Distinguished Alumnus Award/2011 Recipients
Lester Silver, MD ’60
Dr. Lester Silver is chief of plastic surgery and director of the Residency Program at Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York, N.Y.
An expert in reconstructive surgery, he has spent his career teaching, and healing patients in the U.S. and around the world.
Dr. Silver graduated from Chicago Medical School in 1960. He holds a master's degree in health management from New York University. He trained in general surgery at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine Affiliated Hospital Program and in plastic surgery at both Albert Einstein and Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York.
Before entering practice, he served as a captain in the U.S. Air Force and then as the chief of Professional Services with Children’s Medical Relief International, a humanitarian agency that facilitated reconstructive surgery for children in Vietnam.
Dr. Silver has performed plastic surgery around the globe for the past 40 years in conjunction with humanitarian organizations. He has traveled on medical mission trips to dozens of developing nations throughout Asia, Africa and South America. Co-Founder of Project Hue, he serves as an honorary board member and chief professional officer of the TranTien Foundation, which provides health care to the people of Hue, Vietnam. During his tenure as director of professional services at the Barsky Unit of Children’s Medical Relief International in Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City) in the 1970s, thousands of reconstructive procedures were performed, primarily for children.
Dr. Silver also attends to a busy general plastic surgical practice with emphasis on pediatric plastic and reconstructive surgical problems. He is director of the Mount Sinai Multidiscipline Cleft Lip and Palate Center and he is active in committees dealing with international plastic surgery within the American Society of Plastic Surgery and its Educational Foundation.
A member and leader of numerous local and national plastic surgical organizations, Dr. Silver has authored myriad publications and delivered scores of presentations at medical conferences across the nation and around the world.
Highly recognized by his peers, his most recent honor, in 2010, was the Career Achievement Award from the Institute of Medical Education, Mount Sinai Medical Center.
Samuel C. Klagsbrun, MD ’62
Psychiatrist Dr. Samuel Klagsbrun is the owner and executive medical director for Four Winds Hospitals in New York state, providing comprehensive inpatient and outpatient mental health treatment services for children, adolescents and adults.
A native of Belgium, Dr. Klagsbrun earned a medical degree from the Chicago Medical School in 1962 and completed a residency in psychiatry at Yale University-New Haven Hospital, before working as a staff psychiatrist in the New London Child Guidance Clinic and as chief of psychiatry for New London Submarine Base. He entered private practice in New York City in 1968 and purchased Four Winds in Katonah, N.Y., in 1977. He built a second Four Winds facility in Saratoga Springs.
Dr. Klagsbrun has been a member of the Advisory Council for Yale University’s Department of Psychiatry since 1966. He is vice chairman and clinical professor of psychiatry for the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Bronx, N.Y., and a visiting professor and consultant for Saint Christopher’s Hospice in London, England. He has lectured since 1988 at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. A visiting professor and Advisory Council member for Jewish Theological University, he has also served on the Board of Directors for Medical Development for Israel Inc. for a quarter century.
A prolific author, Dr. Klagsbrun has written extensively on the psychosocial aspects of end-of-life issues. He was an early voice on prevention efforts for teen suicide and he has penned dozens of articles on the role of psychiatry in the treatment of terminal illness, domestic violence, and addiction.
Dr. Klagsbrun, who has appeared on national television including ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, MSNBC and PBS, is board certified by the American Board of Forensic Medicine, American Psychotherapy Association, and American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. He is a member of the American College of Forensic Examiners, and a fellow of the American Psychiatric Association.
He was named a Distinguished Alumni in 2002 by the Yale Psychiatric Alumni Association and is the recipient of numerous other honors. Married for 55 years to writer and columnist Francine Klagsbrun, he is the father of Dr. Sarah Klagsbrun, and grandfather of three.
Peter Orris, MD ’75, MPH
An international expert in the field of occupational health, Peter Orris, MD, MPH, is professor and director of the Occupational Health Services Institute (OHSI) Great Lakes Centers for Environmental Safety and Health at the University of Illinois, Chicago.
Dr.Orris, who also directs the OHSI Global Toxics Policy Program, serves as chief of the clinical department at the University of Illinois Medical Center and maintains a busy clinical and teaching practice in occupational medicine. He is a senior attending physician in the Division of Occupational Medicine at the Stroger Hospital of Cook County (formerly Cook County Hospital) where he has practiced for nearly 35 years.
An advisor to labor, business and non-profits, he has worked on behalf of the International Association of Fire Fighters, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, UNITE-HERE, the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees, several Chicago-area corporations, and for Greenpeace U.S.A.’s Toxics Campaign.
Internationally, Dr. Orris has lent his expertise to the World Health Organization, Pan American Health Organization, green advocate Health Care Without Harm, and the Peace Corps. He currently serves as director of the Human Health Effects of Chemicals Project of the World Federation of Public Health Associations. He also advises and assists the Working Group on Heath Safety and the Environment of the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU).
Dr. Orris is a fellow of the American College of Physicians and the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. He holds additional faculty appointments as a professor of internal and preventive medicine at Rush University Medical College, and preventive medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine Medical School. He has edited and authored a multitude of articles, book chapters and governmental publications. He is overseeing two government contracts, one for a study on the cost effects of “greening” health care.
Born in Los Angeles, Calif., Dr. Orris earned a BA from Harvard, a master’s in public health from Yale and, in 1975, a medical degree from the Chicago Medical School. He completed back-to-back residences in internal medicine and occupational medicine at Cook County Hospital.