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21st Honor Your Doctor Luncheon salutes Boca’s favorite

National Doctor’s Day Saturday has nothing on Boca. More patients than ever nominated 130 docs to honor, co-chair Alan Kaye said at the 21st annual Honor Your Doctor Luncheon.

More than 300 members of the medical community came together for Wednesday’s salute at Boca West Country Club. Wearing red carnations, each doctor’s name was announced.

“Today is about them,” co-chair Janice Williams said at Rotary Club Downtown Boca’s event.

 “Our club’s primary vision is health and wellness and we put doctors in the spotlight,” added club president Michael Walstrom.

Dr. Jeffrey L. Stein was chosen as 2019  Doctor of Distinction. And Deputy Mayor Jeremy Rodgers declared Wednesday Dr. Jeffrey Stein day in Boca.

Dr. Ira Gelb got a special shout-out and standing ovation for his role in founding the medical school at Florida Atlantic University. He and his wife June were honorary chairs.

Elaine Wold and Christine E. Lynn both attended as presenting sponsors. Last year’s honoree Dr. Eli Cohen was the honorary physician adviser.

Three students who made the most of their scholarships from Rotary and Boca philanthropist Helen Babione spoke.

FAU medical student Emmanuel McNeely said he’s headed to a fellowship in spine surgery at Johns Hopkins.

FAU college of nursing student De-Shaunah Dixon said her brother’s death in a motorcycle accident inspired her career choice. She plans to become a psychiatric mental health practitioner. “You motivated me to be the best I can be in this lifetime,” she said.

Lynn University senior Matisse Swartz set her sights on becoming a forensic pathologist.

Eileen Tollefson was one of the first to receive a Babione scholarship when the luncheon was still run by the local women’s club. A registered nurse, she talked about her professional journey.

This program covers students at FAU, Lynn and Palm Beach State College going into the medical fields.

“The scholarship program changes so many lives and the lives of patients,” Tollefson said.

By Marci Shatzman

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