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Recent School of Nursing & Healthcare Professions Graduates Receive Public Health Honor from Westchester County Board of Health

April 20, 2018
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Two former leaders of the Student Nurses Association at The College of New Rochelle (CNR) were recently selected by the Westchester County Board of Health as 2018 Public Health Honorees. The award presentation took place on April 19 at the Jeannette J. Phillips Building in Peekskill at a National Public Health Week celebration with Westchester Board of Health President Robert H. Baker, MD.

Myrantz Assade, a 2017 graduate of CNR, who is now an emergency room nurse at Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center, and Marisa Porgpraputson, a 2018 graduate of CNR, now employed as a nurse at White Plains Hospital, received Public Health Honoree certificate awards during the ceremony, at which the Westchester County Board of Health was pleased to acknowledge them and shine a light on their efforts as being invaluable public health partners.

During his first week in office, CNR President Dr. Bill Latimer was honored to be on hand for the special event. “It is both an honor and a privilege to be here to share in this moment of accomplishment for Myrantz and Marisa today,” said Dr. Latimer at the event. “It is so wonderful that the Board of Health and Westchester County organize events such as this to acknowledge that excellence. Marisa and Myrantz are so emblematic of the students that CNR serves—both are children of immigrants and first-generation college graduates. And both had parents who emphasized the importance of higher education as a means to develop a profession, have access to health care, and build a better life.”

Joan McDonald, director of operations for Westchester County, who presented the winners with proclamations honoring their achievements on behalf of County Executive George Latimer, added: “We all benefit from the commitment of these volunteers to improving the health of our community. With their extraordinary concern for others, these individuals set an example for all of us.”

The Public Health Honoree award is presented to an individual or organization exemplifying a high level of commitment and public health service to the community, having recognized the mission of public health in the county and responded with creativity and generosity to accomplish a shared mission of promoting the health of the public.

As leaders of the Student Nurses Association at CNR, both Assade and Porgpraputson worked to raise awareness of the opioid crisis currently gripping our nation by coordinating ongoing training and certification for CNR nursing students. As a result of their efforts to publicize and coordinate the training session for students, approximately 120 nursing students received valuable training in how to administer Narcan from the Westchester County Department of Health.

In addition, the Student Nurses Association planned and hosted a program on the opioid epidemic in America for the College Community. The program featured a presentation on the issue, a viewing of the film “American Epidemic” and a student discussion that followed. Under the leadership of Assade and Porgpraputson, the Student Nurses Association has planned future programs and has been instrumental in coordinating other public health advocacy efforts, such as those regarding the environment.