Alumni Meet in May for Reunion Weekend 2013
Alumni from near and far gathered at the Donald F. Tapley Faculty Club May 2, 2013, for a welcome reception with wine and cheese to kick off Alumni Reunion Weekend 2013. P&S Alumni Association President Neil Freeman'85; Anke Nolting, associate dean for alumni relations; and Elizabeth Williams, director of alumni relations, were on hand to help welcome alumni back.
Alumni Day Program
P&S Alumni Association President Neil Freeman'85 delivered brief introductory remarks and, as per tradition, introduced the 2013 Honorary Alumni Day Chairman Peter Puchner'62. Professor emeritus of clinical urology and associate dean of student affairs at P&S, Dr. Puchner served for many years as course director for major clinical year and fourth year electives in urology. A past president of the New York State Urological Society and the New York section of the American Urological Society, he officiated as a former president of the Society of Practitioners at CUMC. His teaching talents have been recognized with the 1984 Dean's Distinguished Teacher Award, the 1990 Charles M. Bohmfalk Award for Distinguished Contribution to Teaching, and the 2000 Arnold P. Gold Foundation Award.
Distinguished Women in Medicine Award
Dorothy S. Lane'65 was the 2013 recipient of the Virginia Kneeland Frantz'22 Distinguished Women in Medicine Award. Dr. Frantz was the first woman to serve as surgical intern at Presbyterian Hospital and was best known for her work in the pathology of the thyroid gland and for a classic introductory textbook on surgery, which she co-authored with Dr. Harold Harvey.
Dr. Lane is a faculty member at Stony Brook University School of Medicine, where she is the SUNY Distinguished Service Professor, vice chair and director of the Division of Community and Behavioral Health in the Department of Preventive Medicine, and associate dean for continuing medical education. Among her fondest memories of medical school, Dr. Lane recalled a lecture on the importance of observation by Dr. Frantz's brother, the late Yale Kneeland'26. Dr. Lane's scholarly activities have focused on the testing of community-based public and physician interventions to increase the use of preventive services, notably breast and colorectal cancer screening. For three decades and counting she has been the principal investigator of an NHLBI Women's Health Initiative Center at Stony Brook. She is a past president of the American College of Preventive Medicine, president of the Association of Teachers of Preventive Medicine, and chair of the American Board of Preventive Medicine.
Lifetime of Learning Award
The 2013 Lifetime of Learning Award was presented to Martha G. Welch'71, who delivered an inspiring recap of the highlights of her career. In 1997, after 25 years of practicing child and family psychiatry, Dr. Welch joined the P&S faculty to test her bedside findings at the bench. She currently holds appointments in psychiatry (Division of Developmental Neuroscience), pathology & cell biology, and pediatrics. "I had always dreamed of being a researcher, though it seemed like an improbable thing," she recalled. In 2006, she established and became co-director of the BrainGut Initiative, where her basic research programs investigate the mechanisms that underlie maternal nurture. She is the author of numerous articles and a widely read book, "Holding Time." Dr. Welch is a past president of the P&S Alumni Association.
Re-Graduation and Reaffirming the Hippocratic Oath
Stephen Nicholas, MD, associate dean for admissions at P&S, presided over the re-graduation ceremony of members of the Class of 1963. "We now get 8,000 applications and interview over 1,000 candidates," Dr. Nicholas reported. He read aloud highlights of faculty appraisals of the members of the 50th anniversary class then led members of the Class of 1963, as well as all MDs in attendance who wished to participate, in a reaffirmation of a modern version of the Hippocratic Oath composed by a P&S graduate, the late Louis C. Lasagna'47. Among the most memorable lines is the following affirmation, true to the humanistic tradition of medicine taught and practiced at P&S: "I will remember that I do not treat a fever chart, a cancerous growth, but a sick human being, whose illness may affect the person's family and economic stability. My responsibility includes these related problems, if I am to care adequately for the sick."
