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UHS honors memory of Dr. Francis Gilroy

May 07, 2024

He was known and respected throughout the Greater Binghamton community as a distinguished ophthalmologist and as one of the founding leaders of the UHS healthcare system.  Francis J. “Frank” Gilroy, MD, had a profound effect on healthcare in the Southern Tier region and on the culture of UHS in particular. 

Reflecting his close ties to UHS and UHS Binghamton General Hospital many years ago, he established the Francis J. Gilroy, MD, Fund with the UHS Foundation to support immediate needs within the UHS System.  Following his retirement, the Doctors’ Auditorium at UHS Binghamton General was renamed the Francis J. Gilroy, MD, Auditorium in recognition of his contributions to medical and surgical care and leadership in the region.

Dr. Gilroy passed away on April 26, 2024.  He will always hold a place of honor within UHS and the UHS Foundation.  Born and raised in Binghamton, Dr. Gilroy received a bachelor’s degree in biology from St. Bonaventure University in 1953, and his medical education at Georgetown University and the University of Pennsylvania.  He served his internship at D.C. General Hospital in Washington, D.C., and his residency in ophthalmology at the Graduate Hospital at Penn.  He entered the U.S. Army Medical Corps as a captain and, while on active duty, served as the chief of ophthalmology at Kimbrough Army Hospital in Fort Meade, Md.  He returned to Binghamton in 1964 and practiced ophthalmology here for 43 years before retiring in 2007.

Dr. Gilroy was president of the medical staff of Binghamton General Hospital prior to the formation of UHS, becoming the first president of the medical staff of the newly minted United Health Services (UHS) in 1981.  He was instrumental in leading the effort to consolidate and incorporate the three independent hospitals—Binghamton General, Wilson and Ideal—into one organization, and to combine their medical staffs.  He became chairman of the Board of Directors of UHS Inc.  During his career he served in a number of other key capacities, including:  chairman of the Binghamton General Hospital Foundation, chairman of the board of the Hospital Trustees of New York State, president of the Broome County Medical Society and president of the New York State Ophthalmological Society.  He was the ophthalmology delegate to the Medical Society of the State of New York and a councilor of the House of Delegates of the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

In 1978 Dr. Gilroy was a member of the original curriculum committee that developed the Clinical Campus at Binghamton of Upstate Medical University, and directed its department of ophthalmology for 30 years. In 2008, he received the Distinguished Teaching Award from Upstate Medical University and retired as emeritus clinical professor of ophthalmology.

In the Southern Tier community, Dr, Gilroy chaired the boards of the Broome County Chamber of Commerce and Southern Tier Advisory Board of Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield.  He was a member of the board of Endicott Trust Bank, the advisory board of M&T Bank-Southern Region, and the boards of the Blind Work Association (now AVRE) and Broome County Community Charities.

In 2000 Dr. Gilroy began painting, studying under several master artists at the Lighthouse Center for the Arts in Florida.  Knowledgeable about the medical history of the Southern Tier, he was the author of a book, “Reflections on Medicine in Broome County,” published in 2006 during the bicentennial celebration of the Broome County Medical Society.  Dr. Gilroy is survived by his wife, Joyce (Daniels) Gilroy, and their three children:  Michael F., Thomas E. and Linda G. (Gilroy) Foster; eight grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. 

If you would like to make a gift to the UHS Foundation in Dr. Gilroy’s memory, visit nyuhs.org/give-back.