County honors Essex stars in celebration of Latin heritage – Essex News Daily

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Photo courtesy of Glen Frieson
Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo Jr., center, congratulates 2021 Estrella del Condado de Essex Award winners, Raul Malave, left, and Dr Hortensia Kelly.

NEWARK, NJ – Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo Jr. hosted the county’s annual Latino Heritage Celebration on Monday, October 4 in the Martin Luther King Jr. Justice Building in Newark. The lively celebration paid homage to the rich culture and traditions of American residents who find their roots in the Spanish-speaking countries of Europe, Central America, South America and the Caribbean.

During the program, DiVincenzo presented the 2021 Estrella del Condado de Essex County Awards, Stars of Essex County Awards, to Dr Hortensia Kelly and Raul Malave. Kelly is a physician with the Newark Board of Education, a medical consultant for the State of New Jersey, and chairman of Dr. Hortensia Kelly Medical Services LLC. Malave is Deputy Director of Public Safety for the City of Newark.

“We are honored to recognize Dr. Hortensia Kelly and Raul Malave for their commitment to improving the lives of all residents, their leadership and their dedication to public service,” said DiVincenzo. “Our cultural celebrations give us the opportunity to honor and recognize the diversity of Essex County and to discover the heritage of our constituents.”

Malave, originally from the North Newark neighborhood, knew he was destined to become a public safety official when, at the age of 7, the family home on Summer Avenue caught fire. He was amazed by the well-coordinated efforts and dedication of the police and firefighters. As he was not immediately called by the fire brigade, Malave applied for the police position; but in 1995, his dream came true when he received the call to become one of “Newark’s bravest”.

Over the years he has worked his way up the ranks from rookie firefighter to fire captain. In November 2010, he became the first Hispanic Battalion Chief of the Newark Fire Department. He was also the general manager of the offices of the fire director and the fire chief. There he became adept in managing the administrative affairs of the agency, encompassing budget preparation, recruitment and training, discipline, short and long term strategic planning, acquisition of devices and d ‘equipment and community outreach programs. In September 2016, Malave was promoted to the rank of Deputy Chief, again becoming the first Hispanic to hold that rank in the history of the department.

In January 2016, Malave was appointed deputy director of the Newark Department of Public Safety. In this role, he helps provide executive oversight of the Police Division, the Fire Division, and the Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security. Malave applied his experience and vision to the implementation of shared services across the department by leveraging best practices from all three disciplines, creating greater efficiency and improving the continued success of the department.

At the end of April 2020, Mayor Ras J. Baraka entrusted Malave with the development and supervision of all of Newark’s COVID-19 test sites. Malave and his team quickly contracted with more than five testing companies to expand the city’s COVID-19 locations to more than 20 sites, encompassing the city’s five neighborhoods. It has also set up a remote city ID station to help undocumented city residents access testing. To date, the city has administered more than 30,000 vaccines to residents.

“Thank you for this incredible award. I am amazed that such an honor is bestowed upon me. That’s right, we had a fire in the house and it was a terrible day. But I got to see the firefighters in action; they saved me and my family, and they went beyond to comfort us. From that day on, a seed was planted in me to become a firefighter, ”said Malave. “None of us got to where we are today without getting someone else’s help; I have a lot of people to be thankful for. For this reason, we should be good role models for children and other employees since we did not get here on our own.

Kelly was born in Cuba, where she began her journey in medicine before immigrating to the United States. Her family moved to Newark, where she worked as an assistant pharmacist while attending Barringer High School. Kelly pursued her passion for medicine and its impact on culture and societal development by earning a double major in Anthropology and Biology from Rutgers University, while interning as a medical research assistant for the University. of New Jersey Medicine and Dentistry. She received her Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine in 2002 from the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine in Old Westbury, NY. and St. Barnabas Medical Center, as well as Barnet Hospital in Paterson and St. Barnabas Hospital in the Bronx, NY

In 2008, Kelly completed her educational journey and began practicing as a family physician for her alma mater, Rutgers. She then became medical director of the Bergen County Prison Health Services Department, where she developed and implemented policies and procedures and oversaw all training and continuing education for the county’s correctional health staff. Kelly worked as one of the few bilingual medical consultants for the New Jersey Office of Disability Benefits, while balancing the responsibilities of her private practice in Newark. Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka gave her the opportunity to serve Newark residents as the medical director of the Mary Eliza Mahoney Health Center during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. In this role, she implemented COVID-19 vaccination and testing protocols for the city and coordinated the ongoing delivery of medical services to the city’s pediatric population, pregnant women, housebound patients, hospital patients, low-income people and those without income and / or addresses.

Over the years, she has brought her passion for holistic approaches to medicine internationally by participating in various medical missions in South America, the Caribbean, India and Africa, including more recently in the Dominican Republic, in Haiti and Ghana. She has been recognized for her work and service to the city by many Hispanic organizations in Essex County, having been named International Doctor of the Year and Professional of the Year by the Hispanic Women Society. She is an active member of the NAACP. She is one of the few doctors in Essex County to practice addiction medicine in a private practice. Kelly strives to encourage her patients to achieve optimal well-being through nutritional means and lifestyle modifications.

“I learned a lot about how to give back at a young age from my mom and dad,” Kelly said. She told a story where she had an asthma attack at a young age and her parents could not afford the doctor for the office visit; Taking the elevator on the way out, a woman said her son also had asthma and offered him the inhaler. “This event shaped my life and is the reason I became a doctor. ”

Reverend Pablo Pizarro of Temple Rock Church in Newark delivered the invocation of the program. Entertainment was provided by the Arts High School Latin Band, conducted by Kennis Fairfax.


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