Goshen, N.Y. - The Orange County Bar Association, Inc. (OCBA) and the Women’s Bar Association of Orange and Sullivan Counties (WBAOSC) presented Orange County Health Commissioner Dr. Irina Gelman with its 2021 Robert N. Isseks, Esq. Liberty Bell award on Wednesday, June 23rd at the Goshen Historic Track.
The 2021 Liberty Bell award recognizes men and women for outstanding community service and for exemplifying the principles encompassed by the theme for each Law Day. Dr. Gelman was selected for her work during the County’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The theme selected for this year was “advancing the rule of law” during the pandemic.
“Balancing individual rights with the health and safety of the public was no easy task during the pandemic,” said Orange County Court Judge Craig Brown, the OCBA’s newly sworn in President. Judge Brown thanked Dr. Gelman and her staff for their diligence, hard work and perseverance during the public health emergency.
Orange County Supreme Court Judge Catherine M. Bartlett and Rebekah C. Grohl, an activist from Newburgh who died last January at the age of 22, were honored with the 2020 Liberty Bell awards. The theme for the 2020 Award was Voting Rights and the 19th Amendment, which granted American women the right to vote.
Judge Bartlett proudly accepted the award in memory of her great grandmother, Jessica Lord Cox Henderson, a suffragette. Ms. Henderson was jailed in February of 1919 while picketing a visit of President Woodrow Wilson in Boston, Massachusetts. Judge Bartlett formerly served as Orange County’s first female County Attorney and the Chief Administrative Officer for the County.
“I’m extremely humbled to be honored by the Orange County Bar Association,” Dr. Gelman said. “This recognition would not be possible without the hard work of the Orange County Department of Health staff. They have my gratitude and I share this award with them.”
Dr. Gelman was hired by Orange County in June of 2018. She previously served as Fulton County’s (N.Y.) Director of Public Health.
Dr. Gelman who is fluent in Spanish, Russian and Yiddish, received her Doctorate of Podiatric Medicine from the New York College of Podiatric Medicine in 2010 and completed her residency at Coney Island Hospital in 2014. She earned her Masters of Public Health in 2012 from Nova Southeastern College of Osteopathic Medicine in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Dr. Gelman completed her undergraduate degree in Science from Pace University in New York City in 2004.
Currently, she is working on her Ph.D at Walden University. With a concentration on community health, Dr. Gelman’s dissertation will focus on telehealth initiatives in rural areas.
For more information, contact Justin Rodriguez, Assistant to the County Executive for Communications and Media Relations at 845.291.3255 or firstname.lastname@example.org.