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Dr. Joseph Ingrassia Dr. Joseph Ingrassia
Inducted: 2008 - Graduated:





When Nanuet High School opened its doors in the fall of 1958, Dr. Paul Ingrassia – already two decades into a thriving medical career in Nanuet – was asked to take on the role of school physician at the newly minted high school.


Today, 50 years later, the school doctor at Nanuet still answers to the name Ingrassia. Dr. Paul Ingrassia (1958-1984) and his son, Dr. Joseph Ingrassia (1978-present) have formed a medical continuum of care rarely seen in any school district. If you were a student in the Nanuet school system, it’s a good bet you had an Ingrassia checking out your heart and blood pressure and otherwise evaluating your health.


How many students does that represent? At roughly 600 per year, Dr. Joe estimates he has performed some 18,000 medical and sports physicals in the 30 years he has been physician for the high school, middle school and Highview Elementary. That total includes the six-year period (1978-84) when he and his father shared the role.


About the Hall of Fame recognition, Dr. Joe says, “It’s a great honor. I didn’t expect to be included among all the people honored in the past. It’s wonderful, a big surprise.”


The Ingrassias’ association with Nanuet harks back some 70 years. Dr. Paul Ingrassia was born in 1911 in New York City and graduated from New York Medical College in 1938. He married Marie Levesque, a nurse, that same year and moved to Nanuet after hearing about the small community while at a party in New York. Here he was welcomed by Dr. Theis, Nanuet’s first doctor, and established his medical practice, making house calls, delivering babies and fixing broken bones. Dr. Paul and Marie also raised five sons – Paul, Jack, Wilfred, Joe and Christopher.


During his career Dr. Paul went back to New York Medical College to serve a residency program in general surgery, and during World War II he served as a captain in the U.S. Army. He was on staff at many area hospitals, including Nyack and Good Samaritan hospitals and defunct facilities in Pearl River and Spring Valley. He also served as chief of surgery and staff president at Good Samaritan before retiring in 1984. Dr. Paul Ingrassia died in 1988 at age 77.


Dr. Joe Ingrassia joined his father in 1978 at his medical practice in Nanuet after graduating from Universidad de Guadalajara Medical School and a residency program in family practice at Nassau County Medical Center. He married Jill Cabanas in 1976 and they moved from East Meadow on Long Island to Nanuet, where they raised two sons, Joseph and James. Joe played lacrosse and ran cross country at Nanuet, and Jim also played lacrosse.


Joe, who’s 24, seems to be carrying on the family tradition – he’s enrolled in medical school at Ross University in Dominica, a Caribbean island nation. Jim, 22, is in law school at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Conn.


Dr. Joe, who is 60, has assumed various leadership and committee roles at Good Samaritan Hospital, where he himself was born. He has served as chairman of the Suffern-based hospital’s family practice for 30 years as well as its staff president (like his father) and a member of its board of directors. For his many years of esteemed service and dedication to Good Samaritan, Dr. Joe was presented the Sister Joseph Rita Award for Medical Excellence in 2002.


Besides performing medical and athletic physicals for Nanuet students, Dr. Joe also serves as a medical consultant for the school nursing staff. In his 30-year association with the Nanuet schools he has examined schoolchildren of all shapes and sizes, but in recent years he has observed a decided growth trend. “Kids have gotten huge,” he says, “in size, muscularity and height. Some kids I have to stand on my toes to look in their ears.”


Dr. Joe’s civic-mindedness extends to many sectors of the Nanuet community. He volunteers on the Nanuet Ambulance Advisory, has been Nanuet Fire Department physician since 1978, and serves on the Nanuet School Substance Abuse Committee.


Dr. Joe considers it an honor and a privilege to serve the Nanuet community and he accepts the Ralph and Mary Smith Distinguished Service Award with much gratitude, on behalf of his father posthumously and himself.