WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- The Westchester Library System and Armonk teen Sarah Ilany were honored by the Westchester County Board of Health at its annual Public Health Awards at the Greenburgh Public Library on Thursday.
The awards are granted to individuals or organizations that have made outstanding contributions to public health in the county and are presented in recognition of National Public Health Week, which highlights the accomplishments of the public health community.
Sarah Ilany, a 13-year-old from Armonk, was presented with the 2015 JR Tesone Youth Pulic Health Service Award for her advocacy and fundraising on behalf of young people with Type 1 diabetes. Last February, Sarah created an Instagram account called Blood Sugar Cookies, where she shares photos with short captions that other teenagers can relate to about funny, awkward and frustrating aspects of managing her Type 1 diabetes. Her account already has more than 2,000 followers.
“That alone would have been enough to impress us,” Board of Health President R. Steven Nakashima said. “But not only is Sarah an advocate, she is also a fundraiser. Last fall, Sarah and her friend Niki Giaccio a classmate at H.C. Crittenden Middle School in Armonk, recruited 15 friends and family members to join their Blood Sugar Cookies team for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund Walk in Westchester. Together, they raised more than $6,000. They also held a bake sale in downtown Armonk, which raised awareness about Type 1 diabetes and yielded more than $500 for the cause."
Terry Kirchner, executive director of the Westchester Library System, accepted the 2015 Distinguished Public Health Service Award on behalf of the Westchester Library System, which was recognized for its health literacy initiatives for older adults. These initiatives include helping seniors and their caregivers sort through the maze of benefits and government programs available to them, via a group of 80 volunteers who deliver engaging presentations to community groups and provide counseling at 10 local libraries.
For more information about public health, visit the Westchester County Department of Health website at www.westchestergov.com/health.
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