By Nadine Hoffmann
Our own Dr. Alec, a.k.a. Alec Pruchnicki, received a well-deserved award, along with lots of praise and love, for his years of dedicated service as the Geriatrician at the Lott Assisted Living Residence. He was awarded the Spirit of Lott Award, named for Father Robert Lott, the inspiration behind the Lott Assisted Living Residence. This Award is given annually to people associated with the Residence who best carry out the spirit of Father Lott in providing care to those who need it most.
Cocktails and a glorious sunset kicked off the 2016 Lott Foundation Gala, held on Monday, October 17th at the Tribeca Rooftop. Also honored was City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito with the Carmen Villegas Award for her unfailing battle to bring affordable housing to East Harlem.
Dr. Pruchnicki spoke about growing up in the Bronx, attending Bronx Science, Fordham University, as well as CCNY and CUNY for graduate work. He also discussed the evolution of his science education, which began with basic research on aging fruit flies. After deciding to work with aging people instead, Dr. Pruchnicki attended the Albert Einstein Medical School rather than finishing his Ph.D. After medical school, he went to Overlook Hospital in Summit, NJ for a residency in internal medicine and then UCLA for a fellowship in geriatrics. Dr. Pruchnicki has worked in a variety of nursing homes, hospitals, and community clinics in New York City, focusing on geriatric medicine. In 2003, he was hired by St. Vincent’s to staff a primary care medical office in the Lott facility.
Dr. Pruchnicki was visibly moved when talking about Father Lott and his vision of care for the neediest populations: the old, sick, frail, and those with no money. Alec praised the dedicated staff, doctors, nurses, and aides who work alongside him, doing the hard work of caring for old and infirm patients.
On a lighter note, and fueled by lots of vodka, wine, and delicious food, Dr. Alec took to the dance floor. It was great to see doctors, nurses, and administrators throwing caution and decorum to the wind and cutting loose to a highly charged band. On the dance floor, joining Dr. Alec, who is an Executive Committee member of the Village Independent Democrats (VID), were fellow VIDers, Lois Rakoff, Erik Bottcher, Chief of Staff to Councilmember Corey Johnson, and President Nadine Hoffmann. Even WestView’s photographer, Maggie Berkvist, danced. Did I say lots of vodka?
The Lott Assisted Living Residence is located at 108th Street and Fifth Avenue. It provides dental, medical, and podiatric services along with three nutritious meals and a plethora of services to an aging population that is economically, ethnically, and racially diverse.