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Dr. Vivian A. Cross

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Dr.  Vivian A. Cross Obituary

Dr. Vivian A. Cross of Simsbury, Connecticut, extraordinarily phenomenal mother, educator, church leader, community activist and champion for children with special needs, passed peacefully to eternal rest on May 3rd, surrounded by her loving family and friends. Dr. Cross was predeceased by her loving husband, William S. Cross, Sr., parents Robert E. and Augusta Lampkin Post, Sr., and a brother, Robert E. Post, Jr. She leaves to cherish her memories, a daughter, Carla and son-in-law Alfredo Ramos (Orlando, Fla.), son, William S. Cross, Jr., (West Hartford, CT) sisters, Ernestine (Tina) Post Mazon (Farmington, CT), Philura Post Swagerty, (West Hartford, CT) her grandchildren who were the light of her life, Christian William Ramos and Caitlin Alecia Ramos, sisters-in-law, Diane (Harden) Post (New Britain) and Emily Cross (Bloomfield, CT) and brother-in-law, Attorney Hampton (Sybil) Cross (Washington, D.C.), and many nieces and nephews that she lovingly mentored. She founded the tutorial program at the Full Gospel Interdenominational Church in Manchester, CT established the Foundation for Educational Advancement, Inc. and currently served as Executive Director www.feact.org was consultant and member of the U. S. Centers for Disease Control's (CDC) Advisory Committee on Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention's (ACCLPP) National Education Work Group. Dr. Cross, a graduate of Pulaski High School, New Britain, CT; received her BA and MS from Central Connecticut State University, and earned a Doctorate in Educational Administration from Columbia University, NY. certification from Yale University Comer Project for Change in Education, Hadassah-Wizo-Canada Research Institute, Jerusalem, Israel, first Teacher Trainer for Feuerstein Instrumental Enrichment and the Learning Potential Assessment Device in the State of Connecticut, and EASTCONN Connecticut Beginning Educator Support & Training (BEST) Program . She was elected Co-Chair of the North America Feuerstein Alliance (Chicago, Illinois), a professional organization of educators, clinicians, medical professionals, regional/state/local agencies, community-based organizations, non-profit and corporate sector representatives from the United States and Canada. In October of 2010, Governor Jodi Rell appointed Dr. Cross to serve on the State's Advisory Board for the Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities. In 2009, she was appointed to serve on the Governor's Early Childhood Education Cabinet/Research and Policy Council as the designee of Senator Toni Harp (now Mayor of New Haven, CT). Dr. Cross was always in high demand as a state, regional and national consultant/presenter/expert on the legal and educational implications of childhood lead poisoning and traumatic brain injury for her expertise in the development and design of long and short term programs for Cognitive Rehabilitation treatment plans for brain injured children. Dr. Cross served as an Assistant Professor at Central Connecticut State University in the areas of psycho-educational diagnostic evaluation, assessment and special education and received the first Michelle Obama Humanitarian Award for outstanding contributions to causes, for her unselfish and tenacious fight against lead poisoning and its devastating impact on many children, locally and globally) from the NAACP, New Britain Branch; the Sojourner Network of Democratic Women Statewide Leadership Award; and was a featured guest on NBC's Connecticut News Makers (2009). She facilitated coverage of numerous Connecticut Network (CT-N) Statewide Health Education Legislative Informational Forums sponsored by the CT State Speaker of the House, CT State Chair of Appropriations, CT State Chair of the Health Committee, CT State Chair of the Education Committee and other legislators. The CT-N Forums included a viewing audience of approximately 3.4 million persons. These successful initiatives have served as a catalyst for major health policy changes, including the implementation of new legislation as of January 2009 for Universal Blood Lead Screening of all children under the age of 3 in CT. She developed and facilitated the nation's first On-Line Health Education Lead Poisoning CEU Course (H.E.LP.) for educators and health professionals. This On-Line CEU course is available, internationally, to educators, health professionals, parents, and others interested in becoming more knowledgeable about the impact of early childhood lead poisoning on brain development, school achievement, and behavior. The on-line course and forums were held in collaboration with Connecticut Network (CT-N), the Foundation for Educational Advancement, Inc. www.feact.org , the CT State Department of Public Health, CT Train www.Train.org , Central CT State University, CT Health Foundation, the William Casper Graustein Memorial Foundation, the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation and the CT State Department of Education, with courses featuring internationally renowned researchers and childhood lead poisoning experts, such as, Dr. Herbert Needleman, Dr. Bruce Lanphear, Dr. Jay Schneider, Dr. David Bellinger, Dr. Theodore Lidsky, Dr. Marie Lynn Miranda, and Dr. John Rosen. She was a trusted advisor to Connecticut State Legislative committees, health departments, school districts, national/state legislators, parents and the community-at-large Dr. Cross organized and worked collaboratively with many colleagues, broad-based community networks and legislators including Dr. Julia Ramos-Grenier, Patricia Baker of the CT Health Foundation, former State Senator Toni N. Harp, Jan Parker, New Haven, CT., Dr. Andrew McBride, Milford, CT Health Director, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal, Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman, State Senator Gail Slossberg, State Senator Ed Myers, State Representative Peggy Sayers, Elizabeth Nkonoki-Ward, and Dwain Starks, Oklahoma City, OK to implement major educational, legislative informational forums, media conferences and professional development training initiatives including the 2012 Legislative Informational Forum entitled "A Call To Action to Eliminate a Preventable Contributor to the Achievement Gap- Childhood Lead Poisoning". A private burial service will be held at the convenience of the family. A memorial service to celebrate the life and work of Dr. Cross will be held at 7 PM on Wed, May 14th at the Full Gospel Interdenominational Church, 745 Main St in Manchester. The family will receive friends from 6 - 7 PM. Please visit www.vincentfuneralhome.com for online condolences.

Published in The Hartford Courant on May 5, 2014
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