By: Dale King Contributing Writer
A Boca Raton physician whose specialty is internal medicine took home the “Doctor of Distinction” award during the Rotary Club Downtown Boca Raton’s 21st Annual “Honor Your Doctor” luncheon in late March.
Dr. Jeffrey Stein was recognized as the 2019 titleholder for generating the most nomination votes from patients and from the community at large. He received a brass and wood clock with an engraved plaque from Boca Raton Deputy Mayor Jeremy Rodgers, who proclaimed the day of the luncheon, March 27, 2019, as Dr. Jeffrey Stein Day in the city.
The man of medicine is a graduate of the American University of the Caribbean, and did his internship and residency at Booth Memorial Medical Center in Flushing, N.Y.
This year’s event brought in more than $80,000 for medical, nursing and health-related scholarships for the Helen M. Babione Medical Scholarship Fund. Her program helps pay the educational costs of medical and nursing school students attending four local secondary schools: Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine at Florida Atlantic University, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing at FAU, Lynn University and Palm Beach State College.
The luncheon program featured remarks from one medical and two nursing student scholarship recipients: Emmanuel “Manny” McNeely, MS, MHA, a graduating medical student at the FAU’s College of Medicine; De-Shaunah Dixon, who is attending the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing at FAU and Matisse Swartz, a senior at Lynn University.
Keynote speaker was Eileen Tollefson, RN, CCN, one of the first scholarship recipients 21 years ago.
The Rotary Club Boca Raton Downtown actually acknowledged “National Doctors Day” by celebrating the services provided by area physicians, nurses and medical professionals during the luncheon at Boca West Country Club.
Rotary Club President Michael Walstrom noted that, “In Boca Raton, we are privileged to have access to some of the best medical care. The ‘Honor Your Doctor’ luncheon is an opportunity to say ‘Thank You’ for being there when we are at our most vulnerable.”
“We are so pleased that the Rotary Club Downtown Boca Raton has again raised the bar for this very special event,” said co-chair Alan Kaye.
Co-chair Janice Williams underscored the importance of the annual luncheon begun by Babione when she was president of the GFWC Boca Raton Women’s Club, the program’s original sponsor. The Rotary Club Downtown Boca Raton has produced it for the last five years.
“This event was the brainchild of Helen Babione 21 years ago,” said Williams. Not only does it raise money for deserving students’ scholarships, but also “recognizes the efforts of our growing medical community and encourages these students to remain in practice here in Boca Raton by engaging them from the very beginning in the community.”
Honorary co-chairs this year were Dr. Ira and June Gelb. The honorary physician advisor was Dr. Eli Cohen, last year’s “Doctor of Distinction” award recipient.
“We are so fortunate to have such a long roster of revered and respected healthcare professionals in our community who enhance and save lives every day of the year,” added Williams, who has been the chair, co-chair and advisor to the “Honor Your Doctor Luncheon” for 19 years.
In all, 130 physicians and medical professionals received appreciation award during the festivities.
“The ‘Honor Your Doctor’ luncheon has become an annual tradition for many of Boca Raton’s community leaders, member of the medical community and philanthropists,” said Kaye.