Dr. Joseph A. Cimino


Dr. Joseph A. Cimino, a former New York City Health Commissioner who later helped establish the Westchester Medical Center and served as president of New York Medical College, died July 1 at Calvary Hospital in the Bronx. He was 73. He also served as president of New York Medical College, Valhalla, 1978-1981, and remained there as professor and chairman of its Department of Community and Preventive Medicine. He was commissioner of hospitals and medical director for Westchester County, 1974-1978, where he supervised the building and staffing of a new university hospital in Valhalla. That hospital became the Westchester Medical Center, which then affiliated with New York Medical College. During that period, he organized the Hudson Valley Health Systems Agency and served as its chairman. Dr. Cimino was the brother of Dr. James E. Cimino of Valhalla, who survives him, and who was a guiding spirit in the development of Calvary Hospital and head of its Palliative Care Institute. Dr. Joseph Cimino also was involved with Calvary for many years, serving in its Employee Health Department. A native of the Bronx, Dr. Cimino earned a bachelor's degree in American history at Harvard College, attended medical school at the University of Buffalo and then returned to Harvard to study public health. He worked for New York City government from 1964 to 1974, and was appointed by Mayor John V. Lindsay in 1972 as health commissioner, making him the youngest department commissioner in the city's history. During the past 30 years, Dr. Cimino consulted with numerous public and private agencies, including the New York State Public Health Council. For more than 30 years he was chairman of the board of Dominican Sisters Family Health Service Inc. In 2004, he was awarded an Ellis Island Medal of Honor for his contributions to the Italian-American and American society. He is survived by his wife, Peggy, and seven children, Andrea Cimino, Laura Colella, Lisa Gandolfo, Joseph A. Cimino, Linda Cimino, Margaret Cimino and John Cimino. Also surviving is a sister, Camilla Harris. A Funeral Mass was offered July 7 at the Church of the Magdalene, Pocantico Hills. Burial was private.



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