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Polly Vincent DiCesare Scholarship

2019 Polly Vincent DiCesare Scholarship

Polly Vincent DiCesare was employed at the Presbyterian Home for Central New York in New Hartford for 38 years as director of social services. Throughout her career she was instrumental in helping the organization grow from an 80 bed nursing home to a 242 bed health care facility which offers a wide array of services including short term rehabilitation, respite, adult day, dementia and Parkinson’s care. Polly had a strong work ethic and her tenacity served her well, especially after being diagnosed with stage IV Glioblastoma. After undergoing surgeries and treatment, she returned to her position providing a testament to the power of the human spirit to overcome any challenge placed before it. In so doing, she inspired her co-workers and empowered her residents to confront their own setbacks head-on.

On Sept. 15, 2015, after overcoming tremendous odds and fighting her cancer for over two years, Polly passed away. To commemorate her dedication to the field of social work and the importance Polly placed on the education and training of her social services staff, the Polly Vincent DiCesare Educational Memorial Fund was established by her family.

Scholarship Description

One scholarship per year is awarded to assist a social worker from a LeadingAge New York member facility in attending the Nursing & Social Work Professionals Annual Conference, Nov. 11 - 13, 2019. 

The scholarship underwrites the full conference registration of $499 plus the cost of two nights (Nov. 11 - 12) at the conference hotel. The registration fee includes breakfast, lunch and breaks provided during conference program. Travel expenses and all other meals are at your own expense.

Past winners include:

2018 - Betsy Peckham, social worker, MVHS Rehabilitation & Nursing Center

2017 - Julia Joachim, director of social work, Methodist Home for Nursing & Rehabilitation

2016 - Courtney Thompson, social worker, Oneida Healthcare Center Extended Care Facility.


Directors of social work and social work professionals from a LeadingAge New York member facility are eligible. New directors of social services or social workers not holding a director position are strongly urged to apply.

The scholarship winner acknowledges that he/she must attend the full conference and has received permission from his/her organization to attend, if necessary.


Complete the online application here

The deadline for submission is Oct. 11, 2019. After submitting this form, please email a current resume to Cathy Bongermino, cbongermino@leadingageny.org. We will acknowledge all requests for a scholarship via email. If you do not receive an acknowledgement from us, please email Cathy Bongermino.

Selection Process

The committee, comprised of members of the DiCesare family and Foundation for Long Term Care staff, will review all applications and will award one scholarship.  The winner will be notified by October 28, 2019.

Conference Registration Instructions for Scholarship Applicants

You may register for the conference and be provided a refund if selected for the scholarship. Or you may wait until after the winner is selected to register.  If you wait and are not selected, we will honor the early bird rate and provide you a discount code to enter when registering.


Contact Cathy Bongermino at 518.867.8383 or cbongermino@leadingageny.org.