BUFFALO, NY, April 27, 2012 - A registered nurse whose experience as a caregiver to a patient with Lou Gehrig's disease led him to a career in the health care field has been named New York State United Teachers Health Care Professional of the Year.
Howard Sandau, who works in the Surgical/Trauma Intensive Care Unit at Lutheran Medical Center in Brooklyn, was honored at NYSUT's annual Representative Assembly, held this week in Buffalo. More than 2,000 elected delegates, staff and guests take part in the union's policymaking convention.
Sandau is an active member of NYSUT's largest local, the United Federation of Teachers, and an advocate for social justice issues. He spearheaded a union project that collected more than 3,000 books for an African literacy program. He facilitates a women's HIV support group and works with people with Lou Gehrig's disease.
"Howard's commitment to his profession and to his union is inspiring," said NYSUT President Richard C. Iannuzzi. "He serves as a role model and a mentor in both capacities."
NYSUT Vice President Kathleen Donahue, who works directly with the union's health care members, added: "Howard is a compassionate, knowledgeable nurse who is committed to providing the very best health care for his patients. He regularly goes the extra mile to meet his patients' needs."
The NYSUT RA, at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center, runs through Saturday.
NYSUT, the state's largest union, represents more than 600,000 teachers, school-related professionals, academic and professional faculty in higher education, professionals in education and health care and retirees. NYSUT is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, National Education Association and the AFL-CIO.