North Country Healthy Heart Network is pleased to announce that Mary Ellen Platt joined the team on July 5, 2016. As the new Health Systems Change for Tobacco Free New York Project Coordinator, Mary Ellen will encourage and support administrative strategies to ensure the systemic identification and treatment of tobacco dependence in health systems across the North Country. The position became vacant when former Project Coordinator, Ann Morgan, assumed leadership for the Heart Network at the end of May.
Prior to joining the Heart Network, Mary Ellen served over 20 years in the human service field. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Education-Fine Arts from SUNY Plattsburgh and got her professional start teaching K through 12. She also spent time working with Head Start where she oversaw delivery of comprehensive early childhood education, health, nutrition, and parent involvement programs to low-income children and their families. For the majority of her career, though, she worked under NYSARC (Maine and New York ARC Chapters) serving adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. During that time, she played a key role in creating and providing numerous services focused on prevention and promotion of a positive approach to improving the quality of individual lives.
Over the years, Mary Ellen has watched those she served, and family members alike, struggle from the effects of tobacco use. “I am not only personally, but also professionally excited about this new opportunity,” Mary Ellen said. “I’ve witnessed firsthand what tobacco use does to a person’s life and welcome the chance to consult with providers wanting to make a difference.”