MIDDLETOWN - More than 300 patients and former patients, representing five decades of families, took advantage turned out for a reception held Friday to honor Dr. Harry Swartz, who retired as a general practitioner after 58 years serving the people of Middletown and beyond.
The reception was held at the Middletown Arts Center, Church St., and was hosted by Dr. Swartz’ wife, Renee, his two physician sons, Dr. Steven, with whom he practiced, Dr. Sid, who is an anesthesiologist in Florida, and his daughter, Addy Rose of Massachusetts.
Freeholder Director Lillian Burry presented a Certificate of Recognition honoring the doctor’s services to the community and naming Aug. 4 Dr. Harry Swartz Day in Monmouth County.
Dr. Harry Swartz, better known as Dr. Harry, to the tens of thousands of patients he has treated over the past 58 years, graduated from Leonardo High School before attending Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia where he was a member of the Medical Honor Society and has held numerous honorary positions. Throughout his years of practice, Dr. Harry has received many honorary awards, including the physicians Recognition Award for 2006 at Riverview Medical Center. He has served as Middletown and Shrewsbury municipal physician as well as the TOMSA (Township of Middletown Sewerage Authority) and Middletown Police department physician.
Practicing at the same office on Cherry Tree Farm Road where he first began, Dr. Harry’s son, Dr. Steve joined his father in the family medical practice in 1987 and continues to practice there. Dr. Steve is also the medical director for Care One Care Center in Middletown.
In accepting accolades, gifts and well wishes throughout the reception, Dr. Harry noted he had always wanted to be a physician and felt developing relationships with his patients was the best medicine he could prescribe besides knowledge and proper care.
Among the many attendees at Friday’s event were local residents whose families have been served by Dr. Harry for five generations, as well as Shrewsbury Mayor and Mrs. Donald Burden, former Middletown Mayor and Mrs. Robert Eckert, and many families and individuals from all walks of life who liked the physician’s friendly, outgoing manner, his ability to diagnose with accuracy and confidence, and his vast medical knowledge.
Residents recounted Dr. Harry’s affinity for telling jokes and often coming out into the waiting room to greet and chat with patients. His affinity for wearing sneakers rather than conventional shoes while maintaining professional decorum was evidenced in the cake that was the focal point of the refreshment table at the reception: it was topped with a white icing-covered sneaker.