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‘Community Hero’ Intensive care nurse Jose Perpignan Jr. ’16N tends to his neighbors.

This fall, Jose Perpignan Jr. got a big surprise: the Bronx resident was recognized as a “Healthcare Hero” on the syndicated TV program Live with Kelly and Ryan. “I thought I was going to pass out,” he told a local news network.

A frontline health care worker who treated patients in the intensive care unit at New York Presbyterian Hospital during the height of the first wave of the pandemic, Perpignan was nominated by a friend who followed his daily journey last spring.

Under the title “Husband, Father of Two, and Local Community Hero,” Perpignan’s nominator wrote that after long shifts at the hospital, “Jose took action for the residents of the Soundview section of the Bronx, assisting them with tele-visits, up-to-date information, and ensuring that they had the capabilities to navigate their technology. He also supported at-risk seniors: checking in on older residents, tackling their grocery shopping needs, and picking up and delivering their needed medications.”

Perpignan took one brief break when he stayed in a hotel to avoid any chance of transmitting the virus to his wife, Tiara, and their two young children.

A founding member of the Greater New York City Black Nurses Association, Perpignan graduated from Binghamton University with a degree in Africana Studies before coming to Rochester for the School of Nursing’s accelerated bachelor’s degree program. The Healthcare Hero award carries a financial award: Officially called the Healthcare Hero $100K Giveaway, it’s a partnership between the TV program and the company SoFi, dedicated to helping clients pay down student debt.