Dr. Daniel H. Present
Time of Service:
12 noon, Thursday, January 14, 2016
Place of Service:
Riverside Memorial Chapel
Mt. Hebron Cemetery, Flushing, NY
A brilliant, creative, and abundantly loved giant has left us. Dr. Daniel H. Present, born April 3rd
1934, passed away on January 12th from complication of Parkinson's Disease. He was 81 years
His passing will be deeply mourned by Jane Werner Present, his wife, partner, lover and best
friend of more than 59 years, his three children, their spouses, and four grandchildren Tracy
Present, Stephanie, Michael, Billy and Katherine Podolak, Douglas, Susan, Adam and Margot
Present, and his sister Judy Present Liss; his friends, associates and the thousands of lives he
touched during his 50 years of practice.
Dan graduated from Syracuse University magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa in 1955 and State
University of New York Downstate College of Medicine, magna cum laude, in 1959. He
completed an internship, medical residency, Gastroenterology residency and GI Fellowship at
Mt. Sinai Hospital, and entered private practice in 1964 where he quickly began to focus his
attention on the management of Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. He Was the recipient of
the first research award given by the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America.
Dan brought clinical trials into clinical practice. His first paper was accepted for publication in
1966. He subsequently published 329 papers, At the time of his retirement his publications
had been cited more than 15,000 times.
During his 54 years at Mt. Sinai he served as President of both the Association of the Attending
Staff and the Alumni Association for which he received the coveted Jacobi Medallion for
Conspicuous Service to the Alumni.
Dan received every award in his field including the Samuel Bronfman Department of Medicine
Distinguished Service Award, The American Gastroenterology Association Distinguished
Clinician Award, Master of the American College of Gastroenterology, The William Dock, MD
Master Teacher Award in Medicine State University of New York, the Janssen Award for
Outstanding Achievement Award in Clinical Gastroenterology, the Crohn's' and Colitis
Foundation of America Lifetime Achievement Award and the George Arents Award for
Excellence in Medicine, the highest achievement awarded by Syracuse University.
He is generally recognized as having pioneered the way Crohn's disease is treated.
More than any recognition, Dan loved taking care of his patients. He loved them and they
returned that love many times over. His joy came from sparing his patients the pain,
discomfort, and humiliation of inflammatory bowel disease by finding the right combination of
medications and thoughtful creativity. He fought against surgery if there was a possible medical
solution. He talked with his patients for many more hours than any HMO would have allowed.
He sat at their bedside and visited them late at night, he celebrated when they felt better,
Nothing made him happier than a college student being able to return to school, or a young
adult feeling well enough to plan a wedding or bear a child. He loved teaching young
Gastroenterologists and along with a grateful patient created the Present-Levison fourth year
fellowship in Clinical GI, which allowed the brightest young men and women to spend a postgraduate
year learning clinical GI at Mt. Sinai. These fellows now care for IBD patients all over
Contributions in Dan's memory may be made to the Present-Levison Fellowship at Mt. Sinai,
and sent to the Division of Gastroenterology, Mt. Sinai Hospital, Box 1069, New York, New