Press Release: Democratic Conference Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins Selects Danielle Butin of Hastings-on-Hudson as 2014 Woman of Distinction

Albany, NY – Democratic Conference Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D/I/WF – 35th District) selected Hastings-on-Hudson resident Danielle N. Butin as the 2014 New York State Senate Woman of Distinction from the 35th District.

The Women of Distinction award celebrates the accomplishments of exceptional women across New York State. Ms. Butin received this year’s recognition for the 35th Senate District for her community service and leadership as Founder and Executive Director of the Afya Foundation. Founded in 2007, Afya is a non-profit organization based in Yonkers which seeks to fulfill the supply “wish lists” of ongoing health facilities around the world, particularly in Africa and the Caribbean. Afya is the Swahili word for “good health”.

“Danielle Butin’s work has had a tremendous global impact and she has done it all right from her home community here in Westchester,” said Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins. “She is someone with tireless energy and determination who saw a need in the global community and met it. To date she has sent 6 million pounds of donated medical supplies to people in need while reducing waste in our own state’s hospitals. By creating Afya, Ms. Butin has demonstrated how the goodwill of one person can ripple to others, and impact people around the world. Today we honor Ms. Butin’s accomplishments and express our gratitude to this woman of distinction.”

Ms. Butin - an Occupational Therapist - conceived of the idea of the Afya Foundation on a trip to Tanzania where she discovered many hospitals and clinics were lacking vital medical supplies. Upon returning to the United States, Ms. Butin also realized that New York City and Westchester hospitals were regularly discarding medical equipment that had never been used or had been replaced but remained in good condition. Today, Ms. Butin’s foundation collects and refurbishes these supplies from hospitals around the area and sends them to people in need around the world. Afya has sent over $26,000,000 worth of materials to developing nations or disaster-stricken areas abroad, efforts which have also been helpful to the environment by keeping them from going into landfills.

Ms. Butin received her Master’s in Public Health with a specialization in Geriatrics and Gerontology at Columbia University and her Bachelors of Science in Occupational Therapy from New York University.


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