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commUNITY spotlight: Dr. Jonathan Daniels

Dr. Jonathan Daniels and his two daughters, Jordan and Jensen, were killed in a house fire on July 4 in Buffalo.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — A well-respected physician and a faculty member. That's how many describe Dr. Jonathan Daniels.

One of his daughters just received her MBA, and now the community is feeling a huge loss.

"He was the one who cared for so many children in Buffalo. He just people at ease," Dr. Emmekunla Nylander, a Buffalo OB/GYN said.

Dr. Daniels was one of a handful of Black pediatricians in Buffalo. 

"In tears. I don't have enough arms to console the number of people hurting by his loss," Dr. Nylander said. "His patients, many of whom I delivered, are going to be at a severe loss, especially the community."

She was well aware that he wanted diversity in the medical community, and he worked to broaden the pool of students entering medicine.

"He did that. This year's class is one of the largest incoming classes of African-American and Black and Brown students that we've had in a long time," she said. 

Also working and helping students at the University at Buffalo Jacobs School of Medicine.

"He's part of the admissions board committee as well. He sees them coming in, and he sees them leaving. He's always so proud of what they've accomplished, and what they're going to accomplish in the future. They are his legacy," Dr. Nylander said.

Dr. Raul Vazquez called Daniels "a true gentleman," adding "I think I had him as a student, and I said one day we'll work together, and May 2021, he chose to come and join our practice. The patients loved him, and that's why I always wanted him to be part of my system. Caring. He was associate clinical professor of pediatrics, and also with the admissions department."

The July 4 fire ripped through Dr. Daniels' home on Huntington Avenue in North Buffalo. He along with his two daughters, 27-year-old Jordan and 23-year-old Jensen, died. His wife Janessa survived. Their other daughter, Jillian, was not home at the time. 

At a funeral for the three members killed, Jillian said "my daddy taught me and my sisters the ethics of hard work and community building and direct giving."

His now widow Janessa said, "Jonathan and the girls were mission focused, lip service does not move mountains, actions and deeds are what get us across the finish line and spirit, the wolf remind us that the greatest gifts are your relationships with those you love and respect."

She referred to her family as the wolfpack.

Dr. Nylander said Dr. Daniels had generations of patients coming to him for care. His wife has been released from the hospital.  

There is a GoFundMe account to assist the family with expenses.

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