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New York Medical College Hosts Annual Founder’s Dinner

“Bringing the friends of New York Medical College together is at the heart of our mission”

Date: October 22, 2015
Media Contact:

Jennifer Riekert, M.B.A.
Vice President of Communications
New York Medical College
(914) 594-4552

Three Distinguished Guests Receive Awards of Distinction

Valhalla, N.Y., October 22, 2015— New York Medical College (NYMC) today held its annual Founder’s Dinner at The DoubleTree Hotel in Tarrytown, New York. Attended by numerous influential members of the community, this fundraising gala generates crucial operating revenues for NYMC each year by attracting significant support from donors.

Three distinguished individuals were honored for their contributions to NYMC and the greater community. Nominated by NYMC’s faculty, students and alumni, this year’s honorees included: John C. Duffy, M.D., Ansley Bacon, Ph.D. and Bijan Safai, M.D., D.Sc.

“Bringing the friends of New York Medical College together is at the heart of our mission,” said Edward C. Halperin, M.D., M.A., NYMC Chancellor and CEO. “It is annual highlight to welcome our stakeholders to the annual Founder’s Dinner and honor three exemplary individuals who have done so much for the College and health care field at large.”

John C. Duffy, M.D. received The William Cullen Bryant Award, which recognizes individuals who, in the tradition of NYMC Founder William Cullen Bryant, demonstrate distinguished leadership in health care, science, education, business or the arts. Dr. Duffy has held academic appointments at six medical schools, three of them start-ups. He has also launched a medical institute and a medical journal. Today, at 81, he is professor and director of international clerkship services at the University of Central Florida’s College of Medicine, a four-year-old institution that just graduated its first class.

After graduating NYMC in 1960, Dr. Duffy entered an internship at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit that sparked an interest in pediatrics, but the escalation of the Vietnam War caused him to delay his residency and join the Air Force as a flight surgeon. Research with pilots led to an interest in the psychology of stress—and an award from the Aerospace Medical Association. Dr. Duffy has participated in life-saving operations on several occasions with the U.S. Coast Guard, including rescues at sea where he was dropped by a harness from a helicopter onto a ship carrying seriously ill and injured service personnel.

"This award has special significance for me, as it comes from my medical school, whose imprint in my life has always been a major part of my career," said Dr. Duffy.

Ansley Bacon, Ph.D., was honored with The Jackson E. Spears Community Service Award, which is bestowed upon individuals or organizations who have demonstrated exceptional service and commitment to their communities. The award honors the late Jackson E. Spears, who served as a member of NYMC’s Board of Trustees from 1943 to 2003.

Dr. Bacon is the president and CEO of the Westchester Institute for Human Development, a university center for excellence in developmental disabilities education, research and service. She is also the director of the Center on Disability and Health for NYMC’s School of Health Sciences and Practice. Her academic appointments at NYMC include professor of practice in the School of Health Sciences and Practice, associate professor of clinical psychiatry in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, and associate professor of clinical pediatrics in the Department of Pediatrics.

Prior to assuming her current position, Dr. Bacon served as the director of the Mississippi University Center on Disability. She has been active in the Association of University Centers on Disability, serving as President from 1987 to 1988, and co-chairing the Legislative Affairs Committee. Dr. Bacon has participated on more than 25 site review teams to other university centers on disability and on several grant review panels for three federal agencies.

“I am deeply honored to receive this award from New York Medical College,” said Dr. Bacon. “The partnership between NYMC and WIHD has made it possible to train future leaders, and to improve policy and practice to better serve people with disabilities and vulnerable children in our community.”

Bijan Safai, M.D., D.Sc., received The Distinguished Service Award, which recognizes individuals who have helped advance NYMC’s mission of education and research though service, commitment and expert ability. In 1993, Dr. Safai accepted the position of professor and chairman of the Department of Dermatology at NYMC, where he is involved with the education and training of dermatology residents and medical students. Dr. Safai designed a well-defined curriculum and focused on standardizing the training program to meet the requirements of the Residency Review Committee. He further expanded the program to include new management and therapeutic modalities for patient-care and dermatology training.

Dr. Safai received his medical degree from Tehran University’s School of Medicine in Iran. He later trained in internal medicine and dermatology at New York University and completed a fellowship in immunology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center where he established a dermatology program to include research, education and patient care. Dr. Safai has published more than 200 articles, reviews and book chapters. His book Immunodermatology, published in 1981, defined the discipline and focused more attention on the relation between dermatology and immunology. He is best known for his expertise and research associated with skin cancers, melanomas and lymphomas of the skin and is often consulted by other dermatologists for his opinion related to these issues.

“Receiving the distinguished service award is an honor and highlight in my career, as I am happy to have dedicated more than two decades of teaching, training and researching at New York Medical College,” said Dr. Safai. “I remain committed, along with my colleagues, to inspiring the next generation of physicians and health care professionals through our work and mentorship.”

The presenting sponsor of NYMC’s Founder’s Dinner is The Children’s & Women’s Physicians of Westchester, LLP.

About New York Medical College

Founded in 1860, NYMC is one of the oldest and largest health sciences colleges in the country with more than 1,400 students, 1,300 residents and clinical fellows, nearly 3,000 faculty members, and 16,000 living alumni. The College, which joined the Touro College and University System in 2011, is located in Westchester County, New York, and offers advanced degrees from the School of Medicine, the Graduate School of Basic Medical Sciences, and the School of Health Sciences and Practice. The College manages more than $32.6 million in research and other sponsored programs, notably in the areas of cancer, cardiovascular disease, infectious diseases, kidney disease, the neurosciences, disaster medicine, and vaccine development. With a network of affiliated hospitals that includes large urban medical centers, small suburban clinics and high-tech regional tertiary care facilities, NYMC provides a wide variety of clinical training opportunities throughout the tri-state region for medical students, residents, and other health providers.