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Dr. Glenn Albright, 2019 Public Health Honoree Award Winner

Dr. Glenn Albright, 2019 Public Health Honoree Award Winner

Dr. Glenn Albright is a clinical psychologist and former chair of the department of psychology at Baruch College of the City University of New York, where he currently teaches in the Mental Health Counseling Program in the areas of trauma, grief and recovery.   He is also cofounder and director of research at Kognito, a New York City health simulation company whose mission is to harness the power of conversations to improve physical and mental health by creating game-based virtual human role-play simulations, an area in which he has extensively published.

Outside of his professional responsibilities, Dr. Albright directs the Veterans Equine Therapy program at 13 Hands Equine Rescue in Bedford. 13 Hands Equine Rescue is a not-for-profit that specializes in the rescue of unwanted, abused and slaughter bound horses.  Dr. Albright has contributed countless hours to develop and implement an Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association certified program that helps veterans who are experiencing post-deployment stress, including PTSD, substance use, depression and thoughts of suicide.  Programs also include the spouses and children of veterans to promote better understanding and management of the transitioning home process.

Healing for veterans and their families from Westchester and the surrounding region takes place through the human-horse relationship. This scientifically proven therapy model is based on the unique qualities of the horse to sense and react to human emotions. Through therapeutic work with the horses, individuals can be empowered to take control and bring about positive changes in their lives, even after experiencing the debilitating effects of traumatic events. A bond develops between the horse and the individual that helps build trust, regulate emotions and promotes mindfulness, patience and a feeling of safety.  Using rescue horses in this therapeutic process is unique because both the veteran and horse have experienced traumatic events, which strengthens the bond that promotes healing.

Dr. Albright comes from a military family where members have served in all wars dating back to the Civil War.  His two brothers served in the Vietnam War; one died of complications due to Agent Orange exposure and the other was gravely injured when his A6A Attack Intruder aircraft crashed.  This fuels his strong desire to give back to those who have sacrificed so much and deserve the best. 

 

 

Shauna Porteus, 2019 Public Health Honoree Award Winner  Shauna Porteus, 2019 Public Health Honoree Award Winner  

Shauna Porteus, the Community Services Librarian at the Yonkers Public Library, has worked creatively and collaboratively to address health disparities and the economic and social conditions that affect a person’s health. In doing so, she has helped carve a robust role for libraries to meet the needs of residents that go far beyond a search for literature or reference materials.

She has helped make the library a vital resource for advocacy and help to secure housing, public benefits, health services and employment for numerous residents.

In 2017, Ms. Porteus applied for and was awarded innovation funding from the Montefiore Hudson Valley Collaborative to pilot a case management program at the Yonkers Public Library System.

She nurtured a collaboration with Cluster, a Yonkers community services organization, which has embedded case managers in the Riverfront and Will library branches.  Case workers assess library patron’s health needs, identify service gaps and work to link patrons to needed services.

Ms. Porteus has expanded public access to health and social service information and resources, provided support to low-income residents, seniors, families, and people experiencing homelessness.

As a result of her efforts, in 2018, 342 people were helped or given referrals to resolve issues involving affordable housing, Medicare/Medicaid, social services navigation, mental health services, emergency housing and legal services. As a result of her efforts, two library patrons found job, 7 secured housing, 8 secured public assistance, and dozens of library patrons were directed to agencies, programs or services that could assist them.

Partnering with researchers from the Albert Einstein School of Medicine, Shauna and her team collected patient-reported health indicators from library patrons to better understand health gaps and opportunities for new health programs to fill those gaps.  The survey of more than 200 library patrons identified a high percentage of active smokers who wanted to quit but needed help doing so. Together, Shauna, the Montefiore Hudson Valley Collaborative and the American Lung Association are implementing a smoking cessation program at the library. 

 

 

Abe Baker-Butler, 2019 Public Health Honoree Award Winner Abe Baker-Butler, 2019 Public Health Honoree Award Winner 

Abe Baker-Butler, a 17-year-old junior at Blind Brook High School in Rye Brook, has played an important role in the fight against teen cigarette and e-cigarette use during his high school career. As a leader of Students Against Nicotine (SAN), a student-led nonprofit organization, Abe has advocated for Tobacco 21 legislation and increased restrictions on vaping-related products at the County and State level. Abe has spoken knowledgeably and persuasively to legislators and students on the dangers of tobacco, nicotine and vaping. His efforts helped lead to a near unanimous vote in favor of Tobacco 21 legislation, which was passed by the County Board of Legislators last June.

Writing in support of his nomination, County Legislator Nancy E. Barr said, “We may never be able to quantify the impact he had on the long-term health of Westchester youth and families, but it’s evident that we all owe Abe a debt of gratitude for his work that will affect generations to come.”

Abe has also served as a peer educator on the dangers of tobacco, nicotine and vaping and has trained youth professionals on how to prevent teen e-cigarette use. In addition, Abe is the co-founder of the Westchester Student Coalition Against Gun Violence and serves as Vice President of the Westchester County Youth Advisory Board. He was recently selected as one of two New York State delegates to the 2019 United States Senate Youth Program.

www.studentsagainstnicotine.org

 

 

 

 

WJCS Center Lane, 2019 Public Health Honoree Award WinnerWJCS Center Lane, 2019 Public Health Honoree Award Winner

WJCS Center Lane is Westchester County’s only LGBTQ+ youth and community education center, and serves young people from ages 13 to 21, with sites in Yonkers and White Plains and programming around the county.

Founded in 1995, Center Lane offers social and recreational activities for young people, including the Center Lane Prom, Open Mic nights, a Halloween party, film festival and Summer Pride Camp. Along with support groups and individual counseling, young people can participate in social justice and advocacy activities, including leadership training, marching in the annual Pride March in New York City and meeting with legislators in Albany to advocate for LGBTQ rights.
Center Lane also provides workshops and presentations in schools and to agencies that serve youth on important issues that face LGBTQ+ youth to deepen understanding, reduce bullying, combat misinformation and promote social justice.
In 2018, Center Lane served 2,553 people, including 1,203 youth and 1,350 adults who participated in training, programs and events. Those served represented every racial, ethnic, religious and socioeconomic background.
Center Lane can be reached at www.centerlaneny.org; 914-423-1610 or centerlane@wjcs.com.