Dr. Anibal F. Herrera, 78, internist, gastroenterologist

Anibal F. Herrera
Anibal F. Herrera
Posted: April 09, 2014

Anibal F. Herrera, 78, of Media, a physician who came to the United States from Cuba and practiced for more than three decades in the Philadelphia area, died Wednesday, April 2, of Lewy body dementia at Riddle Village.

Forced out by the Castro regime, Dr. Herrera arrived in Pennsylvania in 1960 with nothing but his clothes and an education. It was winter; he didn't have a coat, said his wife, the former Gail Bennett.

He was determined to build a new life and a career in America, his wife said. With hard work, he accomplished both, although he never spoke of it.

Dr. Herrera practiced internal medicine and gastroenterology from 1968 to 2000, when he retired. He maintained an office at 8 Morton Ave., Ridley Park.

He joined the staff at Presbyterian Hospital in 1967. Four years later, Dr. Herrera was hired by Taylor Hospital, where he opened the hospital's gastrointestinal unit in 1977.

Dr. Herrera also had staff privileges at Riddle Memorial, Crozer-Chester, and Roxborough Memorial hospitals. His family said in a tribute that he was remembered for his dedication to patients.

"His patients always came first," his wife said. "If they needed him in the night, he would go."

From 1985 to 1987, Dr. Herrera was medical chief of staff at Taylor.

Dr. Herrera was born in Havana and educated there. He received a medical degree from the University of Havana School of Medicine in 1960.

He married in 1963 and was the father of four children. In 1969, Dr. Herrera became a naturalized citizen.

He served an internship and residencies in Pittsburgh at St. Margaret Memorial Hospital and Mercy Hospital before moving to the Philadelphia area in 1965 to complete a fellowship in gastroenterology at Presbyterian Hospital. He was board certified in both internal medicine and gastroenterology.

Dr. Herrera was a fellow of the American College of Physicians and the American College of Gastroenterology, as well as a member of the Delaware Valley Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy and the Delaware County Medical Society.

In 1971, he contributed to an article in the bulletin of the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy. The study dealt with gastritis, an inflammation of the stomach lining. He also wrote chapters for medical textbooks.

Dr. Herrera was a churchgoing Catholic who enjoyed opera and pursued singing lessons in retirement. He collected historical and antique artifacts, and was well-read in world history.

In person, he was very private, with a subtle sense of humor. His patients regarded him as thoughtful and conscientious, his wife said.

Beside his wife, he is survived by sons, Bill, Andrew, and Jeffrey; daughter Elizabeth Sweeney; and six grandchildren.

A viewing will be at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, April 8, at St. Mary Magdalen Catholic Church, 2400 N. Providence Rd., Media, followed by a 10:30 Funeral Mass at the church. Interment is private.

Donations may be made to the Lewy Body Dementia Association Inc., 912 Killian Hill Rd. S.W., Lilburn, Ga. 30047, or by linking to www.lbda.org/go/donate.


bcook@phillynews.com

610-313-8102

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