Thirty-Fifth Annual Calvary Hospital Awards Gala Raises More Than $900k

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All proceeds will benefit Calvary patients and their families.

From left to right: Carlos M. Hernandez, Louise Parent, and Juan Ramon Alaix

At their 35th Annual Awards Gala on Nov. 8 at The Pierre Hotel in New York City, Calvary Hospital raised more than $900,000 for programs and services benefitting Calvary patients and their families. WABC-TV sports anchor Ryan Field served as the master of ceremonies. This year's event also featured entertainment from The Midtown Men, featuring stars from the original cast of Broadway's "Jersey Boys."

Carlos M. Hernandez, head of global banking for JPMorgan Chase & Co. and chairman of the board of the Calvary Fund, presented The Calvary Medal to Juan Ramón Alaix, CEO of Zoetis. He was recognized for his distinguished corporate and civic leadership and outstanding philanthropic commitment to the Calvary mission.

"Our objective with each of Calvary’s annual galas is to honor someone whose leadership and career achievements are aligned with the Hospital's mission of providing excellence in care," said Hernandez. "Mr. Alaix has definitely met all of those criteria over his distinguished career of more than 30 years in human and animal health businesses, including as CEO of Zoetis. For 2018, we feel that Mr. Alaix and Zoetis best exemplify the values -- compassion, dignity and non-abandonment -- that define CalvaryCareSM for thousands of patients and families that the Hospital is privileged to care for each year."

"Calvary's focus on caring for people and their families at a very difficult time fills a very important and underserved need in today's world," said Alaix. "The Hospital's unique and personal approach to patient care is key to its long-term success. Their staff's commitment to outstanding care has been a benefit to so many people over the years, and they have built a well-deserved reputation as a global leader in palliative care."

Alaix has been the CEO of Zoetis since 2013 when Pfizer Animal Health was spun off and officially became an independent publicly traded company. Today, Zoetis is the world's largest company with a singular focus on animal health medicines and vaccines. It serves veterinarians, livestock producers and people who raise and care for farm and companion animals.

From 2003-2012, Alaix served as president of Pfizer Animal Health and as a regional president. Alaix's decades of pharmaceutical industry experience include positions of increasing responsibility with Rhône-Poulenc Rorer in Spain and Belgium and at Pharmacia. He is a former president of HealthforAnimals (formerly the International Federation for Animal Health), the global trade association representing manufacturers of veterinary pharmaceuticals, vaccines and other animal health products in both developed and emerging markets. Alaix received the 2018 Deming Cup for Operational Excellence from the Columbia Business School in honor of his successful leadership record at Zoetis. To learn more, please visit

Alaix recognized Calvary's first canine "employee," Banjo, as a true hero for the smiles, comfort, and service he brings to Calvary's patients and staff. Banjo, a 3-year-old Labrador/Golden Retriever cross, attended Calvary’s Gala in person, adorned with a bow tie and doggie cufflinks.

Bred and trained at Canine Companions for Independence, Banjo is a highly trained facility dog. His human partner is Shannon McCourt, a social worker who works at Calvary's Bronx campus. They go to work together each day, ready to comfort and decrease stress in patients, family members and staff. Facility dogs are different from typical family pets; they receive extensive and specialized training and are partnered with professional facilitators to primarily provide structured, practical "task-oriented" interactions to groups of children and adults with disabilities in health care, education, and other professional settings. To learn more about Canine Companions for Independence, visit or call 1-800-572-BARK.

Since 1899, Calvary has been the nation’s only fully accredited acute care specialty hospital devoted exclusively to providing palliative care to adult patients with advanced cancer and other life-limiting illnesses. Each year, thousands of patients receive CalvaryCareSM throughout the Greater New York Area. To learn how Calvary can help you and your family, please visit Follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn or Instagram.

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Barbara Nitzberg
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