Rockland County Mental Health Advocate to be Honored in Statewide Event
New York State Senator Thomas P. Morahan today announced that Rena Finkelstein, a resident of Rockland County, has been selected as a 2010 New York State Senate "Woman of Distinction."
"I am proud to honor Rena Finkelstein as a Woman of Distinction and prouder still of the recognition she has earned from her neighbors, colleagues and friends for her achievements on behalf of our community," said Senator Morahan.
Senator Morahan recognized Finkelstein for statewide recognition because of her passion as a mental health advocate. Since 1987 she has presided over NAMI-FAMILYA of Rockland County (National Alliance on Mental Illness), serving families and people with mental illness through education, advocacy and support. A founding member of the Mental Health Coalition of Rockland County, she organized educational outreach to local colleges and the public. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Mental Health Association of Rockland and serves on the Institutional Review Board of the Nathan S. Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research. As co-chair of the Rockland County Task Force on Bridging the Gap between Mental Illness/ Chemical Dependence and the Criminal Justice System, she organized conferences and educational outreach to local attorneys, judges, and police.
“Rena is one of those success stories that we can proudly share with our daughters, sisters and neighbors and who serves as an example for achievement and excellence for our entire community," said the Senator, who chairs the Senate Committee on Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities. "Her name now joins that of other women whose accomplishments, sacrifices and deeds on behalf of others are deserving of special honor."
A staunch proponent of education, Rena was president of her local PTA and the East Ramapo School District PTA Coordinating Council. She spearheaded a successful effort to mobilize the Rockland community in a massive campaign for increased state aid to rapid growth school districts. She served on the East Ramapo Central School District Board of Education and the Colton Community Scholarship Fund. Carrying on her late husband’s family legacy, she served as a Trustee of the Finkelstein Memorial Library, and currently presides over the ‘Friends of the Library.’
Rena Finkelstein will be honored May 25th at an Albany reception, where her photograph and biography will be displayed in a special public exhibit in the Legislative Office Building.
The Senate's "Woman 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.