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Myrantz Assade, 2018 Public Health Honoree Award Winner 

Myrantz Assade, 2018 Public Health Honoree

Myrantz Assade was recognized for his effort to educate fellow nursing students at The College of New Rochelle about the opioid crisis.

Mr. Assade, 36, graduated from The College of New Rochelle in May with a bachelor of science in nursing.  He currently works as a registered nurse in the emergency department at Bronx Lebanon Hospital Center and lives in Irvington with his wife and three daughters.

As a leader in the Student Nurses Association, Mr. Assade thought it was important to get involved and to shed light on the growing opioid public health epidemic for as many people as possible. He worked with Dr. Adrienne Wald, a professor who advises the Student Nurses Association, and with other nursing students to plan a series of educational events on this topic. These included annual opioid overdose prevention training sessions by the Westchester County Department of Health and a campus viewing of a film on the opioid crisis, followed by a discussion.

 


Marisa Porgpraputson, 2018 Public Health Honoree Award WinnerMarisa Porgpraputson, 2018 Public Health Honoree

Marisa Porgpraputson was recognized for her effort to educate fellow nursing students at The College of New Rochelle about the opioid crisis.

Ms. Porgpraputson, 31, graduated from The College of New Rochelle earlier this year with a bachelor of science in nursing.  Currently working as a nurse technician at White Plains Hospital, she recently passed the state licensing exam, and plans to seek work as a registered nurse.

Ms. Porgpraputson grew up in Scarsdale. Although her mother is a nurse, Ms. Porgpraputson did not feel called to the profession until she experienced firsthand the comfort and care that nurses gave her and her family when her father suffered a fatal heart attack.

As a leader of the Student Nurses Association at The College of New Rochelle, she publicized and coordinated Narcan training sessions for students, where approximately 120 nursing students were trained to administer Narcan by the Westchester County Department of Health. She also worked to plan and host a presentation on the opioid epidemic in America for the college community.

Ms. Porgpraputson was aware of the local and national impact of the opioid crisis from news reports and through Dr. Adrienne Wald, a professor at The College of New Rochelle who advises the Student Nurses Association. Ms. Porgpraputson wanted to increase awareness about opioid abuse and Narcan training among nursing students because Narcan can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose and because nurses are on the front lines of care. With this training, student nurses can carry a Narcan kit with them and may someday be in a position to use it to save a life.

  

 

Hector Santiago, 2018 Public Health Honoree Award WinnerH.S.PHA2018

Hector Santiago, 30, a lifelong Yonkers resident, was recognized for initiating a solo mental health awareness walk from his hometown to Albany last August to highlight the need for additional resources to address the mental health needs of New Yorkers.

Mr. Santiago said he was inspired to take the 140-mile journey on foot after two of his friends committed suicide; one of them while waiting a month to see a therapist.

 Along his route, Mr. Santiago spoke with individuals who are supporters, victims and survivors of the mental health crisis. In Albany, he met with the officials from the governor’s office and the New York State Office of Mental Health and discussed ways to address mental illness and improve the quality of life for Yonkers residents.

Mr. Santiago is a community activist who also initiated the StopAndShake campaign, an effort to improve understanding between police and the communities they serve by encouraging officers to stop and introduce themselves to residents. StopAndShake has been implemented in Yonkers and Mount Vernon, and other Westchester communities are considering it.

Mr. Santiago left school in ninth grade and joined a gang. When he became a father eight years ago, Mr. Santiago was motivated to turn his life around. He became an active volunteer at Greyston, a not-for-profit foundation in Yonkers that helps people who face barriers to employment find jobs at its bakery, community gardens and workforce development. He said that the adversity he faced helped him identify and connect on a personal level with youth in his community.

 Mr. Santiago now works as a messenger in the Westchester County Department of Social Services and is organizing a mental health awareness walk to be held on May 12 in Yonkers.