Federation’s Annual Meeting and Award Ceremony on December 3 featured a number of award presentations including the prestigious Ann Holland Cohn Community Impact Award to Dr. Gale Burstein (you can watch the ceremony here). Dr. Burstein is the Erie County Health Commissioner who has been leading our area’s fight and response to COVID-19. “The Impact Award honors past Federation President Ann Holland Cohn (z”l), who led with courage and determination and made a significant impact in the greater Buffalo community,” noted Leslie Kramer, current Federation President. “No one is more deserving of the award than our friend and inspiration, Gale Burstein.”
Dr. Burstein was appointed Erie County Commissioner of Health in January 2012. Since that time, she has been juggling the job of public health spokesperson for Erie County and has continued teaching students and medical residents at UB’s Jacobs School of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences as a Clinical Professor of Pediatrics.
She has received numerous awards, including the Erie County Accomplishment Award, was honored as a Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine Fellow, National Association of County and City Health Officials Promising Practice Award twice, the American Academy of Pediatrics Special Achievement Award, numerous awards from the US Department of Health and Human Services, the Baltimore Mayor’s Citation for Community Service and more.
A daughter of Marna and Dr. Irwin Burstein of Buffalo, she attended Kadimah School and graduated from The Nichols School, Union College and UB Medical School (both magna cum laude) and holds a Master’s of Public Health from John Hopkins University. A pediatrician by training, her research interests involve assessing strategies for improving confidential reproductive health care services for adolescents.
She married Snyder native Peter Bloom, a gastroenterologist and due to their growing careers in medicine, both had great jobs in Atlanta; Gale at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Peter at Emory University and in private practice. They also have two sons in college, Zachary and Joshua.