SAMUEL CASSELL

Obituary
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CASSELL--Dr. Samuel A. Retired internist who helped found a free healthcare center for uninsured, working poor in Bergen County, NJ, died peacefully on January 7, 2019, in Wyckoff, NJ after a 16 month battle with glioblastoma. He was 87. Born and raised in New York City, he went to Brooklyn Tech High School, received a BA from Cornell University and an MD from Albany Medical College. After a residency in Internal Medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, he married Carol Margaretten and joined Barnert Hospital and a private practice, in Paterson. In 1975 he trained in Fiberoptic Bronchoscopy at Mt. Sinai Hospital and was a leader in the application of fiber optics in pulmonary medicine in Passaic and Bergen Counties. He served as Chief of Staff and Chairman of the Dept of Medicine at Barnert Hospital, and as President of the Passaic County Chapter of the American Heart Association. He was a longtime clinical instructor at UMDNJ. After retiring from 40 years in private practice and as an attending physician at Valley Hospital in Ridgewood, Cassell joined a medical mission to Haiti that enlightened him to the idea of how medical volunteers could address the needs of the uninsured, working class. In 2004, he amassed a collective of doctors, representatives of local community service agencies, and local hospitals, and founded a nonprofit organization based on the model Volunteers in Medicine, a national organization of free clinics. In December 2009, his vision came to realization when Bergen Volunteer Medical Initiative opened in Hackensack. In 2013 he was recognized at the New Jersey Governor's Jefferson Awards for Public Service for extraordinary service to his community. In 2014 he was presented with the Jack B. McConnell, MD Award for Excellence in Volunteerism at the annual meeting of the AMA in grateful recognition of outstanding dedication and commitment as founder of BVMI. He was an avid sailor who enjoyed racing Sea Castle on the Long Island Sound with a dedicated crew, continuing to sail post- surgery. He also enjoyed bridge, pastels and Judaic studies. He had a gift for touching all who crossed his path in life. Samuel Abraham Cassell was born February 8, 1931. He was predeceased by his father, Benjamin H. Cohen, mother, Beatrice Cassell and beloved sister, Lenore Felix. Dr. Cassell is survived by his wife of 55 years, Carol (nee Margaretten); children, Susanna Kopchains husband, Robert S. Kopchains; and David Cassell, wife, Charisse (nee Prado); grandchildren Benjamin and Emily Kopchains, Frances and Oona Cassell, and many loving cousins, nieces, nephews and family. Service will be Friday, January 11, 10am at Barnert Temple, Franklin Lakes, NJ. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to BVMI.

Religious Service Information
Barnert Memorial Temple
747 RT-208
Franklin Lakes, NJ 07417
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Published in The New York Times on Jan. 10, 2019
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