New York Medical College Honors Distinguished Community Health Leaders at Annual Founder’s Dinner

Event celebrated members of the community for influential and noteworthy achievements while raising crucial funds for educating future physicians, public health professionals and research scientists.

Alan Kadish, M.D., president, NYMC and TCUS; Joseph Popack, member of the NYMC Board of Trustees; Chitti R. Moorthy, M.D., professor and former chair of radiation medicine; Christina Contreras, MPA., LMSW, FABC, chief executive officer at NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan; Brij M. Singh Ahluwalia, M.D., professor and former chair of neurology; and Edward C. Halperin, M.D., M.A., chancellor and chief executive officer, NYMC, provost for biomedical affairs, TCUS.

On Wednesday, October 27, 2021, New York Medical College (NYMC) hosted its annual Founder’s Dinner at Marina Del Ray in the Bronx. Hundreds of academic, healthcare, business, and community leaders came together to celebrate NYMC’s proud history and promising future and to honor distinguished community leaders for their impactful and transformative achievements. Proceeds of the evening directly benefit NYMC students through scholarships and important initiatives, and further NYMC’s mission to educate the next generation of physicians and healthcare providers, and support life-saving biomedical research.

“Our annual Founder’s Dinner is a time for the New York Medical College community to come together to celebrate the culmination of the school’s accomplishments in the past year, and recognize those who have made vital, positive impacts on our students,” said Edward C. Halperin, M.D., M.A., chancellor and chief executive officer of NYMC. “Through the support of those who attended the Founder’s Dinner, we are able to fuel groundbreaking biomedical research as well as support the next generation of graduates through the scholarship funds raised.”

Most notably, Joseph Popack, a member of the NYMC Board of Trustees, and Penina Popack, were recipients of the Israel S. Kleiner Award, recognizing their efforts to establish the Miriam Popack Chair in Bioethics and the Holocaust, designed to ensure that medical ethics lessons from the Holocaust are taught to generations of students in in the medical, dental and other health professions. The endowed chair is envisioned to be a university system-wide resource for research and teaching throughout the NYMC and the Touro College and University System (TCUS) and to be a national resource for teaching the lessons of the Holocaust to health professionals.

The event, emceed by Vilma E. Bordonaro, M.B.A., chief of staff, NYMC, and Michael Crupain, M.D. ’06, M.P.H., chief of staff and senior vice president of clinical operations, Sharecare, also honored NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan with the Alfred B. DelBello Distinguished Service Award, which was accepted by Christina Contreras, MPA., LMSW, FABC, chief executive officer at NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan.

Additionally, Brij M. Singh Ahluwalia, M.D., professor and former chair of neurology and Chitti R. Moorthy, M.D., professor and former chair of radiation medicine, were recognized for their dedicated service to NYMC and its students.

“It was a pleasure to celebrate our distinguished honorees and to announce the creation of the first ever endowed chair in bioethics and the Holocaust at NYMC which will impact the way in which our students learn, care and practice in their respective fields. This year’s event raised  $450,000 toward the endowment and other important student initiatives at NYMC,” said Bess J. Chazhur, M.S., chief development officer and executive director of alumni relations. “We thank our generous donors for their participation and support.”

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