Paterson, NJ (December 17, 2009)- On December 15, 2009, Allan Strongwater, MD, Chief of Pediatric Orthopedic Surgery at St. Joseph's Children's Hospital in Paterson, New Jersey, was honored by the Italian government with one of Italy's highest and most ancient recognitions—the rank of Commander in the "Order of the Star of Italian Solidarity." The award was presented to Dr. Strongwater by Consul General Francesco Maria Taló on behalf of Italian President Giorgio Napolitano at the Consulate General of Italy in New York.
"Dr. Strongwater is truly a man of solidarity," said Consul General Taló. "I am pleased to honor him for the work he has done to inspire hope and a brighter future for the children of Italy."
The honor is bestowed upon outstanding individuals in Italy and abroad who have made a social, cultural or humanitarian commitment to Italy. Dr. Strongwater was nominated by the Consulate General of Italy in New York and selected by President Napolitano due to his major medical contributions to Italian children with severe orthopedic disorders. Dr. Strongwater serves local, national and international children with a wide spectrum of orthopedic conditions, from common fractures and congenital deformities to neuromuscular conditions and rare diseases.
"I am humbled to receive such an impressive honor from the Italian government," said Dr. Strongwater. "From the bottom of my heart, I enjoy working with the children and their families."
Guests gathered to support Dr. Strongwater at the presentation and reception including his family and friends, Italian patients and their families, representatives from St. Joseph's Children's Hospital, St. John's University, and consular staff.
Italian patient Alessio Cirelli has received treatment from Dr. Strongwater since 2004, and was in attendance with parents Sergio Cirelli and Tiziana Cresci. "Dr. Strongwater is a very motivated physician with a tremendous rapport with children," said Sergio Cirelli. "We are grateful he has been able to provide treatment for our son."
The Order of the Star of Italian Solidarity was established in 1947 to recognize the achievements of Italians and foreigners who had played a distinguished role in the reconstruction of Italy after World War II. In recent years, it has been presented to intellectuals, economists, politicians, journalists and cultural workers.