The Stephen Smith Medal recognizes Governor Cuomo’s leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic
New York, NY, Nov. 13, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The New York Academy of Medicine (NYAM) has awarded its prestigious 2020 Stephen Smith Medal for Distinguished Contributions in Public Health to the Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor of the State of New York, in recognition of his leadership of the state during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Governor Cuomo accepted the award at NYAM’s 173rd Annual Meeting of the Fellows, which was held virtually on November 12. The event included the induction of 66 new NYAM Fellows and Members, whose names were read by special guests Dr. Howard Zucker, Commissioner of Health for New York State, and Dr. Dave Chokshi, Commissioner of Health for New York City. View the full event video here and the event program here.
“Every day during the height of the pandemic in New York, we looked to Governor Cuomo for his leadership and compassion as we weathered this extraordinary challenge,” said NYAM President Judith A. Salerno, MD, MS. “His priority was to safeguard the people of New York, and for that we are forever grateful and inspired by his leadership. NYAM is honored to recognize Governor Cuomo’s significant contributions to public health with the 2020 Stephen Smith Medal.”
Michael J. Dowling, President and CEO of Northwell Health, introduced the award. Mr. Dowling served in New York State government for 12 years, including as deputy secretary to former governor Mario Cuomo.
“During a crisis like this, leadership really, really matters,” Mr. Dowling said. “Leadership that tells the truth. Leadership that uses facts and science to guide decisions. Leadership that builds trust. Leadership that unifies, that brings people together, that focuses people on the central mission of how we deal with issues such as this. … Here in New York, as I know you will all agree with me, we have been very, very fortunate indeed because we have Governor Andrew Cuomo, a model of such leadership.”
”When Governor Cuomo designated University Hospital of Brooklyn as a COVID-only facility, we understood the magnitude of that designation and the trust he placed in our frontline staff,” said NYAM Board Chair and SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University President Wayne J. Riley, MD. “Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, working with the New York State Department of Health and other partners, we were able to significantly flatten the curve and the spread of the virus by following and adhering to public health guidelines.”
“During these darkest days of COVID, we also saw the light,” Governor Cuomo said in his acceptance speech. “We saw 30,000 retired doctors and nurses return to service to battle the pandemic. We saw 10,000 healthcare professionals from around the country volunteer to come to New York at the height of the pandemic. We saw healthcare professionals become battlefield heroes in saving lives. And we saw…