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Director of Community Education at South Nassau Communities Hospital Receives NYS Innovation in Breast Cancer Early Detection and Research Award

South Nassau Communities Hospital is pleased to announce that Robin Grass, R.N., Director of Community Education, has been honored with the New York State Innovation in Breast Cancer Early Detection and Research Award in the “Health Care Professional” category. The award was presented by the New York State Breast Cancer Detection and Education Advisory Council. Commenting on the occasion, Geri Barish, Executive Director of 1 in 9/Hewlett House, said, “I can think of no one more deserving of this award than Robin Grass. She is a dynamic and energizing individual who empowers others daily to take charge of their health and well being. She has touched innumerable lives through her dedication to, and passion for, members of the Long Island community, especially the medically underserved.”

A registered nurse, Ms. Grass has been Director of Community Education at South Nassau for more than 14 years, overseeing the hospital’s many community outreach programs. She routinely lectures at community events on multiple topics, including the need for annual checkups, eating healthy and smoking cessation, with many of the outreach programs being conducted on her own time in indigent communities.

Notes hospital President/CEO Joseph Quagliata, “We congratulate Robin for being honored by New York State for her commitment to making the medically underserved more aware of the importance of early detection, especially with regard to breast cancer. This is a remarkable achievement and is well deserved as Robin’s dedication knows no bounds. She has worked tirelessly helping this segment of the population better understand the need for annual testing and check-ups through numerous lectures and the dissemination of vital information.”

She was awarded the Kellogg Foundation national research fellowship by the American Hospital Association for her research on the lack of healthcare insurance among industrial workers. In 2008, the Long Island Press honored her in their “Fortune 52” series as one of 52 Long Island women who are making a difference and the National Organization for Women (NOW) honored her with the “Women’s Equality Award.” In 2006 she was awarded the Town of Hempstead’s Pathfinder Award for Health Services and in 1995 she received the New York State DeWitt Clinton Masonic Award for Community Service. Ms. Grass is presently a faculty member of Hofstra University teaching graduate classes in the School of Education and Allied Health Services.

Ms. Grass administered and coordinated the National Cancer Institute Grant for the Community Cancer Detection project entitled EDGE (Early Detection Geriatric Emphasis). She also coordinates South Nassau’s annual Multicultural Health Fair that has over 90 educational and interactive displays targeting the medically underserved community. Free screenings are offered at the fair, including mammography, melanoma and PSA testing. She coordinates with a large number of community agencies for this event, bringing together many local health resources into one venue, including the local chapter of the American Cancer Society, the Tobacco Action Coalition of Long Island, 1 in 9/Hewlett House, Complete Women’s Imaging , and Sisters United in Health, as well as a number of community resources for non-English speaking residents.

The New York State Innovation in Breast Cancer Research and Education Award winners were selected because of their outstanding contributions and their demonstration of the highest professional standards of excellence in reaching out and serving women and men and their families living with breast cancer. They were also chosen for their innovation and creativity in their fight against breast cancer in New York State and their ability to collaborate with others in their efforts.

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