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Class Notes

In Memoriam Spring/Summer 2018

School of Medicine

Henry B. “Harry” Wilson ’47, of Baltimore, a prominent ophthalmologist who counted among his patients the famed newspaperman H.L. Mencken, Maryland Gov. William Donald Schaefer and Orioles manager Earl Weaver, died on Jan. 28 of a heart attack. He was 94. Wilson also was known for providing free and low-cost services for patients who could not afford ophthalmological care, and visiting penitentiary inmates several days a week.

John W. Athens ’48, of Salt Lake City, former chief of the division of hematology/oncology at the University of Utah, author of many classic journal articles on treating blood disorders and co-author of the book Clinical Hematology, died on June 1, 2017. He was 93. Athens had moved to Utah in 1952 to study with Maxwell Wintrobe, who had been on the Johns Hopkins faculty from 1930 to 1943 and invented the Wintrobe hematocrit, the most commonly used instrument for measuring a blood sample’s volume of red and white blood cells and platelets.

Edward W. “Ned” Hopkins ’49, of Cockeysville, Maryland, died on Nov. 22, 2017. He was 92. In addition to being an assistant professor of pediatrics at Johns Hopkins, he had worked for what became the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, treating handicapped children, and for the old Children’s Hospital School, which now is known as the Herman & Walter Samuelson Children’s Hospital at Sinai Hospital.

Mary S. Logan ’51, of Rochester, New York, co-founder of the Multidisciplinary Care Clinic at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, died on Feb. 6. She was 93. Logan spent most of her career at Henry Ford Hospital, where one colleague referred to her as an “infracaninophile”—a lover of the underdog. Her clinic provided coordinated care for children who had multiple disabilities. She also treated underserved families at public health clinics and social services centers in Detroit.

Paul R. Overhulse ’51, of Bowling Green, Ohio, died on Nov. 23, 2017. He was 95. A World War II veteran, Overhulse was praised as an “old-school doctor” who put the needs of his patients above their ability to pay. He maintained a private practice in general surgery for more than 30 years.

Richard N. Peeler ’51, of Annapolis, Maryland, who touched the lives of countless patients as an internal medicine specialist for more than 45 years, died on Dec. 9, 2017. He was 91. During the course of his career in private practice, Peeler also held academic and clinical positions at Johns Hopkins, as well as key administrative and clinical leadership posts at Anne Arundel Medical Center. 

Roscoe C. Webb Jr. ’54, of Wayzata, Minnesota, who had a long and distinguished career as a cardiovascular and thoracic surgeon at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California, died on June 1, 2017. He was 89.

Huntington “Skip” Sheldon ’56, of Shelburne, Vermont, an emeritus trustee of both The Johns Hopkins University and school of medicine who was a pioneer in the use of electron microscopy—as well as skiing coach at two winter Olympics—died on Dec. 29, 2017. He was 86. Sheldon joined the faculty of McGill University in 1959 and became a legendary lecturer and researcher in pathology there. His innovative research led to the discovery of extracellular localization of alkaline phosphatase. McGill’s Sheldon Biotechnology Centre is named in his honor. A member of the Johns Hopkins Society of Scholars, recipient of the medical school’s distinguished alumnus award and a founder of Johns Hopkins’ Institute for Basic Biomedical Sciences, Sheldon also was an accomplished cross-country skier and chair of the Canadian Ski Association. He served as a coach in the 1976 Winter Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria, and the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, New York.

Robert P. Bland Jr. ’57, of Charleston, South Carolina, who maintained a private ophthalmology practice in his hometown of Sumter, South Carolina, for more than 30 years, and served as chief of staff at the city’s Tuomey Hospital, died on Feb. 24. He was 85.

William Prin ’57, of Pittsburgh, professor emeritus of pediatric hematology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, died on July 12, 2017. He was 86. In addition to his academic career, Prin was on the pediatric staffs of the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC and Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC.

Nancy B. Esterly ’60, of Atlanta, who served as editor-in-chief of the Journal of Pediatric Dermatology for more than 23 years, died on Oct. 8, 2017. She was 82. During the course of her career, Esterly worked in Chicago, Milwaukee and Corrales, New Mexico. In each venue, she was known as a valued mentor, especially to women pursuing a medical career.

John M. “Jack” Bergland III ’62, of Westport, Massachusetts, a founder of the Medical Clinic of Houston and an award-winning associate clinical professor of medicine at Houston’s Baylor College of Medicine, St. Luke’s Hospital and the University of Texas School of Medicine, died on June 30, 2017, of acute myeloid leukemia. He was 85. Even after retiring to New England, he continued practicing medicine with Harbor Medical in Scituate, Massachusetts, until 2011. He also volunteered in a community clinic for the indigent.

