In Memorium: Anthony C. Mustalish, MD
With deep sadness, the management and staff of NYCHSRO/MedReview commemorate the passing of our good friend and long-time colleague Dr. Anthony C. Mustalish on October 25, 2018.
Dr. Mustalish served this organization for a quarter century as a member of the Board of Directors and, in recent years, as head of the Finance Committee. He also served at various times as Associate Medical Director and Acting Medical Director of NYCHSRO/MedReview.
His distinguished medical career included service as an orthopedic surgeon in Viet Nam, where he was a Captain in the US Army Medical Corps, as well a stint in the public health arena, where he worked for the New York City Department of Health and served as Deputy Commissioner of Health in the Beame administration.
A graduate of New York University School of Medicine with a master’s in Public Health from Harvard, Dr. Mustalish was Board Certified in Emergency Medicine, Preventive Medicine and Public Health. He was a Fellow at the American Boards of Preventive Medicine and Emergency Medicine and at the New York Academy of Medicine. His various appointments included Attending Emergency Physician at New York Presbyterian Hospital; Associate Professor in emergency medicine and public health since 1991 at Weill Medical College of Cornell University; and Director of the Rockefeller Group’s Worker Compensation Medical Bureau.
Prior to these appointments, Dr. Mustalish was Attending Physician and Chief of Emergency Medical Services at Lenox Hill Hospital of New York, and, in addition to his clinical practice, was involved with educational programs and administrative committee work, including Utilization Review and Quality Assurance. Ultimately, he served as Senior Vice President for Hospital Operations and Chief Operating Officer.
He was also active in community health and, in addition to NYCHSRO/MedReview, served on the boards of the Neighborhood Coalition for Shelter and other groups. For more than 30 years, he was also a consultant to the medical malpractice legal community nationwide.
The vast range of Dr. Mustalish’s experience benefited NYCHSRO/MedReview for most of its history. Known as Tony by friends and colleagues, he made it his business whenever he was in the office to walk around and greet each staff member with a smile and a joke.
Furthermore, Dr. Mustalish was not just a fellow healthcare professional to this organization and its leadership. He was also mentor and close friend to CEO and President Joseph Stamm for 45 years. At the funeral held at the Riverside Memorial Chapel in New York on October 28, CEO Stamm delivered the eulogy to his longtime pal at the request of his wife, Elayne Mustalish.
“To me that was very meaningful—to have the opportunity to pay my respects, to bid farewell, and to share a message from his life,” Stamm told the mourners. Then citing Jewish tradition, he added, “If someone learns from a friend one chapter, one law or even one sentence, you are required to give that person proper respect.”
Stamm then recounted just how much he himself learned from this man and their friendship. “He was my mentor when I began my health career at the New York City Department of Health in 1974. He took the time to guide and teach me how to approach Quality Management and Utilization for which I have always been grateful.”
Calling him “a man of principle” who was motivated to achieve success, Stamm said Dr. Mustalish used his perspective and wisdom as well as his success “to enrich those about him. He brought a sense of warmth to everyone he met, greeting each person with an ever-present, beaming smile and a joke.”
“He was a much beloved member of the NYCHSRO/MedReview family and always available with assistance, encouragement and his unique perspective and expertise,” Stamm continued. “If anyone from the office, or even an employee’s family member, ever got sick, he always insisted that they come right over to his ER so he could help.”
Stamm then recalled how his friend loved to talk about two things: running and his children. A competitor in the New York and Boston marathons, he had an infectious enthusiasm for the things he loved. Indeed, two of his three children followed him into medicine while the third pursued law.
“Whatever he did, he did with joy and it was a pleasure to hear him talk about it,” Stamm concluded.
All of us at NYCHSRO/MedReview mourn the loss of our friend and colleague. We miss him sorely and join with Mr. Stamm in declaring, as he did at the eulogy, “Tony, may you go in peace.”
Eulogy Speech – Anthony Mustalish by Joseph Stamm