Healthy Tip of the Week

  • Drink More H2O. Water is essential for our bodies because it is in every cell, tissue and organ in the body. That's why getting enough water every day is important for your health, according to the Centers for Disease Control. If you are outside on a hot day or doing vigorous activity, you may need to increase how much water you drink. If you start to feel thirsty, it is a signal that your body is on the way to dehydration. Water helps keep your body temperature normal, lubricates and cushions your joints, protects your spinal cord and other sensitive tissues and gets rid of wastes through urination, perspiration, and bowel movements. Read more.

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Welcome! what we consider the most progressive and benefit-friendly health care plan for school districts in New York state and their employee associations. The NY44 Health Benefits Plan Trust is a unique partnership that succeeds on its collaborative framework of respect between labor and management. Established in 2003, the plan achieved self-funded status in 2008. It continues to grow significantly in its membership while containing annual costs and expanding benefit offerings. How do we do it? Read more.

Health Benefits Plan Trustees

Plan Administrator/
Ex Officio Trustee

Darleen A. Michalak, Ph.D.


JoAnn Balazs 
Director, Management Services

Bargaining Unions:
John Pope, Chair
Erie 1 Administrators Association, SAANYS

Carol Barber 
Deputy Superintendent

Joseph Borgisi, Vice Chair
Erie 1 Professional Education
Association, NYSUT

Claims Risk Coordinator
Thomas Pomidoro


James Fregelette
Executive Director,
Finance and  Information Systems

Patricia Kirisits
Erie 1 Management

Association, SAANYS

Fiscal Agent, Alice Riley


Doreen Kausner 
Coordinator of Finance
Services/District Treasurer 

Scott Decker

AFSCME Local 2567,
12-month employees

Wellness Reimbursement Representative
Jeni Kapalczynski
716.821.7439 (fax)

Melody Jason
Executive Director,
Instructional Programs and Services

Deborah Piatek

AFSCME Local 2341,
10-month employees