A magazine for friends of the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.

In Memoriam


Jose Behar, MD, AGAF, died July 20. After earning his bachelor and medical degrees from the Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos in his native Peru, he came to the US to train in internal medicine at the Washington Hospital Center and Henry Ford Hospital. He completed his fellowship in gastroenterology at Boston City Hospital and began his career at Yale.

In 1975 he came to Brown and Rhode Island Hospital, where he cofounded the Gastrointestinal Motility Research Laboratory and helped build the gastroenterology fellowship training program. He also directed the Rhode Island Hospital Endoscopy Unit and served as gastroenterology division chief for several years.

Dr. Behar conducted groundbreaking research to understand gallbladder function and dysfunction. He authored more than 200 peer-reviewed publications and was a continuously RO1-funded researcher for 30 years. He also was a dedicated teacher who trained a generation of academic and clinical gastroenterologists and postdoctoral researchers in his laboratory.

Dr. Behar is survived by his two children.

Carmine J. Capalbo ’48 RES’58, GP’11, MD, died October 3. Dr. Capalbo graduated from Classical High School and was recruited at 18 years old into the US Army during World War II. Trained as a medical corpsman, he served initially in the European Theater Operation before moving to the Pacific Front until the end of the war.

Dr. Capalbo received his medical degree from Georgetown in 1952 and completed a surgery residency at Rhode Island Hospital, where he remained on the surgical staff for 46 years. He also was a clinical associate professor of surgery at Brown. He thoroughly enjoyed patient care and clinical practice. Upon his retirement from University Surgical Associates, he said his greatest pleasure had been working and learning with the fine young surgical staff members he trained over the years.

He is survived by his five children and eight grandchildren.

Ralph P. Miech, MD, PhD, died October 10. An associate professor emeritus of medical science in the Department of Molecular Pharmacology, Physiology, and Biotechnology, he graduated from Marquette University and Marquette School of Medicine and earned a PhD in pharmacology from the University of Wisconsin.

Dr. Miech came to Brown in 1963 to help establish the Medical School, where he taught and conducted research until 2000. An emergency physician at Landmark Hospital for many decades, he served on the Ethics Committee at the former St. Joseph’s Hospital and was past president of the Rhode Island Cancer Pain Institute and the Providence Diocese’s Biomedical Ethics Commission, and was a founding member of the Coalition of Americans for Research Ethics. He received the People of Life Award from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Dr. Miech is survived by his wife of 63 years, Elizabeth Miech; five children; 12 grandchildren; and two great-granddaughters. Contributions in his memory can be made to Mathewson Foundation or Spar Hawk Academy.

Jack H. Ruddell ’17 MD’21 died November 1. As part of the Program in Liberal Medical Education, he earned an AB in economics magna cum laude. A gifted researcher, he was working on a project in the Department of Orthopaedics on the impact of post-operative opioid dosing on long-term opioid use in patients following joint arthroscopy. He was co- or lead author of more than 20 publications.

Having met the requirements for graduation from The Warren Alpert Medical School, Jack will be posthumously awarded his Doctorate of Medicine with his graduating class.

He is survived by his parents, his two brothers, and many friends and classmates. Donations can be made in his memory to The Warren Alpert Medical School Humanities and Ethics fund at brown.edu/go/JackRuddell.

David C. Lewis ’57, MD, P’84, P’87, died December 2. A pioneer in the medical field of addiction, he was a professor emeritus of community health and medicine and the Donald G. Millar Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Alcohol and Addiction Studies at Brown. Throughout his career he advocated for compassionate and scientifically appropriate treatment for addiction, and proper training for all physicians.

Born in Hartford, CT, Dr. Lewis earned his MD at Harvard, where he trained in internal medicine and began his career. He came to Brown in 1976, chairing the Department of Community Health and, in 1982, founding the Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies, which he led for 18 years.

Dr. Lewis founded Physicians and Lawyers for National Drug Policy, a think tank advocating for prevention and treatment over incarceration for substance use disorders, and served on the boards of the Drug Policy Foundation, the Coalition on Physician Education in Substance Use Disorders, and other organizations. He advised political leaders and philanthropists on addiction, and authored more than 400 publications.

A lifelong lover of photography, Dr. Lewis traveled the world extensively with his wife of 57 years, Eleanor, for adventure and photo opportunities. His children and grandchildren were the light of his life. From singing songs to telling stories, he loved nothing more than being with family.

Dr. Lewis is survived by children Deborah Lewis ’84 and Steven Lewis ’87; four grandchildren; and two nephews and their children. Contributions in his memory may be made to the New Israel Fund, PO Box 177, Lewiston, ME 04243.


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