Gold Coast Honored Heroes
Executive Council Chair | Medical Chair |Shining Star
Our local honored heroes understands first-hand how difficult these diseases can be. They want to support patients like themselves because no one should face the challenges and uncertainty of IBD alone. Honored heroes use their story to raise awareness of these diseases, raise funds in support of the Foundation’s mission, and inspire hope to those living with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
Executive Council Chair, Ron Berkowitz
Ron Berkowitz, Group Director, SVP at Signature Bank - I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in 1996 at the age of 23. I joined the Long Island Chapter in 1999 after meeting then Executive Director, Edda Ramsdell at the annual chapter luncheon. Ten years later in 2009 I met with Mitch Carron, then Chapter Board President and decided to get more involved by joining the Board. Since then, I have also held the following roles Executive Vice President of the Board, founding Co-chair of the Take Steps Executive Council and this year the Chair.
I have worked in commercial & retail banking for 25 years, starting with the branches at HSBC, and then with North Fork Bank & TD Bank. I have been with Signature Bank since 2009 as a Group Director of commercial banking. I have engaged each bank I have worked at to support the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation and the Long Island Take Steps Program.
The Executive Council is a group of dedicated individuals, well-connected in their communities and industries, with a passion for supporting the mission of the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation. For more than 50 years, the Foundation has been dedicated to finding a cure for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis while improving the lives of patients. We can’t make advances without the involvement of community leaders.
I invite you to join this remarkable network of corporate leaders and help us grow the Take Steps Program through corporate partnerships, sponsorships, and walk teams.
Interested in learning more about this extraordinary network of corporate leaders contact myself or Take Steps Director, Suzanne Beck at firstname.lastname@example.org.
click here to join my team, Team Berkowitz
click here to donate to my team
Medical Chair, Dr. Toni Webster
Dr. Toni Webster graduated cum laude with honors from New York University before attending The New York College of Osteopathic Medicine.
Dr. Webster completed her pediatric residency and fellowship training in pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition at Cohen Children’s Medical Center of New York where she is currently an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine. She is the associate director of the Comprehensive Airway, Respiratory, and Esophageal team or CARE team at Cohen Children’s Medical Center- a family-centered multidisciplinary program for treating patients with complex problems related to the airway and upper digestive systems. She is an active member of the Eosinophilic Gastrointestinal Disease special interest group of the North American Society of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition and on the executive council of the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation.
Dr. Webster is committed to her patients and to the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation. This year, Dr. Webster and the entire Pediatric IBD Center at Cohen Children’s Medical Center are once again aiming high! They are committed to the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation and the Long Island Take Steps Walk Program.
Dr. Webster invites you to join her as she teams up with the Long Island Chapter to raise $150,000 to help people suffering from Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, chronic inflammatory diseases of the digestive tract that cause severe pain, prolonged hospitalization, and potentially life-threatening complications and surgeries.
click here to register today and join our team, the Pediatric IBD Center of Cohen Children's Northwell Health.
Medical Honorees, Nurses: Josephine Bullaro, June Lumokso, and Terri Monteagudo
We are thrilled to be honoring these three amazing nurses. They are on the frontlines of seeing our pediatric patients for their weekly/monthly treatments.
Learn more about them:
Hi, I’m Josephine Bullaro; I have been a pediatric nurse for over thirty years. I graduated from Nassau Community College way back when and began my nursing career at Cohen Children's Medical Center in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. I obtained my bachelor's degree from Adelphi University while working full time in the PICU and am currently in the process of obtaining my MSN in nursing Education.
To be honest, I never thought I would find myself in the gastroenterology department, however, I'm glad to have transferred here. For over ten years, I have enjoyed every aspect of the GI nurse position. The diversity in this position, allows me to utilize knowledge and skill, when caring for patients and their families. I have given lectures to nursing staff on IBD, the effect it has on children and their families, and the infusion of medication treatments we administer. I also assisted in the opening of the infusion unit at Southside hospital by educating nurses on the administration of infusions for IBD patients.
What I enjoy the most is being able to see the patient when they are diagnosed in the endoscopy suite, following their care through the administration of infusion treatments, and forming long lasting bonds, while watching their overall health and quality of life improve. IBD is a lifelong disease that can debilitate children and families. Witnessing the resiliency and progression to wellness, that these children and families experience is very uplifting for us, as nurses. The attachment to the patients and their families has made me enjoy this position to the fullest.
