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Winthrop University Hospital

Department of External Affairs
Office of Public Affairs
Contact: Carolann Martines

Associate Writer

(516) 663-2234


Lions Club members recently presented Winthrop’s Diabetes Education Center with a $5,000 donation during a special dinner honoring Dr. Maureen Murphy. Present at the reception were Nalin Fernando, Past President of the West Hempstead Lions Club; Virginia Peragallo-Dittko, RN, Executive Director of Winthrop’s Diabetes and Obesity Institute; Michael Jordan of the Rockville Centre Lions Club; Brian Freier of the Melville Lions Club; Dr. Maureen Murphy; Al Brandel, Past President of the Lions Club International; and Betsy Mandera of the West Hempstead Lions Club.
Lions Clubs International has a historic mission of supporting efforts to prevent blindness. Knowing that untreated diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in the US, they have recognized the value of diabetes self-management education and diabetes prevention. Recently, members of the West Hempstead Lions Club, the Melville Lions Club and the Rockville Centre Lions Club recently gathered to present a donation of $5,000 to Winthrop’s Diabetes Education Center.

The donation was made in honor of Maureen Murphy, MD, an anesthesiologist at Winthrop and a member of the Melville Lions Club who traveled throughout the world doing humanitarian work with her husband, Al Brandel, while he was President of the Lions Club International. The funds were raised by members of the Lions Clubs in Brooklyn, Queens, Nassau, Suffolk and Bermuda through the publication of a journal with photos and messages highlighting all of the charitable work the couple performed during their travels to over 50 countries, including the earthquake devastated areas of Haiti. The Lions donation was matched with a grant from Dr. Murphy’s colleagues at Nassau Anesthesia Associates, located in Mineola, NY.

“It is significant that the Lions chose to honor Dr. Murphy with a donation, in her honor, to the Winthrop Diabetes Education Center. It underscores not only the Lions’ commitment to their mission and their members but the deep respect they have for the Winthrop Diabetes Education Center’s service to the community,” said Virginia Peragallo-Dittko, RN, Executive Director of Winthrop’s Diabetes and Obesity Institute. “This donation honoring our Winthrop colleague’s service and the generous matching grant from Nassau Anesthesia Associates is greater than the sum of the parts.”

Winthrop’s Diabetes Education Center was the first nationally accredited outpatient education program in New York State in 1987 and continues to provide superior educational and community outreach programs to adults and children at risk for, living with and managing diabetes. For more information on the Diabetes Education Center at Winthrop-University Hospital and its comprehensive programs, call (516) 663-2350.

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