More than 620 community leaders and members of the medical community gathered for the New York Downtown Hospital's 19th Annual Gala at Cipriani's. Downtown Magazine NYC. Photos by Melissa Golinsky

DOWNTOWN Magazine CEO and Publisher Grace Capobianco was joined by members of the magazine’s Advisory Board and staff, along with 620 luminaries from the corporate and medical communities on Friday night to celebrate New York Downtown Hospital at the facility’s  19th Annual Gala at Cipriani’s on Wall Street.

The Hospital honored the Stavros Niarchos Foundation with its first Global Philanthropy Award for its worldwide contribution to education, health and medicine, social welfare, and culture and the arts, as well as its mission to support underserved populations. Co-President of the Board, Stavros Dracopoulos, accepted the award on behalf of the Foundation.

Also honored at the event were the hospital’s Chairman of Pediatrics, Eric Poon, M.D., who received the prestigious Distinguished Physician Award for his tireless care for generations of Downtown residents for nearly 25 years, and former Community Board 1 Chair Julie Menin who received the Community Service Award.

“Both of these people have served our community over a long period of time in unique and significant ways,” said Capobianco. “It makes me proud that our magazine can help bring attention to individuals who have played so large a role in making this area one of the most desirable, not only in New York, but the entire country. It’s these kinds of stories that make our job as journalists worthwhile.”

The Gala was chaired by Trustee Peter Gross, Managing Director of Goldman Sachs, while the Dinner Chair was Trustee Mrs. Lai Wah Fung.

Downtown Hospital President and CEO Jeff Menkes addressed the attendees with a look back at the Hospital’s significant role in the community’s history through an open letter to its 17th-century founder and the first woman in America to earn a medical degree—Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell.

Dr. Blackwell was the subject of a feature in DOWNTOWN Magazine more than a year ago, indicating that both Grace and Mr. Menkes share a sense of importance in recognizing the significance of the accomplishments of community figures of the past and the need for us all to work together to in the present.

“The hospital has played an essential role in history, and now the future, of this city and our community,” Grace added. “The fact that Mr. Menkes honors that tradition only goes to show how in touch he is with Downtown’s key needs and interests. He’s one of the best things that ever happened to our area.”

Joining Grace in support of the Hospital at the event were Janet and Rory McCreesh, founder of Duce Construction; Fatima and Dr. Donald Roland; Karina and Dr. Vadim Kusnerik of Downtown Hospital; Luigi Rosabianca of Rosabianca and Associates; Mark Ricci and Alexandra Joset of the Conrad Hotel; Jeff Simmons, formerly of the Downtown Alliance and now with Anat Gerstein  Communications; Editorial Director, Shari Hartford, and Associate Publisher, Mike Hammer of DOWNTOWN  Magazine.

“The fact that all these people are here is a real testimony to the sense of community Downtown,” Grace said. “This hospital has meant so much to all of us. It served the first –responders after 9/11 and has been a premium facility for this community forever. We all need to continue to celebrate and support it in every way.”