ABC show with Dr. Oz filmed dying man without permission

Stuy Town resident and family’s suit to be heard in Court of Appeals

Ken Chanko Photo by Sabina Mollot)

Ken Chanko (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

It was in April of 2011 when Stuyvesant Town resident Ken Chanko lost his father, Mark, after he was fatally hit by a truck.

Mark Chanko, who also lived in Stuyvesant Town for most of his life and was a Korean War army veteran, was struck on the street in front of where he’d lived in more recent years, in Yorkville. He was 83.

Because the death was caused by an accident, and the driver wasn’t drunk, there were no criminal charges filed.

But then, nearly a year and half later, Ken Chanko and the rest of his family wound up experiencing Mark’s death a second time — this time because it was broadcast on a reality show that was filmed – without his father’s or any of the Chankos’ knowledge — at the hospital where Mark had been treated.

The show, “NY Med,” featuring television personality Dr. Mehmet Oz, was filmed at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, a medical institution which, along with the show’s network, ABC, has since ended up on the end of a lawsuit filed by the Chanko family, alleging breach of medical confidentiality and pain and suffering. ABC, after initially being contacted by Ken, did agree to pull the segment that included the segment about his father, and to not include it in a DVD for the episode slated for later release. However, the family still went ahead on filing a lawsuit, when, according to Ken, there was “no apology and no admission of wrongdoing.” Pulling the segment, he added, “wasn’t out of the goodness of their hearts.” In fact, he added that at first, a hospital rep had told him she couldn’t do anything about it and that he should call ABC.

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Third Street Music School Settlement teacher receives Guggenheim fellowship

Teacher and composer Matthew Barnson at the Third Street Music School Settlement Photo by Jennifer Taylor

Teacher and composer Matthew Barnson at the Third Street Music School Settlement (Photo by Jennifer Taylor)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

When Third Street Music School Settlement composition teacher Matthew Barnson got a response to his application to be a Guggenheim fellow, he wasn’t sure at first if he should be thrilled or crushed.

“They send you a very cryptic letter saying you haven’t won anything,” he said. “But then it asks, if you did win, what would your budget be?”

The 35-year-old musician said he asked for insight from a faculty member at Stony Brook University, where he also teaches, because she had received the fellowship a few years ago. She told him that it meant he had won.

Barnson is the first currently serving faculty member of the community music school to become a Guggenheim fellow, although he noted that there have been former faculty members from Third Street who later became fellows after leaving their post at the school.

The fellowship was awarded to 175 recipients chosen this year from a pool of more than 3,000 applicants and is given to scholars and artists to help them engage in research in any field of knowledge and creation in any of the arts.

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