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Niagara Honor Roll / Achievers and achievements

*The Visiting Nursing Association of Western New York is ranked among the top home health care agencies in the nation, according to recently released data from Press Ganey.

Press Ganey's January to July home health care report for the Visiting Nursing Association's Niagara County branch shows that 100 percent of patients would recommend the VNA to others needing home care services, with 90 percent of patients giving the agency the highest overall ratings, scores that put the organization above national benchmarks and into the top percentiles across the country. They also scored well in quality of care and communication with patients.

"Our primary focus is quality of care for the patients we serve, and we measure and improve on it continuously," said Judy Baumgartner, president of the VNA of Western New York. "We are so proud of these most recent results."

The Niagara County branch is on South Transit Road in Lockport.


*The North Tonawanda History Museum board of trustees announced the appointment of two trustees at its Aug. 10 meeting: Marlene Miller of the City of Tonawanda, a museum volunteer who has been trained in history and museum studies; and Kayla Shypski of North Tonawanda, who is presently doing an internship with the museum.

Miller is experienced in a wide variety of conservation and preservation methods. She has done internships in the past at Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site, Buffalo & Erie County Historical Society and the Historical Society of the Tonawandas. She has held administrative positions with Buffalo State College and in business. She is providing curatorial services and assisting with administrative functions, as well as volunteering.

Shypski earned a bachelor's degree in classical studies and history from Elmira College and is earning a master's in history and museum studies at Buffalo State College. She has previous experience as assistant to the county historian at the Chemung Valley History Museum in Elmira, did an internship in Mycenae, Greece, on an archaeological dig site, and published archaeological research relating to Mark Twain's home at Quarry Farm in Elmira.


*David F. Schmidt, of Sanborn, was elected to the board of trustees of the Firemen's Association of the State of New York Firemen's Home, a specialized rehabilitation facility for retired volunteer firefighters in Hudson. He will serve a five-year term.

Schmidt began his fire service career as a junior firefighter in 1971. On his 18th birthday in 1975, he became an active firefighter with Lewiston Fire Company No. 2. One year later, he was appointed a junior lieutenant and has served in the line offices of senior lieutenant, 1st and 2nd assistant chief, and chief in 1980. He also served as president in 1983 in addition to the positions of secretary, financial secretary and sergeant-at-arms.

He has served as president of the exempt and benevolent association since 1992. He also has served with the Sanborn Fire Company for six years. He has been a member of the Western New York Volunteer Firemen's Association since 1975, including as trustee representing Niagara County from 2002 to 2007. He is currently a member of the Fire Prevention and 2-percent committees and is vice chairman of the Steering Committee. Schmidt has been a member of the Firemen's Association of the State of New York since 1975.

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