Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center’s (MSK) Deputy Chief Nursing Officer, Kevin P. Browne, DNP, RN, CNS, CCRN, was named the recipient of the 2021 Firefighter Thomas Phelan Memorial Award by the Irish American Building Society (IABS). The award, which recognizes courageous spirit, leadership during difficult times and commitment to others in need, was presented to Dr. Browne at the 2021 Great Irish Fair on September 25, 2021.
For 40 years, the Great Irish Fair of New York has highlighted and honored the work done by members of the Irish American community in New York. This year, they honored those who have gone above and beyond.
“I am honored to be this year’s Thomas Phelan Memorial Award recipient,” said Dr. Browne. “I had the privilege of knowing Tommy personally and helped care for him alongside my colleagues. I’ve always embraced the Jesuit value of “cura personalis” — meaning care of the whole person. He was dedicated to his family, colleagues, and community. Knowing him and seeing his heroism — not only on 9/11 but throughout his life up to and including his death — makes this award even more special.”
Thomas Phelan was a Marine pilot and New York City fire fighter. On September 11, 2001, Mr. Phelan worked for the Statue of Liberty ferry and took part in one of the largest evacuations in New York City history, as he helped evacuate lower Manhattan and rescue many people to the other side of the Hudson River. He helped bring supplies and rescue workers; and was an integral part of their operation. Mr. Phelan went on to join the Fire Department of the City of New York and was assigned to Engine 55. Mr. Phelan eventually made his way back to the waterways into Marine 9. He passed away in 2018 but the example that he set continues to live on through his legacy.
For more information on the IABS and the Firefighter Thomas Phelan Memorial Award, please click here.