays” and “Waffle Wednesdays” to hosting big-ticket raffles and events, Linda’s fundraising tactics exemplify her creativity.

From “Taco Tuesdays” and “Waffle Wednesdays” to hosting big-ticket raffles and events, Linda’s fundraising tactics exemplify her creativity.
Team Baby Steps at the 2019 Northwell Health Walk at Staten Island.


With 2019’s walk goal to honor Marianne, Linda took ownership of the challenge, bringing the hospital community together. “Even though we are part of a large hospital system, Staten Island University Hospital is still very much a community hospital,” Linda says. “The support that was shown at that walk in May is certainly proof of that.” With her persistence and dedication, and support from the walk committee, fellow employees and community members, the team surpassed their goal, raising nearly $30,000.

Employee generosity benefits our communities

Linda and her team exemplify the dedication that Northwell Health employees bring to their patients, each other and the places they work.

Northwell’s employee giving program — What matters most — offers team members additional ways to help us meet our $1 billion Outpacing the Impossible campaign goal. They can make a one-time gift, enroll in payroll deduction or contribute their myRecognition points to support the program or hospital of their choice.

Northwell Health employees like Linda are leading the way in helping push boundaries and redefine health care.


Through their generosity and passion, Northwell Health employees like Linda are leading the way in helping push boundaries and redefine health care.

“Simply put, it’s a labor of love,” Linda says. “I do all of these crazy things because I love raising funds for this hospital and the community it supports.”

  • Learn more about the What matters most employee giving program

  • Read more inspiring stories about ways our donors support our programs and hospitals so we can better serve our communities

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