Gerald Katz, 74, of Chestnut Hill, a health-care consultant and hospital administrator, died Feb. 18 of lung disease at Kindred Hospital in Havertown.
At the time of his death Mr. Katz was chairman of the board of trustees at Chestnut Hill Hospital.
He had started two health-care consulting firms in the Philadelphia area. The first was acquired by KPMG Peat Marwick, and the second was purchased by Kurt Salmon Associates.
Mr. Katz was an administrator at Einstein Medical Center and the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania before he was named president of St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in Philadelphia.
He joined the Chestnut Hill Hospital board in 2010 after volunteering with the Green Tree Community Health Foundation, which nominates one member of the hospital board.
Dr. John Cacciamani, CEO of Chestnut Hill Hospital, said Mr. Katz “had a profound amount of experience and a tremendous amount of insight into the marketplace.”
“I was blessed to have him as a chair and a mentor for the time he was with us,” Cacciamani said. “He will be greatly missed.”
Raised in Bayonne, N.J., Mr. Katz worked as a hospital cashier to help pay for his undergraduate tuition at Rutgers University. After earning a master’s degree in public health at the University of Pittsburgh, he moved to Saskatchewan just as Canada was implementing its national health plan. This experience led to his firm belief in universal access to medical care.
After serving with the U.S. Public Health Service, he held leadership positions at Beth Israel Hospital in New York and Long Island Jewish Medical Center before moving to Philadelphia in 1971.
During his career, he consulted with more than 400 hospitals and helped plan 15 hospital mergers.
A longtime resident of Chestnut Hill, Mr. Katz decorated the walls of his home with Italian futurist lithographs and images of Joe DiMaggio, his sports hero. He remained a devoted Yankees fan decades after leaving New York.
He is survived by his wife of 26 years, Ellen Magen; a son, Andrew; daughters Jessica and Phoebe; a sister; four grandchildren, and his first wife, Linda Soren.
A funeral was held Feb. 20 at Goldsteins’ Rosenbergs’ RaphaelSacks in Philadelphia, with interment in Roosevelt Memorial Park. – WF