Staff, patients and parents joined Larry Levine, President & CEO of Blythedale Children’s Hospital, U.S. Air Force Staff Sergeant (SSgt.) Robert Fiorio of Putnam Valley, N.Y. and his wife, Blythedale registered nurse Kiersten Fiorio, BSN, RN, CPN, WCC, for the special observance.

An American flag flown aboard a military helicopter in Afghanistan during SSgt. Fioro’s most recent deployment and certificate was dedicated to Blythedale Children’s Hospital for the love and support shown to him, his team and family.

“To own this flag, represents a moment in history where a Soldier, Sailor, Airman, or Marine made a difference for their country,” said SSgt. Rob Fiorio.  “In presenting this flag to Blythedale, it represents my sincere appreciation and gratitude for their kindness and for the amazing work they do.  Their love was felt thousands of miles away and on behalf of myself and my wife, Kiersten, thank you for supporting us throughout that difficult time in our lives, as well as reaching out to me from across the world.”

Staff Sergeant (SSgt.) Fiorio, a career fireman at Mohegan Lake Fire Department in Yorktown, N.Y., has served as a fireman in the U.S. Air Force for the last 13 years.  During that time, he was deployed to Iraq in 2010 and, most recently, returned in July from a six-month deployment to Afghanistan.

Kiersten Fiorio, BSN, RN, CPN, WCC is a beloved and well-respected nurse on the Hospital’s Infant & Toddler Unit at Blythedale Children’s Hospital.

While SSgt. Fiorio was deployed in March, Kiersten’s co-workers in the Nursing department and beyond, all stepped up to not only support her during a very trying time, but also take care of her husband and other military spouses of staff nurses that were still deployed.  Snacks, supplies, and letters from area schools were collected then shipped out via numerous care packages.

“The positive messages, kind words, and love from my colleagues guided me through a very stressful time in our lives, “said Kiersten Fiorio, BSN, RN, CPN, WCC.  “Receiving photos of the boxes that were packed and seeing familiar handwriting on the address labels, connected me to my husband when he seemed so far away. I am beyond grateful to be a part of the Blythedale Difference.  Thank you to everyone for all your love and kindness, and thank you to our United States military members serving across the world and right here at home.”

“I’ve witnessed numerous instances of staff supporting colleagues during some terribly difficult situations,” said Larry Levine, President & CEO of Blythedale Children’s Hospital. “And, I’m truly touched by this type of genuine care and concern for each other, whether at home or abroad. This is the true meaning of being a part of the Blythedale family.”

The dedicated American flag and special certificate will be on display inside Blythedale Children’s Hospital.


Watch the flag dedication ceremony held at Blythedale Children's Hospital.