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    • Stroke survivors light up Heart Walk ‘torch ceremony’

      Under cloudy skies and a flat grayness, Paula Symanski lit up State Street after a 20-mile spin and pedaled into the entrance of the Empire Plaza in Albany, where a crowd of American Heart Association supporters awaited her with flaming torches.

      The torches were Styrofoam, but Symanski was real. She has recovered from a 2009 stroke, and now she is an ambassador for those who live with heart disease and stroke.

      She led the torch ceremony along with NYSUT President Karen E. Magee, chair of this year’s Capital Region Heart Walk, which takes place on June 11, and Barbara Hess, chair of the Capital Region advisory board of the American Heart Association. The ceremony kicks off the countdown to the Heart Walk and gives participants and volunteers an opportunity to remember those who have died from strokes and heart attacks.

      “You’re living. You’re an advocate. You’re here,” Magee told Symanski. She shared with the crowd that she lost her father to heart disease, and this is her motivation for getting involved. Heart disease is the biggest killer of women, she said, and females make up 70 percent of NYSUT’s membership.

      Symanski began her bicycle trip at Ellis Medicine in Schenectady, where her stroke was diagnosed, and rode to Albany Medical Center, where she had her surgery. A surgeon who covered both hospitals was at Albany Med that night so she was taken there by ambulance for her procedure.

      Riding in on pedal power was a lot different than being in the back of the ambulance.  Today, she said, “I was comfortable. I was relaxed. I was healthy.”

      Her stroke recovery was long and difficult, she said, and included precarious trips down her short driveway using a walker. But this is the stuff she’s made of: Frustrated by not being able to lift her arms over her head as she worked to regain everything, she constructed a loader out of PVC pipe in order to get her kayak on top of her car.

      Although she describes herself as always having been fit, Symanski said cardiovascular disease and stroke runs in her family. She lost a great-grandmother, two grandmothers and an aunt to strokes.

      “I had cannons pointed at me,” she said.

      The risks of stroke include: family history, high blood pressure, obesity, high cholesterol and being sedentary.

      Stroke signs include facial droop, slurred speech and inability to lift an arm. She urged anyone with these signs to get to the hospital emergency room, even if they are not sure. Even with TIA or transient ischemic attack – the warning stroke – a person loses brain cells, she said.

      Wearing a bike helmet topped with a video cam to record her trip, Symanski said that last year she started riding her bike again, which she hadn’t done since childhood. She began preparing for today’s ride a few months ago. A resident of Malta in Saratoga County, she is the volunteer coordinator for Schenectady County Community Hospice.

      “I see the effects of heart disease and stroke all around me everyday,” she said. She is joining the AHA on May 16 to lobby for state legislation to improve stroke care for all patients. Her state representative, Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner, D-Malta, joined Symanski at Thursday’s ceremony and said she is honored to advocate for people with these diseases.

      Carrying a sign cheering on Symanski, Thelma Hill came to the ceremony to show her support for the cause. She’s been walking in the Heart Walk for as long as she can remember—long before she had open-heart surgery 19 years ago. She’s been a team captain since 2006, and brings the support of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., which partners with the AHA, and Macedonia Baptist Church, which sponsors a team, she said.

      Hill recalls feeling tired a lot and eventually going to the doctor with chest pains. The doctor said she had pleurisy. Hill didn’t feel that’s what she had, and she went to the emergency room where a catheterization showed the problem. She’d had rheumatic fever as a child, she said.

      Now, Hill said, she walks in the annual event “to be an example of what exercise and good eating and having a good life” is all about.

    • Celebrating National Nurses Week: May 6-12


      nurses week posterNational Nurses Week • May 6-12, 2016

      • We (NYSUT) appreciate and thank you — our nurses — for your service, commitment and leadership.
      • Nurses are leading the way to providing high quality health care for all - increasing access to care and improving outcomes in an ever-changing and dynamic health system.
      • Nurses are healers, educators, role models, and comforters - critically needed members of our community.
      • Wherever health care is provided, a nurse is likely to be there - from hospitals, schools, health centers, social service agencies, to homes and nursing homes.

      School Nurses Day • May 11, 2016

      • School nurses juggle a complex range of medical and social issues, from communicable diseases, stress and chronic illnesses (diabetes and asthma) to accidents, injuries and school safety and often moving from school to school throughout the district.
      • For some students, the school nurse is the only health care professional they ever see.
      • School nurses' work goes beyond the nurse's office - they interact with teachers, doctors, child study teams, administrators, school counselors, social workers, coaches, parents, police, substance abuse professionals and other School-Related Professionals.

      We are proud to salute our nurses — you deserve special recognition for your efforts in leading the way for your patients, students and for a healthy nation.

      Dear NYSUT Health Care Professional:

      In honor of National Nurses Week, May 6 – 12, and National School Nurses Day, May 11 we express our deep appreciation for your service, commitment and professionalism that you bring to the work you do every day. We would also like to extend our appreciation to all our health care professionals for improving the health and lives of students, patients and communities.

