Three Receive Pillars Award

From left: Pillars Award recipients Steven Frisch, MD ’79, Vince Verdile, MD ’84, and Ferdinand Venditti, MD. They are joined by Dennis P. McKenna, MD ’92, Albany Med Health System President and CEO.

Three longtime leaders of Albany Medical Center and cornerstones of the Albany Med Health System’s foundation were presented with the System’s highest honor – the Pillars Award – at a June 7 dinner and ceremony.

Steven Frisch, MD, Ferdinand Venditti, MD, and Vincent Verdile, MD, became the newest Pillars Award recipients at the 25th Annual Arnold Cogswell Dinner and meeting of the Albany Med Health System Board of Directors.

All three physicians, who recently retired, are credited for their leadership, vision, and their work during their careers.

“We were so fortunate to have the careers of these three physicians run parallel for so many years,” said Dennis P. McKenna, MD, president and CEO of the Albany Med Health System. “They brought great care, leadership, and vision to the most important initiatives and projects we worked on during their tenure. We are continuing to build the Albany Med Health System upon their legacies.”

The Pillars Award was established by Albany Medical Center in 1997 to recognize individuals who epitomize the mission of the institution, and whose work and contributions, over the course of many years, has made a significant impact in the community.

Dr. Frisch, an Albany Medical College graduate, last served as senior executive vice president of the integrated delivery system. He was an internal medicine physician, leader, and visionary, and he was instrumental in the creation of the Albany Med Health System.

Dr. Venditti, a board-certified cardiologist, came to Albany Med in 1999 as chair of the Department of Medicine. He oversaw the Medical Center Physicians Group, and later became vice dean for clinical affairs. A Schenectady native, Dr. Venditti was key in the region’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Troy native Dr. Verdile, also a graduate of Albany Medical College, served as its dean for 20 years. He retired as the second-longest tenured dean of an American medical college. He excelled at selecting and developing chairs, diversifying the faculty, and bringing in excellent students.