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Rotacare Adds Three

Garden City’s Susan MacDonald was one of three new board members appointed for the Uniondale-based not-for-profit 501c free health care facility along with Massapequa’s Dr. Aleta Labientom, and Ellen Christie of Erickson and Pegalis. Blanche Puglisi, president of RotaCare, announced the addition of these  three newest members of the Board of Directors with commencement of terms on Jan. 15.

Dr. Aleta Labiento has a Ph.D in public health and public health assessment. She has been a professor at Hofstra University since 1991, where she teaches courses in global health issues, chronic and communicable diseases and health promotion through disease prevention. A Rotarian for 14 years, Dr. Labiento’s current affiliations include the Mineola/Garden City and Babylon Rotary. Dr. Labieno is Hofstra University’s Rotaract Chairwoman from 2005 to the present and was on the Matching Grant Committee (Babylon Rotary) from 2005-07.

Susan MacDonald is currently employed with Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty and a member of the Silver Circle of Achievement. Susan comes from a 25-year successful business background which has included marketing at an engineering firm, an architectural/interior design practice and a financial services organization. MacDonald is a board member of Homecoming Farm, a non-profit organic farm at the Motherhouse of the Sisters of St. Dominic. She is an avid fundraiser and volunteer for the INN (Interfaith Nutrition Network) in Hempstead. MacDonald also serves as president of the Garden City Chamber of Commerce Foundation Board which is the philanthropic outreach of the chamber. She is an active member of the Garden City-Mineola Rotary Club.

Ellen Christie utilizes 25 years of marketing communications and public relations experience as the marketing director at the law firm of Pegalis and Erickson, LLC. At the firm she directs all internal and external communications and marketing programs, including web site, social media production, sponsorships, and advertising. Christie also continues freelance public relations work, and in 2012 was the recipient of the International Association of Business Communications (IABC-LI) Achievement Award for Community Service. She currently serves on the board of directors of the Public Relations Professionals of Long Island. She also works on the planning committee of the 2nd Annual Long Island Imagine Awards.

Operated entirely by volunteers, RotaCare provides primary care for individuals who do not have health insurance and are unable to pay for care. Most of their patients are earning a modest living in service jobs such as landscaping or cleaning services that do not provide benefits. They cannot afford health insurance and do not qualify for Medicaid or other government programs, so they are left with little or no access to care.

RotaCare was established by members of the Mineola-Garden City Rotary Club in 1992 to address the needs of the uninsured in Nassau County. These concerned volunteers noticed that many of the clients at the Mary Brennan INN soup kitchen in Hempstead, NY were in dire need of health care assistance. They responded by operating a weekly MASH unit at the soup kitchen and collaborating with other Rotary Club volunteers, local healthcare professionals and Mercy Medical Center.

For more information on RotaCare, to volunteer or make a donation visit our website at or call 516-539-9834 today.