Local Resident Honored by Senator Lavalle-

Kenneth P. LaValle

May 26, 2010

2010 New York State Senate Woman of Distinction Named

Senator Kenneth P. LaValle honored Dr. Julie Ratner of East Hampton as the 2010 New York State First Senate District “Woman of Distinction.”  Dr. Ratner received the award on May 25 at a reception in Albany along with women from across the state whose lives, work, or special accomplishments have brought a sense of pride to their communities.

“It gives me great pleasure to honor Julie Ratner as this year’s Woman of Distinction,” said Senator LaValle.  “Her name now joins that of other women whose accomplishments, sacrifices, and good deeds are deserving of special recognition.”

Senator LaValle noted that the Senate’s “Women of Distinction” program was created in 1998 to honor New York women who exemplify personal excellence or whose professional achievements or acts of courage, selflessness, integrity or perseverance serve as an example to all New Yorkers.  Women from the worlds of business, academics, and civic life, as well as those who have performed heroic or selfless acts, made significant discoveries, or provided examples of personal excellence against difficult odds have been honored at the annual event.

Julie Ratner received this honor in recognition of her tireless support of breast cancer issues on the East End of Long Island.  Dr. Ratner’s sister, Ellen P. Hermanson, lost her battle with the disease in 1995.  Julie decided to turn her family’s tragic personal loss into a journey that has helped thousands of women fight the fight of their lives with strength, encouragement, emotional support, and even financial assistance.

Dr. Ratner is the founder and Chair of The Ellen P. Hermanson Foundation, a nonprofit organization that was established to serve breast cancer patients on the East End.  The Foundation’s mission is to provide educational outreach, psychosocial support services, and improve the understanding of pain management and methods.  Julie founded the Foundation’s 5k Ellen’s Run, which is in its 14th year and attracts more than 1,000 runners annually.  Runner-survivors receive a pink rose at the finish line as a reminder to all that breast cancer is not a sentence, but curable if caught at an early stage. 

Dr. Ratner’s efforts have been an inspiration to everyone involved.  Since its inception, the Foundation has supported Southampton Hospital’s breast health program by providing state-of-the-art equipment, founding Ellen’s Well, a psychosocial support service, and most recently, providing critical funding for the Ellen Hermanson Breast Center, the only one of its kind on Eastern Long Island.  The hospital community and East End residents have tremendous respect for Dr. Julie Ratner’s commitment to breast health and are fortunate to benefit from her dedication and support.

“I received several nominations for the ‘Women of Distinction’ program and each were worthy of distinction in their own right," said Senator LaValle.  “Dr. Julie Ratner has been a tireless advocate and exemplifies the strength of character and qualities attributed to the entire group.”