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Black Tie International:
62nd Annual "Spirit of Achievement" Luncheon
Women’s Division President Carol Roaman with 2016 Spirit of Achievement Honoree Clive Davis

 Women’s Division President Carol Roaman with 2016 Spirit of Achievement Honoree Clive Davis

Albert Einstein College of Medicine’s Women's Division

to Host 62nd Annual “Spirit of Achievement” Luncheon


May 17, 2015 (Bronx NY) The Women’s Division of Albert Einstein College of Medicine hosted its 62nd Annual Spirit of Achievement Luncheon on Tuesday, May 17th at the Rainbow Room in Manhattan. The event honors individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the arts and sciences, medicine, business, government and philanthropy.  This year’s honorees were Clive Davis, legendary record producer and music industry executive; Sharmila Makhija, M.D., M.B.A., ., a leading expert in cancer prevention and gynecologic cancers and chair of obstetrics & gynecology and women’s health at Einstein and Montefiore Health System; and Danielle Weisberg and Carly Zakin, co-founders and CEO’s of theSkimm, a news and information e-newsletter for young women professionals. Ruth L. Gottesman, Ed.D., chair emerita of the Einstein Board of Overseers and professor emerita of pediatrics, received the Lizette H. Sarnoff Award for Volunteer Service, the Women’s Division’s highest honor. The Luncheon benefited cancer research at Einstein and Montefiore.

TODAY show correspondent Jill Martin, a past Spirit honoree, served as emcee. Carol Roaman, president of the Einstein Women’s Division, and executive board members Mindy Feinberg, Jackie Harris and Andrea Stark were the luncheon co-chairs. Ms. Roaman, who lost her daughter to ovarian cancer, expressed her admiration for researchers at Einstein, noting that the Women’s Division has raised more than $2.5 million for Einstein cancer research since she became involved in 2012. Ms. Harris and Ms. Feinberg thanked the committee and the event’s many sponsors. Ms. Stark commented that, “All of our lives have been touched by cancer, in one way or another. That’s why it is imperative to help Einstein scientists continue their cutting-edge cancer research and support Montefiore’s commitment to world-class medical care.” Paraphrasing Montefiore Health System’s new tagline, she noted that, “Einstein-Montefiore really are Doing More!”

Dr. Steven M. Safyer, president and chief executive officer of Montefiore Medicine, presented Dr. Makhija with her Spirit award. In her remarks, Dr. Makhija highlighted the importance of women’s health issues and Montefiore’s outreach to women in underserved communities who are in need of quality health care. She showed a compelling video focusing on how Einstein is training the next generation of highly skilled and compassionate ob/gyn physicians. 

Ms. Martin then presented Spirit awards to Ms. Zakin and Ms. Weisberg. The media entrepreneurs spoke about how technology is changing the way we receive  news as well as the importance of philanthropy and ways in which the next generation of leaders is embracing it.

Allen M. Spiegel, M.D., Einstein’s Marilyn and Stanley M. Katz Dean, presented Ruth L. Gottesman, Ed.D., with the Lizette H. Sarnoff Award for Volunteer Service. Dr. Gottesman gave an impassioned speech touching on her life’s work at Einstein and Montefiore-Einstein’s Children's Evaluation and Rehabilitation Center (CERC), which provides comprehensive family-centered, community-based care to young people (and some adults) with severe developmental disorders such as autism spectrum disorders, learning disabilities, ADHD, cerebral palsy and other neuromuscular disorders, spina bifida and hearing problems.

The program ended with a moving tribute to Clive Davis. Dr. Safyer lauded Mr. Davis’s longtime support of AIDS/HIV research and how, in the epidemic’s early days, he galvanized the music establishment to recognize the impact HIV was having not only in the arts but in underserved communities worldwide. In his acceptance speech, Mr. Davis stressed the importance of Einstein’s dedication to innovative biomedical investigation and to the development of ethical and compassionate physicians. Drawing on personal and family experiences, he praised Einstein-Montefiore’s major research centers in AIDS, aging, intellectual and developmental disorders, diabetes, cancer, clinical and translational research and liver disease, and their efforts to advance the prevention and treatment of the world’s most devastating health problems.


Gerard Mc Keon and Joyce Brooks.  Photo by:  Rose Billings/

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