Chief of Palliative Care, Richmond University Medical Center (RUMC)
Dr. Forlenza is a native Staten Islander who has spent much of his professional life caring for his neighbors and friends on Staten Island as a cancer and palliative care specialist. He received his BA in psychology, summa cum laude and elected to Phi Beta Kappa, from Boston College, and received his MD from the Boston University School of Medicine.
Dr. Forlenza began his postgraduate training as an intern at St. Vincent’s Medical Center of Richmond and was then a medical resident in internal medicine at the University of Kentucky at Lexington. He did numerous fellowships at New York University – in blood banking, in pathology, and in hematology – followed by another fellowship in oncology at Kings County Medical Center. After completing his fellowship training, he became the associate director of oncology at the Woodhull Medical Center, Brooklyn, a position he held until 1988.
In 1983, Dr. Forlenza returned to Staten Island and established his own practice, joining the teaching faculty at St. Vincent’s Medical Center and Bayley Seton Hospital. During the following year, Dr. Forlenza became the medical director of the Blood Bank at Bayley Seton Hospital. In 1988, he was named the director of oncology at St. Vincent’s Medical Center on Staten Island. He held this position until 2018. He is now as the chief of palliative care, charged to develop a palliative care service, at RUMC.
Dr. Forlenza was one of the founding members of Pax Christi Hospice and served as its first medical director. He held this position for 20 years and continues as a physician with the Visiting Nurse of New York Hospice, its heritage organization. As a teacher of the healing arts, Dr. Forlenza has instructed literally thousands of physicians over the last four decades. He has a professorship at New York University Medical Center and is an honorary consultant at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
With all his many accomplishments, Dr. Thomas Forlenza has never lost sight of his passionate goal to battle cancer while comforting his patients and their families through the tenderness that he brings to those in his care.
Dr. Forlenza continues in full-time patient care and teaches medical students and residents at Richmond University Medical Center on Staten Island.