Friday, 20 May 2011 00:00
Tireless healthcare advocate, determined community activist and long-time Great Neck resident Donna Kass died this past Monday at the age of 86. Donna was well-known to the North Shore community as a healthcare provider and champion for universal healthcare coverage. In a professional career that spanned 36 years, she worked in various hospitals and long-term care facilities, including as Chief of Physical Therapy and Director of Geriatric Care at Long Island Jewish Hospital. From 2007 to 2010, she also served as a member of the Nassau County Board of Health. A major voice for equal and unfettered healthcare access, Donna helped found and served as president of the Long Island Coalition for a National Health Plan and as a special advisor to the Governor of New York State on healthcare matters. In 2001, the Nassau County legislature held a special ceremony honoring her as a Woman Trailblazer of the New Millennium. Born in Warsaw, Poland, in 1925, Donna emigrated to the U.S. in 1941 at the age of 15. She attended Columbia University and became one of the first women physical therapists in the U.S. In 1955 she moved to Great Neck to raise her young family. She leaves behind Bernard, her loving husband of 61 years; two sons and daughters-in-law, Elliot and Kathryn, and Steven and Judy; three granddaughters, Jessica, Rachel and Sarah, and innumerable friends and colleagues, all of whom will miss her terribly. A celebration in Donna’s honor will take place in Great Neck, at 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 22. Please call 516-802-5834 for more information.