Previous Award Recipients
Posted December 1998
M Monica Sweeney, MD, MPH
Dr. Sweeney has long served as a tireless advocate for better community health care. She advocates not just treating patients, but treating the needs of communities. Dr. Sweeney’s emphasis is on prevention of disease and empowerment of patients through education. She has a reputation for working effectively with the African-American community and has made great strides in bringing quality health care to the people of Brooklyn. She was an early champion of providing comprehensive, high-quality HIV care in Brooklyn and has remained committed to assuring its continuity.
Dr. Sweeney has been the Medical Director of the Bedford Stuyvesant Family Health Center for more than 15 years. She is an adjunct lecturer at the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education at the City University of New York Medical School and a Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine and Preventive Medicine at the State University of New York Health Science Center of Brooklyn. She serves as Co-Chair of the AIDS Institute’s Physicians Prevention Advisory Committee where she continues to champion the importance of ongoing prevention work in the clinical care setting. A frequent guest on local radio and television programs, Dr. Sweeney is a dynamic speaker, and is nationally recognized for effectively applying her medical knowledge to community improvement.
Stuart L Fischman, DMD
Dr. Fischman retired as Director of Dentistry at the Erie County Medical Center in 1998, but continues to coordinate the oral health care program for the AIDS Designated Care Center at the Erie County Medical Center. Dr. Fischman maintains an active research profile including clinical research regarding the oral manifestations of HIV disease. Dr. Fischman is a member of the AIDS Institute’s Dental Standards of Care Committee.
Since early in the epidemic, Dr. Fischman has been a champion of quality oral health care for people with HIV and AIDS. He provided care at a time when few others would and continues to make an extraordinary contribution to oral health care for people with HIV. Dr. Fischman is now Professor Emeritus of Oral Diagnostic Services at the School of Dental Medicine, State University of New York at Buffalo.
Barbara H Chaffee, MD, MPH
As an internist deeply connected to the Binghamton community and the Southern Tier of New York State, Dr. Chaffee has a long and distinguished record of personal dedication to the struggle against AIDS. Since 1989, Dr. Chaffee has served in various capacities at the Broome County Health Department including Medical Director of the STD and HIV Clinics and Medical Director of the Broome County Health Department. At the local health department and with United Health Services and the Binghamton Family Care Center, Dr. Chaffee was an important catalyst for HIV treatment services in the region. Traveling extensively in the Southern Tier, Dr. Chaffee helped create access to HIV care in rural areas through clinical education of private physicians.
Dr. Chaffee has an extensive record of service to the New York State Department of Health AIDS Institute. Dr. Chaffee has been the Chair of the HIV Quality of Care Advisory Committee from 1997 until the present. She has served as a member of the Medical Care Criteria Committee since 1997. Dr. Chaffee has been a staunch advocate of integrating the public health model with HIV care.
Ramon A (Gabriel) Torres, MD
During his medical training, Dr. Torres became interested in the health care needs of persons with AIDS and HIV infection. Subsequently, as a primary care physician at a homeless shelter, he cared for hundreds of homeless men and was among the first to note the high prevalence of HIV infection in this population. Dr. Torres was effective in his efforts to bring HIV care to difficult to reach populations, especially immigrants. He achieved national recognition for community-based clinical research regarding the treatment and prevention of HIV and its associated opportunistic infections.
Dr. Torres was a member of the New York State Department of Health AIDS Institute’s Medical Care Criteria Committee and the Quality of Care Committee, and served as the past Chair of the Physicians Prevention Advisory Committee. He has participated on many community, city, state, and federal panels, and served on the boards of many community-based organizations. Dr. Torres exemplifies both the HIV provider with keen insight into the needs of different patient populations, and the active clinical leader who champions the cause of those patients with the greatest needs.
Michael H Grieco, MD, JD
Dr. Grieco was the Director of the AIDS Center Program at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center from 1987 to 1997 and an early leader in establishing comprehensive hospital care for people with AIDS. Dr. Grieco was honored for his leadership role with the AIDS Designated Care Center Program, having served as Co-Chair of the AIDS Institute’s AIDS Center Liaison Committee from 1990 to 1997. Dr. Grieco had an influential role in the creation and refinement of the State’s Medicaid enhanced reimbursement system for HIV care. Dr. Grieco is also commended for the consistent compassion that he has demonstrated in the treatment of people with HIV/AIDS.
Lambert N King, MD, PhD
Dr. King provided invaluable service to the AIDS Designated Care Center Program, having served as Co-Chair of the New York State AIDS Center Liaison Committee from 1990 to 2002. As Medical Director of St. Vincent’s Hospital, he played a key role in supporting the AIDS Center program there. Dr. King also served as a member of the New York State AIDS Advisory Council for several years, a body which advises the State Health Commissioner and Governor on HIV/AIDS policy issues. As a policy-maker, he was particularly influential in ensuring that prisoners have access to HIV care. Dr. King is an exemplary clinical leader, who is sincerely committed to the treatment of people with HIV/AIDS.
Janet Mitchell, MD
Dr. Mitchell’s career reflects her abiding interest in women and AIDS, infant and maternal mortality, adolescent pregnancy, substance-abusing pregnant women, and minority health care. As the Chief of Perinatology, Department of OB/GYN at Harlem Hospital Center in New York City, from 1988 to 1996, Dr. Mitchell recognized the benefits of preventing perinatal HIV transmission. She is also recognized as a pioneer in the care and support of pregnant women with HIV.
Jonathan WM Gold, MD
From 1988 to 1994, Dr. Gold served as the Chair of the New York State Department of Health AIDS Institute’s Medical Care Criteria Committee. His leadership and guidance of the Committee and expert critical review were essential elements in the development of accurate and meaningful state-of-the-art HIV practice guidelines for the clinician. Dr. Gold’s long-term dedicated service is indicative of his exceptional commitment to quality care of patients with HIV/AIDS. Dr. Gold has published extensively on HIV and other human retroviruses, infections in immunocompromised hosts, including those with HIV infection and cancer, and emerging infectious diseases. He has edited two books on HIV infection and AIDS and was the editor of the journal AIDS.
Gary R Burke, MD
On staff at the New York State Department of Health AIDS Institute from 1988 to June 1992, Dr. Burke was Medical Director for more than 2 years, and founded the Office of the Medical Director. In this capacity, he oversaw the development of health care services for people with HIV infection in primary care, hospital services, home care, and long-term care. He initiated a number of AIDS Institute programs, including the HIV Clinical Education Initiative and the Nicholas A. Rango HIV Clinical Scholars Program, that continue to have a significant impact on AIDS education and the treatment of HIV infection. Dr. Burke contributed his medical expertise and vision to the formulation of HIV prevention policies and programs. His efforts have had an important and lasting effect on the continuum of HIV health care services in New York State.