Harry S. Romanowitz MD, affectionately called Hesh by friends and family, was born in Brooklyn, New York, on August 2, 1949, the only child of Eva and Abe Romanowitz. Loving husband to Sheila and adored father of Daniel, Avra and his son-in-law Seamus, Hesh was also beloved brother, dear cousin, sweet uncle, cherished friend, celebrated pediatrician, trusted mohel and irreplaceable member of the community. Dr. Romanowitz suffered a severe hemorrhagic stroke but died peacefully with his family at his side on Wednesday, February 27, 2013.
Born, raised and educated in Brooklyn, Hesh, a child of Holocaust survivors, met Sheila at Brooklyn College, where he majored in Russian and Chemistry. He earned his MD at Yale and completed internship and residency in Pediatrics at the University of Rochester.
After eight years in private practice, Hesh was appointed the first full-time Chair and Pediatrician-in-Chief at Stamford Hospital, a position he held for the next twenty years. Under his capable leadership, the hospital developed a superb Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and full-service Children's Health Center, and added multiple Pediatric subspecialties. Hesh established, fostered and maintained a full-time pediatric "hospitalist" program, providing the highest quality inpatient care for infants, children and adolescents, decades before Hospital Medicine became a national trend. Named one of Connecticut Magazine's Top Physicians, he was an innovator of afterhours pediatric urgent care facilities and sat on the faculties of Yale University School of Medicine and Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons.
Despite his busy professional career, Hesh found time to be deeply involved in the community. As a board member and then President of Student Health Services, he helped create Stamford's first school-based health center at Stamford High School. He served for a decade as Chair of Stamford's Holocaust Memorial Committee and was a member of the Board of Directors of many local institutions including the Early Childhood Learning Center, ARI, Jewish Family Service, ADL's Fairfield County Civil Rights Committee, and Fairfield County March of Dimes. He was on the Advisory Council to the State of Connecticut's Office of the Child Advocate and was also Chair of the Ferguson Library Board of Trustees and received the Friends of the Ferguson's Community Service Award in 2009.
His love for Jewish culture and language leads the list of many diverse passions. Hesh thoroughly enjoyed telling jokes and stories, listening to and collecting music, watching football and late-night TV, going to baseball games and movies, attending concerts, musical theatre and innumerable cultural events. His extensive travel experiences included visiting family, friends, historic sites and diverse communities worldwide, and having what he would call "adventures." Most of all, he relished his role as a provider of care and counsel to all. Spending time with family and friends, near and far, was most precious. Of his achievements, he considered his greatest to be proud father to Avra and Daniel.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in his honor can be made to The Holocaust Memorial Committee, PO Box 2466, Stamford, CT, 06906. These donations will be used for Holocaust educational programming including scholarships enabling young people to participate in the March of the Living.
Services Friday, March 1 at 11 a.m., Temple Beth El 350 Roxbury Rd., Stamford, CT. Interment at Beth David Cemetery, Elmont, NY. For online condolences, visit www.leopgallagherstamford.com.