STAR OF BROOKLYN: Douglas Jablon

Douglas Jablon – Board Chair of the Council of NeighborhoodOrganizations

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: According to Jablon, the Council ofNeighborhood Organizations is an interfaith organization whichoffers landlord mediation assistance, afterschool programs,Medicare application help and a food pantry for anyone in need. Hedescribes the last service on the list as more necessary now thanever. You open up their refrigerators and you could actually cry,Jablon described. And when you see a young mother putting waterinto a bottle of milk [to make it last] it hurts you.

JOB: Affectionately known around Maimonides Medical Center asMr. Maimonides, Jablon takes his responsibilities as the hospital’ssenior vice president of patient relations, volunteers and publiccommunication seriously. In a hospital, people are coming in forone thing – their health, he said. I’m in the position of makingsure whoever or whatever kind of person comes in is treatedequally. Jablon’s department also organizes translators fornon-English speakers. They should put the Statue of Liberty infront of the hospital, he said proudly. We have 70 differentlanguages spoken here and 100 different dialects, and everyone istreated the same way.

PERSONAL: Born just four blocks away from Maimonides, Jablonspent his first 24 years in Boro Park before moving to his currentneighborhood of Flatbush. I always tell people I went far in life- four blocks from where I was born, he quipped. Married for 36years, Jablon and his wife have three children: two daughters age27 and 35, and a 30-year-old son. They also have nine grandchildrenand are expecting a 10th any day now. He says that his wife isthe key to his success at a job where he often is forced to clock16-hour days. When Jablon’s cell phone rings after one of thosemarathon shifts, he says it doesn’t put him in the doghouse withhis spouse. If she sees it’s a hospital problem and it’s a personwho needs my help, she doesn’t blink an eye, he said, adding:She’s very supportive.

INSPIRATION: As a member of the Orthodox Jewish faith, Jabloncredits his belief in God and the reward that comes from helpingothers as his major inspiration. The bank book of good deeds helpsyou more than the bank book of money, he said. I believe if youdo good work and help good people, God’s going to repay you.

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