October 23, 2012
Suffolk County Immunization Advocate is Named New York State Nurse Practitioner of the Year
Mary Beth Kolsap-Petraco, DNP, PNP-BC, CPNP, Coordinator of Child Health Services in the Suffolk County Department of Health Services, was named “2012 Nurse Practitioner of the Year” by the New York State Nurse Practitioner Association at its annual award ceremony in Saratoga Springs last Friday.
Mary Beth, who hails from Amityville, has served the residents of Suffolk County through the Department of Health Services for over 26 years. In 1995, she helped establish Suffolk County's Immunization Action Program, a federally funded and state-administered program that provides children with medically recommended vaccinations at low-cost or for free. Commonly known as "Shots for Tots," the program holds clinics at community centers, such as at the public library and churches.
“On behalf of the 1.5 million residents of Suffolk County, I commend Mary-Beth Kolsap Petraco and thank her for the work she has done to keep our residents safe from communicable disease,” said County Executive Steve Bellone.
Commissioner of Health Services James Tomarken said, “Mary Beth and the staff in our Division of Patient Care Services has done an outstanding job as they travel throughout the county, speaking with concerned parents and providing them with understandable data so that their decisions regarding their children’s immunizations are based on solid clinical evidence.”
In addition to her work with the health department, Mary Beth Koslap-Petraco has served on numerous national committees and shared her expertise on best practices in immunization with legislative and health-care institutions at the national, state and local levels, influencing public policy on immunization and clinical practice. She has published manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals, authored chapters of books, prepared web-based education programs, published magazine articles, prepared presentations for symposia and made numerous scholarly presentations, sharing her extensive knowledge of immunization policy and practice. Sharing her passion with others, Mary Beth has been mentoring nursing and nurse practitioner students since she earned her first nursing diploma and provides her students with sound medical and nursing skills.
The Nurse Practitioner Association of New York State exists to provide representation, communication and advocacy for nurse practitioners.