Although Doctors Augusta Alba and Masayoshi Itoh chose different fields of study for their careers, they have something very unique in common; decades of services to their patients at Coler-Goldwater. The two were honored recently for 50 years of service at a ceremony held at Goldwater Auditorium that was attended by their colleagues, friends and relatives.
“Both Dr. Alba and Dr. Itoh leave a legacy of compassion and service and personify the deep dedication that so many staff bring to HHC’s mission,” said HHC President Alan Aviles.
Mayor Bloomberg sent letters to each of them. For Dr. Alba, Mayor Bloomberg wrote: “For decades, Dr. Alba has provided hope and strength to patients in recovery. An accomplished author, this remarkable doctor is also a premier consultant of the care of post polio syndrome and was instrumental in establishing the Goldwater Memorial Hospital National Foundation for Poliomyelitis Regional Respiratory Center, which closed following the disease’s successful eradication in America.”
Of Dr. Itoh, the mayor wrote: “Over the course of his illustrious career, Dr. Itoh has made invaluable contributions to Rehabilitation Medicine. An internationally renowned expert on the prevention of leprosy and the rehabilitation of leprosy patients and their disabilities, he is also a widely published author with over fifty publications to his credit. His passion and commitment have helped countless patients regain strength, hope and health.”
Dr. Alba graduated from Cornell University Medical College, one of only eight women in a class of 100. She is renowned in the field of respiratory rehabilitation as well as general rehabilitation. She is one of the nation’s top experts in the care of patients with post-polio syndrome, which causes polio survivors weakening of the muscles years after recovery.
She and her husband of 62 years have eight children. One of her sons is a rehabilitation physician and another makes modified vans for people with severe disabilities. She also has a daughter who is an RN.
Dr. Itoh is an internationally renowned expert in the prevention of leprosy as well as the rehabilitation of patients. He received his medical degree from The College of Medicine, Tokyo University. Dr. Itoh did his residency training in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at New York University. That residency started his long affiliation with Goldwater Memorial Hospital.
Although he retired from full-time service in 1997, he immediately became a consultant for Quality Improvement at Coler-Goldwater. He said he enjoyed every moment of his work and is especially proud that over 200 physicians, occupational and physical therapists from Spanish-speaking countries have been trained at Coler-Goldwater in rehabilitative medicine.