Students, Faculty, Alumni Make Music Together
Rounding out his medical student career as unofficial artist-impresario in residence, Peter Liou'13, recipient of the 2013 Gold Medal to a Student in Recognition of His/Her Interest and Devotion to P&S and its Alumni Association, pulled together and played in another memorable musical experience. The concert included a performance of Mozart's "Sonata for Piano Four-Hands in C Major, K. 521," in which Dr. Liou shared the keyboard with alumnus Timothy Cheng'12. Pianist Andrew Duren'14 accompanied baritone Joshua Marr'14 in a stirring rendition of Rachmaninoff's "Do Not Sing to Me Again Op. 4, No. 4." Pianist Stephen Bowden'16 played Chopin's "Ballade No. 4, Op. 56." A string quartet played with Yi Cai'16 and Greg Sheehan'16 on violin, Rathika Nimalendran'14 on viola, and Anne Taylor, MD, on cello performed "String Quartet in F Major 'American' Op. 96 I - Allegro Ma Non Troppo" by Antonin Dvorak. The program's highlight was unquestionably a meditative performance of "Chaconne and Fugue" by P&S alumnus Jonathan Newmark'78 dedicated to the late John C. Wood Jr.'74, who was murdered by a mugger while on call as a resident. The piece was played by Portia Sirinek'16 on horn and Hanjay Wang'15 on piano.
Alumni reunited in style at the Century Club, the Columbia Club, the Cosmopolitan Club, and back home at the Donald F. Tapley Faculty Club on the medical center campus.
Gala Dinner Dance and Award Presentation
The P&S Alumni Jazz Quintet kept the mood cool over cocktails at the Gala Dinner Dance and Award Presentation on May 4. Trading in their stethoscopes, scrubs, and scalpels for keyboard, strings, and brass were band members John C.M. Brust'62 on saxophone, James C.M. Brust'01 on piano, Dr. R. Linsy Farris on bass, Donald O. Quest'70 on trombone, and Deepak Saluja'01 on drums.
Alumni Association President Neil Freeman'85 officiated as master of ceremonies at the gala. He invited Carmen Ortiz Neu'63 to the podium to offer reflections on behalf of the 50th anniversary class. And speaking for the graduating class, David Bejar'13 elicited cheers from the newest group of soon-to-be freshly minted MDs and alumni. As per tradition, Honors and Awards Committee Chair Kenneth A. Forde'59, the Jose A. Ferrer Professor Emeritus of Clinical Surgery and a trustee of Columbia University and of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, saluted the 2013 gold medalists.
Robert P. Lisak'65 took the gold for outstanding achievements in medical research. A pioneer in the field of neuroimmunology, Dr. Lisak, the Parker Webber Chair of Neurology, professor of neurology and professor of immunology and microbiology at Wayne State University, has made major contributions to understanding the pathogenesis, as well as the treatment, of patients with multiple sclerosis and related demyelinating diseases of the nervous system, myasthenia gravis and inflammatory demyelinating neuropathies.
Robert B. Wallace'57 won the gold medal for outstanding achievements in clinical medicine. One of the country's great cardiothoracic surgeons, Dr. Wallace, former chair and professor of surgery at the Mayo Clinic and Medical School, later at Georgetown University Medical Center, initiated the coronary artery surgical program and performed the first successful total correction of transposition of the great vessels (the Rastelli procedure) at Mayo, among many other accomplishments.
The husband and wife team of Donald Gerber'57 and Marcia Gerber'67, whom Dr. Forde dubbed "the alumni power couple of service," shared the gold medal for meritorious service to P&S and its Alumni Association. They have been mainstays of the Alumni Association for more than two decades, between them serving on almost all committees and in most key capacities, Donald most recently as vice president and president-elect and Marcia as corresponding secretary. Both are model chairs of their respective classes. Marcia Gerber is clinical associate professor of medicine in the College of Medicine at SUNY Downstate, where she also is dean of admissions. In 2010 she received the Extraordinary Woman of Downstate Award. Donald Gerber is professor of clinical medicine (rheumatology), clinical assistant dean, and administrative course co-director for third-year medicine at SUNY Downstate.
The gold medal to a graduate in recognition of interest in and devotion to P&S and its Alumni Association went to Peter Liou'13, who, in the words of Dr. Forde, "exemplifies the very highest ideals of heart and mind so prized among our students and alumni." President of the Musicians' Guild, he organized and played in live concerts and arranged for them to be broadcast to patients' hospital rooms and spearheaded a fundraising drive to repair and restore the Rachmaninoff piano in the Bard Hall Lounge. In addition, he served as president of the International Health Organization, cultural chair of the Asian Pacific American Medical Students' Association chapter, and director and coordinator for the Forum for Human Rights and Global Health.
P&S Dean Lee Goldman delivered closing remarks and saluted the most senior member of the audience, Hobart A. Lerner'43D, age 94, emeritus clinical professor of ophthalmology at the University of Rochester Eye Clinic, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry.