SUNY Downstate Medical Center
Department of Urology
- Keith Waterhouse, MD
- Newton Warmington, MD
- John H. Mcgovern, MD
- William Fair, MD
- Peter John Caponegro, MD
- Benjamin Peng, MD
Keith Waterhouse, MD
It is with great sadness that I inform you that Dr. Waterhouse died at his home in Bonita Springs, Fl on December 17, 2009 after an illness of several months. He is survived by his wife Anne, their five children and 10 grandchildren. Those of us who served under or with him were greatly honored and grateful to have had him as our colleague.
Professor Emeritus and Founding Chairman: Keith Waterhouse was born in Derby, England in 1929, son of a North of England country doctor, and raised in Northumberland. He attended the Newcastle-Upon-Tyne Royal Grammar School; Emmanuel College Cambridge and Oxford University Medical School, obtaining his medical qualification in 1953. He completed his training in urology at Kings County Hospital in 1959 under Dr. Frank Hamm. Within six years he became a Full Professor at the State University of New York, Downstate Medical Center, the Head of Division of Urology and Urologist-in-Chief at Kings County Hospital. In 1969 urology was granted departmental status and at that time Dr. Waterhouse became Chairman of the Department of Urology.
Dr. Waterhouse served as Chairman of the Section on Urology of the New York Academy of Medicine, President of the New York Section of the American Urological Association, President of the Section on Urology of the New York Sate Medical Society and President of the Brooklyn-Long Island Urological Society. Nationally recognized posts he has held included President of the Section of Urology of the American Academy of Pediatrics and chairman of the Residency Review Committee for Urology of the American Medical Association. Internationally, he served as an active member of the International Society for Urology and one of the American Delegates in 1978.
He has been a visiting professor at many institutions, both in the United States and abroad, and an honorary member of the Italian, Panamanian and Australasion Urological Societies. He was elected a fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of England in 1982.
In 1967, at age thirty-eight, he was elected to the American Association of Genitourinary Surgeons and in 1978 to the prestigious Clinical Society of Genitourinary Surgeons.
Dr. Waterhousexs first article in 1959 entitled ÒRepair of the Injured UreterÓ, is a classic. Within three to four years of its publication, he became one of the worldxs foremost authorities on urologic problems in children and the individual most identified with popularizing the voiding cystourethrogram in the United States. He was one of the first to recognize the relationship between posterior urethral valves and changes at the bladder neck.
In 1971 Dr. Waterhouse introduced the transpubic surgical approach to the lower urinary tract, and subsequently the use of the transpubic approach for the repair of membranous urethral strictures. This procedure, one of the most innovative in urology, is frequently referred to as the ÒWaterhouse Repair.Ó Later he published the largest series on boys who had undergone repair of a traumatic urethral stricture.
After a serious illness in 1983, Dr. Waterhouse retired to Bonita Springs, Florida where he studied Floridian and Moesoamerican archeology. He was a past president of the Southwest Florida Archeological Society and a trustee of the Florida Archeology and Historical Conservancy.
In 1992 the Section on Urology of the New York Academy of Medicine awarded him the F.C. Valentine Medal for career achievement in Urology.
Newton Warmington, MD
The death of Newton Warmington, MD ’89 three years ago left us with a profound sense of sadness. As student, colleague, physician and close friend, he had touched and enriched the lives of so many. We mourn the loss of a life that had held such promise.
To honor his legacy, the “Newton D. Warmington, MD ’89 Scholarship Fund” is being established as a combined effort of the Department of Urology, the Alumni Association-College of Medicine, SUNY Downstate Medical School, the Daniel Hale Williams Society, and the Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc.
Newton Warmington, MD ’89 was born in Jamaica and emigrated to the United States in the early 1970’s. He received his baccalaureate degree from Columbia Unversity and began his medical studies at SUNY Downstate in 1985. As a medical student he served as president of the Daniel Hale Williams Society, the student organization for African-American, Caribbean-American and Latino-American medical students, and he provided support, leadership and inspiration to fellow students.
After graduation in 1989, Dr. Warmington completed a residency in general surgery and entered the training program of the Department of Urology under the leadership of Richard Macchia, MD. Upon completion of his training in urology he joined the faculty of the SUNY Downstate Department of Urology. He served the department and his patients with distinction for 4 years, until his untimely death in 1999 at the age of 41.
Dr. Warmington was a dedicated teacher, a gifted urologist, and an extraordinarily outgoing and giving person. He gave unselfishly of his time and wisdom to the care of his patients and the training of young students. Active in Brooklyn’s communities, he addressed students at junior high and high schools and participated in prostate prevention screenings and outreach programs at local churches and community centers. His life’s work was distinguished by his commitment to community health education, to the care of his patients, and to coalition-building among his colleagues.
Please jon us in establishing the “Newton D. Warmington, MD ’89 Scholarship Fund” which will provide scholarship support for economically disadvantaged Downstate Medical students of Caribbean-American, and Latino-American descent. Your generosity will ensure that Dr. Warmington’s rich legacy is recognized and continued.
