Presidential Award for Michael J. Dowling

Michael J. Dowling from Knockaderry has been announced a winner of a Presidential Distinguished Service award, the highest honour that can be bestowed on an Irish person who is living overseas. Mr. Dowling is CEO of Northwell Health, the largest healthcare provider and private employer in New York State, with more than 74,000 employees, and is one of 14 recipients of the award which will be presented in December by President Michael D. Higgins in a virtual ceremony.
The announcement of this year’s award recipients was made last Friday by Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney, who said that, “the contribution of the Irish abroad has been immense, and each of these individuals has made a remarkable contribution to Ireland and to our international reputation”. Mr. Dowling is one of healthcare’s most influential voices, taking a stand on societal issues such as gun violence and immigration that many health system CEOs shy away from. As president and CEO of Northwell Health, he leads a clinical, academic and research enterprise with a workforce of more than 74,000 and annual revenue of $13.5 billion. Northwell Health cares for more than two million people annually through a vast network of nearly 800 outpatient facilities, including 220 primary care practices, 52 urgent care centres, home care, rehabilitation and end-of-life programmes, and 23 hospitals.
Michael J. Dowling received his undergraduate degree from University College, Cork (UCC), Ireland, and his master’s degree from Fordham University in New York. He also has honorary doctorates from Hofstra University and Dowling College. Before his public service career, he was a professor of social policy and assistant dean at the Fordham Univer-sity Graduate School of Social Services and director of the Fordham campus in Westchester County. Afterwards, he served in New York State govern-ment for 12 years, including seven years as state director of Health, Education and Human Services and deputy secretary to former governor Mario Cuomo. He was also commissioner of the New York State Department of Social Services.
Before joining Northwell Health in 1995, he was a senior vice president at Empire Blue Cross and Blue Shield. Prior to becoming president and CEO of Northwell Health, he was the health system’s executive vice president and chief operating officer.