Tuona M. Batchelor
Fortunate in experiences involving foreign development and federal legislation - Tuona Batchelor is a powerhouse, with the grace and compassion of a global steward. As former Regional Assistant to US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Tuona was directly involved in local logistics planning and staffing. Tuona's leadership, talent and management skills were further refined while traveling to regional engagements for the New York Senate elect, to destinations such as New York City and Washington, DC.
Tuona received her Master’s degree in Urban Planning from the University at Buffalo, specializing in International Economic Development. Prior to her graduate studies she received her BA in International Studies from UB, with a concentration in Latin America. She was fortunate to study abroad in Cuernavca, Mexico, where she became fluent in the Spanish language and studied abroad once more during her graduate studies in Monteverde, Costa Rica, where she worked with local municipalities on their plans to expand eco-tourism while maintaining the ecological landscape of their communities. Batchelor was immersed in the culture; walking exasperating lengths, re-living antiquity, and establishing new ground in conservation based eco-tourism. Concluding her studies abroad and completing her international affairs, Tuona returned to WNY primed to incorporate her newly expanded awareness into the field of State Health Care. In 2010 Tuona was selected by the 1199 SEIU Healthcare Workers Union to work on the national Healthcare Education Project. Tuona's leadership and humanitarian instinct largely contributed to her role as Community Engagement Specialist for Planned Parenthood of Western New York, as well as her position on the Board of Directors for WNY Hallwalls Contemporary Art Center, and additionally her induction into WNY Women on the Rise.
Yet nothing could have prepared Tuona for the terminal family matters that would soon test her fortitude and employ her every skill. First, a stroke that left Tuona's grandfather paralyzed. Then the abrupt passing of her father revealed to her the borderline chaos in "end of life" care. While coping with the loss of her father, Tuona was forced to witness the deterioration of her family legacy, as her mother and luminary desperately tried to keep sanctity afloat throughout the final days of her grandfather's life. Ironically enough, this led her in her Master thesis - Aging in Place.
The upheaval came with great hope. Tuona and mother Tonnalee Batchelor, have teamed up to address the issues in senior care. The Preserving Our Legacies radio program airs on Saturdays at 10:00 am EST on WECK 102.9 FM & 1230 AM.