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News and Featured Stories from St. Vincent's Medical Center
Published: 06/25/2012

Dr. Kenneth Dressler Named St. Vincent’s Physician of the Year

Bridgeport, CT, June 19, 2012

Dr. Dressler - St. Vincent's Physician of the YearHematologist/oncologist Kenneth Dressler, MD,  received the St. Vincent de Paul Mission Award as St. Vincent’s 2012 Physician of the Year in ceremonies held recently at Tashua Knolls in Trumbull before a gathering of physicians, administrators and guests.  The award honors the attending physician who best demonstrates the qualities exemplified by St. Vincent de Paul, one who truly lives the mission and values of the Medical Center. 

Dr. Dressler, chief of St. Vincent’s Hematology/Medical Oncology Division,  received 19  nominations from fellow physicians, nurses, staff members and even patients. The record-breaking number of nominations comes from the fact that not only is Dr. Dressler a well loved figure, but also because  he has played a huge role in the remarkable progress of cancer care at St. Vincent’s and in saving countless lives in the community since his arrival 16 years ago.

In his introduction of the popular oncologist known for his intelligence, knowledge, wit, guitar and hockey-playing, President Stuart Marcus, MD, FACS, praised his “courage, honesty and solidarity” during recent health challenges and called the evening a celebration of Dr. Dressler “as a physician and as a great man who has touched each one of us and has made each one of us better in some way.”

Milton Cooper, MD,  senior member and  longtime colleague from the Medical Specialists of Fairfield oncology practice,  presented Dr. Dressler with the mission award and wrote of his friend, “Ken Dressler represents all the qualities which I think  are so important to a physician, a hard, skillful work ethic, intellectual integrity and compassion.”

Quoting from the many heartfelt nominations, Dr. Marcus called  Dr. Dressler “the most intelligent, critical thinker I have ever met, the foundation of the cancer center at St. Vincent’s, a touchstone,  and someone who forces us to be better clinicians and who challenges us to provide the best care at the highest level.” Patients remarked on his compassion and intellect, and wrote that he treated them with “just the right amount of honesty tempered with levity.” Still another patient , who could have been speaking for many, said,  “I owe Dr. Dressler my life.”

In an emotional speech, Dr. Dressler spoke of how he considered the award “a recognition by my peers, an extreme honor,” and how his work at St. Vincent’s has been “a joy, amidst a beautiful plant in the new cancer center and outstanding colleagues.” He also expressed pride in the development of cancer care at St. Vincent’s over the last few years, and in particular tumor board, which plays a critical role in the interdisciplinary evaluation of cancer patients, a hallmark of a comprehensive cancer program.

“I have had an amazing life, a good part of it spent in this medical community,” said Dr. Dressler. “And knowing that my three children have turned out so well makes me know that I have achieved my most important mission.”

Dr. Dressler:
Dr. Dressler has served in the position of Chief of Hematology and Medical Oncology  at St. Vincent’s Medical Center since 2007.   A member of the active staff at St. Vincent’s and of the private practice Medical Specialists of Fairfield since 1998, his responsibilities have  included bringing research trials to the community to offer novel agents and treatment strategies to patients. Dr. Dressler has also been  committed to teaching medical residents the complexities of cutting edge cancer care, and to stressing the importance of clear communication between physicians and their patients. He has been instrumental in bringing the multi-disciplinary approach to cancer care to St. Vincent’s.

Dr. Dressler graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa in chemistry with a bachelors degree  from Brandeis University. He then went on to receive his medical degree from Harvard Medical School in 1985. He performed his residency in Internal Medicine at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City, next completed a Fellowship in Medicine at Cornell University Medical College, and  a Fellowship in Medical Oncology and Hematology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center  in New York City.

Dr. Dressler has won numerous awards in his field including the Charles A. Dana Research Fellow Award, the Memorial Sloan Kettering Clinical Scholars Award, and the National Institute of General Medical Sciences Fellowship Award. He has held many clinical and academic posts including as instructor at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Yale University Department of Medical Oncology, and the Columbia University School of Physicians and Surgeons. He also has performed clinical research and published in his field.

He is board certified by the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the American Society of Hematology, and the American Board of Internal Medicine. He is a member of the American Societies of Hematology, and Clinical Oncology.

Dr. Dressler also has served as the internal medicine physician for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers hockey team, and is an avid hockey player himself. He resides with his wife and three  children in Harrison, New York.

Lucinda I. Ames
Senior Marketing/Communications Associate
St. Vincent's Medical Center
2800 Main St.
Bridgeport, CT   06606
phone: 203-576-5550
fax: 203-576-5124

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