Previous Award Recipients
Updated December 2006
Elaine Abrams, MD
L Jeannine Bookhardt-Murray, MD
Douglas Fish, MD
John A.R. Grimaldi, MD
Susan Amenechi-Enahoro, MD, MPH, MSc
Dr. Susan Amenechi-Enahoro is recognized for her extraordinary work in serving people living with HIV/AIDS in Brooklyn where she serves as Medical Director of the East New York Adult Day Care Program for Housing Works, Inc. She provides primary health care to homeless people of color who often suffer from concomitant mental illness and/or chemical addiction. She provides empathic, culturally sensitive, excellent care to this extremely hard-to-reach population of HIV patients. She has demonstrated leadership through her determination to include this group in clinical research. Often underrepresented in research studies, communities of color are specifically targeted by Dr. Enahoro for inclusion in clinical trials in order to address the efficacy of interventions that support their access to treatment and care.
Dr. Enahoro studied medicine in Nigeria and obtained her Masters in Public Health from Harvard University, as well as a Masters of Science in Occupational Medicine from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She has been the principal investigator for several HIV clinical projects funded through the New York City HIV Health and Human Services Planning Council, and she has worked in the HIV Clinic at Woodhull Hospital.
Dr. Enahoro’s work in quality improvement has stood out as a superior example of how this methodology can be applied to improve care for people attending adult day health care programs. Her work has been recognized by her peers and selected for presentation at statewide meetings. Her involvement in the statewide Quality of Care Advisory Committee has included important insights that have contributed substantially to the Committee’s work. Susan has dedicated herself to service and truly reflects the ideals honored through the Laubenstein Award.
Marc N. Gourevitch, MD, MPH
Dr. Marc Gourevitch is honored with the Linda Laubenstein Award in recognition of his outstanding achievements and leadership in providing care to people with HIV in New York State, and especially in recognition of his advocacy for comprehensive care to substance users. Following his residency in internal medicine at Bellevue Hospital and fellowship in Epidemiology & Social Medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Dr. Gourevitch became an HIV Clinical Scholar to specifically focus on the care of substance users at risk for HIV and those living with HIV. Shortly afterwards, he became the Medical Director of the Substance Abuse Treatment Program at Einstein and the Director of Addiction Medicine and also held academic appointments in the Departments of Medicine, Psychiatry and Epidemiology & Population Health. Currently, he is the Director of the Division of General Internal Medicine and holds a professorship in the Department of Medicine at NYU.
Dr. Gourevitch has directed numerous research studies and published a wide range of papers focusing on the care and treatment of substance users. His academic work and clinical research reflect his commitment to the importance of evidence-based medicine. More importantly, they reflect his commitment to the highest level of care for substance users and to demonstrating the efficacy of treatment in this population. He has consistently advocated for substance users, and fought to ensure that they are not shortchanged in the healthcare system, but rather afforded every opportunity to receive the best possible care.
Dr. Gourevitch has been extremely generous with his time to educate others. He has been a frequent guest lecturer, teaching others how to care for substance users in clinical practice. He has been a proponent of harm reduction methods and substitution therapy and has mentored many others who continue to provide care for substance users with HIV. He willingly agreed to chair the AIDS Institute’s Substance Use Guidelines Committee, leading meetings and editing documents that will be used to promote the quality of care for substance users. He has consistently focused attention on public health issues, including both tuberculosis and hepatitis C, and has helped ensure that these areas were adequately addressed through the state’s quality of care program. For his professional leadership, commitment to the underserved, clinical research and championship of the substance using population, Dr. Gourevitch is awarded the Linda Laubenstein award.
Peter J. Piliero, MD
Dr. Piliero served as the chair of the AIDS Institute’s Medical Care Criteria Committee from 2001 to 2003 and as a committee member from 1999 to 2001. As committee chair he set a new standard for AIDS Institute clinical guidelines committees through his dedication to the job, his ability to find time whenever needed, his rapid responses to questions from the AIDS Institute, other committee members, and the editorial team, and his seemingly limitless fountain of knowledge about HIV. Always concerned for patient safety and comfort as he crafted clinical guidelines, he ensured that the best possible care was reflected in the standards that were set. This commitment to helping each patient live the fullest life possible exemplifies the Laubenstein ideal, and characterizes Dr. Piliero’s dedication and compassion as a clinician.
When Dr. Piliero received this award, he was the Research Director in the Division of HIV Medicine at Albany Medical Center and an Associate Professor of Medicine at Albany Medical College. He was also the Medical Director of the Clinical Pharmacology Studies Unit of the Clinical Research Initiative there. He has published extensively and has been the principal investigator of numerous clinical research studies.
