Mark Warren Babyatsky, M.D.(June 29, 1959 – August 25, 2014)
The untimely passing of my brother, Dr. Mark Babyatsky will remain one of his family’s greatest personal losses. To us, his family, he was warm, caring, playful, and gifted in so many different ways. Mark was well read in all genres, the arts, theatre, and politics. He enjoyed debating with anyone fool enough to start an argument about the next election or Hollywood’s Academy Awards in almost every category and year. Mark was well rounded in all his varied interests.
Education was a priority in our Bronx working class family. It was virtually predetermined at a young age that Mark was going to excel in all his studies, and ultimately become a doctor. Mark attended Bronx HS of Science, Columbia College, received his MD degree from Albert Einstein College of Medicine in 1984 and completed his internal medicine residency and chief residency at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Mark was recruited to Mass General Hospital for a GI fellowship program. Later on, Mark returned to Mount Sinai for Gastroenterology, rising in 2010 to become Chair of the Samuel Bronfman Department of Medicine. In this capacity, Mark ‘s expertise in the health care reforms allowed him to make major strides in the educational , research missions of the Department, and patient relationships. In 2014, he assumed new challenges as the Chair of Medicine at Monmouth Medical Center, St. Barnabas Medical Group.
Throughout his career, Mark was a distinguished physician, well recognized for his work nationally, receiving many honors and scholarship awards. He exhibited strong leadership skills, developing several research initiatives as a Director of the Education Research Consortium of Program Directors, working with the American College of Physicians. He published a defining textbook in the Genomics field, intended to educate physicians and trainees on how to apply genetics-era medicine to real world medicine. He was particularly concerned about passing on the ethical nature of medicine.
Mark’s love of learning was equally matched with his unique gift of teaching and mentoring, recognized in awards at the Medical School. Many of residents, now physicians in their own right have filled pages in tributes to Mark for his teaching and mentoring prowess always conducted with a gentle and kind touch. Mark had a caring and compassionate personality. He respected his patients, his residents, his colleagues and all he came in contact with. As a son of a Holocaust survivor, Mark developed programs to educate medical students and physicians about the atrocities of that era. Since 2004, he served on the Board of Directors of The Blue Card, an organization whose mission is to provide funds to Holocaust survivors in need. Paralleling his move in this direction, Mark met a holocaust survivor (Irene Hizme) who had had performed medical experiments on her and her twin brother, Rene by Josef Mengele. Irene needed a medical procedure but given the trauma she experienced during the holocaust, she was refusing treatment. Mark was able to gain Irene’s trust which ultimately saved her life. Mark and Irene remained close friends until Mark’s passing.
Mark had more challenges he was looking forward to solving in the future. Mark leaves a truly impressive legacy to his family, his friends, his colleagues, his patients, and future physicians. He was successful as a physician, an educator, a mentor, an innovator, and as a leader.