NYMC > About NYMC > History > Leadership History > Presidential History > Joseph A. Cimino

Joseph A. Cimino, M.D., M.P.H.

Joseph A. Cimino, M.D., M.P.H., served as president and chief executive officer of New York Medical College (NYMC) from 1978-1981.

Dr. Cimino held a bachelor's degree in American history from Harvard University and went on to earn an M.S. in biology from Fordham University and his M.D. at the University of Buffalo. After his residency at Grasslands Hospital in Valhalla, Dr. Cimino returned to Harvard to earn two more master’s degrees, one in industrial health and one in public health.

His early career experience included serving as the chief medical officer of the New York City Department of Sanitation, chief medical consultant of the New York City Civil Service Commission and medical director of the New York City Poison Control Center.

In 1972, Dr. Cimino was appointed by Mayor John Lindsay as Commissioner of Health of New York City, making him the youngest commissioner in the city’s history. Under his auspices, regulations were strengthened, and he instituted the first mandatory course in environmental sanitation for all New York restaurants and food stores. 

Dr. Cimino was appointed the commissioner of hospitals and medical director for Westchester County in 1974 at a time when Grasslands Hospital was under state order to rebuild or close. Dr. Cimino took on the task of changing the community hospital into a tertiary care center, which became Westchester Medical Center. He decided which specialty programs to offer and recruited physicians for the facility that eventually would serve the seven county region north of New York City.

After leaving county government in 1978, Dr. Cimino served as president of the College until 1981. He held the title of professor and chairman of the Department of Community and Preventive Medicine from 1979 until the time of his death. Throughout his career, he also held faculty appointments at Pace University, New York University School of Medicine, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, and Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

Dr. Cimino served on numerous professional associations and boards including Dominican Sisters Family Health Service, Healthcare Trustees of New York State, The New York Academy of Medicine Public Health Committee and the New York State Public Health Council. In 2004 he was awarded an Ellis Island Medal of Honor.

Dr. Cimino passed away on July 1, 2007, at the age of 73.