Victoria L. Sharp, MD
Dr. Sharp was a member of Medical Care Criteria Committee when it was first established by the AIDS Institute in 1985. At the time, she was the Medical Director of the AIDS Center at Albany Medical Center, setting up the AIDS Program before moving to Manhattan where she took on the task of rebuilding and directing the St. Clare=s Designated AIDS Center Program, the Spellman Center. Exhibiting clear vision and strong leadership, she developed this program into one that stands out as a model, working tirelessly to build systems, obtain grants, and ensure that her patients, including many inmates from the correctional system, would receive good care. She recruited topnotch doctors, developed comprehensive services at the hospital, and established a reputation as a tough and savvy administrator. From there, Dr. Sharp moved to Beth Israel Medical Center, and then to St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital Center as the Director of the HIV Center for Comprehensive Care, where she continues to champion care for people living with HIV.
Dr. Sharp 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.
Amneris Luque, MD
From 1994 to the present, Dr. Amneris Luque has been the Medical Director of the AIDS Center at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, New York, and is an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. Dr. Luque is an outstanding, compassionate HIV/AIDS practitioner, gifted and devoted to both HIV clinical care and clinical education. She is recognized as a consummate clinician and as a role model for setting standards of excellence in the provision of direct patient care.
From 1996-2001, Dr. Luque generously committed her time and in-depth knowledge as a member of the New York State Department of Health AIDS Institute’s Medical Care Criteria Committee (MCCC). Dr. Luque has served as Chair since August 2003. She also served as the Chair of the Committee for the Care of Women with HIV Infection from 2001 to 2003. In addition, she has served as a mentor and preceptor for scholars in the AIDS Institute’s Nicholas A. Rango HIV Clinical Scholars Program. Throughout her years of service, Dr. Luque has been dedicated to staying abreast of the scientific literature about HIV and has been exceptionally talented at translating new developments into practical guidance.
Joseph Masci, MD
Throughout his career, Dr. Masci has demonstrated extraordinary commitment and leadership in the provision of clinical care for people with HIV infection. Beginning in 1980 at Mount Sinai Medical Center, Dr. Masci cared for some of the earliest reported cases of AIDS in New York City. Having founded the AIDS Program at Elmhurst Hospital Center in 1985, Dr. Masci has directed its growth and operation since that time. He currently serves as the Chief of Medicine, having directed the AIDS Center and Infectious Diseases Division for nearly 20 years.
Dr. Masci has provided years of dedicated service to the New York State Department of Health AIDS Institute’s expert committees. He has been a member of the AIDS Institute’s Medical Care Criteria Committee since 1999 and a member of the Physicians Prevention Advisory Committee since 2002. Dr. Masci has challenged each committee to achieve the utmost in scientifically sound recommendations. Since 1998, he has served on the AIDS Institute’s HIV Quality of Care Advisory Committee, helping to translate clinical practice guidelines into HIV quality of care performance measures. He has provided outstanding service to New York City as the Chair of the Health Services Workgroup, overseeing planning of HIV health services.
Dr. Masci has conducted original clinical research and has published extensively on AIDS-related topics. He is the author of Outpatient Management of HIV Infection, a textbook for clinicians which is used in the United States and around the globe.
Gayann Hall, MD
Dr. Hall was the Director of the Infectious Diseases Clinic at Bronx-Lebanon Hospital, a Designated AIDS Center serving over 2,000 patients with HIV/AIDS. She also served as the Clinical Director of the AIDS Institute’s HIV Clinical Education Initiative at Bronx-Lebanon Hospital for over 10 years and also served as the Director of the Nicholas A. Rango HIV Clinical Scholars Program for the hospital. In that capacity, she oversaw and mentored medical residents as they prepared for a career in HIV/AIDS care.
She also served on the Physician Prevention Advisory Committee which developed the New York State Department of Health AIDS Institute’s Clinical Guidelines, HIV & Primary Care: Putting Prevention into Practice. Dr. Hall is widely recognized for her HIV clinical expertise and for her leadership in designing and providing HIV/AIDS clinical education for community-based, primary care settings. She is currently the Medical Director of the HIV/STD/TB Program for the United States Virgin Islands Department of Health.
Neal Rzepkowski, MD
A graduate of SUNY Health Sciences Center, Syracuse, New York, Dr. Rzepkowski has practiced medicine since 1978 and has been board certified in Family Practice since 1981. Since the early 1980′s, he has been actively involved in AIDS care and education on a national level. He served as an emergency room physician in the Emergency Department of Brooks Memorial Hospital, Dunkirk, New York from 1990-1991. Having tested HIV positive in 1985, Dr. Rzepkowski found his career changed dramatically after changes in CDC guidelines were issued in July 1991 for health care workers infected with HIV.
Dr. Rzepkowski has been an outspoken proponent of clinical education for medical personnel and lay people about HIV and AIDS and for fair treatment for people with HIV infection. He devotes much time and energy to improving professional and consumer understanding of HIV transmission, disease progression, and care. Dr. Rzepkowski has demonstrated tremendous courage and tenacity in his effort to confront fear and discrimination related to HIV/AIDS and to counter it with science and reason.
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 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 W. M. 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.