Rose is named Businessperson of the Year

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Roxanne Rose says she prefers to be in the background rather than out front, but her community involvement suggests otherwise. Rose, the community relations director at AFC Urgent Care, was honored as the East Meadow Chamber of Commerce’s 2020   Businessperson of the Year at the chamber’s annual awards breakfast at the Crest Hollow Country Club in Jericho last Friday.

Rose serves on the board of directors of both the East Meadow and West Islip chambers, and is a member of the Farmingdale chamber as well. She also received the 2021 New York State 17th Assembly District’s Women of Distinction Award. She joined the East Meadow chamber in 2016.

“She’s a wonderful person, and I’ve known her for years and years,” said Frank Camarano, president of the Nassau Council of Chambers of Commerce. “She’s a very active member of the East Meadow community.”

Rose has been with AFC Urgent Care in East Meadow since 2016, when it first opened. The East Meadow center is its flagship location. She began working there after Lou Dionisio, one of the managing partners at AFC East Meadow, called her and asked her how he could get involved with the community.

At the time, Rose, who lives in East Meadow, was the PTA Council community relations representative, chairing the Community Relations Committee from 2014 to 2018.

“He asked me how he could get involved in the community, because the urgent care that they were using was going to be very grass-roots, and the main purpose was to be a part of the community,” Rose said of Dionisio. “. . . The PTA council president at the time and I met with him to tell him how to get involved, and he offered me the job.”

As director of marketing and community outreach for AFC Urgent Care Long Island, Rose has begun many programs to benefit businesses and families in East Meadow and surrounding communities.

At the start of the coronavirus pandemic, she reached out to businesses in the community to safely get employees back to work by using federally approved Covid-19 testing and workplace screenings for employees and their families.

“I contacted Chamber of Commerce businesses and said, ‘Listen, you have to stay up and running,’” Rose said. “People couldn’t close their doors; it wouldn’t be fair. What I had to offer to them was my rapid testing.”

AFC Urgent Care in East Meadow was among the very first urgent cares in the country to offer rapid testing in April 2020.

“She helped out the community tremendously during Covid,” said James Skinner, the chamber vice president and owner of A&C Pest Management in East Meadow. “When people needed tests, she was right there to help out.”

She worked long hours at the height of the pandemic and was available to help around the clock, Skinner said.

She created the Teddy Bear Urgent Care Program at all AFC Urgent Care Long Island sites. The program invites community organizations like the Girl Scouts to bring children and their stuffed animals to an AFC Urgent Care, where a “teddy bear clinician” is on hand to treat their bumps, lumps and bruises. Children register their stuffed animals and interact in a Vitals Station and Boo-Boo Station, and receive hands-on practice calling 911.

She also created a program at AFC Urgent Cares to provide East Meadow and West Islip high school seniors the opportunity to fulfill senior project hours. For this program, students shadow staff to learn about the internal workings of urgent care centers, while also learning about the medical field. All AFC locations now provide scholarships to high school seniors in East Meadow, West Islip and Farmingdale to further pursue an education in health care.

Rose served as PTA council president from 2011 to 2013, spending a great deal of time in the community. “Being president of the PTA council, you are out in the community, so you try to use what the small businesses offer,” she said. “Everyone needs to work together. It’s so important that the community and the small businesses all thrive together.”

She joined the PTA when her oldest daughter was in kindergarten. Rose and her husband, Peter, have two daughters, Victoria, 23 and Rachel, 20. Rose joined because she was a stay-at-home mom and another woman asked her to join with her.

“Once you start being in PTA, you don’t stop. You do it for the kids,” she explained. “PTA’s slogan is, ‘Every Child, One Voice,’ and it can’t be more true.”

Volunteering is rewarding, she said. “It can be tough at times, but it’s so worth it,” she said. “It’s something that everyone needs to do.”

She added that it’s important to get involved in your community. “Your community is what you make it,” she said.      “. . . If a community is strong, it’s because the people within made it better.”

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