ChesterCountyMedicineSpring2019 - 37

Honoring a Colleague -
Nicholas C. Battafarano, MD


ay I thank you all for coming,
but especially Mrs. Battafarano,
and the other members of the
Battafarano family. Also, Fiora
Clark, his nurse for many years. May I submit
that while we honor Dr. Battafarano, we should
also take a moment to honor and applaud
them, because any of us involved in patient care
understand how important this support network
is. Thanks to members of the administration, the excellent
nursing staff of Paoli Hospital, and, very importantly, members
of our wonderful Medical Staff. Special thanks to Cathy DiJohn,
and last but not least, Ann Reilly, M.D., the driving force behind
this dedication.
While I am honored that Ann Reilly asked me to make a few
appropriate remarks today, I am not convinced they will do Dr.
Battafarano justice, and if this is the case, I apologize in advance.
As Michael Farraday said, "but still try, for who knows what is
A list of adjectives came to mind when I began to consider my
Humility, humanity, dignity, dedication, integrity, selflessness
all accurately define Dr. Battafarano.
If I may read his obituary, please, and make a few comments
about it.
"Age 91, of Wayne, PA. Nicholas C. Battafarano, M.D. was
born in Philadelphia and attended Overbrook HS, St. Joseph's
University and graduated with Alpha Omega Alpha honors from
Drexel Hahnemann Medical School in 1949. He was a proud
veteran of the Korean War. Dr. Battafarano practiced internal
medicine and was affiliated with Paoli Memorial Hospital until
age 87. He was selected innumerable times to the Best Doctors
List by his peers and patients. He is survived by his beloved wife of
63 years, Margaret, and his children Kathleen, Daniel, Nicholas,
Janet, Richard, and Thomas, 26 grandchildren, and 7 greatgrandchildren."

A West Philadelphia kid, he grew up in a row
home, with ten people in the household. He
graduated from high school at age 16, having
skipped a few grades. He was a physician by age
22. Here we have a highly intelligent individual,
of humble background, which probably explains
why he was so genuine. He did not talk about
himself. Being a dedicated Philadelphia sports
fan might also explain his humility to a degree.
In Korea, he evidently served in a medical capacity in a
forward unit. We can only imagine what he witnessed there,
because, at least according to Tom, he did not discuss it.
He was a physician for 65 years! He was one of the original
physicians at the current site of Paoli Hospital, having left his first
practice in West Philadelphia, which he shared with his brother
and uncle. People thought he was crazy moving out to the
He was married for 63 years! Mrs. Battafarano is an RN.
Tom does not recall Dr. Battafarano ever being frustrated with
patients, which might explain why three of his children went on to
become physicians.
For Dr. "B", "caring was part of the cure." He had a wonderful
sense of humor, and came to work "with a smile." He had an
amazing memory, and practiced with the highest professional
standards. Several people mentioned his habit of asking about
patients' family members, even those he had not seen for years.
He often treated families over multiple generations. Dr. B was
loved by his patients and he reciprocated by spending as much
time with each patient as they needed. He set a great example for
young patients, and served as a mentor for some.
Before I introduce his son Dan, let me say this:
Let this humble plaque remind and inspire all of us, but
particularly let it inspire those of us who care for patients. That is
really what this is all about, so the manner in which this man lived
his life will continue to be a positive force in the lives of so many
others long after he is gone.

SPRING 2019 | CHESTER COUNT Y Medicine 37


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