New Jersey’s First Pediatric Cardiologist
Milton Prystowsky opened his practice for pediatric cardiology in 1951. He was the first pediatric cardiologist in New Jersey. He is Senior Attending Pediatric Cardiologist at the Children’s Heart Center, Saint Barnabas Health Care System. Dr. Prystowsky opened the Division of Pediatric Cardiology at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.
Dr. Prystowsky was the First Honor Graduate of the College of Charleston, South Carolina in 1941. In 1944, he was the Second Honor Graduate from the Medical College of South Carolina. He completed his pediatric internship and residency at Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn, New York from 1944-1946 during which time he was in charge of the rheumatic fever ward under Dr. Leo Taran. He was stationed in Quarry Heights, Canal Zone, Panama as a Captain in the U.S. Army Medical Corp from 1946-1948. From 1948-1951, he was a pediatric and pediatric cardiology resident under Dr. Helen Taussig at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland.
As an advocate for quality health care, he has served as the New Jersey liaison for the National Association of Children’s Hospitals and as a member of the Public Health Council of New Jersey and the Cardiovascular Health Advisory Panel to the Commissioner of Health and Senior Services. He is past president of the New Jersey Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and of the medical staff at Clara Maass Hospital. He served on the Board of Trustees of the Children’s Hospital of New Jersey, as an advisor to United HealthCare, and as Director of Pediatric Cardiology and the Cardiovascular Laboratory of Children’s Hospital of New Jersey, United Hospital Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey. He was the editor of the Children’s Hospital Quarterly Journal and a frequent contributor of articles.
Dr. Prystowsky organized and directed the program in pediatrics for medical students in foreign medical schools for the Education Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates Examination (ECMFG) and the Federal Licensing Examination (FLEX) for the states of New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut. He taught as Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in Newark, New Jersey.
In his signature bowtie, he practiced as a pediatrician and pediatric cardiologist in Nutley, New Jersey from 1951 to 2004. On January 7th of that year, he suffered burns in a fire at his Nutley home. The fire took the life of his beloved wife, Rose, who was his medical school sweetheart and herself a child psychiatrist in medical practice. According to Dr. Prystowsky, “I was burned in my house fire and am temporarily disabled ’til I return some day after my rehabilitation.”
Dr. Prystowsky has received many honors and awards. Among them are The 50th Anniversary of Medicare Award from the State Department of Health, Trenton, New Jersey; The Osbourne Award from the New Jersey Pubic Health Officer’s Association; The Temple B’Hai Israel Award for Community Service, Nutley, New Jersey; and a Rotary International Award for his role as a provider of free surgery to save the lives of children with congenital hearth defects. He received a Humanitarian Award from the Saint Barnabas Medical Center Burn Foundation.