100-plus support Owen-Michaane for school board: District will benefit from his medical expertise

To the editor:

We the undersigned 100-plus Pelham residents strongly endorse Dr. Michael Owen-Michaane for the Pelham Board of Education and ask our neighbors to join us in voting for Owen-Michaane on May 18.

As an assistant professor of medicine at Columbia University Medical Center and physician at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, Owen-Michaane is a front-line healthcare worker with first-hand experience providing Covid-19 treatment. He tirelessly advocates for his patients, many of whom are underserved and denied their insurance claims even as they endure the trials of the pandemic. Owen-Michaane understands how to navigate the complex state and federal regulations and bureaucracy in order to provide the best possible care. In this setting, Owen-Michaane has earned the respect of his patients, colleagues and hospital union employees. This candidate deserves our support for the Pelham Board of Education election.

During the pandemic, Superintendent Dr. Cheryl Champ has asked repeatedly for help from medical professionals with interpreting and implementing state and federal health and safety guidelines. Owen-Michaane will bring this exact first-hand knowledge and experience to the board with the goal of providing our children a safe environment for their education. Additionally, his knowledge of complex federal and state regulations will enable him to understand and guide others with respect to constantly changing education guidelines.

The district will undoubtedly face ongoing challenges from Covid-19 for the coming school years. We have an enormous opportunity to start the 2021-2022 school year safely, allowing full-time in-person education for all students who chose so. We believe that as a board member, Owen-Michaane will play a crucial role in making this happen.

As a community, Pelham committed to following the science on Covid-19. We have worn masks, practiced social distancing and more and more of us are getting vaccinated. Now is the time to reaffirm this commitment. Having a doctor with intimate knowledge of the science of Covid-19 and its treatment on the school board, Pelham schools will have a dramatically improved prospect of safe reopening during the ongoing pandemic.

Many of us have witnessed the mental-health effects of the pandemic on our kids. Owen-Michaane routinely treats patients with mental-health crises and understands the challenges fully. His knowledge and expertise in this arena will be a unique advantage for the Pelham schools in helping our kids recover from the hardships of the past year.

In addition to his medical background, Owen-Michaane is committed to the highest quality education for all Pelham students, both inside and outside the classroom. He recognizes that the primary mission of a school district is educating the community’s children, and that Pelham parents have high expectations for their children’s academic achievement. As the brother of a person with special needs, he will advocate strongly that every student receives the appropriate services they need to excel in school.

Owen-Michaane and his husband Maurice are well-liked and responsible neighbors and friends. In addition to being a doctor, Michael is a father of four and member of the Siwanoy PTA, Huguenot Memorial Church and the Pelham Library book club. He is a good listener who treats everyone with kindness and respect.

Please join us and our concerned Pelham neighbors as we vote for Dr. Michael Owen-Michaane on May 18—our district needs a balanced, outside and fresh perspective, and Owen-Michaane is committed to being your voice and advocate on the school board.

Jennifer Solimine

1102 Clay Ave.


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