Robert D. Brickman ’63, of Charlottesville, Virginia, who pursued careers in cardiac surgery and as an attorney, died on Nov. 19, 2017. He was 80. In 1985, Brickman temporarily switched careers, entering Washington and Lee University’s law school. After practicing law with a firm for two years, he joined Sentara Hospitals in Norfolk as vice president for medical affairs in 1991. He remained medical director for clinical effectiveness for Sentara Healthcare until retiring in 1997. In August 2017, knowing he had terminal cancer, Brickman held an “aWake” to celebrate his life and say goodbye to family and friends.

Roland C. Blantz ’65, of Del Mar, California, an acclaimed expert on nephrology and hypertension, died on Oct. 29, 2017. He was 77. As a professor at the University of California San Diego, he perfected micropuncture techniques that led to great advancements in nephrology and hypertension treatments. He served as president of the American Society of Nephrology and the Council of American Kidney Societies. An editor of several nephrology journals, he received awards from the National Kidney Foundation, the Veterans Administration and the American Society of Nephrology for making substantial contributions to the field that improved education and clinical care.

Betty T. Jarratt ’73 (master’s in mental health) died on Oct. 5, 2017, at her retirement home in Portland, Maine. She was 94. In 1966, at the age of 51, she was among only eight women chosen by Joel Elkes (1913–2015), then director of the Department of Psychiatry and a pioneering psychopharmacologist, to participate in a groundbreaking program to train mature women to be psychiatric counselors. For the next 20 years, Jarratt developed a large private practice, served as a psychiatric liaison at The Johns Hopkins Hospital and created the first crisis intervention program at Baltimore’s Sinai Hospital.

Dean R. Backstrom ’75, of Seabrook Island, South Carolina, died on Jan. 20. He was 67. In a career spanning more than 40 years, Backstrom was medical director in multiple hospitals in west Florida and maintained a private practice there.

Herbert F. Voigt III ’79 (Ph.D., biomedical engineering), of Milton, Massachusetts, whose research contributed greatly to the understanding of the mechanics of human hearing, died suddenly on Jan. 25. He was 65. A professor of biomedical engineering and an associate research professor of otolaryngology at Boston University, Voigt was past president of the Biomedical Engineering Society, the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, the International Federation of Medical and Biological Engineering, and the International Union for Physical and Engineering Sciences in Medicine.

Pamela B. Sklar ’85 (M.D.), ’87 (Ph.D.) of New York City, N.Y., an acclaimed neuroscientist and psychiatrist who was head of the Department of Genetics and Genomic Sciences at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and director of the Icahn Institute for Genomics and Multiscale Biology, died on Nov. 20, 2017. She was 58. Sklar broke new ground with the discovery that schizophrenia is caused by genetic risk factors that overlap with those of bipolar disorder. She was elected to the National Academy of Medicine, and received the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation’s Colvin Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Mood Disorders Research and the International Society of Psychiatric Genetics’ Lifetime Achievement Award. 

Peter J. Romano II ’87, of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, a much-admired pediatric orthopaedist who also volunteered on missions for Doctors Without Borders, was killed in an Oct. 17, 2017, accident on his family’s New Hampshire farm. He was 56. Romano practiced at South Florida Children’s Orthopaedics in Coconut Creek. He readily performed operations for uninsured families and traveled to Haiti in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake to perform hundreds of operations.

The school of medicine also has learned of the following death:

Robert D. Cox ’49, on Feb. 10

Richard A. “Dick” Cozine ’61, on Jan. 1

Charles A. Bertrand (HS, fellow, cardiology, 1954–55), on Nov. 17, 2017

Thomas E. Hunt Jr. (HS, orthopaedic surgery, 1956–59; faculty, orthopaedic surgery), on Dec. 24, 2017

John C. “Jack” Colston (HS, urology, 1958; faculty, urology), on Feb. 3

Boris L. O’Mansky (fellow, pediatrics, 1961), on Sept. 14, 2017

Samuel M. Engelhardt III (HS, obstetrics, 1966), on Aug. 4, 2017

Barbara Highman (fellow, medicine, 1971–72), on Jan. 16

Daniel J. Freedenburg (HS, fellow, psychiatry and behavioral science, 1974), on Dec. 13, 2017

James H. Kelly (faculty, otolaryngology–head and neck surgery, 1985), on Feb. 8

Kurt W. Rathjen (fellow, total joint arthroplasty, 1988–89), on Nov. 20, 2017

Philip H. Moore (HS, internal medicine, 1992), on Nov. 5, 2017

Faculty, fellows and house staff

Jacques Genest Sr. (fellow, university faculty, medicine, 1945–48), of Montreal, founder of the Montreal Clinical Research Institute (IRCM), died on Jan. 5. He was 98. The IRCM’s impact extended beyond Canada. In addition, as chair of the Council for High Blood Pressure Research, created by the American Heart Association, Genest and his research team were responsible for discovering atrial natriuretic peptide, the structure of a hormone extracted from cardiac tissue that plays a major role in the control of sodium and water excretion by the kidneys. He also was responsible for the 1976 creation of the first bioethics center in Canada.

