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Class Notes

In Memorium Fall 2016

School of Medicine

Charles Rawlinson “Rollo” Park ’41, of Brentwood, Tennessee, a pioneering diabetes researcher at Vanderbilt University, died on May 7, just two months after his 100th birthday. A U.S. Army veteran of World War II, Park was chairman of Vanderbilt’s Department of Physiology from 1952 to 1984 and made several key discoveries about glucose uptake by muscle and glucose production by the liver. He began what is believed to have been the nation’s first Diabetes and Endocrinology Research Center, at Vanderbilt in 1973. With colleagues, he conducted now-classic studies that helped establish the foundations for today’s understanding of the physiology of insulin action, carbohydrate metabolism and the pathophysiology of diabetes. In 1979, he received the American Diabetes Association’s Banting Medal, its highest honor, and in 1980, he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences.

William Welch Winternitz ’45, of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, former professor and chair of the Department of Internal Medicine and director of Medical Student Affairs at the University of Alabama College of Community Health Sciences (CCHS), died on Oct. 10, 2015. He was 95. He was the son of Milton C. Winternitz, 1907, a protégé of pathologist William Welch, the first dean of Johns Hopkins’ school of medicine, after whom he was named. The elder Winternitz was dean of Yale University School of Medicine from 1920 to 1935. The younger Winternitz held faculty positions at Yale and the University of Kentucky, where he was chief of endocrinology before being recruited in 1977 by William R. Willard (a former colleague in Kentucky, a onetime Johns Hopkins resident and the founding dean of the CCHS) to help create a medical education program there that focused on primary care and rural medicine.

John Lazelle Sawyers ’49, of Nashville, Tennessee, and Lake Wales, Florida, a former chairman of the surgery department at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, died on March 18. He was 90. A veteran of World War II and the Korean War, Sawyers joined the Vanderbilt faculty in 1957, and he served as chief of surgery at Nashville General Hospital from 1960 to 1977, at Saint Thomas Hospital in Nashville from 1977 to 1982 and at Vanderbilt University Medical Center from 1982 to 1993. He retired in 1994 as chairman and distinguished professor of surgery emeritus at Vanderbilt. He had spearheaded Vanderbilt’s emergency helicopter transport service and led the growth of its trauma center. He also developed an improved method for the surgical management of a peptic ulcer disease known as highly selective vagotomy.

John Edmund Coles ’51, of St. George, Utah, a cardiologist and internist who was born in a log house with a sod roof and went on to serve 29 years in the U.S. Air Force, died on April 3. He was 98. A native of Lorenzo, Idaho, he went to several colleges and universities before joining the Army Air Corps during World War II and serving on aircraft carriers in the Pacific. Following the war, he entered the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Upon graduating, he re-enlisted in the Air Force and lived in Texas, Wyoming, Alaska, Mississippi and Colorado before leaving the service and opening a private practice in Riverside, California, which had been his final military posting. He also worked at the nearby Patton State Hospital and March Air Force Base. He retired and moved to Utah in 1998. 

Eberhard H. Uhlenhuth ’51, of Albuquerque, New Mexico, a former president of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology and a distinguished professor emeritus of psychiatry at the University of New Mexico, died on June 7. He was 88. Completing his Johns Hopkins residency in 1956 and joining the faculty, he pursued his passion for research from the beginning of his academic career. He later moved to the University of Chicago, where he became a full professor and served as acting chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience from 1983 to 1985. He then moved to the University of New Mexico, where he continued to do research even after he had “retired.” 

Alfred C. Kolls Jr. ’52, of Salisbury, Maryland, who practiced pediatrics on Maryland’s Eastern Shore for more than 45 years, died of congestive heart failure and complications from emphysema on March 23. He was 92. The son of a pharmacology associate at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, he was raised in Iowa and briefly attended Harvard before serving as a pharmacist’s mate in the Navy during World War II. He then entered the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He also completed his internship and residency at Johns Hopkins before moving to Salisbury. There, he sometimes received payment in crabs or fish instead of money. Intent on making health care accessible to all, he maintained his practice into his 80s.

Marvin Kahn ’58, of Overland Park, Kansas, who practiced internal medicine/pulmonology there for more than 40 years, died on March 12. He was 82.

