Spotlight on Your Funds
July 2021
Benefit and Pension Funds’ Boards of Trustees Met in June
The 1199SEIU Benefit and Pension Funds’ Boards of Trustees held their Joint Annual Meeting on Thursday, June 17, and Friday, June 18, onsite at the Funds’ Manhattan Headquarters at 498 Seventh Avenue, and via Zoom. Executive Director Donna Rey, EdD, who succeeded Mitra Behroozi after her retirement in March, presented the Funds’ 2020 Year in Review and highlights from the first quarter of 2021. Dr. Rey also reported on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ways in which the Funds continued to support your 1199SEIU employees and members, as well as fulfill fiduciary responsibilities. In addition, Dr. Rey announced the retirement in June of the Funds’ General Counsel, Jeffrey Stein, and the naming of his successor, Suzanne Metzger. Suzanne has worked at the Funds for more than 15 years, first as an assistant general counsel and then as the associate general counsel. Her duties have included ERISA and ACA compliance and other statutory compliance work, litigation, and advising plan administrators and Trustees on legal issues related to the administration of the Funds’ various healthcare, pension, training and child-care plans. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Smith College in 2000 and a Doctorate in Law from Western New England College School of Law on an Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., full scholarship in 2003.

You may view a PDF of Dr. Rey’s National Benefit Fund and Health Care Employees Pension Fund presentation. For more information, please contact Trustee Relations Administrator Christina Ruiz at
Registered Apprenticeship Programs Help Healthcare Workers Gain Skills to Meet Industry Needs
The 1199SEIU Training and Employment Funds’ (TEF) Registered Apprenticeship (RA) Program is helping to train healthcare workers, particularly for high-demand and emerging careers in the industry. Since launching its first apprenticeship program in November 2016, TEF has registered seven apprenticeships with the U.S. Department of Labor and state departments of labor in New York, Massachusetts and Maryland for Medical/Hospital Coder, Community Health Worker (CHW), Certified Nurse Aide (CNA), Patient Care Technician (PCT), Home Health Aide, Central Sterile Processing Technician (CST) and Licensed Practical Nurse. A total of more than 220 apprentices have been registered to date.

RA programs help improve staff retention by creating a supportive work environment led by peer mentors, along with academic training, test preparation and tutoring. Participants “earn while they learn,” combining classroom education with practical skills to create a reliable supply of qualified employees. From 2016 to 2019, TEF has supported the training of 75 CHWs, 15 Medical/Hospital coders, 13 CSTs, 25 PCTs and 14 CNAs. For more information, your employees and members may contact Samir Fayyaz at
Future of America Learning Center Celebrates 2021 Graduates
On June 25, the 1199SEIU/Child Care Corporation’s Future of America Learning Center (FALC) held its graduation ceremony for 60 pre-kindergarten students. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ceremony was held virtually. During the year, 45 of the students attended classes in person at FALC in the Bronx, while 15 students did a combination of blended and remote learning.

FALC provides full-day, affordable, high-quality and educational childcare services to the children of working 1199SEIU parents and to those from neighboring communities. Established in 1993, FALC is licensed by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children. It currently serves as a host school within The Learning Partners Program of the New York City Department of Education. FALC’s academic offerings include a focus on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics). For more information, email

After a trying year—both physically and emotionally—MaryGrace Colobong reflects on the peace of mind her 1199SEIU health benefits afforded her.
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