Refinement of medication modalities over the years has given hope to children with IBD. Participating in the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation has added to the many ways I reflect on the care delivered to the many patients we see on a daily basis, and I am truly honored.
Participating in Take Steps means that I am dedicated to continuing to care for children and families that are inflicted with IBD in hopes that a cure is imminent.
My name is June Lumokso, I have been a pediatric nurse for 36 years. I graduated from the Philippines and was trained there for a few years and migrated here in 1986. I had worked in a long- term rehab, PICU, Peds ER, before managing the Endoscopy and the Infusion Center of Cohen Children’s Hospital.
I have seen it all from trauma to a very sick child and there is nothing more rewarding than watching your young patients from babies, to toddler, to teens, to young adult saying happy goodbyes after their confinement. I have been managing the Endoscopy and Infusion Center since 2007.
We don’t only treat but teach our patients and parents on how to become their own health advocate. We train new nurses to become expert in handling patients on both units. We started with just few endoscopy procedures and infusion patients and is now performing thousands of procedures and infusions annually. I feel honored to be asked as one of the honorees for this event this year.
My name is Terri and I have been a pediatric nurse for 31 years. I graduated from Adelphi University in 1991. Worked in the PICU and transferred to the GI Division at COHEN CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL and have been working here for 22 years. I joined the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation and have been a part of Take Steps for many years.
The Foundation has been a leader in IBD research since their founding more than 50 years ago. They are accelerating the pace of research by breaking down traditional barriers to patients, data, funding, and collaborations, as well as catalyzing critical cutting-edge research studies and clinical trials at major medical institutions, and financing underdeveloped areas of research.
In 2014, I was honored to be asked to go to Camp Oasis for a week of Camp. And I had one of the best experiences; I witnessed pretty sick kids who were able to forget about their illness and just have fun. This was life changing for me. Working with children who suffer from IBD every day can be heartbreaking. Camp Oasis showed me the reason I do what I do and how to see so many positive stories in our patients.
IBD Kids go from one day being healthy to constantly being sick, to getting diagnosed, to starting treatment, and becoming a different child. When families come to the endoscopy suite, we provide them hope from the very first day. We build a relationship with our patients and shed tears when they outgrow us to adult treatment centers when it’s time to say goodbye. It's because of the patients that make me love my job and look forward to going to work. The bonds we forge are unbreakable.
Participating in Take Steps means hope, means there are still so many people out there that need our help, need to be educated and need to work together to find a cure for IBD. This is the only way we can stop their suffering so they can live their best life possible.
click here to join our team.
Shining Stars, Brother & Sister, Matthew & Jenna Cozier
My name is Matthew Cozier. I was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease right before my 16th birthday. I had begun to rapidly lose weight and was finding myself sleeping for hours upon hours and I couldn’t keep up with my friends and teammates. I just kept thinking to myself what was wrong with me? Once I was diagnosed, I began treatments of Remicade and slowly my body began to respond to it.
I am now 18 years old and a freshman at Farmingdale State College. If you were to look at me now you would never know I live with this disease. When I first found out I had Crohn's Disease I felt a sense of relief mixed with a sense of dread because after a long journey. I had finally found out what was wrong with me, but I was still unsure of what was to come. My doctors gave me an informational packet about the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation, and it was a game changer for us. Through the foundation we have gotten so much support and guidance about how to navigate life with Crohn’s Disease. My family and I ‘Take Steps’ in the hopes of finding a cure for this invisible disease which has an effect on my, my families and patients’ daily life. I am hopeful that with all the great work that the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation does that a cure will be found in the near future.
My name is Jennifer (Jenna) Cozier. I was diagnosed with Crohn's disease 6 months after my twin brother was diagnosed. For a while, I had joint pain and stomach problems but attributed it to growing pains and food issues. As I became sicker, mundane tasks such as showering or unloading the dishwasher became harder and made me easily tired. When my brother was diagnosed, I then realized that the symptoms that I was having weren't normal. I was finally diagnosed in February 2020. I was also diagnosed with IBD arthritis due to my Crohn's disease.
When I first got sick, I was afraid I would always feel this way and it would never get better, but after getting started weekly on Humira, I felt so much better. Although I still have bad days, my medications make the good days even better and the bad days not so bad. The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation is a huge support system in my life. By working together as a team, I am positive that more treatment options and possibly even a cure will be achievable in the future.
click here to register today and join our team, Twin Power
To learn more about our honored heroes or to nominate an honored hero please contact Suzanne Beck at email@example.com or (516) 222-5534.