Three Prominent New Yorkers Recognized by United Hospital Fund for Their Leadership and Accomplishments in Improving Health Care

Front: Arnold P. Gold, MD. Middle, from left: Roger Ferguson, Stephen Berger, and Howard P. Milstein. Rear, from left: Jim Tallon and J. Barclay Collins II. See other photos from the event.
The United Hospital Fund paid tribute to Howard P. Milstein, Arnold P. Gold, MD, and Stephen Berger at its annual gala, held this evening at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. The awards were presented to acknowledge their invaluable contributions aimed at improving health care in New York.

Drawing a crowd of more than 550 health care, business, and community leaders, the event marks the opening of the Fund's 137th fund-raising campaign for its work to shape positive change in health care in New York.

Howard Milstein, chairman of New York Private Bank & Trust and chairman of Milstein Properties, received the Health Care Leadership Award. On the board of Weill Cornell Medical College for almost 30 years, he is helping to spur progress in some of the most complex areas of science and biotechnology. As board member and, for the past 15 years, chairman of the New York Blood Center, he has provided visionary and results-oriented stewardship for decades. Acting on an equal concern for better prevention and treatment of skin cancer, he has served as chairman of the American Skin Association since 2003, sharpening the organization's focus on melanoma and other cancers. And he has been a valued member of the United Hospital Fund board since 2005, with a particular interest in UHF's work with New York-area hospitals to improve the quality of care and patient safety.

The Health Care Leadership Award was established by the United Hospital Fund in 1998 to recognize strong and sustained leadership aimed at improving health care in New York City. Previous recipients of the award include Michael A. Stocker, MD, Peter May, Frank A. Bennack, Jr., Kenneth Raske, James and Merryl Tisch, Anthony Watson, Martin D. Payson, John K. Castle, Mathilde Krim, PhD, Sanford I. Weill, and Maurice R. Greenberg.

Arnold P. Gold, MD, founder of The Arnold P. Gold Foundation, received the Distinguished Community Service Award for launching what is now an international movement that is changing the culture of medical education and practice, and making a profound impact on thousands of health care professionals and the patients and families for whom they provide care. In 1993, Dr. Gold's brainchild, the first White Coat Ceremony—formally recognizing the importance of humanistic care in medicine at the beginning of medical school—took place. As a new class of Columbia students had white jackets placed on their shoulders, they recited an oath emphasizing the importance of compassionate care as well as scientific proficiency. Today almost 100 percent of accredited medical schools in the U.S. and Canada—and 13 other countries—sponsor a White Coat ceremony. The foundation also features a range of rituals, programs, and awards recognizing individuals who are exemplars of humanistic patient care and can serve as role models, mentors, and leaders in medicine. In addition, the Foundation's Research Institute supports and conducts original investigation of the ways compassionate care leads to positive change in learning and medical practice.

Established by the Fund in 1987, the Distinguished Community Service Award recognizes volunteer leadership that significantly improves health care in New York City. For a tenth year, the Distinguished Community Service Award has been generously supported by TIAA-CREF, the leading provider of retirement services in the medical, academic, research, and cultural fields. Roger W. Ferguson, Jr., president and CEO of TIAA-CREF, presented the United Hospital Fund award to Dr. Gold.

Stephen Berger, Chairman of Odyssey Investment Partners, was recognized with a Special Tribute for his impassioned, intelligent public service aimed at advancing the goal of better health care access for all. Perhaps best recognized for leading the 2005-2007 Commission on Health Care Facilities in the 21st Century—commonly known as the Berger Commission—he guided the first step toward a series of necessary health system changes, in financing and payment, workforce issues, and service delivery. In 2011, he took on the equally sensitive job of chairing the Brooklyn Health Systems Redesign Work Group of Governor Andrew Cuomo's Medicaid Redesign Team. Today, he continues to play a key role in health care reform as a member of the Project Approval and Oversight Panel for DSRIP, the Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment program, guiding New York's investment of $6 billion in federal funds, through the State's Medicaid waiver. He has also been a member, since 2014, of the UHF board and chair of its program committee.

The benefit chairman was J. Barclay Collins II, chairman of the Fund's board of directors.

“The individuals we are honoring tonight stand out for their leadership qualities,” said Jim Tallon, president of the United Hospital Fund. “Whether that means guiding health care organizations to address 21st century needs, promoting humanistic values to ensure that science and compassion go hand in hand, or pointing to the tough path that health care needs to take, these leaders have different approaches. But they share a vision that health care can work better for all New Yorkers. And New Yorkers are in a better place because of their efforts.”

The United Hospital Fund is a health services research and philanthropic organization whose primary mission is to shape positive change in health care for the people of New York. For more information, please visit


Oct. 5, 2015