Plaza Health Network’s Foundation to honor area women at luncheon


Ilene Zweig, executive director of the Plaza Health Network’s Foundation, has announced that seven outstanding women will be honored at the seventh annual Women of Distinction and Caring Luncheon on Thursday Nov. 17. The luncheon is the signature event of the foundation.

“We are so proud of all the women we are celebrating this year,” Zweig said. “Each and every one of them is an exemplary person and an excellent role model.”

The three south Miami-Dade area residents being acknowledged are:
Aida Levitan who lives in Coconut Grove and is president of the Levitan Group Inc., a firm that provides strategic branding and marketing consulting services to companies and organizations such as Republica and the Spanish Port of Bilboa.

Founder of Artes Miami, she is a member of many art and cultural boards in the community. In 2011, she had the distinct honor of chairing the Public Committee of the National Museum of the American Latino Commission, which was created by the President and Congress. Levitan is a major player in both the Hispanic and none-Hispanic worlds.

Pamela Garrison, RN, is a retired nurse who has more than 50 years of professional experience in the healthcare field. Her legacy of giving dates back to her grandparents and uncle who were all generous supporters of the University of Miami.

In addition to co-chairing the Momentum2 campaign for the School of Nursing and Health Studies at the University, the Coconut Grove resident is a director of the The Kirk Foundation, a philanthropic organization that supports many charities, and sits on numerous arts and charitable boards.

Nancy Thornton Hector, a Coral Gables resident, is a retired owner of Bayview Financial, a mortgage asset management and specialty load-service firm in the City Beautiful. Since retiring, Hector has been an active volunteer and philanthropist focused on organizations that work with at-risk children and families. Hector’s passion is children’s causes and the Hector Family Foundation has given grants to more than 50 charities in our community.

Recently, she created a therapeutic riding program called Whispering Manes Therapeutic Riding Facility. This non-profit organization works with children and adults with a variety of emotional, physical, and learning disabilities. This summer Hector added a new program at the barn that works with families in conflict who need reunification and healing.

Brief history of the Plaza Health Network and the BESSIES

Bessie Galbut. along with eight of her friends, founded the Hebrew Home of Miami Beach, a 12-patient convalescent home for Jewish people and war veterans in 1954. Her daughter-in-law, Bessie D. Galbut, continued the tradition of commitment to those in need of quality care and rehabilitation.

The Hebrew Homes evolved through the years to become the Plaza Health Network in 2006 with the help of such dignitaries and generous people as Morris Newmark, Leonard Zilbert and Russell Galbut. Today, the seven rehabilitation and skilled nursing centers, located throughout Miami-Dade County serve 900 patients

Services at the facilities include cutting edge physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and creative arts therapy. With funds raised through donations, events and grants, the Plaza Health Network Foundation, enables the Network to offer life-changing services and programs that are well above and beyond what Medicare and Medicaid and insurers cover.

The luncheon, which will honor four other outstanding women — Bea Hines; Hon. Gwen Margolis; Joy B. Spill. Esq., and Robin Jacobs — takes place at Jungle Island on Thursday Nov. 17, starting at 11 a.m. All proceeds from the event will go to expanding the very successful Music and Memory Program for patients with dementia and Alzheimer’s started last year, at two more facilities.

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