Gary A. Hanson ’75, of Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, died on April 4 in a house fire that engulfed the home that he shared with his fiancée, Mary Margaret Gonzales, who also was killed. He was 69. A beloved internist and cardiologist who opened a private practice in Weirton, West Virginia, in 1982, he cared for several generations of the town’s families, serving as a physician, therapist and friend to his patients. He possessed a wry sense of humor that was nearly as well-known as his clinical acumen; was an expert chef of Indian, Italian and Chinese cuisine; and was a superb woodworker who built many of the wooden furnishings for his house, which was nicknamed “Happenstance.”

Todd Edward Lang ’00, of Macon, Georgia, unexpectedly died in his sleep on March 2. He was 41. Three months earlier, he and his family had moved to Macon, where he had been named chief medical officer for Coliseum Medical Center. Specializing in emergency medicine, he previously worked at Verde Valley Medical Center in Cottonwood, Arizona; Lourdes Medical Center in Richland, Washington, where he was medical director of the emergency department; and Baptist East Medical Center in Memphis, Tennessee, where he was medical chief of the ER. He also obtained a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Tennessee while in Memphis.  

Former Faculty, Fellows and House Staff

Oscar Cebren Stine (university faculty, pediatrics, 1957–66), of Shepherdstown, West Virginia, who was dedicated to serving those who did not have adequate health care—and to pursuing environmentally sound farming—died on March 14. He was 88. While at Johns Hopkins, he worked at the Maternal and Child Health Clinic, a forerunner of the federal Head Start program. In 1975, he became founding director of the ambulatory care department at Greater Baltimore Medical Center. He moved to the Martinsburg, West Virginia, Veterans’ Administration hospital in 1985. That year, he and his family also took up full-time residence at Elmwood, a cattle farm near Shepherdstown, where his meticulous husbandry earned him recognition as Conservation Farmer of the Year for Jefferson County. 

Gerald B. Holzman (HS; fellow, obstetrics and gynecology, 1958–68), of Nashville, Tennessee, vice president for education at the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists from 1994 to 2001, died on March 5. He was 82. In addition to Johns Hopkins, he held academic medical positions at the University of California, Los Angeles; Michigan State University; and the Medical College of Georgia. 

Ali Ghahramani (fellow, medicine, 1967), of Boca Raton, Florida, a well-known cardiologist who was among the founders of the North Ridge Heart Institute at the old North Ridge General Hospital (since absorbed by the Holy Cross Hospital) in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, died of complications from a stroke on Nov. 10—his 85th birthday. Credited with saving the lives of thousands of people—and performing an estimated 50,000 heart catheterizations in his career—he graduated first in his class at the University of Tehran medical school, then emigrated first to England and then the United States for postgraduate work. When Holy Cross took over North Ridge in 2008, Ghahramani continued working there full time until April 2015, when he had a stroke. A prominent Republican, he was assigned to be the emergency physician for former President Ronald Reagan whenever he was in Florida.

Peter Chodoff (faculty, anesthesiology, 1970–78), of Camden, New Jersey, once anesthesiologist-in-chief at the old Baltimore City Hospitals, now Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, died on March 21. He was 91. A Navy veteran of World War II, Chodoff earned his undergraduate degree at Temple University and his medical degree at Jefferson Medical College, both in Philadelphia. Following service as chief of critical care anesthesia at the state of Maryland’s Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems and rising to a professorship at the University of Maryland’s medical school, he became a professor of anesthesia at Jefferson in 1986. He was a devout fan of Temple sports and helped to finance a practice field—which is now named for him—beside the headquarters of the university’s football program.

Lawrence Deems Egbert Jr. (faculty, anesthesiology, 1973–76), of Baltimore, who was an advocate of assisted suicides, helping to arrange nearly 300 of them nationwide and losing his medical license as a result, died on June 9. He was 88. As medical director of the Final Exit Network, a national organization that promotes “hastened death” or “dignified death” for terminally ill individuals, he helped direct the planned demises from his Baltimore rowhouse. Among them were several in Maryland, prompting the Maryland Board of Physicians to conduct a two-year review of his actions in the state and revoke his medical license in 2014. Previously, he had also been a volunteer for Doctors Without Borders, a member of the board of Physicians for Social Responsibility, an anti-war and anti-nuclear activist, and an opponent of the death penalty.