Jacqueline Paroski, MD ’49
—Pediatrician, teacher and trailblazer for women in medicine
Jacqueline Paroski, MD ’49, former longtime chief of pediatrics and chief of medicine at DeGraff Memorial Hospital, died October 7, 2017. She was 91.
Paroski—one of only six women in her medical school class—was a trailblazer for women in medicine throughout her career. After earning her medical degree, she moved to Washington, D.C., where she worked for the U.S. Navy as one of the first female physicians to provide care to Marines. After returning home to Buffalo, she became one of the first women to intern at Millard Fillmore Hospital.
Paroski spent most of her career in private pediatric practice. She and her husband, Paul Paroski, DDS ’45, worked in an office that was attached to their home, where they shared a waiting room. This allowed them to be home for their three children and still have robust careers.
Paroski also served as the physician for the Tonawanda School District, where she instituted sex education in the 1960s. “This was very controversial at the time, but she was determined to help assure that babies and children were well cared for and that teens had all the information they needed to lead healthy lives,” says her daughter, Elizabeth Barlog, MD ’82.
Later in her career, Paroski began teaching in the UB medical school clinic. “She loved being around the students, and because she was so intelligent and had so much experience, she had much to teach and had a lasting impact on them,” Barlog recalls.
“She treated every patient as if he or she were her own child,” says her husband. “She used to do house calls and would even postpone vacations if someone called. She just cared and treated everyone with respect. She was strong, but got her point across without being loud or outspoken. She was extremely nice in a very genuine way.”
Paroski is survived by her husband, Paul; sister, Josephine Peters; daughter, Elizabeth Barlog, MD ’82 (Kevin Barlog, MD ’82); five grandchildren: Andrew Paroski, Jaqueline Bisbal (Max), Lauren Barlog, MD, John Barlog (Jade), Allison Barlog; and three great grandchildren. Two sons, John Paroski, MD ’80 (Margaret Paroski, MD ’80), and Paul Paroski, MD ’78, predeceased her.
Stanley J. Cyran Jr., MD ’46, passed away peacefully at home with his family in Denver, CO, on September 19, 2014.
A graduate of the UB Medical School, Cyran held a certification from the American Board of Internal Medicine and was a Fellow in the American Association of Occupational Medicine. He served in the armed forces as a 1st Lieutenant Battalion Surgeon for the 26th Infantry Regimental Combat Team, and then as a captain, 98th General Hospital, infectious diseases and pediatrics.
Following his military service, Cyran practiced occupational medicine first as medical director of the Pennsylvania Railroad, Philadelphia, PA, and then as medical director of the Major Appliance Business Group, General Electric Company, Louisville, KY. He was also president of the Philadelphia Occupational Medical Association and, later, the Kentucky Occupational Medical Association.
Cyran loved to play the game of tennis, enjoyed photography, travel, choral music and cooking, and was a consummate handyman. He will be remembered for his beautiful tenor voice, a deep religious commitment, and a profound and abiding interest in people, their lives, and the world around him.
He is survived by wife Mary Ellen (nee Frank), three daughters Elizabeth Cyran MD, Carol Cyran-Samson and Katherine Cyran-Pesavento MD; and three sons, Stanley J. Cyran III, MD, John Cyran and Thomas Cyran.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the University at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.
Ralph T. Behling MD ’43
—Dermatologist and generous benefactor
Ralph T. Behling MD ’43, a dermatologist and generous benefactor of the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and the UB School of Nursing, died on December 17, 2016 in Burlingame, Calif. He was 98.
The only child of parents who owned a drugstore in Buffalo and a summer resort in Hamburg, NY, Behling grew up attending schools in both his hometown and West Palm Beach, Fla.
In 1940, he earned a BS in pharmacy at UB, and 1943 he earned an MD, after which he trained in dermatology. He was the first physician in the Buffalo area to use injected penicillin to fight infection. Following residency, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and served in the Public Health Service (PHS) for four years, during which time he was awarded a $1 million grant to help introduce the Pap smear test to medical schools and hospitals west of the Mississippi. He also started trauma clinics in hospitals in five western states. His work for the PHS took him to San Francisco, Calif., where he established a private dermatology practice in San Mateo in 1947. He also taught dermatology at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine.
Behling was a generous benefactor of the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and the UB School of Nursing. He endowed the Rita M. and Ralph T. Behling, M.D., Chair in Dermatology at the medical school in memory of his first wife, who died in 1998, and supported the establishment of the Behling Simulation Center.
Behling had a tenacious work ethic, a keen interest in learning and a positive attitude, all of which enabled him to accomplish much and serve as a role model.
He is survived by his second wife, Eileen King Murray Behling; his children: James Behling, David Behling, Linda Behling Russell, Marshall Behling, Jenifer Behling; and ten grandchildren and six great grandchildren. He was predeceased by his first wife of 55 years and the mother of his children, Rita Marie Clancy Behling.
Robert Lloyd Segal, MD '47 writes, "Since for various reasons, including medical, I cannot attend my class reunion as much as I desired to be present, I though a note coverng the past 70 years would be appropriate. After interning at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, I had a year of pathology at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, NY under George Whipple. Instead of practicing in Westchester (my home), I opted to chance it in New York City back at Sinai. I had an appointment after residency as a half-time position as a director of a small medical emergency room for one year. After that, an appointment to the visiting staff. I ended up within thyroid group, as Associate Attending in Medicine assigned to endocrinology. After Sinai became a Medical School, I had the title of Associate Clinical Professor. Publications included an extensive study of iodine metabolism and clinical papers on thyroid disease. I have membership in the American Thyroid Association, endocrine society and ACE. I also had privileges and attending status at Bellevue Hospital (NYU) for 3 years and Lenox Hill Hospital until the time of retirement. I retired from the practice of Medicine in December of 2010. I was married for the first time to a Wellesley graduate, Sydney Joy Joelson, on Valentine's Day of 1954. We had 4 children. Tragically, our youngest son David and my wife both died in a fire in a rented house in East Hampton on December 29, 1969. As a sub note, Tony Oliveri introduced a bill, now law, that all rented houses (in NY) must have functioning fire detectors. My three older daughters have gone into education. The oldest is Head of the Upper School at a prestigious private girls school (Brearley Academy). The second is a Full Professor at Harvard Medical School. Her research at Dana Farber is on neurology and neuro-oncology. She is in charge of the MD and PhD program there. The youngest works at Hunter as Director of a Business placement group. My second marriage produced two more daughters (total 5 daughters). I have 12 wonderful grandchildren."
Clare Shumway, MD ’48: "A favorite memory is stopping Roger Hubbard (the absent-minded professor) in the hallway one day to ask him a question. He answered me, and then asked: 'Which direction was I headed? If it’s this way, I’ve had lunch. If it’s the other way, I haven’t eaten yet.'"