Our Bloodless Program provides 24/7 coverage through a special group of highly trained registered nurses who have for many years worked with Jo Valenti to the benefit of the patients.  As you can see below they have a variety of clinical backgrounds and specialized training and education to offer.

Patrick DeGennero, BS, RN


Pat has been a registered nurse for 32 years.  His education includes St. Vincent’s Hospital in New York City diploma program and a Bachelors of Science in Health Care Management from St Francis College in Brooklyn.  Pat is certified in telemetry, EKG and IV and brings with him broad experience in various practice areas, much of which is in critical care.  Currently Past works in the Center for Ambulatory Surgery.

In 2002, Patrick joined the Center for Bloodless Medicine and Surgery staff.  His dedication to patient advocacy and his enthusiasm combine to make him an ideal member of our team.  Pat is the type of nurse who pays scrupulous attention to detail.  We know we can count on Patrick for a thorough patient assessment and precise clinical judgment.

According to Pat, “Being involved with the Center for Bloodless Medicine and Surgery for so many years has been a very interesting and satisfying experience.  I also enjoy being the ‘go-to’ person on my unit for ongoing education to my peers.”


Joanna Yohannes Tomicich, MSN, RN



Joanna has been a registered nurse since 1996.  Her education includes completion of her associates degree from Saint Francis School of Nursing, Bachelors of Science in Nursing from Saint Peter’s College, and her Master’s of Science in Nursing in Advanced Practice Nursing from William Paterson University.  In her career, Joanna’s experience in nursing includes various roles such as: staff nurse, educator, manager, and advanced practice nurse.  She currently works as a staff nurse in the Medical ICU.

Joanna joined the Center for Bloodless Medicine and Surgery staff in 2000.  She has always thrived on new experiences and challenges and truly enjoys caring for patient in the Bloodless Medicine and Surgery Program at Hackensack University Medical Center.

Part of the responsibilities of the program nurses is being a resource to others around the nation who may call with questions on the management of patients who refuse transfusion.  Sometimes the call involves patients asking to be transferred to our organization for optimal transfusion-free care.  Realizing that providing gold-standard transfusion-free care takes extra effort and a willingness to ‘think out of the box’ is a challenge Joanna thoroughly enjoys.

Joanna takes pride in being able to assist not only those in the hospital, but also anyone who may call the Center for Bloodless Medicine and Surgery for assistance. 

Joanna says: “Patent advocacy is the cornerstone of our profession.  Whether the patient is able to speak for themselves or not, I am here to help and support them with their decisions. I am the voice of the patient, whether they are a child or an adult.”


Kimberly Roth Marler, BSN, RN 


Kimberly has been a registered nurse since 1997. Kimberly graduated with honors from  Felician College with a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing. 

She has experience in respiratory with tracheostomies, ventilators, tube feedings, as well as cardiac care.  Kim has worked in geriatrics, critical care step down and currently the Emergency Department Observation Unit.  Her skills are also applied in the Bloodless Medicine and Surgery Program at Hackensack UMC, where she has worked also since 1997.

Kimberly is keenly devoted to assisting patients enrolled for care in Bloodless Medicine and Surgery. She says:“I'm a patient advocate. If a patient wants to have a transfusion alternative, instead of a blood transfusion, I believe  the patient has the right to make such a decision and that decision is neither mine nor the physician's. Patients may refuse a blood product or blood transfusion based on personal reasons, whether cultural, conscientious, or religious ones. I am a firm believer in respecting the patient’s convictions and wishes.  I am here to serve as the patient's advocate”. 

“I have been a patient's advocate when patients were unconscious and thus unable to speak for themselves.  I have followed exactly their wishes according to what was written in their advance medical directive, even in a life and death situation.  I am convinced that patients have choices and feelings,  which must be respected."

“I'm here to help you, the patient, to feel better, to get better, to help take your pain away, to speak for you when you cannot, and to honor your wishes.”


Veronika Cinek, BSN, RN



Veronika was born in Azerbaijan and lived in Russia before moving to the United States. This experience allows her to appreciate, respect, and embrace cultural and religious diversity. A registered nurse since 2006, Veronika currently works in 4PW, a medical step down unit. She graduated with honors from UMDNJ/Ramapo College of NJ with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

Veronika has always been at the forefront of patient advocacy while on the Nursing Research and Innovation Council, in her current department, and now as a part of the Center for Bloodless Medicine and Surgery.

“New endeavors are always exciting for me.  This will not only bring an opportunity to teach and advocate for the patients, but also to learn from them, therefore improving the experiences of our future patients.”


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