Francis J. Bednarek, MD, professor of pediatrics and obstetrics & gynecology, chief of neonatology at the UMass Memorial Children’s Medical Center and director of the Perinatal Fellowship Program, died unexpectedly on Monday, July 15, while visiting Cape Cod. A resident of Holden, he leaves his wife, Sharon, and five children.
Dr. Bednarek joined UMass Medical School in1975, and that year became a member of the medical staff in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), the region’s only Level III NICU for high-risk obstetrical and neonatal care. Under his dedicated leadership, the NICU has become internationally recognized for its quality of care and for its philosophy of including families as an integral part of care teams. This reputation for compassionate, patient-focused care that truly is life saving is Bednarek’s legacy.
“On behalf of our physicians, faculty, students and staff, we express our heartfelt sympathies to Frank’s family,” said Chancellor Michael F. Collins and UMass Memorial President and CEO Eric Dickson in a joint statement issued to the UMass Medical School and UMass Memorial Medical Center community. “To all who knew or were cared for by Frank—from his frailest young patients to their grateful parents to his colleagues at the Medical Center and Medical School—we grieve with you and share your immeasurable loss. Frank was a gifted physician and teacher, a loving husband and father, and an extraordinary man. He will be deeply missed.”
Calling hours are from 4 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, July 18, at the Miles Funeral Home, located at 1158 Main St. in Holden. A funeral mass will be held at 10 a.m. on Friday, July 19, at Immaculate Conception Church, located at 353 Grove St. in Worcester.