Everyday Heroes

Medical Society Gala to Honor Tree of Life Victims & Responders

A physician who was killed and the doctors and first responders who treated the victims will get special recognition at this annual event to honor doctors who go above and beyond


A physician who was a victim of the October 27 Tree of Life Synagogue massacre in Squirrel Hill, and the doctors and first responders who treated the surviving victims will be honored at the annual Allegheny County Medical Society Foundation Gala this Saturday.

The gala is held every year to recognize physician heroism that according to the organization's website "shines through in extraordinary and every day circumstances" from acts of courage in unexpected crisis or tragedy, to exceptional volunteerism and compassion for patients.

"We celebrate the exceptional presence that each one has on our region and beyond, for the lives they have touched, and the lasting impact they have made in our community." Allegheny County Medical Society Foundation

Six physicians (click here to read about them), community leader Bill Strickland, founder of Bidwell Training Center, and the medical supply "rescue" organization Global Links (click here for our story on them) will be recognized.

This year there will be special recognition related to Tree of Life. The gala will be dedicated in memory of Jerry Paul Rabinowitz, MD (above), one of the victims of the Tree of Life Synagogue massacre, and to all of the victims.

Rabinowitz was a dentist with a practice in West View, who was known for his extraordinary compassion, care and courage. A New York Times article quoted one of Rabinowitz's patients, a young man who was HIV-positive, as saying Rabinowitz was one of the only dentists in the city willing to treat a patient in the late 80's when people with AIDS were ostracized. "He held a lamp up that lit the way for us," patient Michael Kerr told the Times.

Also to be recognized: healthcare teams from UPMC and Allegheny Health Network along with City of Pittsburgh first responders who performed courageously during the Tree of Life shootings, and work throughout the year to make sure the city is prepared for incidents involving mass casualties. AHN says their Chair of Emergency Medicine, Thomas Campbell, MD, will accept the recognition on behalf of AHN.

You can call 412-321-5030 for tickets and information.

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