Eugene A. “Pat” Hildreth Jr. (HS, medicine, 1947–48), whose patients once included Generalissimo and Madame Chiang Kai-shek when they ruled Taiwan, and whose passion for academic medicine led to national leadership positions, died on Jan. 5 in his retirement home in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania. He was 93. Hildreth spent 1951–53 serving in the Navy and for the CIA as chief medical officer of a MASH unit in the Far East. During that time, he also was the personal physician for the Chiangs. Subsequently, he became a professor of clinical medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, head of allergy and immunology there, and then director of the department of medicine as Reading Hospital and Medical Center from 1968 to 1996. Hildreth also became chair of the American Board of Internal Medicine and of the American College of Physicians (ACP). He was a co-author of ACP’s first paper describing the need for universal access to health care.

James M. Hitzrot II (HS, medicine, 1954–55; orthopaedic surgery, 1957–61), of Bedford, Massachusetts, died on Dec. 20, 2017. He was 88. His 25-year private practice in orthopaedic surgery, begun in 1962, included being chief of orthopaedic surgery at Baltimore’s old Church Home and Hospital.

William F. Nichol III (HS, otolaryngology, 1957–60), of Redding, California, who collectively spent some 20 years in the U.S. Air Force and Air Force Reserve—beginning with Army Air Corps service during World War II—and later maintained a private practice for 26 years, died on Sept. 14, 2017. He was 91.

Flaviu C.A. Romanul (HS, medicine; fellow, neurology, 1957–60), of Brookline, Massachusetts, who overcame wartime horrors and political persecution in his native Romania to become an admired neurologist and professor at Harvard and Boston University, died on Oct. 8, 2017. He was 91. 

Dennis L. Murphy (HS, psychiatry, 1966), of Bethesda, Maryland, the former chief of the National Institute of Mental Health Laboratory of Clinical Science, died of pneumonia on Sept. 23, 2017. He was 80. Murphy was known for research using molecular, neurochemical and genetic techniques to explore the neurobiology of mood and anxiety disorders. His primary focus was on obsessive-compulsive disorder, the serotonin neurotransmitter system and the serotonin transporter.

Charles J. Parshall (faculty, ophthalmology, 1964–69), of Richfield, Ohio, a doctor of veterinary medicine who organized the Wilmer Eye Institute’s Veterinary Ophthalmology Clinic and Laboratory program, died on Dec. 25, 2017 of cancer. He was 79. In 1969, he became one of the first in the nation to establish a veterinarian ophthalmology practice to treat small and large animals at the Metropolitan Veterinary Hospital in Ohio. In 1976, he opened the Veterinary Specialty Clinic in Richfield.

Robert E. Curran (HS, ophthalmology, 1970–73), of Seekonk, Massachusetts, who had a four-decade career as an ophthalmologist in private practice and as a clinical professor in eye surgery, died on May 2, 2017. He was 76. He served as chief of the ophthalmology division at Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island from 1977 to 2013. In addition, he was a clinical assistant professor of surgery in ophthalmology and at Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University from 1977 to 2016, receiving multiple awards for teaching at Rhode Island Hospital’s eye clinic.

Robert T. Snowden (HS, surgery, 1971; orthopaedic surgery, 1976), of Pensacola, Florida, a former president of the Society for Arthritic Joint Surgery, died on July 12, 2017, following a long battle against myelodysplastic syndrome, a malignant bone marrow disorder. During his career with several orthopaedic groups, Snowden performed thousands of hip and knee replacements.

Robert D. Brodell (faculty, pediatrics), of Naples, Florida, a former president of the Maryland chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics—and recipient of its 1991 Pediatrician of the Year Award—died Nov. 18, 2017, 10 days shy of his 85th birthday. A co-founder of Children’s Medical Group in Cumberland, Maryland, he served as chair of pediatrics at that city’s now-defunct Sacred Heart and Memorial hospitals. He also was an assistant professor of pediatrics at Johns Hopkins and a clinical professor of pediatrics at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

Jaswinder K. Ghuman (fellow, pediatrics, 1986–88; faculty, psychiatry, 1988–2007), of Sewickley, Pennsylvania, who developed the Ghuman-Folstein Screen for Social Interaction to check for autism in at-risk preschoolers, died on Aug. 11, 2017. In addition to working at Johns Hopkins, she held faculty positons in child psychiatry at the University of Arizona and the University of Pittsburgh. She co-edited a 2013 book, ADHD in Preschool Children: Assessment and Treatment, which included chapters written by several members of the Johns Hopkins faculty.