Queens Ambassador for Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, NYC Chapter
Community Board 11 Member
Community Involvement: Susan Cerezo joined Community Board 11 in 2011. As a member, she assists in assessing the needs of the district, which adds to the long list of volunteer work she has done in Queens over the last five years.
In 2008, Cerezo became a member of the Flushing Cancer Action Council of Queens Library HealthLink. The CAC conducts health programs, educational seminars and coordinates free screening tests in an attempt to fight cancer in Queens.
In 2009, she became the Queens Ambassador for Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, NYC Chapter. The organization supports blood cancer patients and meets with legislators in Albany to discuss issues benefiting better treatment.
Cerezo is also an active member of the St. Anastasia’s Church in Douglaston.
Personal: Born and raised in the Philippines, Cerezo received a bachelor’s degree in optometry at Centro Escolar University before immigrating to the United States. Her father served as a medic under General Douglas MacArthur.
Cerezo and her late husband, Nestor, raised two children in Mineola, Long Island. Chris, 36, is a National Sales Executive at Napa Technology. Melissa, 33, is a city planner for the Department of City Planning.
Occupation: Cerezo worked for Group Health Insurance Company, now Emblem Health, for over 35 years. She was also a fraud and abuse auditor for Medicare in Queens County and a reviewer for claims referred by legislators and the State Insurance Department.
Inspiration: “I was inspired by my daughter,” said Cerezo.
Her daughter, Melissa, encouraged her to join Community Board 11. As a city planner, Melissa is actively engaged with members of the community boards in Manhattan.
Challenges: Although the CAC offers free screenings, they still face the challenge of getting underprivileged residents to the tests. “Some make appointments, but they don’t show up,” said Cerezo, “because they won’t get paid at work.”
Favorite Memory: “My most favorite memory from doing community work is when Governor Andrew Cuomo signed The Oral Chemotherapy Bill,” said Cerezo. “It was a great victory.”