Humanitarian to Address University Community in Inaugural Maria Gervasio Cura Personalis Lecture

Apr 19, 2016

Over the past nine years, Danielle Butin has led efforts to ship $26 million worth of recovered medical supplies to 58 African, Caribbean, Latin American and Asian nations. Butin, executive director of the Afya Foundation, will be the speaker for the inaugural Maria Gervasio Cura Personalis Lecture at the University of Scranton.

The lecture will take place on Sunday, April 24, at 2 p.m. in Edward Leahy Hall, Room 235. It is free of charge and open to the public.

Butin founded Afya – a medical supply recovery organization based in New York – in 2007. The organization received a 2015 Clinton Global Citizen Award in recognition of its response to the Ebola epidemic in Africa. In 2014, the New York State Senate recognized Butin as a Woman of Distinction for her role in used local medical resources and volunteers to promote local health.

Most recently, Butin visited a Syrian refugee camp in Lesbos, Greece, and is leading Afya’s response to the refugee crisis by sending 35 pallets of inventory valued at $500,000 to support hospitals and health care providers serving refugee camps in the Middle East and Greece.

The Cura Personalis Lecture is named for the late Maria Gervasio, a 2014 graduate of the Panuska College of Professional Studies’ Occupational Therapy program. During her five years at the University, her dedication to social justice and the empowerment of all people inspired many. She was active in the Occupational Therapy Club and in occupational therapy research activities, including presentations at state and national conferences. She also helped organize the 2014 Occupational Therapy Graduate Spring Fling, which raised money to support America’s VetDogs.

The lecture is part of the Panuska College’s yearlong celebration of its new facility, Leahy Hall, and its newly renovated McGurrin Hall. The College has dedicated the 2015-2016 academic year as a year of “Embracing the Call to Care,” which is one of the tenets of Ignatian spirituality and is at the core of Catholic and Jesuit education at the University.

For additional information, call 570-941-6305.

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