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Solvay--Nurse to travel to Brazil

Sandra 'Sandi' Sutkus of Solvay, director of nursing and clinical care supervisor at Loretto's Heritage Apartments, which specializes in the care of older adults with Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia in Syracuse will soon be taking part in an unprecedented humanitarian effort in Brazil.

To complete her master's degree in nursing administration from the School of Nursing and Health Systems at State University of New York Institute of Technology (SUNY IT).

Sutkus will travel in March as an intern to the Amazon rainforest to help establish a health clinic and introduce health education to Brazil's Muras Indian tribe.

"The Muras Indian tribe has never received traditional, Western health care services in the South American nation's history and is in great need of immediate assistance," Sutkus said.

Sutkus, an eight year employee of Loretto who resides in Solvay, will embark for Brazil on March 6 to 17, along with four nursing faculty members and 15 nursing students (one a fellow master's candidate) from SUNY IT.

Sutkus and several of the students involved with the project are currently seeking support of their efforts from the private sector as well as from local profit and non-profit agencies.

The humanitarian nursing education group needs monetary donations to help defray travel costs for round-trip travel arrangements for 20 to New York City's JFK Airport and round-trip airfare for the entire group to Brazil, in addition to donations of basic personal hygiene items and health care related products including: hand towels, wash clothes, bandages, triple-antibiotic ointments, Z-Pack antibiotics, aspirins and other pain reliever/fever reducers including Tylenol and Motrin, etc., powder baby formula, topical fungal infection ointments, tooth brushes and tooth pastes, soaps and other assorted personal hygiene or traditional care package items, hand sanitizing liquid, inflatable soccer balls and small toys (not stuffed) like those found with fast-food children's meals.

To make a donation or for more information, please contact Sandra Sutkus at 575-0225 or at ssutkus@lorettosystem.org or Pat Zawko, assistant professor of nursing and international initiative coordinator for SUNY IT's School of Nursing and Health Systems, at 792-7815 or at pat.zawko@sunyit.edu.

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