John H. McGovern, MD
It is my sad duty to report that Dr. McGovern died on May 28, 2001 in Sarasota. Florida. The cause of death was malignant melanoma. He was born and raised in New Jersey. When WWII he served in the Merchant Marine performing one of the most dangerous jobs in the war: convoy duty. On two occasions the ship on which he was serving was torpedoed and sank. He spent 11 hours in the water on one occasion and 18 hours the second time. After the war he was determined to get the education he lacked. To support himself he worked nights digging ditches for Con Edison. He was awarded his Bachelor of Science degree from Columbia University in 1947. He then enrolled at the SUNY Downstate Medical School and graduated in 1952. His internship and first year of surgical residency were taken at The Brooklyn Hospital and the Brooklyn Veteran’s Administrative Hospital. He began his urological training at Cornell New York Hospital in 1954. He spent one year of the residency at West London Hospital in England as part of an exchange program and returned to Cornell New York Hospital to complete his residency in urology. He then joined the Cornell faculty in 1959 and rose to Professor of Clinical Urology in 1972. He practiced urology in New York City for more than 40 years. He was appointed Chief of Urology at Lenox Hill. Among his accomplishments was being a pioneer in pediatric urology in New York City. He held a number of leadership positions in urology at the national, state and local level. He was chairperson of the Section on Urology of the New York Academy of Medicine, President of the Society of Pediatric Urology, President of the American Association of Clinical Urologists, President of the New York Section of the AUA, Chairman of the Urology Section of the New York State Medical Society, Chairman of the Council on Urology of the International Kidney Foundation. He achieved a singular honor when he was elected president of the American Urological Association for the academic year 1989-1990.
Dr. McGovern had an unhurried thoughtful and caring demeanor. He educated and inspired several generations of medical students and urology residents.
He received the Master Teacher in Urology award posthumously from the SUNY Downstate Medical School Alumni Association in April 2002.
William Fair, MD
It is my sad duty to report that Dr. William Fair died on Thursday, January 3, 2002. The cause of death was colon cancer. He was 66 years old. He will be remembered as a superb surgeon, a true gentleman, a scientist, a colleague in the best sense of the word, an educator, a world-class researcher and a friend. He was a member of the faculty of the Department of Urology at the SUNY Downstate Medical School. Unfortunately, due to his illness, he was never able to initiate a program in complementary and alternative medicine at SUNY Downstate, which had been planned. A fund has been established in his honor. Contributions to the fund should be sent to: HAELTH Research Fund. More information regarding the fund can be obtained through Pamela (www.HAELTH.com) 212-334-9600.
—Richard J. Macchia, MD
William R. Fair, MD, FACS, served as Chairman of the Clinical Advisory Board of Hælth, LLC, a New York-based complementary medicine venture.
Dr. Fair retired from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center after 16 years. Dr. Fair held the Florence and Theodore Baumritter/Enid Ancell Chair of Urologic Oncology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC), where he served as Director of the John and Robert Bendheim Prostate Cancer Diagnostic Center. Formerly the Chief of Urologic Surgery at MSKCC, he was an Attending Surgeon in the Department of Urology at the time of his retirement. Dr. Fair was also Professor of Surgery (Urology) at Weill College of Medicine in New York. Dr. Fair held the title of Emeritus professor from Cornell University and Member Emeritus from the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
Dr. Fair received his bachelor’s degree at Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science and his medical degree at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia. He served as an intern and a general surgery resident in the Army at Fort Bragg, North Carolina and Fort Benning, Georgia. He received his Urology training at Stanford University Medical Center where he served as Associate Professor of Urology. He became the Chairman of the Division of Urology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, in 1975, prior to becoming the Chief of Urologic Surgery at MSKCC.
Dr. Fair was world renowned as a urologic oncologist and surgeon. He participated in numerous research protocols and had published extensively in the field of Urologic Oncology. Most recently, Dr. Fair’s interests had been in the areas of prostate cancer epidemiology and the role of diet and nutrition as etiologic factors, and in complementary medicine in the treatment of GU malignancies. The subject of profiles both in The New Yorker magazine and on NBC’s Dateline, Dr. Fair served on the Boards of Directors of the American Foundation for Urologic Disease and the Center for Mind-Body Medicine. He was Chairman of the American Urological Association’s Committee on Complementary and Alternative Medicine and was a member of the International Committee on Alternative and Complementary Medicine of the National Foundation for Alternative Medicine. He was a member of the National Institutes of Health’s Cancer Advisory Panel on Complementary and Alternative Medicine. He was recently appointed as a member of the White House Commission on Complementary and Alternative medicine. This committee is charged with making recommendations to the president of the United Stares, on health care policy as it relates to complementary medicine. He also served as Associate Editor of the journal Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine. He was co-editor in chief of Molecular Urology and on the Editorial Boards of six other respected peer-reviewed medical journals.
