This was a festive occasion held in the Starlight room of the Waldorf Astoria and although this audience had little interest
in Christmas, the Christmas decorations at the Waldorf lent a gala atmosphere to the proceedings.
I thanked the trustees and the administrators, and the faculty of Yeshiva for inviting me for the Convocation and recognizing
me with an award of an honorary degree. I reminded them that Albert Einstein was the first person to receive such a degree
and one of my favorite quotations by Einstein is taken from his volume "On Science." He wrote, "Imagination is
more important than knowledge". Inasmuch as I was given carte blanch to say anything I wished on this occasion, I said
I would talk a little bit about imagination and look ahead to what might occur in medicine and in public health in the century
ahead. That was just 11 years away at that time and it seemed appropriate to talk about a new century because Yeshiva was
only 2 years into it's own second century. I covered the areas of relationship between technology and health, that people
themselves can and must take charge of their own health status, as well as a and the change in relationship between the public
and the health care system itself.
For each of these I used illustrations and talked about everything from the " graying of America" to "baby boomers,"
from pediatrics to geriatric medicine and the many specialists and technicians in between. I mentioned the "self-help"
movement and how great would be the marriage of traditional medicine and public health with the self-help movement which led
to the related issue of community values and public support, relative to public health. And closed with the hope that the
changes I foresaw would, on balance, contribute to a stronger, more contemporary, more responsive system of health care for
the next and succeeding generations of Americans.