Deborah Molnar Recognized with 2024 Golisano Health Leadership Award Presented by Special Olympics New York

Albany, NY – Special Olympics New York is proud to congratulate SUNY Canton Physical Therapist Assistant Program Director Deborah Molnar on earning the 2024 Golisano Health Leadership Award.

As a Special Olympics New York volunteer for nearly 10 years and a physical therapist for more than 30, Molnar has been an invaluable proponent of the Special Olympics Health movement. She has consistently led fitness screenings in the North Country and was the lead Clinical Director of screenings at the 2022 State Fall Games. Molnar also helped plan and host two events in the North Country Region last year, introducing essential health education to local athletes.

“Working with Special Olympics has been such an amazing experience,” said Molnar. “I am so grateful for the opportunity to engage in something that is so meaningful and be able to share that with my students as well.”

“Deb’s dedication to our movement is improving athlete health not just in her home region, but throughout the state,” said Special Olympics NY President & CEO Stacey Hengsterman. “In recognition of this achievement and so much more, we’re honored to present her with this award.”

The Golisano Health Leadership Award recognizes health champions who make significant contributions to equal access to health, fitness, or wellness for people with intellectual disabilities. The award also promotes awareness for the progress and extraordinary efforts toward fulfilling the goals, values, and mission of Special Olympics Health work. This is the highest Special Olympics honor for health partners.

“Tom Golisano and I congratulate Deborah on this important honor,” said Erica Dayton, Executive Director of the Golisano Foundation. “Deborah is a true champion of inclusive health for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Through her work and that of others who have been honored, significant progress is being made to break down barriers to accessing healthcare and opening the doors to essential wellness and prevention programs. Thank you for all that you are doing.”

About Tom Golisano and the Golisano Foundation

Tom Golisano—entrepreneur, philanthropist, and civic leader—is the founder of Paychex, Inc., the nation’s largest human resource company for small to medium-sized businesses, providing integrated human capital management solutions for payroll, benefits, human resources, and insurance services for more than 740,000 clients in the U.S. and Europe. Mr. Golisano’s vision, perseverance, and action have left an indelible mark on a broad spectrum of issues that touch our lives—in business, healthcare, education, voter policies, politics, and tax reform. His continuing investments are helping drive the success of numerous businesses and start-ups. His philanthropic contributions to hospitals—including three children’s hospitals that bear his name—and numerous educational institutions and other organizations exceed $335 million. He has dedicated more than $95 million to advancing inclusive health around the world.

A fierce advocate for dignity and inclusion, in 1985 Tom Golisano applied his pioneering spirit to establish the Golisano Foundation to make the world a better place for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. With more than $60 million in gross assets, it is one of the largest private foundations in the U.S. devoted to supporting programs for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities awarding about $3 million annually to non-profit organizations in Western New York and Southwest Florida.

About Special Olympics New York

Special Olympics New York is the largest state chapter in the country, serving more than 45,000 athletes across New York with year-round sports training, athletic competition, and health screenings. The organization also partners with more than 300 schools statewide to offer Unified Sports, where students with and without disabilities compete as teammates. All Special Olympics New York programs are offered at no cost to athletes, their families, or caregivers. The organization has earned the Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.com and a four-star rating from Charity Navigator, making it one of the most trusted charities in the business nationally. For additional information about Special Olympics New York, to learn more about getting involved, or to make a donation, visit www.specialolympicsNY.org.