The Greater Utica Division of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association (AHA/ASA) honored 22 individuals and organizations at its annual Leadership Volunteer Awards Ceremony Friday morning. All of the award recipients have played a crucial role in helping the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association improve the health of the Greater Utica area community. These volunteers, companies, and local leaders help emphasize that “life is why” we do our important work.
Some of the top awards include the Distinguished Service Award, given to Robin Carney, and the Distinguished Leadership Award, given to Denise Flihan. Carney was honored for her work as the chairperson of the Hospitality and Volunteer Committee at. America’s Greatest Heart Run & Walk. Flihan was recognized for her service with the Go Red For Women Luncheon since its inception 14 years ago.
The Heart Survivor of the Year were also honored during the ceremony. Heart survivor Jim Stasaitis has been volunteering with the event for decades, but this year it had a special meaning for him. Last fall, he had a heart attack. Within weeks, Stasaitis was sharing his story to help remind everyone why Heart Weekend is so important. He says without America’s Greatest Heart Run & Walk, he would have had his heart attack at home – all alone – instead of at the hospital because he knew to get the symptoms checked out. Stasaitis told all the walkers, runners, and volunteers, “You saved my life.”
The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association is also proud to honor Volunteer of the Year Steve Gassner. Gassner has served on the AHA/ASA advisory board for three years. He has fulfilled many roles, including chairman of the Heart Telethon, and serving on both the Stewardship and Leadership Development Committees. Gassner finishes his two-year term as advisory board president at the end of June.
“Without our volunteers, the work the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association does in our community would not be possible,” said Executive Director Jennifer Balog. “We want to sincerely thank all of our volunteers for the hard work they do all year round.”
A full list of award recipients is below.
|Friend of Heart||Bassett Healthcare Network
|Excellence in Improving Cardiovascular & Stroke Health Care Delivery||Central Oneida County Volunteer
|Get With The Guidelines® Stroke Gold Plus and Target: Stroke Elite Plus||Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare
Bassett Healthcare Network
|Mission Lifeline Recognition Award||STEMI Receiving Center Silver Level:
Bassett Medical Center
EMS Bronze Level: Central Oneida County
Volunteer Ambulance Corps
|Outstanding Performance in Youth Market||Riley and Lucas Dutcher
Edwards Andrews Elementary – Sue
Osborne and Kariane Busch
Glenfield Elementary – Jack Bernard
|Volunteer Youth Involvement Award||Utica College Athletics|
|Excellence in Cardiovascular & Stroke Information||MVHS Stroke Unit|
|Excellence in Diversity||Have Faith In Heart Committee:
|Excellence in Resource Generation||Theresa Flemma|
|Distinguished Service Award||Robin Carney|
|Distinguished Leadership Award||Denise Flihan|
|Heart Survivor of the Year||Jim Stasaitis|
|Volunteer of the Year of the Greater Utica Area||Steve Gassner|