Dr. Nathaniel Selleck

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Selleck, Dr. Nathaniel
Dr. Nathaniel Selleck, 85, died Wednesday, December 11, 2013 at his home in Keene, NY. He was born in Danbury, Connecticut on March 20. 1928. After graduating from Danbury High School in 1945 at the age of 17, he enlisted in the Army and was sent to the University of Minnesota where he learned to speak Japanese. He spent one year as chief clerk in the Executive Officer's office in the Manila branch of the War Crimes Trials in the Philippine Islands. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree with high honors from the University of Connecticut in 1951. He received his Doctorate in Medicine from the State University of New York, Downstate, in Brooklyn, New York in 1955.
Dr. Selleck's father and grandfather, both named Nathaniel, were also physicians, and both practiced general medicine in Danbury.
Dr. Selleck's mother was the former Marion Porter. His mother and father were divorced when he was 13 years old. Dr. Selleck married Ruth Thyberg in 1949; and was the father of four splendid children: Barbara Jean Selleck, MSM, born in 1954, Nancy Gail Selleck, PhD, born in 1956, Nathaniel Selleck, J.D., born in 1957, and Kathryn Ann Shea, J.D., born in 1958.
After a one-year internship at Danbury Hospital Dr. Selleck practiced general medicine from 1956 to 1961. He served as Secretary of the Medical Staff for three years. In 1961 he returned to New York City for three years of residency training, the first two years at Bellevue Hospital and the third at the Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center. His internal medicine training focused on pulmonary and cardiac diseases. He practiced Internal Medicine in Danbury from 1964 to 1970. From 1967 to 1970 Dr. Selleck served as the elected Chairman of the Medical Department at the Hospital. It was during these years that Dr. Selleck and Dr. Nilo Herrera led the successful effort to change the Medical Staff By-laws to allow for Chairmen of Clinical Departments to be appointed by the Board of Trustees rather than elected by physicians in a particular department. Thus, in 1970 the Department of Medicine became the first clinical department to have full-time Chairmen appointed by the Board of Trustees. This opened the way for the other clinical Departments of Surgery, Obstetrics, Pediatrics, and Psychiatry to follow suit. Dr. Selleck was married to Barbara Stout from 1965 to 1976 when they were divorced.
In 1970 Dr. Selleck again relinquished his Internal Medicine Practice to join the Danbury Hospital Staff as Director of Ambulatory Services. In the early 1970's, he spearheaded the drive to create two new departments of the Medical Staff, a Department of Psychiatry and a Department of Dentistry. One of the reasons for developing these departments was to provide appropriate supervision for the Mental Health Clinic and the General Dentistry Clinic that Dr. Selleck was establishing. During the 1970's federal and state grants were available, and Dr. Selleck obtained well over a million dollars to help set up over thirty clinics. Some clinics such as Pediatric Surgery and Genetics were highly specialized, and Dr. Selleck was able to arrange for Yale physicians to visit Danbury periodically to staff them. Dr. Selleck was an Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine on the faculty at Yale; and, in addition to teaching physical diagnosis to second year medical students, he was preceptor for several groups of students from the Yale School of Public Health who were assigned full-semester research projects at the Danbury Hospital. During the years he was at the hospital and until his retirement Dr. Selleck continued to see a small coterie of his private patients who were elderly or infirm, and he continued to make house calls. In 1981 Dr. Selleck and Emily Lanier were married. Their son, Jefferson Lanier Selleck, born in October, 1981, is a graduate of Cornell University. While at the hospital during the years 1985 through 1990, Dr. Selleck had developed an Outpatient program which he named Corporate Health Care, a physician-centered managed care program. The provision of good medical care and seeing that employees went back to work safely and in a timely fashion was valuable to corporate employers. The program met with considerable success. After twenty years at the hospital Dr. Selleck resigned and opened a private office with his wife, Emily, a Physician Assistant, in Danbury in 1990 for the practice of Occupational Medicine which they continued until their retirement in January, 1997. In June of 1997, Dr. Selleck, Emily and Jefferson moved from Redding, Connecticut to Keene, New York in the Adirondack Mountains. Dr. Selleck continued to be active in his retirement, serving on the Boards of the Essex County Public Health Department and the Essex County Community Services, the Board of Trustees of the Keene Valley Neighborhood House, and as Chairman of the Ethics Committee at Adirondack Medical Center in Saranac Lake, NY for several years.
He is survived by his wife, Emily; five children; and five grandchildren: Kristen Leah Selleck, Nora Shea, Margaret Shea, Nathaniel Selleck, and William Selleck. He is also survived by his brother, Robert Selleck, his niece, Kristy Iorfino, and three half siblings: JoAnn Carnahan, MSN, David Selleck, D.V.M., and Cindy Selleck, PhD.
There are no Calling Hours. A Graveside Service will be held at the convenience of the family. The M. B. Clark, Inc. Funeral Home in Lake Placid, NY is in charge of arrangements. In lieu of flowers the family suggests "open your hearts and minds" to High Peaks Hospice.
Relatives and friends are invited to "light a candle" and share a memory or leave online condolences at www.mbclarkfuneralhome.com .

Funeral Home
M B Clark Inc Funeral Home
2310 Saranac Ave Lake Placid, NY 12946
(518) 523-3337
Funeral Home Details
Published in News Times on Dec. 15, 2013
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