Richard J. Pogach, 32, Pediatrician

Posted: November 24, 1996

Richard J. Pogach, 32, a pediatrician and internist who served the poor in a Harlem clinic, died in New York's Beth Israel Hospital on Friday after a five-month battle with cancer.

Dr. Pogach, who was born and reared in Northeast Philadelphia, graduated from George Washington High School there and earned honors at Brandeis University and Temple University Medical School.

``He was a courageous kid,'' said his father, Barry. ``He came back once before and he fought this one to the end.''

At age 16, Dr. Pogach was stricken with Hodgkin's disease, his father said, but recovered and continued to star in the classroom, graduating ninth in his class of nearly 1,000 students at George Washington.

He graduated summa cum laude from Brandeis in 1990, and after four years of medical school at Temple, he completed his residency at Christiana Medical Center in Wilmington.

In 1994, Dr. Pogach went to New York City and worked at the Settlement Health Clinic in Harlem. He also was on the staff of Beth Israel Hospital in New York.

Dr. Pogach exercised, jogged and played golf. In May, he participated in the 10-mile Broad Street Run, and the next month experienced a discomfort in his neck.

``He thought he had pulled a muscle,'' his father said, ``and underwent therapy.''

But further examination disclosed the presence of a tumor that proved to be cancerous. He continued to show up at the clinic, but in July, his duties were confined to reviewing charts and working as an attending physician. But weakened by treatments, he was forced to give up his work after about a month.

Dr. Pogach's hobbies also included cooking and baking, his father said. He used to concoct gourmet desserts for the family. He was an aficionado of home-brew beer and often would attend conventions of amateur beer makers so he could improve on his own brews.

Besides his father, Dr. Pogach is survived by his mother, Roberta Perlin Pogach; a brother, David; a sister, Susan Levitus; and his grandfather, Sydney Perlin.

Services will be held at noon tomorrow at Goldsteins' Rosenberg's Raphael-Sacks, 310 Second Street Pike, Southampton. Burial will be at Roosevelt Memorial Park, Trevose.

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