“PSS Honors” Event Toasts Local Heroes in Care for the Disabled, Family Caregiving and Leadership in Positive Aging
NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#NYC–PSS (www.pssusa.org), a multi-service nonprofit agency that has served older New Yorkers and their families for more than 60 years, today announced it will pay tribute to three leaders whose work has positively impacted the lives of City residents, particularly its older adults, at its annual PSS Honors event at Club 101 in Manhattan on Thursday evening, May 4:
- The 28th annual Maggie Kuhn Award will go to Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities Christina Curry, a lifelong leader and advocate for the underserved. Curry has an extensive history of public service ranging from rehabilitation advocacy for the minority deaf, mental health counseling, and work with minority disabled, to statewide HIV and independent living issues. The Maggie Kuhn Award, established in 1995, is named for the American social activist who founded the Gray Panthers in the early 1970s.
- The seventh annual Circle of Care Award, named after PSS’s Circle of Care program, which provides assistance and respite to family caregivers, salutes Founder and Principal Therapist of Berko Music Therapy LLC Ariel Weissberger for helping individuals of all ages and abilities enhance their well-being through therapeutic music experiences.
- The organization’s fourth annual Impact Award for leadership in positive aging was established by its “Coming of Age” program, which inspires people 50 and older to live with passion and purpose. This year’s awardee is GetSetUp, a global online learning and events platform for older adults. The platform provides PSS participants with learning experiences and activities on a wide range of topics, delivered by experts who are the same age as their audience.
“Like PSS, all three of our honorees have demonstrated a capacity to overcome obstacles, and to innovate over the past three years of the pandemic. In some respects, we have all emerged stronger by adapting to the challenges presented by this worldwide shutdown,” said PSS Executive Director Rimas Jasin.
“Commissioner Curry, in her multiple roles of service within New York City, has ensured that the needs of those with disabilities were addressed during this crisis,” he added. “Our continuing partnership with GetSetUp helped us to address the digital needs of thousands of NYC’s isolated seniors, and with Berko Music Therapy we were able to deliver music therapy online to many with dementia and continue to do so.”
Maggie Kuhn Award — Christina Curry was appointed Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities by Mayor Eric Adams in August 2022. A Bronx native, she began her career in Harlem, serving on Community Board 1, on the Executive, Health and Human Services, LGBTQ Task Force and Public Safety Committees. She joined the Harlem Independent Living Center (HILC) in 1999 as program director and was named its Executive Director in 2001. During her tenure, she provided disability/deafness sensitivity trainings to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, NYC Health & Hospitals Corporation hospitals, the Mt. Sinai Continuum as well as local police precincts, domestic violence agencies and shelters, community-based organizations and schools. She has also worked with FEMA in Puerto Rico and with NYC Emergency Management on emergency preparedness in disabled/deaf communities. A graduate of Hunter College-City University of New York with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, she holds a Master of Arts in Deafness Rehabilitation from New York University and a Master of Public Administration in Emergency Management and Disaster Preparedness from Metropolitan College of New York.
Circle of Care Award — Ariel Weissberger founded Berko Music Therapy LLC in 2015 in his grandparents’ honor, and since then has designed and developed music therapy programs for a variety of New York area institutions, including NYU Langone Medical Center, The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, The Institute of Music and Neurologic Function, Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, Titus Schools and Northern Westchester Hospital. He is a Board Certified Music Therapist, a Licensed Creative Arts Therapist, a Neurologic Music Therapist and holds a Partners in Care Certification from the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America. A professional percussionist, he performs and records regularly in the New York area.
Impact Award — GetSetUp was co-founded in 2020 by Lawrence Kosick (President), Neil Dsouza (CEO), and Deval Delivala, (Senior VP of International Markets) as a global online learning community of older adults who want to learn, connect with others and unlock new life experiences. With more than 4.6 million users in over 160 countries around the world, the platform offers live classes taught by peers who are experts in their field, social hours hosted by community members, and special events with speakers who directly address areas of interest to older adults. Classes are offered in English, Spanish, Hindi and Mandarin. GetSetUp has core teams in the U.S., Australia, India, and UK, with more sites coming soon.
PSS was founded in 1962 as Presbyterian Senior Services by volunteers to serve older members of their church community. Today, PSS is a multi-service nonprofit 501(c)(3) agency whose mission is to strengthen the capacity of older New Yorkers, their families, and communities to thrive. PSS has approximately 80 dedicated staff and over 200 committed volunteers and interns. With a $10.6+ million annual budget, the organization serves the community through: ten community centers for older adults; PSS Circle of Care, providing families struggling to care for someone who is frail, chronically ill or has Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia, with caregiver and kinship family support programs; two residences, including the first one purposefully built for grandparents raising children; and its community education programs—PSS Life! University and Coming of Age–that inspire adults 50+ to live with passion and purpose. Website: pssusa.org
For more information, contact:
Andrew Phillips – Advisor, PSS
914-450-5168 / email@example.com