The Mission Doctors Association will recognize a New York physician as the Catholic Doctor of 2009 for his significant volunteer work.
The association will present its World of Difference Award to Michael A. Fitzgerald, M.D., at the Archdiocese of Los Angeles’ White Mass on October 18 at Holy Family Church in South Pasadena, California.
Dr. Fitzgerald, who is from Liverpool, New York, is being recognized for his commitment to his community, a Mission Doctors Association press release says.
He is a volunteer with the Poverello Clinic, a free clinic for the uninsured, and has served as a volunteer physician accompanying the sick and disabled on pilgrimage to Lourdes. He has also volunteered at a hospital in Haiti and has hosted Haitian physicians who come to the U.S. for specialized training.
The doctor was nominated for the award by Kathryn Ruscitto, Senior Vice President of St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center.
“In this fast paced world few of us can take daily time to be devoted to our faith and to live it out in our professional actions,” Ruscitto commented in reaction to news of his selection. “Dr. Michael Fitzgerald does both. He is a role model to many about responsibility to give back to our communities and the world!”
Dr. Fitzgerald has insisted that there were many others more deserving of the honor. He explained that he recognizes the face of Christ in his patients.
The awardee is a Knight of Malta and a graduate of New York Medical College who completed his residency at the Mayo Clinic in Internal Medicine / Gastroenterology. He and his wife have five children and are parishioners at St. Mary’s on the Lake in Skaneateles, New York.
The Word of Difference Award is the only national award for Catholic doctors, the Mission Doctors Association says.