Philip Pollner, MD
March 27, 1939 - July 15, 2018
The world lost a great man, activist, and physician on July 15. Dr. Philip Pollner devoted his life to the disenfranchised and needy. Soon after his residency, inspired by the life and legacy of Bobby Kennedy, he braved blatant racism to lead a team of healthcare professionals and volunteers toHolmes County, Mississippi, to open and operate a free healthcare clinic for the underserved population there. Returning north several years later, hefounded a community health clinic in Middletown DE, where none existed at the time.Then hestarted his private practice in Elkton, MD, before moving it to Newark, DE. Hewas a pillar of the community, charging less for an office visit than most people pay for a haircut, and sometimes treating patients for free if their insurance failed to cover what was needed. Not interested in amassing personal wealth, he wanted to use his training and uncanny knack for diagnosis to ease suffering.
As a member of Physicians for Social Responsibility, Philshared in receiving the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize for his work educating world leaders and the public on the realities of nuclear proliferation. He organized the Delaware Alliance for Healthcare, and tirelessly fought to make healthcare for all a fundamental human right. And in 2014, he and his wife, Nancy, were prominent and outspoken participants in the victory to keep a power plant from being erected in Newark. He stood for peace, environmental justice, and single-payer healthcare, and he leaves us with many of his hopes for humanity still unrealized. But we are all better for his efforts. He will remain an inspiration and a symbol of the fight for right and the hope for positive change.
Son of Andrew and Rose, brother of Martin, he is survived by his wife, Nancy; children, Neil (Tori), Lara (Brian), and Andrew; step-daughters, Rachel and Sarah (Marc); and nine grandchildren, Natalie, Natasia, Tatiana, Sophia, Zia, Naomi, Jake, Gabrielle, and Isabella.
A visitation for family and friends will be held from 10 am until 11 am on Monday, July 23, 2018 at First Presbyterian Church of Newark, 292 W. Main Street, Newark, DE, where a funeral service will begin at 11 am. Interment will follow at Lower Brandywine Cemetery, 117 Old Kennett Road, Wilmington, DE.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Union of Concerned Scientists, 2 Brattle Square, Cambridge, MA 02138 or Greenpeace, 702 H Street, NW, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20001.