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Board of Health Presents Two Public Health Partnership Awards

Published: April 19, 2018

Poughkeepsie… On April 9, the Dutchess County Board of Health presented its annual Public Health Partnership Award to Hudson River HealthCare, Inc. (HRHCare), and Joseph Bonanno, MD, medical director of Taconic DDSO and The Arc of Dutchess. The award presentation took place during the monthly meeting of the Dutchess County Legislature.

“We are proud to recognize Hudson River HealthCare and Dr. Bonanno for their tireless commitment to the most vulnerable members of our community,” said Lobsang T. Lhungay, MD, Board of Health President. “To serve as a voice for those who need advocacy, to remove the barriers many people face when seeking care, to view all patients with the same dignity and compassion – this is the true meaning of public health.”

HRHCare has been committed to the health and well-being of its patients for nearly 43 years, and has grown to serve more than 185,000 predominantly low-income patients across an 11-county region of New York, including more than 22,000 patients at six healthcare sites in Dutchess County. Collaborating with community partners, HRHCare has worked hard to ensure access to affordable primary, preventive, and behavioral health care for county residents—particularly those who are most vulnerable and at greatest risk.

In recent years, HRHCare has taken action against the opioid crisis in Dutchess County by launching a Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) program in its Poughkeepsie Health Center for those struggling with opioid addiction. Introducing this highly effective treatment program to the region has helped to advance recovery for hundreds of opioid dependent residents in Dutchess County. Recognizing a greater need, this vital program was recently expanded to a second location in Beacon.

Joseph Bonanno, MD, is highly regarded for his thorough and compassionate care, and his warm and respectful interactions with patients of all abilities. A strong voice and advocate for people with developmental disabilities, Dr. Bonanno took on the role of medical director for the New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities, Taconic DDSO Region 4, in 2005. Five years later, he partnered with The Arc of Dutchess to serve part time as their clinic medical director as well.

Driven by a passion for equality for individuals with developmental disabilities, especially with regards to accessing appropriate medical care and maximizing quality of life, Dr. Bonanno also serves on Dutchess County’s Special Needs Health Care Committee and as chairperson of the Regional Mortality Review Committee. This passion has become his life’s work both professionally and personally as a father to a young adult son with significant disabilities.

The Public Health Partnership Award provides recognition and appreciation for contributions to the health of the community, reflecting the spirit of creating healthy communities, and to increase public awareness of the role and contribution of County partners who demonstrate leadership, innovation, and community involvement.

For more information about the Public Health Partnership Award, contact the Department of Behavioral & Community Health at (845) 486-3432.