A Loving Tribute to
Gerald Nissenbaum, M.D.
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Memorial for Gerald Nissenbaum, M.D. and Presentation of Portrait
Jersey City Medical Center, June 20, 2003

Remarks by Jean Murray, M.P.A.; S.V.P. Greenville hospital at Gerald’s portrait unveiling at the Jersey City Med. Center.

If you knew Jerry Nissenbaum, you know that you could never find anyone to compare him to. He was a quintessential type a personality, who had a strong opinion on just about every topic. He was equally surly and calming. He cared for the sickest people and gave them hope. And, of course, Jerry liked an argument. He worked hard to get you to see his way. It always worked. You saw his side, whether you liked it or not.

But when you look back on those things that Jerry felt strongly about, you begin to define who he really was.  No one compared to Jerry when it came to clinical knowledge.  That alone was his life, his focus for every day. He was a doctor, his real joy.  I stood in amazement at his wealth of clinical knowledge.   No one compared to Jerry when it came to his concern and love of nurses. So many nurses worked with him and they all have their stories, no doubt. But this is how my relationship started with Jerry.  I was his head nurse, just out of nursing school, and I am eternally grateful for the time I had to learn from him. He was methodical, like clockwork and we anticipated his arrival, making sure the weights, bp’s and tpr’s were posted on the charts.  And, of course, you had to be ready to do rounds when Jerry arrived. If you weren’t there, there was real hell to pay.  But these are the times that I will forever cherish. They were special times and Jerry was the reason.   No one will ever compare to Jerry’s dedication to patients.  This was a man who was managing care before it became a common buzzword.  Jerry would prescribe meds and if the patients couldn’t afford them, well, Jerry would get them for them.  He would call me at night to discuss his patients, often with Sylvia in the background, scolding him for taking up my evening.  Speaking of the Medical Center, I can’t imagine any other doctor who loved the medical center more than Jerry.  He beamed with pride when talking about it.  He was a self-appointed historian, a counselor to so many staff members and respected by colleagues then, now and forever.  For all these reasons, I know that Jerry got a comfortable seat in heaven with a great view of the Medical Center. He always said he would never leave the Medical Center and today is just another example of how Jerry always got his way. I could never get him to come to Greenville hospital. It is most appropriate, today, that the unveiling of Jerry’s portrait is on the day of the Annual House Staff Graduation. He takes his place among the Medical Center’s Physician legends.


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