It’s that time of year. Autumn is in the air and we at Sayre Health Center hardly needed a reason to celebrate. Last Thursday was our annual Giving Care Fall Affair where we celebrated our friends and our successes serving and educating the West Philadelphia community. With over 100 people in attendance, this was our most well-attended fall event to date! While this was a celebration of all our friends and collaborators, we honored two especially esteemed friends: Mr. Joseph M. Starinieri and Mr. Nicholas Shaiko.
Without Mr. Starinieri, the Sayre Health Center would not be here today. For over 36 years, Mr. Starinieri has been a major player as an educator in the School District of Philadelphia. When he joined William L. Sayre Middle School in 1996, he partnered Sayre with the University of Pennsylvania. Then, in 2003, Mr. Starinieri worked to convert the middle school into a high school. During this time, the school’s partnership with Penn grew and discussions on building a health center to serve the community and students of Sayre High School began, ultimately resulting in the founding of the Sayre Health Center. In addition to health services, Mr. Starinieri’s vision included educating the next generation of health care providers, which has transformed the futures of many Sayre students who have become certified Medical Assistants and have gone on to college.
For these reasons, the Starinieri Award for Community Excellence was created by the Office of Outreach. This award honors an individual in the Sayre High School community for demonstrating a long-term commitment to our mission to provide excellent health care services and education to the patients, students, and neighbors we serve. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that in this inaugural year, the award goes to Mr. Nicholas Shaiko. Possibly the most telephoned pharmacist by Sayre Health Center, Nick serves as an owner, manager, and pharmacist at SunRay Drugs, the largest independent pharmacy organization in Philadelphia. Nick and his SunRay team at 60th and Ludlow Street provide excellent pharmaceutical care and access to the residents of West Philadelphia. Thank you, Nick and everyone over at SunRay Drugs for your superb service to the community.
After the award ceremony, we continued to enjoy our evening in the Rooftop Lounge of Penn’s Harnwell College House where we had beautiful views of West Philadelphia and Center City from the 25th floor. The evening would not have been nearly as enjoyable, though, without the the delicious creations of West Philadelphia’s own Mia and Me Catering and the soulful Danie Ocean Band. Together, Mia and Me Catering and the Danie Ocean Band created the atmosphere for a night to remember.