The Society of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick on Long Island (FSSPLI) will honor Michael Dowling, president and CEO of Northwell Health, with its 2023 Favorite Son Award which “recognizes and honors individuals of Irish descent who have contributed greatly in both their professional and personal endeavors, made a difference in their local communities, as well as in the advancement of Irish culture and education,” a press release from the organization noted. 

The award will be given to Dowling, a native of Co Limerick, at the society’s Emerald Ball on Saturday, March 4 at the Garden City Hotel in Garden City, Long Island. 

“I am honored to be recognized as the 2023 Favorite Son. FSSPLI’s mission of promoting the rich culture and economic development of Ireland while addressing local issues that transcend a person’s heritage aligns with my family’s personal beliefs,” said Dowling. 

The press release added, “Dowling is recognized as one of healthcare’s most influential voices, taking a stand on societal issues such as gun violence and immigration that many health system CEOs do not address.

"As president and CEO of Northwell Health, he leads a clinical, academic and research enterprise with a workforce of more than 83,000 and annual revenue of $16.5 billion.  

“Dowling’s leadership has been invaluable to Northwell’s consistent expansion and prominence. In 2020, he successfully navigated the health system through the first Covid-19 epicenter in the U.S., detailing his experiences in 'Leading Through a Pandemic: The Inside Story of Humanity, Innovation, and Lessons Learned During the Covid-19 Crisis.'  

“Before his public service career, Dowling was a professor of social policy and assistant dean at the Fordham University Graduate School of Social Services, and director of the Fordham campus in Westchester County.

"Dowling has been honored with many awards over the years in healthcare, public service, and philanthropy and has been recognized as a top business executive by Modern Healthcare and Glassdoor among others.

"He has also received the Presidential Distinguished Service Award for the Irish Abroad, presented by the president of Ireland; was the 2017 grand marshal of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New York City, and was inducted to the Irish America Hall of Fame."

William McDermott, president of FSSPLI said: “We are humbled and honored that Mr. Dowling will be accepting the 2023 Favorite Son Award. 

“His distinguished career in healthcare, public service, community involvement and his ability to honor his Irish roots exemplifies all that we wish to recognize with the Favorite Son Award. Michael’s participation this year as we rebound from the pandemic is especially meaningful.” 

For details on the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick's annual Emerald Ball, visit

*This column first appeared in the February 8 edition of the weekly Irish Voice newspaper, sister publication to IrishCentral.