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  Public Employee Press

PEP Nov 2016
Table of Contents
  La Voz

Public Employee Press


DC 37 members share a deep commitment to public service and work 24/7 to make New York City a global capital.

PEP Photos by Clarence Elie-Rivera and Mike Lee  

Angel Benitez, Behavioral Health Associate, Local 420.

New York is the city that never sleeps. Around the clock, emergencies need responses. Streets need cleaning. Families need care. Students need well-run schools. our neighborhoods demand safety.
That's why DC 37 members Never Quit.

To nominate someone to participate in this campaign, contact PEPeditor@dc37.net.
"You need a backbone to do this, but also a heart."

IT was like a scene out of the zombie apocalypse.

A flood of patients came through the doors of Woodhull Medical Center overdosing on a bad batch of the drug K2, a synthetic form of marijuana. They were twitching and unsure of anything going on while also having no control over their actions. They were a threat to every nurse and doctor trying to help, and even to other patients in the area.

As a Behavioral Health Associate, it is my job to intervene in impossible situations like these and make sure that everybody stays safe. The goal is for everyone to go home the same way they came to work. Many times, you are seeing mentally troubled and emotionally disturbed people and you have to be prepared for any reaction they may have. You need a backbone to do this job, but you also need a heart to handle seeing patients in their absolute worst state.

My goal has always been to help people who many others may be afraid to approach. Before switching careers and becoming a BHA, I spent time working in law enforcement as a corrections officer at the Dept. of Homeless Services. Woodhull sees many homeless individuals come in needing help as well, and with my past experience I am prepared to work with their specific needs.

In June, I received a certificate of excellence for my work, but I don't do this job for the recognition. And I don't do it for the money.

I do this because I love helping people. As a father of two, a 6-year-old and an 11-year-old, and with twins on the way, I want to do my part to leave the world as a better place for the next generation.

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