      The demands of your job require a high level of technical proficiency, knowledge and compassion. You also possess remarkable resilience coping with the stress and complexities that your job brings.

      We all can think of a time when we, or a loved one, have received excellent care by someone in the nursing profession either in a hospital, home care setting, nursing home or school environment and how that expertise and care has touched our lives.

      On a daily basis, school nurses juggle a complex range of medical and social issues from communicable diseases, stress and chronic illnesses (diabetes and asthma) to accidents, injuries and school safety, often while moving from school to school throughout the district.

      For some students, the school nurse is the only health care professional they ever see.

      National School Nurse Day is a day we reflect on the extraordinary role you play in the lives of children and we celebrate you!

      On behalf of NYSUT, we applaud you and your profession for the tremendous work you do and wish you, with great respect and admiration, a happy and well-deserved National Nurses Week.

    LTA Blog

    Stand Up For What All Kids Need







    Gov. Andrew Cuomo's proposed budget for 2015-2016 lays out a punishing anti-public education agenda that attacks teachers and hurts students.

    Rather than provide what all kids need, the governor is pushing a Billionaires' Agenda that would decimate the state's public schools. His "my-way-or-the-highway" budget would:

    • hold school aid increases hostage;
    • woefully underfund the state's K-12 and higher education systems;
    • more than double the weight of standardized tests;
    • make permanent an undemocratic tax cap that has wreaked financial havoc on school communities;
    • eliminate funding for teacher training;
    • launch a back-door voucher plan that would siphon funding away from schools most in need;
    • underfund public higher education by tying funding to campus "performance" rather than enrollment;
    • smooth the way for the privatization of SUNY's five hospitals;
    • destroy prep programs for future teachers;
    • and fail to fully address the student debt crisis.

    Simply put, Gov. Cuomo's proposed budget - which serves the interests of his billionaire backers - is an attack on public education that fails to address what all students need.

    Things you can do right now to fight back.

    Every NYSUT member is needed to defend public education and the teaching profession from Gov. Cuomo's Billionaires' Agenda.

    Tell the governor to stop scapegoating... stop teacher bashing and focus on what #AllKidsNeed.

    Here's your to-do list.

    Take action on this week's campaigns.

    The latest actions will always be right here in the No. 1 spot.

    Call your state senator. Now.

    • Stop what you're doing and call your state senator with this message: stand up to the Governor's "Bigfoot" tactics and defend our outstanding New York public schools!
    • You can look up the number at the NYSUT Member Action Center.

    Sign up for MAC text alerts!

    Take 10 seconds and sign up for MAC text alerts on your phone!

    Here's how: Text the word "NYSUT" to the contact number 38470.

    Sign the petitions.

    Call out the governor.

    • Invite the governor to visit your class to learn what #AllKidsNeed. Tweet out an invite directly at him and be sure to include his Twitter handle @NYGovCuomo and the hashtag #InviteCuomo if you want your tweet to be seen and heard.
    • Not on Twitter? See step 8.

    Get connected to the MAC.

    • BY TEXT. Get real-time text messages about urgent news and actions by texting the word NYSUT to the number 38470.
    • BY EMAIL. Subscribe to the NYSUT Member Action Center email alerts for updates on this campaign. If you're registered via email as a NYSUT MAC e-activist you'll also be the first to know about upcoming rallies, protests and more.
    • BY APP. Download the NYSUT MAC App for your iPhone or for your Android phone. Be sure notifications are enabled to receive alerts on new action items.

    Get connected on Facebook.

    Get connected on Twitter.

    • Join Twitter and follow @NYSUT to be part of the social media army.
    • Once a day (or as often as possible) tweet your thoughts on what #AllKidsNeed - more science labs, music and art classes, school libraries, smaller class sizes and more. We're reminding the governor to focus on what matters! Follow the conversation in real-time for some great examples from parents and educators.

    Share the poster.

    Wear the button.

    Take part in community forums.

    • Keep an eye on nysut.org/allkidsneed for information on upcoming NYSUT-sponsored Community Forums to Save Public Education in every region of the state.

    Talk it up.

    • Get the conversation going - online and offline. Read "Where We Stand" and use it to craft social media messages, send letters to the editor, and brief friends and colleagues.
    • Circulate and share print materials and videos.

    Support "Take Action Tuesday."

    • Mark your calendar to support NYSUT's "Take Action Tuesday" every week. Be on the lookout for updates.

    Learn more at www.nysut.org/allkidsneed.


    Last Updated (Tuesday, 03 March 2015 16:10)


    Member Alert Program




    There are so many member benefits, that it can be hard to keep track of them all.
    The NYSUT Member Benefits MAP (Member Alert Program) email blast service keeps you informed through a brief email message every three weeks.
    You can join MAP on the NYSUT website, at http://www.nysut.org/49.htm

    Last Updated (Friday, 15 November 2013 16:58)


    Nysut Action Center Mobile App




    NYSUT action center now has an app for smartphones that makes it very easy to take action. It is available in the app store for free.

    Last Updated (Friday, 15 November 2013 16:38)

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