Huntington Councilwoman Joan Cergol, at a recent Town Board meeting, gave special recognition to the life and achievements of a physician who practiced obstetrics and gynecology in Huntington for 58 years, from 1960 until three weeks before his passing in October shortly before his 89th birthday.
During his distinguished career, Dr. J. Gerald Meagher delivered thousands of babies at Huntington Hospital and cared for five generations of families. He also served in the military, rising to the rank of major, in assignments such as being the only OB-GYN physician at the army base in Newfoundland; was an adjunct professor at Stony Brook University; and was president and a board member of the Suffolk County OB-GYN Society.
In a presentation at the meeting, with Dr. Meagher’s wife, Carol, four of his children and several of his grandchildren looking on, Cergol recounted the physician’s accomplishments, describing him as a remarkable Huntingtonian and a pillar in the Town’s medical community. Dr. Meagher, Councilwoman Cergol said, began his Huntington practice in “the days before insurance companies and their endless paperwork and HMOs and urgent care centers and before all of the restrictions placed on doctors today that limit their time and sometimes even some of the medical decisions that they make with regard to patient care.”
“While time changed the way doctors interact with patients, Dr. Meagher would have none of it. He cherished his time with patients and valued his profession too much to rush them in and out. So he did it his way right until his last day,” Councilwoman Cergol said. “This is the remarkable legacy of Dr. Meagher. He was loved and respected and so unforgettable that generation after generation just kept returning to him.”