Awards & Recognition
Swedish Institute receives frequent recognition for the community service it provides when students and teachers bring the benefits of massage and acupuncture to various locations around the city.
Volunteering at the World Trade Center Visitor Center
Swedish Institute alumni, faculty and staff who volunteered during the aftermath of September 11 have been invited to be involved in the Tribute World Trade Center Visitor Center. They would join the many diverse people—firefighters, rescue and recovery workers, survivors, family members—who provide a guided tour for the hundreds of visitors from around the world who go to the site. The Tribute World Trade Center Visitor Center is located downtown at 22 Cortlandt Street.
As part of the walking tour, guides give a general picture of what happened that day, and then tell about their immediate and personal involvement. Those from Swedish Institute were part of a spontaneous and quickly organized response that involved about 1,400 volunteer therapists who went to more than 50 sites around the city.
Swedish Institute's administration and staff took a leading role in coordination and mobilization of therapists, as well as providing the financial support needed to maintain tables and supplies for many weeks. The organization emerged spontaneously and selflessly; the only concern was to provide massage therapy and acupuncture to those most in need. First-hand accounts of volunteers’ experiences can be read in the first issue of the school newsletter, Sinews.
Months later, letters of recognition attested to the deep and lasting impression that volunteer therapists made.
A certificate of appreciation from John T. Odermatt, Commissioner of New York City's Office of Emergency Management, and Jonathan Greenspun, Commissioner of the Mayor's Community Assistance Unit, was accompanied by a letter to school president Paula J. Eckardt, which said, in part,
"On behalf of the City of New York, we would like to thank you for your assistance in the World Trade Center disaster relief effort. The demand for help in the wake of September 11th was unprecedented, which made your aid all the more valuable. With your assistance New York was quickly able to respond to the days' events, and with your cooperation, the city was able to prepare itself for the long road to recovery. We truly could not have done it without you."
President’s Volunteer Service Award
On April 22, 2005, Swedish Institute’s Off-site Clinic Programs received the President's Volunteer Service Award in recognition of their contributions to September Space, an organization in Manhattan that provides free services to people still affected by the terrorist attack of 2001.
Faculty members Ericka Clinton, L.M.T. and Francesca Biryukov, L.Ac., accepted the awards on behalf of their respective programs. Both Clinton and Biryukov received gold pins, as well as a written statement bearing the Presidential Seal. Student interns who were present also received a certificate and silver pin.
In a letter accompanying the award, President Bush reminds recipients that, "In January 2002, I called on all Americans to dedicate at least two years-or 4,000 hours-over the course of their lives to serve others at home or abroad... Americans of all ages can serve others in countless ways, such as mentoring a child, caring for an elderly neighbor, teaching someone to read, cleaning parks, and creating safer neighborhoods."
Community Partner of the Year Award
In March, 2004 Swedish Institute received the Community Partner of the Year award from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, NYC Chapter, for its role in providing massage therapy to participants in the MS Bike Tour and MS Walk.
New York City Marathon
The school is also recognized for its annual participation during the New York City Marathon, when massage therapy students provide pre- and post-event sports massage for runners in Fred's Team. Fred's Team consists of runners who raise money for research at Memorial-Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.