Dr. Lillian Vitanza Ney was presented with the 1999 John D. Hamilton Community Service Award at a recognition dinner held at the Athenaeum Hotel at the Chautauqua Institution on Friday, June 11. The award is presented annually by the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation to one individual in recognition of their dedication, leadership and support in furthering community spirit and enhancing the quality of life in the Chautauqua Region.
Lillian Ney is one of three daughters born to Peter and Josephine Vitanza. Because her father was a physician with a practice in Jamestown, the family grew up in, and established ties to, the community.
Lillian attended Wells College, enrolling in medical school at the University of Buffalo after graduation. Armed with a medical degree, she returned to Jamestown and entered a private practice in Internal Medicine and Cardiology until 1974. From 1974 to 1995, she worked at WCA Hospital in a variety of positions, including Director of Medical Education, Director of Cardiology, Director of Wellness and Vice President of Medical Affairs.
After her retirement in 1995, she served as Medical Director of the Heritage Park Nursing Home. At approximately the same time, she served as Coordinator, and then Medical Director, of Jamestown Area Medical Associates.
Lillian has always been generous with her time and has served on the boards of many area organizations. Her past involvements include the Reg Lenna Civic Center Board of Directors; the James Prendergast Library Board of Directors; the American Heart Association Board of Directors and the United Way Board of Directors.
She is currently involved with no less than seven organizations: the Board of Directors of the Association of Boards of Trustees of Community Colleges; the Chautauqua Institution Board of Trustees; the Jamestown Strategic Planning and Partnerships Commission; Creche, Inc. and The Fortnightly.
Lillian may be best known for her current role as President of The Gebbie Foundation, a position that she has held since 1996. The Gebbie Foundation is the Jamestown area’s largest private foundation.
“It is the pleasure of both the Community Foundation and myself to present the 1999 John D. Hamilton Community Service Award to Dr. Ney”, stated Randy M. Ordines, President of the Community Foundation. “Lillian has always been ready to provide her time and leadership to worthwhile causes in our community. She, without a doubt, personifies the spirit of the award. We are very lucky to have her.”
Lillian has received prior awards recognizing her service to her community. Her alma mater presented her with the Wells College Alumnae Award for distinguished performance in both community and professional life. In addition, the American Heart Association presented her with their Community Service Award, recognizing her for her contribution to our area.
Lillian and her late husband, Dr. Robert Ney, have two daughters: Aubin Ney Gren of Jamestown, and the late Alison Ney.