Press Release

Nurses Who Went to Haiti To Aid Earthquake Victims Are Recognized as AFT Everyday Heroes

For Release: 

Sunday, July 11, 2010


George Jackson

SEATTLE—Nurses from Rockland County, N.Y., who provided medical care in Haiti following the earthquake that devastated the island nation in January are to be honored as AFT Everyday Heroes for their exceptional service Sunday at the AFT’s national convention.

The awards, new this year, are presented to a member from each of AFT’s five employee constituencies, plus a retiree. The nurses, all on staff at the Rockland Psychiatric Center, were chosen as a group from among five finalists in the public employees division. The award recognizes an individual or group who has had a profound impact on the workplace or has performed extraordinary community service outside of the job.

The nurses and nurse administrators traveled to Haiti in the weeks following the quake as members of medical teams working in local clinics providing medical care to people injured in the disaster and to those suffering from dehydration, malaria and infections caused by from post-earthquake living conditions.

Those recognized as Everyday Heroes are Marlene Bastien, Loise Louis and Barbara Serafin, all psychiatric nurses; and Silvie Pierre and Sciencia Torchon, both nurse administrators.

All are members of the New York State Public Employees Federation, Local 4053.

The AFT is holding its biennial convention July 7-11 in Seattle. Coming together under the theme “Building Futures Together,” more than 3,000 delegates will vote on major union policies that address the need to save and strengthen public education, build common cause with communities, and improve the institutions in which our members work.

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The AFT represents 1.7 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.