commending Dr. James Mahoney posthumously upon the occasion of his designation as recipient of a Liberty Medal, the highest honor be...

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Senate Resolution No. 3361

BY: Senator MYRIE

COMMENDING Dr. James Mahoney posthumously upon the
occasion of his designation as recipient of a
Liberty Medal, the highest honor bestowed upon an
individual by the New York State Senate

WHEREAS, It is the custom of this Legislative Body to recognize and
pay tribute to those individuals within the Empire State who have made
strong contributions to their communities and who inspire others through
their model citizenry; and

WHEREAS, Dr. James Mahoney has given not only of his time and
energies but also of his competence, intelligence and leadership and
consequently has been designated for special honor; and

WHEREAS, This Legislative Body is justly proud to commend Dr. James
Mahoney posthumously upon the occasion of his designation as recipient
of a Liberty Medal, the highest honor bestowed upon an individual by the
New York State Senate; and

WHEREAS, The New York State Senate Liberty Medal was established by
Resolution and is awarded to individuals who have merited special
commendation for exceptional, heroic, or humanitarian acts on behalf of
their fellow New Yorkers; and

WHEREAS, Dr. James Mahoney, a lung specialist treating patients with
severe respiratory illnesses, of Freeport, New York, died on Monday,
April 27, 2020, at the age of 62, due to complications related to the
novel coronavirus; and

WHEREAS, The middle of five children to Oscar Mahoney, who served in
the United States Air Force, and the late Leila Mahoney, James grew up
in military housing in Bermuda and on Nassau's South Shore; and

WHEREAS, To his friends, he was affectionately known as Charlie, a
nickname one of his father's buddies gave him as a child; and

WHEREAS, A standout athlete, James Mahoney was the Captain of the
football team at Roosevelt High School; while taking classes at what was
then C.W. Post in Brookville, he took a job transporting patients at the
Long Beach Hospital; this was when he knew he loved medicine; and

WHEREAS, James Mahoney graduated from SUNY Downstate College of
Medicine, Class of 1986, and never left; he subsequently joined the
Internal Medicine Residency Training Program, completing it in 1989 and
was selected as one of the best residents to serve as Chief Resident
from 1989-1990; and

WHEREAS, Following that appointment, Dr. James Mahoney joined the
Pulmonary/Critical Care Fellowship, graduating in 1993; he then joined
the faculty of the Department of Medicine as Assistant Professor of
Medicine and was a constant and reliable provider of primary care,
pulmonary medicine, and critical care services to the community;
furthermore, he won numerous awards, including Teacher of the Year; and

WHEREAS, Dr. James Mahoney was an exceptional internist,
pulmonologist, and critical care intensivist who served the Central
Brooklyn community; his expertise in lung diseases and critical care
positioned him as one of the most valuable physicians in the Department
of Medicine; and

WHEREAS, Dr. James Mahoney was planning on retiring in January, but
then the pandemic hit; he knew the danger but did not hesitate to help
when he saw another human being in need; he treated COVID-positive
patients at SUNY Downstate and NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County, and
refused to take a day off or to avoid close contact with his patients;

WHEREAS, This brave man ran from crashing patient to crashing
patient, always at the bedside where it was most dangerous; he ran in
when others ran out and died doing what he loved to do best; and

WHEREAS, When he was not at a hospital caring for patients, Dr.
James Mahoney was conducting telemedicine sessions with his regular
patients from home, making sure they were wearing masks and washing
their hands; and

WHEREAS, Well-respected and admired by both colleagues and patients,
Dr. James Mahoney's accomplishments are all the more notable as African
American doctors make up less than 5% of the physician workforce
nation-wide; and

WHEREAS, If his patients were too sick or too busy to come to the
hospital for routine checkups, Dr. James Mahoney would willingly make
house calls; he not only healed people's bodies, he healed their minds
and their souls; and

WHEREAS, With a stellar reputation for being the best of the best,
Dr. James Mahoney was often referred to as University Hospital's
"Jay-Z"; an inspiration for students, particularly African American
students, he was a legend; and

WHEREAS, While in medical school, James Mahoney traveled to
California, where he met Lisa Johnson; the couple married in 1987 and
had three wonderful children, Jamie, Stephanie, and Ryan; James and Lisa
divorced in 2004 but remained close friends; and

WHEREAS, Dr. James Mahoney, who was a natural educator, constant
storyteller and jokester, loved baseball, casinos and cruises; each
year, he looked forward with great anticipation to his family cruise;

WHEREAS, A man of great faith and a heart of gold, Dr. James Mahoney
was indeed the embodiment of "Humanism in Medicine" in its finest form;

WHEREAS, In addition to his father and three children, Dr. James
Mahoney is survived by his two brothers, Dr. Melvin Mahoney (Mildred
Llanetta) and Ronald Mahoney; two sisters, Rutha "Sissy" Mahoney and
Saundra "Chick" (Douglas) Chisolm; and his girlfriend and life partner,
Dawn Havens; as well as numerous friends and colleagues who will long
cherish his memory; and

WHEREAS, Dr. James Mahoney was extremely kind and compassionate,
accepting, considerate, patient, generous, smart, and loving; he will be
deeply missed and truly merits the grateful tribute of this Legislative
Body; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That this Legislative Body pause in its deliberations to
commend Dr. James Mahoney posthumously upon the occasion of his
designation as recipient of a Liberty Medal, the highest honor bestowed
upon an individual by the New York State Senate; and be it further

RESOLVED, That a copy of this Resolution, suitably engrossed, be
transmitted to the family of Dr. James Mahoney.


  • 11 / Dec / 2020
  • 28 / Dec / 2020
  • 28 / Dec / 2020

Resolution Details

Law Section:
Resolutions, Legislative


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