Six Standout Students Receive Maimonides Awards from Touro College of Health Sciences in Virtual Commencement Ceremony

Exemplary Practitioners-in-Training Chosen for Exhibiting Highest Level of Professional Ideals Amidst Global Pandemic

September 21, 2020

As COVID-19 shines a spotlight on the increasing need for skilled and compassionate health care workers worldwide, six students representing four programs within the Touro College School of Health Sciences were honored with Maimonides Awards during the annual commencement ceremony held virtually on September 10th.

These exceptional students, selected from over 300 candidates in programs ranging from physical and occupational therapy to nursing and speech and language pathology, were recognized for demonstrating an ultra-high level of professional ideals of a practitioner of the health sciences.

“Your graduation occurs during a challenging time – a time where your skills and education are uniquely valued. The Coronavirus pandemic has brought all of civilization face to face with a crisis that few, if any, could have imagined. The only answer is to persevere with confidence and empathy, while applying all the knowledge and skills you have learned and live with passion and purpose,” said Dr. Alan Kadish, President of the Touro College and University System.

Award winner Michael Cohen of Hauppauge, Long Island recently graduated from the Physical Therapy program and has always dreamt of working closely with professional athletes. He credits Touro for helping him discover a deep passion for providing acute care to patients in a hospital setting. He hopes to work in this environment as he embarks on his career in the health sciences.

“I completed several acute care rotations in different hospitals and immediately saw the significant impact a physical therapist can have in this setting. It was because of these invaluable experiences that I realized how much I enjoyed making a difference in the lives of patients. Due to the pandemic, medical professionals are needed now more than ever and to have the opportunity to help in the greatest time of need couldn’t be more rewarding. I’m forever grateful to Touro’s School of Health Sciences for fostering a sense of community amongst its students, staff and faculty; placing an emphasis on building strong interpersonal skills in addition to training us to perfect our clinical skills, and enabling us to learn from specialists in the classroom and outside in the field.”

“The pandemic has turned our lives upside down. Despite that fact, we need to stop and pause to celebrate today. I want to thank the medical community, many of whom are Touro graduates, for their incredible work during this crisis and thank those who keep us safe, including our veterans, law enforcement personnel and firefighters. We look forward to the outstanding work our graduates will do in the future,” said Dr. Louis Primavera, Dean of the Touro College School of Health Sciences. “You’re entering the healthcare profession at a very difficult time, yet I know you will make major contributions to this field and serve as a role model for others.”

The other award recipients include: Daniele Mitner and Dina Bergman of the Occupational Therapy program, Lewis Lupowitz of the Physical Therapy program, Gitty Schweitzer of the Nursing Program and Naftali Jaroslawicz of the Speech and Language Pathology program.