Local Health Care Professionals Honored for Volunteer Service

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Six local health care providers were recognized for their outstanding volunteer service and tireless efforts in serving the community’s healthcare needs at the luncheon following the 26th annual Rose Mass today.

The Rose Mass, held on the Fourth Sunday of Lent (known as Laetare Sunday) each year is organized by the John Carroll Society to invoke God’s blessings on the medical, dental, nursing and allied healthcare workers and the many health care institutions in the Archdiocese of Wash­ington. The Mass and luncheon provide an opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate the work of the volunteers of the Catholic Charities Health Care Network, originally founded as the Archdiocesan Health Care Network in 1984. This network is composed of volunteer health care workers from all faith backgrounds who connect low-income and uninsured patients with specialized, pro bono health care services. This much-needed program provides millions of dollars in free outpatient services to thousands of people in need through the generosity of volunteer nurses, doctors, dentists and podiatrists and area hospitals.

The awards are given each year by the John Carroll Society, a Washington area organization that provides spiritual, intellectual, charitable and social opportunities for Catholic professionals and business men and women in service to the Archbishop of Washington. This year’s honorees are:

Pro Bono Health Care Awardees

Elizabeth Brown, R.N.

Betty Brown is a registered nurse at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, D.C., where she has been a constant fount of compassion and inspiration alike since joining the institution almost four decades ago. She is a native Washingtonian, raised in the city along with her five siblings, all of whom remained in the Capitol Region. Mrs. Brown graduated from the Connelly School of the Holy Child in 1969, later receiving an Associate in Arts from Marymount College and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from George Mason University. Following graduation from George Mason University, she took a position as a staff nurse at George Washington University Hospital, while also teaching at the Connelly School of the Holy Child. It was then that she met and married Bret, her husband of more than 40 years, and father of the shared light of their lives, their daughter Sarah. Mrs. Brown began working in Sibley’s Post Anesthesia Care Unit in 1977 and continues to give compassionate nursing care there today. She played an active role in developing the first career advancement track for nurses at the Hospital, and served with distinction on Sibley’s Nursing Quality Assurance and Nurse Practice councils. She has profoundly impacted both her patients and her peers over this span through a rare combination of steady “can do” leadership and unfailing kindness. Outside of Sibley, she has played an active role in the John Carroll Society, serving on the board, as well as the planning committees for both the Rose Mass and the St. Nicholas Mass and toy drive. She is a parishioner at The Church of the Little Flower where she serves as both a lector and a Eucharistic Minister.

Ali Fassihi, D.D.S.

Dr. Ali Fassihi was born in Port Pahlavi, Iran, on the Caspian Sea. He was raised in the D.C. area after his father was assigned to the military attaché in Washington. He attended Leonard Hall Junior Naval Academy and Thomas Jefferson High School. He did his pre-dental studies at the University of Maryland College Park. He received both his DDS degree and Advanced General Dentistry certificate from Baltimore College of Dental Surgery at the University of Maryland. He has practiced general dentistry in downtown Washington D.C. for almost 30 years. He started doing pro bono work over 30 years ago on mission trips to the Dominican Republic sponsored by The Catholic Mission Board. In 1991, he started volunteering at the Spanish Catholic Center under Sister Janice’s administration, where he still actively volunteers as a dentist. He regularly participates on Mission of Mercy programs in the Maryland and D.C. area providing free healthcare, dental care and prescription medications to the uninsured, underinsured and those who “fall through the cracks” of the healthcare system. In addition to his volunteer work, about 10 years ago Dr. Fassihi and Livia Amezcua started the Montgomery County Dental Clinic. At its inception, the clinic started offering dental care only two nights a week. That clinic has now blossomed into a full time dental facility, offering about 50 hours of dental services per week as part of the McCarrick Family Center in Silver Spring. Dr. Fassihi has been married for 25 years to Dr. Angela Noguera, who has volunteered as an endodontist for the Spanish Catholic Center since 1990 and as a board member for The Council on Latino Affairs of the Catholic Charities. Together, they have three daughters: Eliana, who is a senior at McGill University in Canada, Maryam, a freshman at Emerson College in Boston, and Roxana, a junior at Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart.

David Moss, M.D.

Dr. David Moss was born in New York City. He received his pre-medical training from Princeton University where he was also captain of the squash team. He graduated from medical school at the Medical College of Virginia where he received the Susan J. Mellette Scholarship for Oncology Research and Academic Excellence. He did his residency in orthopedic surgery at the New York University Hospital for Joint Diseases, and his fellowship in Hand Surgery at the Curtis National Hand Center at Union Memorial Hospital in Baltimore. He is an orthopedic surgeon in private practice with Washington Orthopedics and Sports Medicine. He has served as a physician for the Martha Graham and Alvin Ailey Dance companies. He has also served as team physician for the New York Mets, Washington Capitals, Washington Mystics, and the Washington Nationals. He has served as a physician for the Catholic Charities Health Care Network since 2008. His work with Catholic Charities patients is predominantly focused on trauma and degenerative/overuse conditions, where he treats fractures and lacerations, as well as carpal tunnel syndrome and arthritis. Many of the patients he cares for in the network have more advanced and complicated ailments, making them more challenging to treat. He finds these patients particularly rewarding, as they are so grateful for and adherent to their treatment recommendations. In addition to his work locally, he has performed hand surgery during mission trips to India, the Dominican Republic, and Honduras. His wife, Ashley Moss, is a local pediatrician and they have three wonderful children, Ella, Hannah, and Ben.

