Wednesday, June 4th

Wizard of Oz? Ubiquitous heart surgeon Dr. Mehmet Oz is honored by the National Urban Technology Center in front of guests such as former Mayor David Dinkins, former Monica Lewinsky associate Vernon Jordan, and current Governor and Mrs. David Paterson. A second honoree is Stephen Byrd, producer of Broadway’s all African-American production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. We called up Dr. Oz to find out what fabulous deed he’s done to deserve this honor: “I always ask myself the same question; I don’t know why,” he said. However: “What they’re trying to do is to get kids to realize their dreams. And I’ve been doing that in health, especially aiming many of the lessons at minority populations that don’t have the robust access to information that they should have.” Dr. Oz has created HealthCorps, which is “like the Peace Corps, but instead of sending [volunteers] out to Botswana to build dams, they send them to schools to teach kids about their bodies.” He manages to fit it all into a day, he said, by being a generally nice person: “I’ve formed long-lasting relationships, I’ve been married to the same woman 20 years, I’ve been at Columbia University my whole career. You treasure that covenant you have with your partners. Plus, I have a little bit of psychosis. You gotta be a little crazy to do this stuff, come on. Anyone who opens people’s hearts to get to their chests …”

[National Urban Technology Center Annual Gala, Capitale, 130 Bowery, 6:30 p.m., 800-998-3212]

Wednesday, June 4th