Peter John Caponegro, MD
It is my sad duty to report that Dr. Caponegro died on June 20, 2001 after an illness of several months. He had been associated with the SUNY Downstate Medical School and Kings County Hospital Center for 30 years.
Dr. Caponegro was born on December 2, 1932 in Brooklyn. He graduated from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts in 1954 and received his MD degree from Creighton University in 1958. His surgical training was extraordinary and he was eventually triply “Boarded” by the American Board of Surgery in 1965, by the American Board of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery in 1967, and by the American Board of Urology in 1976.
Dr. Caponegro was recruited as a resident in the Department of Urology by Dr. Keith Waterhouse in 1970 and completed his residency in 1973. He was appointed Clinical Assistant Professor at the SUNY Downstate Medical School and attending urologist at Kings County Hospital Center. He was appointed as Assistant Director of the Department of Urology in KCHC 1989 and Clinical Associate Professor at the SUNY Downstate Medical School in 1995. He received a certificate of appreciation on several occasions from KCHC for outstanding service and dedication as part of the annual Doctors’ Day Celebration. He maintained a private practice and hospitalized his patients at Wyckoff Heights Hospital in Brooklyn and St. John's Hospital in Elmhurst.
Dr. Caponegro was a true gentleman and his passing is a great loss to this department, this medical school, Kings County Hospital Center, and to me personally. He was a man of great integrity, exhibited sincere empathy for all his patients and held deep religious conviction. I have rarely seen a person bare the burden of such an illness, which he knew to be terminal, with such grace and acceptance of God’s will. He was an extremely loyal faculty member who educated three decades of Downstate medical students and residents including me. He possessed excellent surgical skills, the highest academic integrity and faithfully executed every request I made of him. Dr. Caponegro’s father and older brother were urologists as is his surviving brother, Robert.
—Richard J. Macchia, MD
Benjamin B.K. Peng, MD
Dr. Peng was born in China on June 11, 1920. He graduated from the Shanghai Tung-Nan Medical School in China in 1944. At the end of the Second World War, the wounded were still pouring into the Shanghai Army Hospital where he was a resident in general surgery with the rank of army major.
In 1949, he was fortunate enough to obtain one of the last visas to the United States before the Communists took total control of Shanghai. He parted with his family members at the pier in Shanghai in 1949. He was unable to see his brother again until 1986. Thirty-seven years later!
Being a foreign graduate, he had to repeat his internship training in the USA, which he did at the Samaritan Hospital in Troy, New York.
From 1951-1954, he served his residency in urology at New York University-Bellevue Medical Center. The famed Dr. Robert Hotchkiss was professor and chairman. He continued at NYU from 1954-1957 as research fellow. His MS-Urology was granted in 1959.
In 1958 at the joint meeting of the New York Society of the American Urological Association and the Section on Urology of the New York Academy of Medicine, he won the first prize for his essay on “Comparative Studies on Ureterorectal Sigmoidostomy, Uretero-ileal Sigmoidostomy and Uretero-ileocecal Sigmoidostomy”.
Dr. Frank Hamm, Professor & Chairman, Department of Urology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center, offered him a research fellowship on experimental induction of cancer in the bladders of animals from a joint 5 year award by the American Cancer Society and the National Institutes of Health.
He was appointed instructor in urology and attending urologist at Kings County Hospital Center in 1958.
He was a diplomat the American Board of Urology, a fellow of the American College of Surgeons and a member of the state and county medical societies and the AMA.
He was awarded second prize on laboratory research for “Experimental Studies on Surgical Anastomosis of Ureter and Bladder” at the Annual Meeting of the American Urological Association in 1962.
In 1966 his project “Experimental Induction of Bladder Cancer” was awarded second prize for laboratory research at the annual convention of the Medical Society of the State of New York and third prize at the Annual Meeting of the American Urological Association.
In 1970, he changed to part-time teaching at SUNY and Kings County and began a private practice, mainly in Chinatown. In the late 1970’s, he helped establish the Confucius Plaza Medical Group which provides multi-specialty services to the Chinese community.
From 1958 through 1988 he was the urologic surgeon every Thursday at Kings County Hospital Center for the Department of Urology serving under 3 chairmen: Drs. Frank Hamm, Keith Waterhouse and Richard J. Macchia.
He approached Dr. Macchia, the current Professor and Chairman and asked to be allowed to retire. Dr. Macchia did all in his power to induce him to change his mind. However, on June 30, 1988 his resignation was officially accepted. He continued in private practice. One of his sons, Benjamin C. H. Peng, MD, is a urologist in New York City. As part of the celebration of the life of “Ben Sr.”, “Ben Jr.” was invited to lecture at the urology departmental conference which he did on April 19, 1988.
On April 22, 1988 Dr. Macchia and the department hosted a testimonial dinner in honor of Dr. and Mrs. Peng at The University Club in New York City. Over 40 of his prior residents came from all over the country to join his other friends, current colleagues and family.
He died on August 9, 1993.
Dr. Peng was a talented urologist, a wonderful husband and father, a loyal faculty member, and modest and extraordinary gentleman.