People In The News - SBU's Kathleen Valerio
Thursday, August 29, 2019 at 5:20PM
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Senator Flanagan Recognizes SBU’s Valerio For Organ Donation Efforts

Senator John Flanagan (2nd Senate District) was proud to welcome Stony Brook University’sSenator Flanagan and Kathleen Valerio, MS, MCHES (2nd from left) were joined by (from left to right top row) Richard Gatteau, PhD, Vice President Student Affairs and Dean of Students; LiveOnNY’s Karen Cummings; and Laura Fitzgerald, SBU’s Assistant Director of Fitness and Wellness. SBU graduate students and LiveONNY Ambassadors, James Hytner and Haoyuan (Maggie) Qu are in the bottom row.  Kathleen Valerio to his Smithtown office in recognition of her efforts to increase organ donation registrations at the university.  To honor her hard work and dedication, Senator Flanagan was proud to present her with an official Senate proclamation.

Ms. Valerio, Health Educator, Program Coordinator, led efforts that resulted in over 1,000 new registrants to the New York State Organ Donation Registry, which represents the highest number of any college in New York State.  Ms. Valerio accomplished this tremendous feat by recruiting, training and leading forty Stony Brook University student LiveONNY ambassadors who distributed organ donation registration information to faculty, staff and students.

“Only by working to reach out person by person can we hope to increase the number of registered organ donors in our state and Ms. Valerio’s work sets a great example for all across our state.  Her selfless efforts not only helped increase donations, it helped raise awareness of this critical issue and we hope she knows how important her work is and how much it impacts everyone in our community.  Her leadership will help save lives and inspire others to register to help save lives throughout our state and our nation,” stated Senator Flanagan.

In honor of his friend the late Assemblyman James Conte, who was an organ recipient, Senator Flanagan has been a leader in the effort to increase the number of registrants in our state and a registered organ donor himself.  That is why he is so appreciative of the work of Ms. Valerio and her student ambassadors.

However, even with the diligent efforts of advocates, the fact is that more than 9,000 New Yorkers are still awaiting lifesaving transplants and New York remains last in the nation in the number of registered donors.  With only 35% of New Yorkers registered as organ donors, Stony Brook University’s LiveONNY Student Ambassadors begin their efforts to encourage enrollment during their first week of classes.

As part of that effort, SBU and LiveONNY will be hosting their fifth annual Organ Donor Enrollment Day on October 10th.  

For those unable to join them on October 10th, Senator Flanagan continues to encourage all in our state to join the effort to save lives by registering as an organ or tissue donor by visiting http://www.liveonny.org/.  
Article originally appeared on Smithtown Matters - Online Local News about Smithtown, Kings Park, St James, Nesconset, Commack, Hauppauge, Ft. Salonga (http://www.smithtownmatters.com/).
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