(L to R) Luriene Paul Richardson, Deborah McCray, Everett Person, the Hone. Keith L.T. Wright, Mayor David Dinkins, Gregory Atwater, Congressman Charles B. Rangel, NYS Sen. Brian Benjamin, Dr. Hazel N. Dukes and Ruth Clark (251356)
Credit: Contributed

The NYC Health + Hospitals/Sydenham Renaissance Community Advisory Board held their annual public meeting Friday, Oct. 27, at the Adam Clayton Powell Jr. State Office Building, hosted by CAB Chairperson Ruth Clark and Vice Chairperson Everett Person. The invocation was given by the Rev. Rashid Raymond Moore, assistant minister of the Abyssinian Baptist Church. This year’s honorees where the 106th Mayor of City of New York, the Hon. David N. Dinkins; New York State Senator Brian Benjamin; Ebony magazine’s “Power 150” for Activism, Woman’s Day magazine’s “50 Women on a Mission to Change the World” and author of “Black Pain,” Terrie Williams; international multimedia artist who launched her signature jewelry pieces, “The Black Cameo,” in 1990, Coreen Simpson; co-founder of Harlem Mother’s S.A.V.E. Jackie Rowe-Adams; health care advocate Rasheedah Ali; and NYC Health + Hospitals/Sydenham school-based social worker Lynnsue Jolley. The award presenters were Congressman Charles B. Rangel, Manhattan Democratic County Leader the Hon. Keith L. T Wright, President of the NAACP New York State Conference Dr. Hazel N. Dukes, psychiatrist Dr. Cynthia Barnes, NYC Health + Hospitals/Sydenham Director of Nursing Lurlene Paul-Richardson and CAB members Donna V. Gill and Sergio Donavan.

The keynote speaker was Sydenham Hospital’s former executive director and International Joint Commission Surveyor Robert Christmas.

Christmas gave a historical prospective on the closing of Sydenham Hospital. The policymaking course of action that profoundly affected him as he laid off more than 1,000 people in one day, not to mention much needed health care services that were no longer available to the Harlem community. He stated he that could not have managed without the guidance and support of the late Hon. Percy E. Sutton, and other members of “the Gang of Four.” Dukes reminded the audience it was the “Gang of Five.” She was the silent member.

Greetings were given by Manhattan Borough President the Hon. Gale A. Brewer, and welcome remarks were made by NYC Health + Hospitals/Sydenham Deputy Executive Director Gregory A. Atwater. Music was provided by the Danny Mixon Jazz Trio. One of the many highlights was a painting and books donated by artist and author Bryan Collier to Dinkins.

Also, in attendance were NYC Health + Hospitals Deputy Executive Director Deborah McCray; Stephanie Christmas; last year’s Annual Public Meeting honoree, Vy Higginsen; Gotham Health Board members Dr. Dolores R. McCray and Paul Covington; director of Northern Manhattan Office of Manhattan Borough President, Athena Moore; NYC Health + Hospitals Director of Community Relations Renee Rowell; Gill McGriff; Susan Simpson-Bryant; Eleanor Kennedy; Cindy Cain; and NYC Health + Hospital/Sydenham Renaissance Auxiliary Vice President Joe Brice.

The NYC Health + Hospitals/Sydenham Renaissance Community Advisory Board members are Ruth Clark, chairperson; Everett Person, vice chairperson; Naomi Griffin, secretary; Donna V. Gill, chairperson, Hospitality Committee; Robin Bell-Stevens; Hugh W. Bobbitt; Sergio Donovan; Paula K. Dowds; Michael J. Garner; Jeanne Parnell-Habersham; Michelle V. Jackson; Denisha Johnson-Williams; Dr. Marcella Maxwell; Joyce M. Rivers; Francis Savage; Carole D. Smith; and Viveca White.