SYOSSET, NY – In an effort to jumpstart the local Lions Club, leadership and staff of Syosset Hospital decided to step in and take a leadership role so that this long-time philanthropic organization could continue its vital work of helping people fight blindness.
Under its new leadership, the Syosset Lions Club, which began serving the community in 1948, held its first meeting this month. The group’s mission has recently expanded to helping those living with diabetes and its effects on people’s eyes, such as diabetic retinopathy, which damages the retina.
Because Syosset Hospital performs the greatest number of eye surgeries of any hospital on Long Island, it was a natural choice to help revive the ailing organization, said James Baker, director of service excellence and community relations at Syosset Hospital. (The hospital expects to perform more than 5,000 eye surgeries in 2012). “For a variety of reasons, the Syosset Lions Club was looking at the prospect of discontinuing its important outreach to the community,” said Mr. Baker. “We all agreed that we couldn’t let that happen.”
Initially comprised of hospital staff, the Syosset Lions Club intends to include community members in the future. At present, there are about a dozen members in the club, which is led by President Patricia Weil, NP; Secretary Jaclyn Donno, community relations liaison; and Treasurer Nunzio Gaglio, associate executive director of finance.
“I see this position in the Syosset Lions Club as an extension of my role here to educate and help the community,” said Ms. Weil. “I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to do even more of this important work in this new role.”
Past Lions Club International President Al Brandel said that Syosset Hospital’s role in this group’s revitalization is “the best that could have happened for the club and the community.”
For more information about the Syosset Lions Club, call Ms. Donno at (516) 496-6409.