Lynch Scholarship Affords Endless Possibilities

Published in Radiology Update - 2021

Over a career spanning four decades, Edmond “Ted” Lynch became a renowned figure in Johns Hopkins radiology. A highly skilled radiology technologist who proudly declared himself to be a “head man” (specializing in taking images of the brain, skull, jaw and teeth), Lynch graduated with the very first class from the newly formed Schools of Medical Imaging in 1941.

Just three years later, in 1944, he was a technologist on the team that assisted Johns Hopkins surgeons Alfred Blalock and Helen Taussig when they performed the famous “blue baby” surgery, which ushered in a new era of cardiac surgery. After then signing on with the World War II war effort and serving with a Johns Hopkins medical unit in the South Pacific, Lynch joined the radiology department in 1947, before it was officially a department. His achievements over the ensuing decades led to him becoming the very first inductee into the Maryland Society of Radiology Technologists’ Hall of Fame.

After Lynch died in 1992, at the age of 79, his wife, Mary, curated his legacy for decades, perhaps most notably creating the Edmond and Mary Regina Lynch Scholarship in the Schools of Medical Imaging in the Russell H. Morgan Department of Radiology and Radiological Science.

The scholarship is awarded each year to a deserving student based on academic promise and financial need, and it covers the recipient’s full tuition. In establishing the scholarship, Mary Lynch aimed to provide recipients with the freedom to explore their unique interests in the world of radiology and to serve the community, as Ted Lynch had done.

Sabrina Lindemon was the inaugural recipient of the Lynch Scholarship, which funded her study in the Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program at the Johns Hopkins Schools of Medical Imaging, an 18-month, full-time certification program. Lindemon, who had previously worked at Johns Hopkins as a veterinary research technician, says that the scholarship freed her to pursue her educational and professional advancement without many of the burdens other students face.

“The Lynch Scholarship provided me full tuition, which allowed the financial stability to put all of my focus into my studies,” she says. “Without it, the stress of a job would have made it difficult to maintain high grades. I feel very fortunate to have been selected for this scholarship.” In her role as a sonographer, she works with expectant mothers in imaging, provides imaging of abdominal and superficial structures, and works with gynecology, prenatal pediatrics and neurological systems.

Looking ahead, Lindemon says she would like to help develop the skills of future technologists who will follow in her footsteps, furthering the mission of Johns Hopkins as a teaching hospital.

“In the health care field, there’s always something to learn and ways to improve yourself, and I would love to help in any way I can,” she says.

Lindemon, who was the first in her family to earn a college degree (she graduated from the Community College of Baltimore County in 2018), takes inspiration from the breadth of Lynch’s skills and the length of his career, as well as his perseverance in pursuing his education despite challenges. Early on, after his father died unexpectedly, Lynch was forced to drop out of school in order to work to support his family. Undeterred, he eventually secured a job as a hospital orderly, which led to his introduction to radiology and his eventual admission to the nascent radiology technologist program at Johns Hopkins.

“Ted Lynch had exceptional people skills and was known for putting the patient at ease during what can be an emotionally taxing and sometimes physically painful time. He was also a master of the technology,” says Bob Gayler, a former faculty member and historian of the Department of Radiology and Radiological Science.

The radiology technologist of Ted Lynch’s era had to be part photographer and part chemist, to intuit the best way to capture the needed images and the best way to process the film in the darkroom to provide the clearest images possible, Gayler explains. Accurate diagnosis often depended on the quality of the images.

“Ted Lynch was a man of many remarkable traits. I find his perseverance and adaptability over the years inspiring,” Lindemon says. “If anything, his experiences show, and my own confirm, that at John Hopkins Radiology, the possibilities are endless.”