Dr. Muriel Petioni, “The Mother of Medicine in Harlem,” Will Speak on “Dealing With the 21st Century” at Touro College of Pharmacy’s Inaugural Black History Month Lecture on February 7
Director of Communications
New York, N.Y. – Dr. Muriel Petioni, affectionately known as “The Mother of Medicine in Harlem,” will deliver the Inaugural Black History Month Lecture at Touro College of Pharmacy on Monday, February 7.
The inaugural lecture, part of the College’s Black History Month Distinguished Lecture Series, is titled, “Dealing with the 21st Century.” The lecture will take place at 11 a.m. in Lecture Room A, 4th floor, at 231 West 124th Street, Harlem, N.Y. In her lecture, Dr. Petioni will speak to pharmacy students about the importance of expanding their horizons and becoming a well-rounded person as they pursue careers working with people in their respective communities. Only by understanding ourselves, according to Dr. Petioni, can we effectively counsel others.
“We are honored to host Dr. Petioni during Black History Month, as we recognize her four decades of service to the Harlem community as a caring family physician,” said Dr. Stuart Feldman, dean of Touro College of Pharmacy. “In her long, illustrious life, she has seen a lot of changes in the field of medicine and was way ahead of her time in that she treated the whole person rather than a particular ailment or disease. She worked tirelessly as an advocate and activist for better health care for the underprivileged and underserved and as a mentor to young women interested in careers in the sciences and medicine.”
Born in Trinidad in 1914 and raised in Harlem, Dr. Petioni followed in the footsteps of her physician father, graduating from Howard University College in Medicine, the only female in its Class of 1937. After a two-year internship at Harlem Hospital, she worked at several southern Black colleges before establishing her own practice in Harlem in 1950, taking over the 131st Street offices of her late father in 1951.
Seeing an urgent need for the sharing of knowledge and opportunities among black women physicians, she founded the Dr. Susan Smith McKinney Steward Medical Society in 1974, named after the first African- American woman licensed to practice medicine in New York State. In 1976, she organized the Medical Women of the National Medical Association (NMA), and served as its first president. In the mid-1980s, she founded the Friends of Harlem Hospital Center.
The recipient of many awards and citations, Dr. Petioni has been honored as a Distinguished Alumni by Howard University and by the Howard Medical Alumni Association; the NMA; Harlem Hospital Center; the New York Coalition of 100 Black Women; the Schomburg Center; and the Alumni Association of the City College of New York from which she received the 2006 Finley Award for “exemplary, consistent and dedicated service to the city of New York.”
2 In May 2006, she helped to establish the Dr. Muriel Petioni Hospital in Sierra Leone, West Africa. Plans are currently under way for the creation of a charter school for health, scholarship and community leadership in New York City for students from first grade through high school that is also to be named in honor of Dr. Petioni.
Registration information about Touro College of Pharmacy’s Inaugural Black History Month Distinguished Lecture is available by calling Ed Davila at 646-981-4703.
Touro College of Pharmacy, which opened its doors in Harlem in September of 2008, is the first school of pharmacy to open in New York in 70 years and is dedicated to increasing educational opportunities in Harlem and serving the Harlem community.