Frank Moya, MD devoted father, friend, renowned anesthesiologist, philanthropist and educator passed away on August 30, 2021 at age 92. He was a man of many accomplishments and generosity who loved his large extended family, loved to travel and also loved his work.
Frank was a man of great integrity and love. He was born in January 1929 in New York City and raised in the Bronx. He was generous, curious and quiet by nature; a thinker and a doer.
Professionally, he had a long career in academic medicine and continuing medical education. He was an anesthesiologist, pain management physician, mentor, philanthropist, and businessman. He graduated from SUNY Downstate Medical Center in New York City and then proudly served in the U.S. Navy. Afterwards he joined the faculty of Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center and then, in 1962, at the age of 33, moved to Miami to join the University of Miami Medical School as Professor and Chairman of the Department of Anesthesiology. He was the youngest Department Chair in the country at that time, also spending a year as the Acting Dean of the University of Miami Medical School. He next became Chairman of the Department of Anesthesiology at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach, a position he held for 27 years, before retiring from medicine and clinical teaching.
Frank’s accomplishments were numerous and impressive, including his service as President of three prestigious organizations in the world of Anesthesia: the Society of Academic Anesthesiology Chairmen (SAAC, 1969-1970), the Association of University Anesthesiologists (AUA, 1972-1973), and the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA, 1974-1975). He was also widely recognized for his research in obstetric anesthesia, the placental barrier and newborn physiology, much of which he worked on alongside his mentor, colleague and friend, Dr. Virginia Apgar.
Frank was an educator at heart. In 1964, he founded the continuing medical education programs, Current Reviews in Clinical Anesthesia, for anesthesiologists, Current Reviews for Nurse Anesthetists, and 3 annual anesthesia seminars, all of which are still ongoing today. He also funded the establishment of the first school for nurse anesthetists in the State of Florida, at Barry University. In addition to continuing medical education, in 1984 — when anesthesiologists were facing crippling malpractice insurance rates — he led the founding of the first self-insured malpractice insurance company for anesthesiologists, Anesthesiologists Professional Assurance Company (APAC).
Although his professional accomplishments were many, what Frank most wanted to be remembered for was using his success to “give back to those institutions, communities and people who were good to [him],” and he was a major benefactor to well over 30 institutions and communities. A special one, for him, was his endowment of a scholarship fund for minorities at the SUNY Downstate Medical Center, in recognition of the opportunity that his alma mater had given him when he was just starting out.
Finally, Frank’s greatest joys in life, especially in his later years, came from the time he spent with his large extended family and some of his oldest friends. Dolphin games, University of Miami football games, annual Christmas family reunions and Sunday night family dinners were some of the constants in his life. He and a few of his oldest friends called themselves “The Bucketeers” and organized annual trips to far-flung places on the globe. In fact, travel was his greatest life-long passion, and he made sure to do a lot of that with his family, his grandchildren and the Bucketeers. From the Arctic Circle to African Safaris, he loved it all.
Frank had a long life extraordinarily well-lived. For all his family, his friends, his colleagues, and his world-wide admirers, Frank Moya, MD will be dearly and forever missed but will always serve as the consummate role model.
A private memorial service will be held at a later time at Frank’s beloved second home in Maine, appropriately named “Tranquility”.
Frank is survived by his six children, son Richard F. Moya (Margo Emrich); son Jonathon J. Moya (Kristen Otto); son Thomas Casey Moya; daughter Maria C. Moya; daughter Elizabeth M. Moya (Adam Sakran); son Frank Moya III (Lee Kloby); 7 grandchildren Michelle Emrich, Rebecca Kelly-Moya, Frank Moya IV, Miranda Noel, Anthony Moya, Isabella Sakran, Addison Sakran; 1 great-grandson Tahj Barlow-Moya; his former wife Betty Moya; long-time partner Joan McNulty and her children Barbara, Lynn, Bill, and 4 grandchildren; and long-time assistant Gwyneth Clarke-Bell.
Frank is also survived by his siblings Frank de los Reyes, Jr., Connie Moya, Anita Moya Pendas, Frank X. Moya, Bobby Moya; nephew Bobby Baumker (Cindy Baumker); and niece Teresa Lazewski.