October 25, 2010

Golisano Foundation Celebrating 25 Years of Service and Presenting First Leadership Awards

25th Anniversary Celebration - logo

Golisano Foundation 25th Anniversary Dinner and Leadership Awards to Five Local Individuals for Providing Exemplary Healthcare Services to People with Developmental Disabilities

Ann Costello, Director of the Golisano Foundation (, which is devoted exclusively to supporting programs for people with developmental disabilities, announced today that the Foundation will present its first ever Leadership Awards for Exemplary Health Care Services. The recipients are five local health care professionals who have demonstrated extraordinary work to improve health care and access to care for people with intellectual disabilities.

Golisano Foundation 2010 Leadership Award trophyTom Golisano, Founder and Chairman of the Golisano Foundation, will present the awards at the Foundation’s 25th Anniversary Celebration from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. on October 28th at Rochester Institute of Technology’s Vignelli Design Center. The honorees will receive a Steuben crystal award and the Foundation will make a $5000 donation in each awardee’s name to the charity of their choice that helps people with developmental disabilities.

“People with intellectual disabilities often have a greater risk for health issues and have limited access to health care that could drastically improve their lives,” said Costello. “On top of that, health care professionals are not trained in or experienced with caring for people with intellectual disabilities.”

“It is our hope,” added Costello, “that by recognizing those who have led the way and demonstrated their dedication to enhancing the lives of people with intellectual disabilities, that we can expedite change in the form of improved access and better healthcare. The individuals we are honoring have promoted acceptance, dignity and inclusion in their work, and they value people with intellectual disabilities as people who can contribute and be a vital part of the community. As more people become educated, more involved, we are confidant that improved health policies and programs will follow.“

Golisano Foundation Leadership Award for Exemplary Health Care Services Recipients

Golisano Foundation 25th Anniversary Honorees posing for a photo with tom Golisano.

Mary Kay Bradley, Clinical Assistant Professor of Speech-Language Pathology for Nazareth College

Mary Kay BradleyMary Kay has used her profession to help children with special needs throughout her 10 years as a speech language pathologist at the Mary Cariola Children’s Center and for 16 years at Nazareth College, where she teaches disability based courses and supervises the speech-language graduate students at Kids Club. Kids Club is an after school program for children with physical or communication disorders, where children with special needs can develop their motor and communication skills – and still have fun.

Vincent Graniero, OD, Optometrist with LensCrafters

Vincent Graniero, ODDr. Graniero volunteers in several programs to help those who would not receive necessary testing get proper eye care – Vision Care for Kids through the Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired and local schools to help children obtain proper eye care, LensCrafters in the Home Town Days and One Sight programs, which help children and adults obtain quality eye care, and he also volunteers at the vision van, which visits Rochester once a year and provides exams for school children in Monroe and the surrounding counties.

Wayne Lipschitz, DDS, Associate Professor of Clinical Dentistry for the University of Rochester Medical Center’s Eastman Institute for Oral Health

Wayne Lipschitz, DDSWorking with developmentally disabled patients is rewarding on many levels for Dr. Lipschitz, including having a key role in improving the quality of life for his patients, who are often in significant pain resulting from years of limited access to dental care. He has treated some 2,000 developmentally disabled patients over the last 15 years and has helped enlighten many other dentists and residents to better understand the unique needs of this population, and the importance of effective communication and compassionate care.

Stephen Sulkes, M.D. Director of the University Center of Excellence in Developmental Disabilities at the University of Rochester Medical Center

Stephen Sulkes, M.D.Dr. Sulkes works toward giving all children and adults with developmental disabilities the same opportunities for high quality health care in the same settings everyone else has. Through his research and community outreach, he aims to provide equal opportunities to participate in all aspects of community life. Dr. Sulkes organized the recent Healthy Athletes Train-the-Trainer event, was trained as a Clinical Director, and has committed to improving and expanding the effort nationally.

James B. Sutton, RPA-C, Physician Assistant, Clinton Family Health Center, Rochester General Medical Group, an affiliate of Rochester General Health System

James B. Sutton, RPA-CA physician assistant for 23 years, Jim has always been eager to place himself in areas of high need and see what he can do to help out. He has a long history of working with people who have developmental disabilities, a relationship that started about 15 years ago by giving on-the-spot physicals to Special Olympics athletes who had not been medically cleared to compete. He continued to volunteer his services this year at the Healthy Athletes Train-the-Trainer program.

Golisano Foundation Celebrates 25 Years of Serving People with Developmental Disabilities

In addition to the awards, the celebration will highlight the Foundation’s accomplishments over the past 25 years. The program will include Tom Golisano; RIT President and Golisano Foundation board member Dr. William Destler; Ann Costello; and Rich Funke, WHEC-TV 10 news anchor, the emcee.

Since the Foundation was established in 1985 with an initial gift of $90,000 from Tom Golisano, the founder and Chairman of Paychex, the Foundation has awarded more than $14 million in grants to non-profit organizations in the Rochester region that serve people with developmental disabilities. It now has assets of $25 million.

In addition to providing funding the Foundation is dedicated to serving as a proactive partner with providers, organizations, and the community to enable those with disabilities to more fully participate in the life of the community and create an environment of dignity and care for disabled individuals and their families.

Related Posts