B. Franklin Diamond, 69, of Rydal, a neurologist, died of a stroke Tuesday, May 17, at Abington Memorial Hospital, where he had established the first accredited Acute Care Stroke Center in Pennsylvania.
Dr. Diamond, who established the center in 1998, had recently developed, with the Montgomery County Second Alarmers Rescue Squad, an innovative stroke protocol.
The protocol was used when the rescue squad arrived at Dr. Diamond's home. It assures that stroke patients receive immediate treatment when they reach the hospital. Several of the rescue squad medics said Dr. Diamond had made them a crucial part of the medical team, saving stroke victims, said his wife, Martha Stern Diamond.
Rescue squad members and Dr. Diamond explained their protocol to attendees at the International Stroke Conference in Los Angeles in February.
Since 1974, Dr. Diamond had been a senior neurologist at Abington Memorial, where he served as chief of neurology from 1993 to 2007. In 1987, he and Dr. Albert Wagmen developed the Sleep Disorder Center at Abington. He remained a director of the sleep and stroke centers.
A leader in the movement to reform medical malpractice insurance in Pennsylvania, Dr. Diamond had led demonstrations on Route 611 in front of the hospital with fellow Abington physicians to protest rising insurance rates.
"Frank was a classically trained neurologist who remained an ardent and lifelong learner," said John Kelly, chief of staff at Abington Memorial. "He was passionate about providing always the best in neurological care and for raising the bar for stroke care across the Delaware Valley."
Dr. Diamond grew up in Merrick, N.Y. He earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a medical degree from the University of Pittsburgh. He completed a residency in neurology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York.
From 1972 to 1974, he served as a medical officer in the Air Force at Sheppard Air Force Base in Wichita Falls, Texas.
A talented pianist, Dr. Diamond collected manuscripts, signed letters, photographs, and other memorabilia from Jewish composers and artifacts related to music in general. In 1995, he curated an exhibit from his collection at Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel in Elkins Park. He also wrote an extensive, scholarly catalog for the exhibit that included composers of classical music, show tunes, jazz, and film scores.
Dr. Diamond was on the board of Keneseth Israel and the Settlement Music School.
He and his wife met as freshmen at Penn and married in 1966. They shared a love for decorative arts, travel, music, and theater. He played tennis with his daughter Stephanie and son Elliot and pursued an interest in photography with his son.
His son also accompanied him several times on the Multiple Sclerosis 150 Bike Ride from Philadelphia to Ocean City, N.J. Dr. Diamond had participated on the round-trip ride for the last 17 years.
In addition to his wife and children, Dr. Diamond is survived by a sister and brother.
The funeral will be at 11 a.m. Friday, May 20, at Goldstein's Rosenbergs' Raphael-Sacks Memorial Chapel, 6410 N. Broad St. Burial will be in Montefiore Cemetery, Jenkintown. Five vehicles from the Montgomery County Second Alarmers Rescue Squad will be in the procession to the cemetery.
Memorial donations may be made to the Stroke Center Fund, c/o Abington Health Foundation, Office of Philanthropy, 1200 Old York Rd., Abington, Pa. 19001.