Remembering Gerald Greenberg, MD ’59, Friend of Downstate
Died November 21, 2015
Gerald M Greenberg, MD, age 83, of Roslyn Heights, NY, died peacefully and gently and with a soft smile on his face, much as he had lived, on November 21, 2015 at home on hospice care, surrounded by his family. He was the beloved husband of Abby J. Greenberg, MD, ’59. Jerry was born on October 22, 1932, the son of Emanuel D. Greenberg, DDS and Sayde Greenberg. He was raised in the Bronx, overlooking Yankee Stadium, and graduated from the University of Rochester with a BA in Physics, and then from the SUNY Downstate Medical School in 1959. He completed his residency in Internal Medicine at the Jewish Hospital in Brooklyn and his Fellowship in Pulmonary Disease at the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York. After serving in the US Navy, Dr Greenberg was appointed Chief of the Pulmonary Disease Division and Chief of the Department of Medicine at the Greenpoint Hospital Affiliation of the Jewish Hospital and Medical Center of Brooklyn. Then, from 1971 – 1980, he was Associate Director of the Department of Medicine and Director of the Division of Pulmonary Disease at Jamaica Hospital. Dr. Greenberg returned to Brooklyn Jewish Hospital in 1980 and became Chief of the Pulmonary Division and also Chief of the Critical Care Division of Interfaith Medical Center (formerly Brooklyn Jewish Hospital). He remained in those two positions for two decades until 2004, and then stayed in the Department of Medicine as an Attending Physician in charge of the Tuberculosis Outpatient Program until he retired in 2011. At his funeral, Dr. Greenberg was eulogized by M. Frances Schmidt, MD, his successor as Chief of the Pulmonary Division of Interfaith Medical Center. She said that Dr. Greenberg educated multiple generations of physicians and pulmonologists in the Pulmonary Fellowship Program and each of them will remember him as a man of great character and integrity, an honest man, a great teacher, and a great Physician. She noted that he was a source of inspiration to all at Interfaith Medical Center; and he taught the members and trainees in the Pulmonary Division about mutual respect and about the need to try to perform to the highest standard and to care passionately for their patients. She reported that the Pulmonary Fellowship has been able to maintain its very high academic standard because of the structure and norms that Dr. Greenberg established. In 2005, in honor of the 50th anniversary of their wedding, Dr. Gerald Greenberg and his wife, Dr. Abby Greenberg, established the Drs. Gerald and Abby Greenberg Scholarship Fund of the SUNY Downstate Medical Center Alumni Association – College of Medicine. The scholarship monies are designated to be awarded periodically to married medical student couples. This criterion was selected because Jerry and Abby entered SUNY Downstate Medical Center, College of Medicine together as young newlyweds and then graduated together in 1959 with a 6 month old addition to their family; and they wanted to be able to provide some additional support to couples in similar circumstances.