Margaret Heagarty, Champion for Children’s Health in Harlem, Dies at 88

“There are occasions when my wards look more like a battlefield than a pediatric device,” Dr. Heagarty the moment wrote.

But if caring for Harlem’s kids was a struggle, she was an unrelenting fighter.

She aided decrease the hospital’s infant mortality amount to the New York Metropolis norm. To care for little ones with AIDS, she, alongside with Msgr. Tom Leonard, Sister Una McCormack and the genuine estate developer and philanthropist Jack Rudin, launched Incarnation Children’s Center. She also founded a community of 5 neighborhood satellite well being clinics in Harlem and a team home for H.I.V.-infected small children.

In 1989, she escorted Princess Diana on a tour of the hospital’s pediatric AIDS unit, an function depicted in the Netflix sequence “The Crown.” The princess was quoted as asking, “When you have a trouble with the medications, how on earth do you deal with AIDS as effectively?”

Her reaction, Dr. Nicholas recalled, was: “It is poor enough to have a deadly sickness, but with poverty and prescription drugs, you have a quite terrible issue indeed. It is uncomplicated to say that these moms are irresponsible, but however, I have witnessed them grieving about their dying kids. These mothers enjoy their small children the similar as you enjoy your small princes.”

In 1993, Dr. Heagarty, who was also a professor of pediatrics at Columbia University, been given a Ronald McDonald Property Charities award of $100,000. She donated it to the Harlem Medical center pediatrics device.

Dr. Heagarty never ever married. In addition to Mr. Burgan, her survivors include things like quite a few nieces and nephews.

Dr. Heagarty’s strategy could be unorthodox, her method blunt. Dr. Nicholas recalled that when Dr. Heagarty was president of the hospital’s medical board from 1992 to 1995, she strongly disagreed with a new department director, who was Black.

The director turned to a Columbia dean, Dr. Nicholas recalled, and asked, “Is Dr. Heagarty racist?”

“Oh, no,” the dean replied. “Dr. Heagarty’s not racist. She treats all people that way.”