Thomas Winkler, M.D.

Otolaryngologist (ENT) Dr. Tom Winkler is the son of immigrants. His mother, a piano teacher, emigrated from Germany and his father, Professor Emeritus of Business Statistics at Georgetown University, from Austria. Music and education were an integral part of the Winkler household of seven children. After graduating from Georgetown University School of Medicine, Dr. Winker joined the U.S. Army Medical Corp. As an Army officer, he completed an internship in internal medicine and a four-year residency in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. His fluency in the German language was a plus during his three years as commander of the Babenhausen Health Clinic in Germany and later as the attending Head and Neck Surgeon at Landstuhl Army Regional Medical Center in Landstuhl, Germany, a tertiary referral center for all of Europe and the Middle East. After completing 11 years as an Army physician, in 1998 Dr. Winkler entered private practice, founding Chevy Chase ENT Associates. In addition to his practice, he serves as a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Otolaryngology at Georgetown University Medical Center with special interests in nasal and sinus disorders, sleep apnea and snoring, pediatric ENT disorders, and surgery of the thyroid and parathyroid glands. Dr. Winkler, a Washingtonian “Top Doc,” is a member and past president of the Georgetown Clinical Society, the Osler Society, and the Sibley Medical Association. A John Carroll Society board member, he chaired the Rose Mass for three years. He provides pro bono services for both the Catholic Charities Health Care Network and for the Torture Abolition and Survivors Support Coalition. Dr. Winkler and his wife Lauren have four children. He is an accomplished cellist, an avid tennis player, and a cyclist. He also enjoys photography and is a practicing prestidigitator (magician).

Msgr. Harry A. Echle Award for Outstanding Service in Health Care Ministry

Sister Elizabeth Ann Lingg, Daughter of Charity

When Sister Elizabeth Ann Linng left her home in Hanover, Pennsylvania in 1949, her plan was to enter nursing school at Catholic University, not to join a religious community. Yet quite out of the blue, a calling to the Daughters of Charity came to her. God planned health care service for her, but not as a nurse. Over sixty years in religious life have passed and she has not had one minute of doubt that her calling was divinely inspired. Early on, her superiors asked her to study Pharmacy at St. John University in New York. With a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy, Sister Elizabeth was able to use her education as a pharmacist at Sisters’ Hospital in Buffalo, New York and later as a Pharmacy Consultant for the 18 hospitals and nursing homes sponsored by the Daughters of Charity on the East Coast – – Florida to Maine and the State of Michigan. Following these experiences, she was asked to earn a Master of Health Administration degree at George Washington University. After completing her degree in 1973, Sister Elizabeth began a 40-year journey in health care administration including positions assistant administrator, administrator, Board of Director member and Chair at various hospitals and nursing homes sponsored by the Daughters of Charity. Six years of this time, she was a member of the Board of Directors of the Daughters of Charity Nations Health System (now Ascension Health) for all the Daughters of Charity health care facilities in the United States. Additionally, Sister Elizabeth was blessed to be able to earn and maintain her National Association of Catholic Chaplains certification as a hospital chaplain. Since 1992 until the present, she has ministered as a Chaplain in various Daughters of Charity hospitals and nursing homes in the East Coast, currently at Carroll Manor in the District of Columbia.

James Cardinal Hickey Lifetime Service Award

Joseph Giere, M.D.

Dr. Joseph W. Giere was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the oldest of four children of Walter and Beatrice Malatesta Giere. He studied philosophy and pre-medicine at Boston College, where he received his BA with honors in 1958. After college, he attended Georgetown University School of Medicine, earning his MD degree in 1962. After a one-year internship at Rochester General Hospital in Rochester, NY, Dr. Giere served for three years as a physician in the U.S. Air Force in Wiesbaden, Germany. He then returned to Georgetown University, where he completed his residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology in 1969. After completing his residency, Dr. Giere served as an attending physician at D.C. General Hospital, before opening his own private OB/GYN practice in 1972, where he worked for 34 years. Dr. Giere served as an Assistant Clinical Professor at Georgetown University and was active in resident and student education. Dr. Giere has been recognized as an outstanding physician by both patients and colleagues throughout his career. After retiring from private practice, Dr. Giere served as a consultant and reviewer at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Throughout his career, Dr. Giere has demonstrated a commitment to public service. He served on the Advisory Council or Board of the American Cancer Society, Nurse–Midwife Council, and National Epilepsy Foundation. He has also volunteered and served as a Board Member at Mercy Medical Clinic, Share Food Network, and Sacre Coeur Hospital in Haiti. Dr. Giere has also spent more than a decade volunteering at the Catholic Charities Health Centers, providing much-needed care to an indigent population while mentoring medical students from all the area medical schools. Dr. Giere has been married to Mary Louise (Myron) Giere for 55 years. He credits Mary for making his career successes possible. The Gieres enjoy spending time with their four children and eight grandchildren either at home or during travels around the globe. In addition to sailing and playing golf, Dr. Giere loves to cook, bake bread, and sing karaoke.

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