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Compassion Personified

A specialist in reproductive endocrinology, Lisa Kolp helped hundreds to conceive.

In tributes posted on a memorial website, the words used most commonly to describe obstetrician and gynecologist Lisa A. Kolp were “kind” and “caring.” 

A member of the Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics faculty since 1999, Kolp specialized in reproductive endocrinology, helping hundreds of couples to conceive offspring through in vitro fertilization. She also was nationally renowned for her expertise in the delicate surgical correction of genital abnormalities in children.

Kolp died of lymphoma on April 16 at her home in Maryland’s Hunt Valley. She was 61. A week later, Andrew Satin, director of the Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, told The Baltimore Sun: “There hasn’t been a dry eye in our division since she died. The staff so loved her.”

So did Kolp’s patients, for whom she “brought love and compassion,” said Jairo Garcia, director of Johns Hopkins’ fertility center. “Helping people was her world.”

Kolp’s husband of 38 years, Roger Johns, a professor of anesthesiology and critical care in the school of medicine, recalled that her older brother always expected her to become a physician, since she “grew up a lover of all things living.” 

Kolp and her husband met as undergraduates at Stanford, then went to medical school together at Wayne State, and did their internships, residencies and fellowships at the University of Virginia before both coming to Johns Hopkins.

Kolp was recognized by younger female physicians as a powerful role model, able to balance raising a family with the demands of an academic medical career. When her brother-in-law, Michael M.E. Johns, then dean of the Johns Hopkins medical school, wrote an editorial on how difficult it was for women to succeed in academic medicine, she wrote in reply: “When promotions committees and the like begin to evaluate women based on the quality of their work and not the speed with which their careers advance, women will begin to be represented in appropriate proportions to the higher ranks of academic faculties.”
Compassion Personified