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April 15, 2014

Catherine Collins Wins Altes Prize

The Buffalo Native Demonstrates Exemplary Community Service

Catherine Collins, N.P., R.N. was recognized by SUNY Empire State College with Altes Prize for Community Service

(BUFFALO, N.Y. - June 25, 2014) Buffalo native Catherine Collins, an associate professor at SUNY Empire State College, has been selected as the recipient of the Altes Prize for Exemplary Community Service, given annually by the Empire State College Foundation. She was recognized during an awards dinner at the All College Conference in Saratoga Springs. Later in the year, the college will host a reception in her honor at the college’s Buffalo location. The honor also comes with a cash prize.

Collins said, “I am just elated, humbled, thrilled to be nominated by peers. That’s one of the most wonderful things – to be recognized by your peers.”

Collins, a nurse practioner and R.N., was recognized for her work in the Buffalo community and beyond, focusing on health care, homelessness and transitional housing for formerly incarcerated women, with a particular emphasis on the needs of African-American women, for whom there is a pattern of health care disparities, compared to the population at large.

Nan DiBello, dean of the Niagara Frontier Center, said, “Dr. Collins has worked on a variety of community concerns, but with particular emphasis on the health and well-being of African-American girls and women in both published works and numerous presentations. Dr. Collins has made important contributions to addressing the status of, and conditions faced by, incarcerated African-American women, including arranging for the provision of health screenings and related information. She also has been actively involved in supporting a local transition house for women returning from prison. As a result of her work with the New York Commission of Corrections, programming for incarcerated women and several publications, Dr. Collins has gained national recognition for bringing attention to issues related to incarcerated African-American women.”

She is the author of a series of books focusing on African-American women in the correctional system and social and health care issues. She is currently editing a book about African-American girls.

Four years ago, she started a women’s radio program to educate and inform women in the region about health and social issues that impact them and their loved ones, which has had resounding support. The show, “Women’s Health with Dr. Catherine Collins,” airs twice monthly on 1400 WWWS.AM. It is the sole radio show devoted entirely to women’s health.

In addition, Collins has spearheaded community initiatives such as Project Love and Hope for Homeless Children that served children in New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington, D.C. With the Army Reserve Health Center at the Masten Avenue Armory in Buffalo, she established a volunteer weekend clinic to provide needed health services for children attending Public School #44 and residents of the Fruit Belt neighborhood with limited or no insurance. The clinic was staffed by Army medical personnel, in addition to Collins and other health professionals who volunteered their time.