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Charles Hirsch MD receives Distinguished Alumnus Award at 2003 Commencement

Dr. Charles S. Hirsch has served at the chief medical examiner for The City of New York since 1989. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois, Urbana in 1958 with high distinction and graduated from the University of Illinois College of Medicine, Chicago in 1962. Dr. Hirsch has been stimulated by both the intellectual and the interactive dimensions of forensic pathology since he chose his career over 35 years ago. Dr. Hirsch received the Distinguished Alumnus Award and delivered the commencement speech "Specialty Selection in Medical Practice" at Medical School Graduation, May 9, 2003.

As Chief Medical Examiner on September 11, 2001, in response to the North Tower of teh World Trade Center being struck, Dr. Hirsch and six aides traveled to the disaster to prepare a temporary morgue. As the first tower fell, Dr. Hirsch and his colleagues were hurled to the ground and many were injured. Dr. Hirsch and his staff have faced this historic challenge of trying to identify the nearly 20,000 body parts recovered from the disaster site. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner is widely applauded for its dealings with victims' families, sharing hopes for DNA breakthroughs and giving choices about when - or if - to be notified when another piece of a loved one is identified.

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