2009-09-02 / Features

Kryzak Senior Leadership Award Winners Named

Marianne Altman, Peter DellaMonica Senior Center program manager. Marianne Altman, Peter DellaMonica Senior Center program manager. United Adult Ministries, the parent company of Flushing House, will honor three outstanding persons with the Rose Kryzak Senior Leadership Award, during their annual gala fundraising dinner on Thursday, November 5.

The awards are named after the late Rose Kryzak, a dedicated senior activist and a longtime resident of Flushing House. She is perhaps best known for her successful campaign to pass New York state's Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage (EPIC) program, but fought for many other causes as well.

This year's honorees are Marianne Altman, Suzanne Metaxas, and Jane Qiu. "They have all soldiered on in the tradition of Rose Kryzak, making major contributions of service and caring for older adults," Robert F. Salant, Flushing House director of community relations, said.

Altman graduated from UMass/Amherst with a B.A. in Human Services, in 1983. She became a medical social worker at the Center for Rehabilitation in 1994, working at various locations throughout Long Island, Brooklyn and Queens. In 1999, she began working for the Catholic Charities Neighborhood Services (CCNS) Peter DellaMonica Senior Center in Astoria as a case manager. In 2006, she was promoted to program manager of the CCNS Southwest Queens Senior Services. There, she oversaw the operations of four satellite senior centers and their CCNS Meals-On- Wheels program.

Suzanne Metaxas, member of the Northern Queens Health Coalition, Council of Senior Centers and Services, Queens Geriatric Health Committee and Queens Interagency Council on Aging (QICA) board member.  Suzanne Metaxas, member of the Northern Queens Health Coalition, Council of Senior Centers and Services, Queens Geriatric Health Committee and Queens Interagency Council on Aging (QICA) board member. In November 2008, Altman returned to the Peter DellaMonica Senior Center as the new program manager. She recently received a commendation from the New York City Department For the Aging for bringing about major revitalization of the Peter DellaMonica center in a short time.

Metaxas served as director of the HANAC East-West Connection senior transportation program from 1989 to January 1996. When she took over, the program had only two buses with one slated for return to New York state due to underutilization. She increased bus utilization, kept both vehicles and went on to secure more buses to serve two additional districts. The program served 700 clients in three districts when she started; when she left, it served a total of 1,366 clients in five districts.

Jane Qiu, Ph.D, LMSW, director of the Selfhelp Prince Street Senior Center, Flushing. Jane Qiu, Ph.D, LMSW, director of the Selfhelp Prince Street Senior Center, Flushing. Metaxas was director of the HANAC Senior Center of College Point from 1996 to 2003. She substantially increased the number of hot center meals served, hot home meals delivered and frozen weekend meals. She advocated for center needs at public hearings, and also as a member of the Northern Queens Health Coalition, Council of Senior Centers and Services, Queens Geriatric Health Committee and Queens Interagency Council on Aging (QICA). She remains on the QICA board.

Qiu, who holds a Ph.D and LMSW ranking, is director of the Selfhelp Prince Street Senior Center in Flushing, an area where recent Asian immigrants are concentrated. She came to the United States in 1995 and earned an MSW in 1999 and a Ph.D in 2005 from the Wursweiler School of Social Work, Yeshiva University, specializing in gerontology. She started working as a social worker at Prince Street in 1999 and became director in 2004.

Rose Kryzak Rose Kryzak Qiu and her team have managed to provide a full array of quality social services to older Americans in the community, serving about 200 on a daily basis. These include congregate nutritious lunches, educational, fitness and recreational classes, field trips, help with translation, bill problem solving, entitlement applications, case management, plus counseling and referrals for a myriad of services. She also helps older immigrants to become citizens, and encourages members to advocate for senior rights for health care, drug coverage, housing, and transportation.

The gala fundraising dinner will be held on November 5, 2009, at Westbury Manor, Westbury, Long Island, and begins at 6 p.m. To attend, R.S.V.P. by October 23 by sending name and address, along with a $75 check payable to United Adult Ministries, to Robert F. Salant, director of community relations, Flushing House, 38- 20 Bowne St., Flushing, NY 11354. For more information, call 347-532-3025 or email rsalant@uam.org.

All proceeds support a special endowment fund, which helps keep Flushing House affordable for many of the older adults who live there.

Built in 1974, Flushing House is a notfor profit retirement residence that was one of the first to offer older adults independent living with supportive services on-premises. For more information, visit www.flushinghouse.com.

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