Candice Bergen and Renee Fleming Honored

Friday, May 22, 2015

The Women’s Division of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine hosted its 61st annual Spirit of Achievement Luncheon on May 19 at the Rainbow Room. The event, which benefits the college’s cancer center, honored some of the organizations biggest supporters and gathered guests, many whom have had personal experiences with the disease.

Carol Roaman, president of the Women’s Division and event cho-chair, along with Andrea Stark and Terri Goldberg, spoke about losing her daughter to ovarian cancer and praised the organization’s doctors, while famous soprano Renee Fleming, who was honored at the event, accepted her award and commented on the similarity between the two professions saying, “Classical singers share a trait with medical researchers [who are] on a lifelong quest to master an unruly instrument” before commenting on the “privilege to be around these doctors who were saving lives.”

Another honoree, actress Candice Bergen, also spoke about the effects of cancer on her life (her first husband, film director Louis Malle, passed away from lymphoma as did her current husband’s, real estate developer Marshall Rose, former wife) and remarked that the Einstein Women’s Division’s efforts on behalf of cancer research was a cause to which she could relate.

In one of the event’s most touching moments, Allen M. Spiegal introduced a video telling the story of  how Drs. Daphne T. Hsu and Robert H. Pass, both honorees that night, provided lifesaving heart transplant surgery to 17-year-old patient Brianna Barker, before Barker herself came onstage to express her thanks and present the two doctors with their awards.

Mistress of Ceremonies Jill Martin, a TODAY show correspondent, then announced the winners of the afternoon’s raffle before wrapping up the event by congratulating honorees and thanking guests for their continued support of Einstein. Finally guests, which included past honorees Christine Baranski, Sarah Hughes and Daryl Roth, left with gift bags containing copies of Renee Fleming’s new cd and autographed copies of Candice Bergen’s memoir.




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