Black History Medical Synergy

Dr. Becker (L) with honorees, L-R: Drs. June Mulvaney, Beny Primm, Julien Supplice and Reneida Reyes

Six black doctors were honored for their respective contributions to the medical community when the Brooklyn Hospital staged its inaugural “Black History Medical Synergy” awards event on Feb. 27 at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

The event was held in partnership with the Aesclepius Medical Society and the Association of Haitian Physicians Abroad (AMHE), Inc.

Highlight of the event was the presentation of the Dr. Susan Smith McKinney Award for “Dedication to Preserving the Highest Standard of Care in Brooklyn”, to Julien J. Supplice, MD for 47 years of service; June Mulvaney, MD for 53 years of service and Reneida Reyes, DDS for 46 years of service, with Dr. Smith-McKinney’s great-great-great-great grandson Todd Slaughter as the presenter.

Dr. Smith McKinney, the first African American woman to receive a medical degree in New York, was born in Weeksville, Brooklyn in 1847 and practiced from her office on DeKalb Avenue from 1870 to 1895.

Other honorees were: Beny Primm, MD (Lifetime Achievement Award); Gerald Deas, MD (Citizenship and Community Service Award); and Emmanuel Gabriel St. Louis, MD (Brooklyn Hospital Humanitarian Award).

“We feel a bond with the people of color to be here,” Dr. Richard B. Becker, president and chief executive officer of Brooklyn Hospital Center, said at the ceremony. “And that makes me proud to be part of that.”

Dr. Primm was born in Williamson, West Virginia, but later relocated to the Bronx in 1941. He received his medical degree from the University of Geneva in Switzerland in 1959. Ten years later, he became one of the founders of the Addiction Research Treatment Corporation, serving as its executive director for more than 40 years. He was also president of the Urban Resource Institute from 1980 to 2013.

Dr. Primm was selected by four U.S. presidents to serve as a consultant on a variety of substance abuse and public health issues.

Born and raised in Brooklyn, Dr. Gerald Deas, physician, poet, playwright, media personality, political activist and public health crusader, for 50 years has dedicated his life to serving the community, earning his medical degree from SUNY Downstate in 1962.

Dr. Deas made history as the first black recipient of the New York State Medical Society Award.

As director of health education communication at SUNY Downstate and host of “Health Center,” the cable TV show produced on campus, Dr. Deas alerts the public about health hazards, such as food dyes and additives in sugary drinks that can trigger asthma attacks and behavioral problems in children.

Dr. St. Louis was born and raised in Haiti. He graduated from the State University of Haiti Medical School in 1977 and completed his residency at Bronx Lebanon Hospital, Albert Einstein College of Medicine in 1990.

As the vice-chairman of the Family Practice at The Brooklyn Hospital Center, Dr. St. Louis has been a steady and visible part of Brooklyn and Uniondale, New York for almost 20 years

In response to Haiti’s devastating earthquake on Jan. 12, 2010, Dr. St. Louis organized a group to provide relief care.

On return from the French-speaking Caribbean country, the group created Foundation for Hope and Health in Haiti (FHHH), an organization whose aim is to increase access to free medical care to underserved, poor areas in Haiti.

Dr. Mulvaney was born in New York City, raised in Manhattan and Brooklyn and earned her medical degree from Howard University College of Medicine in 1956. After her residencies in pediatrics at Kings County Hospital Center and Harlem Hospital Center, Dr. Mulvaney practiced as a solo pediatrician in Crown Heights, Brooklyn for over 40 years.

At present, Dr. Mulvaney works for the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene as a supervising physician in School Health.

Dr. Reyes, a native of the Republic of Panama, began her career as a dental hygienist in 1968. She later went on to attend SUNY Stony Brook School of Dental Medicine.

Dr. Reyes completed her pediatric dental training at the Children’s Hospital of Boston and Harvard University School of Dental Medicine and currently serves as Section Chief of Pediatric Dentistry at New York Methodist Hospital, Division of Dental Medicine, and maintains an active pediatric dentistry practice at One Hanson Place in Brooklyn.

Dr. Supplice was born in Cabret, Haiti. He received his medical degree from the University of Haiti Medical School in 1953. . He later migrated to the United States in 1956, where he completed his residencies in pathology at Cumberland Hospital and in general surgery at Greenpoint Hospital, an affiliate of Mount Sinai Hospital in New York. As an attending in general surgery at several Brooklyn hospitals, and taught and mentored residents throughout his career.

Dr. Supplice has been a faculty member of Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center in Brooklyn for 36 years.

Dr. Gerald Deas (R) receiving award from Dr. Becker

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