Ex-SVG teachers group honors popular doctor

Dr. Clifford Young gives his acceptance speech.
Photo by Nelson A. King

The Brooklyn-based St. Vincent and the Grenadines Ex-Teachers Association of New York on Sunday honored popular Vincentian doctor Clifford Young at a sell-out gala luncheon at Grand Prospect Hall in Brooklyn.

Dr. Young, who practices medicine in Brooklyn, was the sole honoree during the stellar event that marked the group’s 33rd anniversary and the birthday of slain United States civil rights leader, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. King’s birthday is celebrated as a public holiday in the U.S. on the third Monday in January.

“Let me take this opportunity to congratulate our honoree, Dr. Clifford Young. You have been one of our stalwart supporters,” said Jackson Farrell, president of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Ex-Teachers Association of New York, who was one of Dr. Young’s teachers at the St. Martin’s Secondary School in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, in his welcome remarks.

“You have also supported other organizations in the Diaspora,” added Farrell, who recently retired after teaching at public schools in New York City for over two decades. Besides Martin’s Secondary, Farrell, a St. Vincent [and the Grenadines] Grammar School alumnus, also taught at several elementary schools at home before migrating to New York.

“We salute you and your family,” continued Farrell about Dr. Young, who was accompanied by his Jamaican-born wife, Hilma, their son, Clifford, Jr., and Dr. Young’s younger brother, Selwyn, among other relatives, friends and supporters.

“It is a special moment for me, believing that I personally have a part to play in this, having had the opportunity to be one of your teachers at St. Martin’s Secondary School,” Farrell said. “Continue to make your contributions to the community.”

Farrell later told Caribbean Life that, though his group’s executive body fully endorsed Dr. Young’s nomination, he wholeheartedly supported it.

“I’m very humbled,” Dr. Young told Caribbean Life, in an exclusive interview, in an adjacent room, while patrons took to the dance floor, partying to the pulsating sounds of popular DJ Supa Eyes. “When you get these things [awards], you realize that people are looking at your work.

“You’re not doing it [community service] for the limelight, but you’re doing it to serve,” he added. “You’re not doing it for self-enrichment but to bring joy to the community.”

After graduating from St Martin’s Secondary School in the mid-1970s, Young won a Pan-American Health Organization/World Health Organization Scholarship to attend the Barbados Community College, where he studied Laboratory Technology.

In 1980, he migrated to New York, and continued his studies at Hunter College, City University of New York (CUNY), graduating four years later with a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry.

He went on to pursue studies at the State University of New York (SUNY), Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, where he earned a Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree.

Dr. Young completed his medical internship at the Albert Einstein Hospital in Manhattan and his medical residency at the expansive Kings County Hospital and Medical Center in Brooklyn.

In 1992, Young became an Emergency Room Attending Physician at Kings County Hospital and Medical Center, where he remained until 2003.

Currently, Dr. Young is an attending physician at Woodhull Hospital Medical Center and Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center, both in Brooklyn.

Additionally, he is a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Medicine at SUNY Downstate Medical Center, where he teaches physical diagnosis.

In 2003, Dr. Young also entered private practice, owning and directing Citi Medical in Canarsie, Brooklyn.

He is a diplomate of the Board of Medical Examiners and the American Board of Internal Medicine, a fellow of the American College of Physicians, and a member of the US National Medical Association.

In recognition of his service to the medical community, Dr. Young has received numerous awards.

These include the U.S. Congressional Award, for outstanding health care in the community, from former U.S. Congressman Edolphus Towns; the Thomas R. Fortune Health Care Professional of the Year; the Family Services Network of New York Outstanding Medical Leadership; the Caribbean American Healthcare Award 2015; the CPAC [Carriacou and Petit Martinique Association] Healthcare Award; and The Doctor’s Day Award from New York City’s Health and Hospital Corporation that oversees over a dozen municipal hospitals.

“When I was small, people used to tell me ‘you’re going to be a doctor,’” Dr. Young told Caribbean Life.

But little did he fathom that, one day, he would not just become a medical doctor, but one who, many patients would unreservedly say, is making a huge difference in their and the community’s lives.

The Youngs, who reside in Brooklyn, have two older children, Nyasha and Chantay.

Dr. Clifford Young receives award from Desmarie Greenaway, Ex-Teachers Association member, flanked by L-R: Jackson Farrell, president of Ex-Teachers Association, Dr. Young’s wife, Hilma, their son Clifford, Jr., and Edward Conliffe, PRO and fundraising chair
Photo by Nelson A. King

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