When Hurricane Floyd's flood waters swamped Manville, New
Jersey, last September, UMDNJ-NJDS alumnus Roman Hnatiw's home
was in the path of the deluge. Roman's collection of vacuum tube
radios and phonographs, which he had personally restored, was
In December, his family suffered a far greater loss. Roman succumbed
to cancer at the age of 48.
A member of the Class of 1976, Roman was unique. He personified
what a health care
professional should be. He was a credit to himself, his family,
his school, and his profession.
After graduation, Roman practiced for about five years in Chicago
prior to returning to his roots in New Jersey. He divided his
time between his private practice in Manville and his teaching
at NJDS, where he was an associate professor in the Department
of General Dentistry and Community Health. "Roman was a
good soul," says Dr. Michael Sanders, his department chairman.
"He made a point of giving a lot of himself." And Roman
had the respect of his students and his colleagues. "He
was just a nice guy, a basic, straightforward individual who
loved to help people," recalls Dr. Raymond Rossi ('84).
Roman's quality of magnanimity was most apparent in Manville,
where he served a multicultural community. With his linguistic
abilities, he was able to converse with his patients in German,
Polish, or Ukrainian. Roman provided care to this diverse population
regardless of their ability to pay. He just took care of their
needs and hoped for the best. His benevolence was intercontinental
as well. Roman made regular trips to the Ukraine, where he volunteered
his dental treatment to the needy.
In this age of the "me first" attitude, Roman offered
a view of humanity only a few achieve. He was someone the alumni
could boast about and attempt to emulate. We have lost one of
Arthur J. Crosta, D.M.D. ('67), Editor
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