Mayor Jose "Joey" Torres presented the Key to the City of Paterson to James N. Pruden, MD, at a celebration held recently at St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center.
With nearly 25 years of experience as a practicing Emergency Medicine physician in New Jersey, 20 of which have been spent at St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center (SJRMC), Dr. Pruden has had an extremely positive impact on the quality of life in New Jersey.
A dedicated and highly motivated physician, he began his career at St. Joseph's in 1982. During his tenure, he has held many medical leadership posts at St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center, including President of the Medical Staff. He has served as Chief of the Emergency Department, later becoming the department's first chairman. He is currently the Director of Emergency Preparedness, Emergency Medical Services (EMS), and Telemedicine. Pruden received St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center's highest physician honor, The Kendrick P. Lance, MD, Distinguished Physician Award at the SJRMC Foundation's 32nd Annual Charity Ball on October 18th, 2008 at the historic American Museum of Natural History in New York City.
In addition to his loyalty to, and longevity with St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center, Dr. Pruden has taken on a similar commitment to extending his medical services and knowledge to the community-at-large. He has devoted himself as Chairman of the State EMS Council and is a Deputy Medical Manager of the NJ Urban Search and Rescue team. Through this affiliation, he spent 10 days at the World Trade Center following the tragic events in 2001, as well as 10 days in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, assisting with rescue efforts. Dr. Pruden also serves on the boards of organizations including St. Paul's Community Development Corp. and the state Emergency Medical Services Advisory Council.
Dr. Pruden has a strong sense of volunteerism and further serves the Paterson community through his work with the Village Initiative, a decade-old program designed to reduce youth crime. Here he makes monthly home visits to probationers and their families, among other things. As a committed Christian and family man, Dr. Pruden is also active in his Church leadership. He and his wife of 37 years, Wilma Jean, who he credits as "the one able to anchor him to the commitment of his work," reside in Teaneck. They have four children and three grandchildren.