Daily Point of Light # 1713 Aug 28, 2000

Dr. Ann Merlino has been a valued volunteer for the Staten Island area for more than 20 years and has proven her commitment to the ideals and goals of the American Cancer Society through her education and advocacy activities.

Dr. Merlino is currently the chairwoman of the Executive Board as well as the chairwoman of the Comprehensive School Health Education/Tobacco Control team of the Staten Island Regional office of the American Cancer Society. She oversees all the school-based cancer control programs. Her active involvement and her exemplary leadership abilities have enabled the Staten Island Region of the American Cancer Society to coordinate four Great American Smokeout student letter-writing contests in which an excess of 6000 letters were submitted. In addition to that, she piloted the annual Bumper Sticker/ Change the Tobacco Ad contest in 1997 – a project that educated the children of Staten Island on healthy living and the dangers of smoking.

Dr. Merlino was instrumental in the implementation of the American Cancer Society’s Multicultural Inter-Generation Health Awareness Fairs held at Sea View Hospital in 1996, 1997 and 1998. Dr. Merlino also conceived and implemented the Staten Island Health & Safety Alliance, which is a coalition of the American Cancer Society, American Heart Association and the American Red Cross that provides a comprehensive approach for grade-appropriate health and safety programs.

Prior to spearheading the Comprehensive School Health Education Committee, Dr. Merlino successfully chaired the Public Education Committee for the American Cancer Society, and as such, received the prestigious National American Cancer Society Lifesaver Award for her work with breast cancer awareness programs, tobacco control programs and the presentation of innovative teen health fairs and teen cancer control programs. She has recruited volunteers to assist with the programming of the Great American Smokeout, as well as participate in numerous health fairs.

The Staten Island Breast Health Partnership, which offers no-cost mammography, clinical breast exams and self-exams to eligible women, has also benefited from Dr. Merlino’s commitment to helping women receive the proper cancer screenings.

Furthermore, Dr. Merlino coordinated a Legislative Breakfast in 1998 and 1999. The theme was “Women United: Speaking Out Against Tobacco III.” This event garnered awareness for every woman who has ever felt targeted by tobacco advertising. In 1999, she also testified before the New York City’s Council’s Consumer Affairs Committee, on Intro 468-A regarding a strengthened law for tobacco sales to minors. This bill recently passed and became a law in April 2000.

Dr. Ann Merlino’s commitment to the cause of education about cancer is tremendous. Her work with the American Cancer Society has proved to be invaluable to the mission of the group as well as all the women and children she reaches.