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NYMC Honors Historic Partnership with NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan During Plaque Dedication Ceremony

The Plaque, First Given To The Hospital In 1975 To Commemorate Saving Lives of Three Critically Injured Officers of the NYPD 23rd Precinct, Was Restored With The Help Of NYMC

June 20, 2022
NYMC, NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan and NYPD 23rd precinct officers

The ceremony featured an unveiling of a poster acknowledging the three officers whose lives were saved, including Probationary Patrolman Thomas J. Byrne, who was rushed to Met after receiving severe stab wounds to the face and abdomen during an altercation in January of 1974; Probationary Patrolman Angel Poggi, who on his first tour of duty with the 23rd Precinct in December that same year, was lured by a false report to an abandoned building whose entry had been booby-trapped with a bomb which severely injured him and caused him to lose an eye; and Lieutenant Raymond Manners, acting commander of the hostage negotiation unit, who suffered a severe heart attack during a negotiation on 111th Street. The work of Met staff prompted those in the 23rd Precinct to dedicate the plaque to the hospital staff, where it was placed in front of the emergency room.

The plaque was recently found in the Met archives and turned over to Dr. Halperin and Mr. Webb, who both researched its significance and restored it to its original condition.

After an invocation by Rabbi Moshe D. Krupka, M.S., executive vice president of Touro University, Dr. Halperin spoke of the three officers and the alignment of values between NYMC and Met, given the hospital’s longstanding commitment to helping patients from all walks of life and being a healthcare safety net along with first responders.

“Metropolitan and its faculty and the students at New York Medical College are part of that healthcare safety net,” Dr. Halperin said. “While some places turn their noses up at the poor, Black and marginalized patients, Metropolitan and New York Medical College have welcomed all students and all patients.”

Dr. Halperin introduced Cristina Contreras, M.P.A., LMSW, FABC, chief executive officer of Met, who spoke to the longevity of the hospital system’s affiliation with NYMC and her gratitude for the restoration of the plaque.

“New York Medical College and Metropolitan have had a beautiful partnership for more than 100 years, which is something to be proud of,” Ms. Contreras said. “Dr. Halperin and his team did a wonderful job restoring the plaque, which was returned to its original location outside the emergency room entrance.”

Gregory Almond, M.D., M.P.H. ’00, M.S. ’00, chair and professor of clinical emergency medicine‌, spoke of the emergence of emergency medicine as a specialization, and the role it played in saving the lives of the officers. “It’s refreshing to know that the [officers] and their families had their lives changed forever because of what happened,” Dr. Almond said, referring to the lifesaving treatment they received from hospital staff.

Following the ceremony, Drs. Halperin and Almond visited the plaque along with the representatives from the 23rd Precinct.

"The bedrock of the 147-year partnership between New York Medical College and Metropolitan has been a shared value of competent, compassionate care to the community and those who help protect it. We are proud to help restore this memorial to the dedication of Metropolitan staff and bravery of the officers," said Dr. Halperin.

NYPD 23rd Precinct Plaque Dedication