Dr. George P. Pitkin and Dr. Winifred M. Pitkin

Dr. George P. Pitkin and Dr. Winifred M. Pitkin

Dr. George Philo Pitkin (“Dr. Pitkin”) was born on March 25, 1885 at Schroon Lake, Essex County, New York. Dr. Pitkin studied at the Albany Medical School, Union University, where he graduated in 1908 with the degree of Doctor of Medicine taking up his practice of medicine in Bergenfield, New Jersey two years later.

Dr. Pitkin was an extraordinary surgeon and was one of the two founding physicians of Holy Name Hospital where he served as chief surgeon from the Hospital’s inception in 1925 to his death. He had a number of other hospital affiliations including chief of the surgical staff at Englewood Hospital from 1910 to 1918, consulting surgeon at Greystone State Hospital, attending surgeon at Bergen Pines Hospital in Paramus and an associate physician and surgeon at Hackensack Hospital. Dr. Pitkin was a member of the Associates Physicians of Hackensack, the Bergen County Medical Society, the New Jersey State Medical Society and the American Medical Association as well as a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and a Fellow of The International College of Anesthetists.

Dr. Pitkin developed the drug Spinacaine for spinal anesthesia and the Pitkin San-a-Lok syringe for effecting continuous local and spinal anesthesia and also created the Pitkin Gelti-Retractor for use in operations. He evolved the theory of spinal anesthesia while he was on a tour of Europe with members of the Mayo Clinic staff.

Dr. Pitkin was also an active businessman in the community and had served as President of the City National Bank of Hackensack and the Palisades Park National Bank and Trust Company and Vice President of the Bergenfield National Bank and Trust Company and director of banks in Rochelle Park, West Englewood, Little Ferry and Bergenfield.

Dr. Pitkin passed away prematurely on September 3, 1943.

Dr. Winifred M. (Mercer) Pitkin (“Dr. Winifred Pitkin”) was born on November 17, 1905 in Great Harwood, Hyndburn Borough, Lancashire, England. She received her medical degree in 1928 from Oxford University in England and settled in the United States after marrying Dr. Pitkin on July 31, 1930.

Dr. Winifred Pitkin held eight degrees, six of which were medical. She was a physician and Professor of Neurology at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in New York City and an Associate Professor at Case-Western Reserve Medical Center in Cleveland. She co-authored and completed Dr. Pitkin’s textbook “Pitkin’s Spinal Anesthesia,” which has been widely used in medical schools. Dr. Winifred Pitkin also owned Winifred M. Pitkin, Inc. Real Estate Co. in Englewood.

Dr. Winifred Pitkin passed away on May 21, 1993. It was Dr. Winifred Pitkin’s investment acumen over the decades which, upon the passing of her only child, funded the Winifred M. and George P. Pitkin Foundation (the “Foundation”).

Since its inception the Foundation has distributed over $11,000,000.00 focusing its contributions in the area of education, especially with respect to medical related programs, humanitarian efforts and conservation education. In fact, the very first contribution made by the Foundation was a $1,000,000.00 gift to the Bergen Community College Foundation to fund the College’s nursing program.