Meredith Drench, Ph.D, PT, Past President of Western New England Region of Hadassah, died May 17 in Providence, R.I.
Drench, 63, of East Greenwich, R.I. also was a past President of the Rhode Island Hadassah chapter and a member of the National Board of Directors of Hadassah.
Born in New York City, and raised in New Jersey, she was the daughter of the late Daniel and Madeline Drench. A graduate of Boston and Northeastern Universities she earned her Doctorate at Union Institute and University and was a professor of Physical Therapy at Northeastern. She was an author and a popular lecturer in Physical Therapy and behavioral sciences and was known for her sharp wit and humor. She worked with health care facilities, associations, agencies and universities, including the Veterans’ Administration in Boston. She wrote Red Ribbons Are Not Enough, about health professionals caring for people with AIDS, published many articles and was co-author for three editions of Psychosocial Aspects of Health Care. As a physical and behavioral therapist, she worked and taught all over the world.
“Everyone who met Dr. Meredith Drench immediately felt privileged,” said Sue Polansky, president of the Western New England Region of Hadassah. “Merry was witty, super-intelligent, the warmest friend and ablest teacher. She was a passionate Hadassah leader and practical Zionist who brought a large following of friends and supporters to Hadassah in her former role as president of the Rhode Island chapter.
“Being the Western New England Region President should have been one of Merry’s greatest accomplishments,” Polansky continued. “It is a tragedy that she was only able to lead our community for such a short time. Merry is already missed, and her memory will be cherished in the hearts of her Hadassah family.
With Merry’s approval, the Western New England Region is establishing a named scholarship at Hadassah Academic College to perpetuate her lifetime of commitment and achievement.
Drench is survived by her partner, Paula Hurd of East Greenwich; her brother and sister-in-law, Peter Drench and Anne Ferguson, nephew Zachary Drench and nieces Jessica Drench and Sarah Ferguson of Massachusetts.
A memorial service was celebrated on Monday, May 27 in Rhode Island. Memorial contributions may be made to Home and Hospice Care of Rhode Island, 1085 North Main St., Providence, RI 02904; or to the Dr. Meredith Drench Memorial Scholarship, c/o WNER Hadassah, 200 Reservoir St., Suite 103, Needham, MA 02494.