Lewandowski Receives State Unsung Heroine Award

Suzanne “Sue” Lewandowski, the academic secretary for the departments of history, and mathematics and computer science, was honored in May at the Sixth Annual Unsung Heroine Celebration at the Massachusetts State House. The Unsung Heroine award, sponsored by the state Commission on the Status of Women, honors 100 Massachusetts women who work quietly, without recognition, to make their communities and the Commonwealth better places to live. Lewandowski was nominated for the award by State Senator Stephen Brewer for her years of advocacy for eating disorders awareness and her work with people recovering from food and co-occurring addictions. She lives in North Brookfield.

“It’s easier to prevent an eating disorder, or other addictions, than it is to recover from one,” Lewandowski said. “Addiction prevention begins with parents who model healthy thoughts and behaviors. Educating adolescents and adults about today’s changing culture, trends, and concerns makes for more well-informed choices. Providing parents with positive family activities, community support, accurate information, access to resources and the most local treatment options will be the cornerstone for positive change and empowerment.”

NB CARES, the Web-based organization Lewandowski created in 2005, sends weekly updates and newsletters to 425 families in North Brookfield. In addition to her advocacy on behalf of food disorders awareness, she is a member of North Brookfield’s emergency management agency, president of Hearts for Heat, the town’s fuel assistance program, and is active with the PTA, Warren Domestic Violence Task Force and the ANAD Eating Disorders support group.

Lewandowski is enrolled in Assumption’s master’s degree program in rehabilitation counseling. In addition, she will complete a graduate program at the Plymouth State University Eating Disorder Institute this fall, where she will develop consistent and reliable (eating disorder) screening tools and related information for primary care physicians.

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