Lawrence C. Kolb, M.D.
Lawrence C. Kolb, professor emeritus of psychiatry, died Oct. 20, 2006, at age 95. He was the longest serving director of the New York State Psychiatric Institute and chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at P&S. He left Columbia and PI in 1975 to become New York’s state commissioner of mental health.
Dr. Kolb, who directed PI from 1954 to 1975, steered the state institute through recurring budgetary crises. During his 21-year tenure at PI, he introduced major organizational changes, such as treatment services for patients from the community.
As chairman of a New York City task force he played a key role in establishing the close links that now exist between city hospitals and New York City medical schools. As department chairman, he expanded the role of psychiatry at Presbyterian Hospital, creating a consultation service in psychiatry and putting psychiatric residents in rotations in the hospital service. He expanded the child psychiatry service and created a residency in child psychiatry. He was the only psychiatrist ever elected president of the Presbyterian Hospital Medical Board.
An innovator in education, he installed one of the first closed-circuit television systems for use in psychiatric teaching. He is also remembered as a hands-on teacher and clinician who reserved a half day each week for clinical practice.
Before joining Columbia, Dr. Kolb organized the research branch for the newly established National Institute of Mental Health and established a program at Mayo Clinic to treat pain. His CV listed more than 200 publications, the most recent one in 2001 at age 90, and he co-authored the preeminent medical school textbook of psychiatry of the time, the 668-page “Modern Clinical Psychiatry,” ultimately becoming its sole author.
In 1978 as Distinguished Physician in Psychiatry for the Veterans Administration, his landmark work with Vietnam veterans demonstrated that posttraumatic stress disorder, which he characterized as “a brain injury without a break in the scalp,” is associated with psychophysiological changes. An annex to PI, built to house research, is named for him.
James S. Lieberman, M.D.
James S. Lieberman, the H.K. Corning Professor of Rehabilitation Medicine Research, chairman of the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, senior associate dean for clinical services, and associate vice president in the CUMC administration, died Aug. 21, 2006. Dr. Lieberman also directed the rehabilitation medicine service at the Weill Cornell and Columbia campuses of New York-Presbyterian Hospital. He was named professor of rehabilitation medicine at Weill Cornell in 2000, when rehabilitation medicine became a joint hospital department following the merger of New York and Presbyterian hospitals. At Cornell, he was chief of the rehabilitation medicine division.
Dr. Lieberman joined the P&S faculty in 1991 after eight years as chairman of physical medicine and rehabilitation at the University of California, Davis. He had been a consultant on disability issues for the Social Security Administration since 1991.
Other Faculty Deaths
M. Leon Tancer, M.D., professor emeritus of clinical obstetrics and gynecology, died May 24, 2006.
Class of 1933
Gerald M. Schumann, a retired general practitioner, died March 15, 2006. Founder of Des Arc General Hospital in Des Arc, Ark., Dr. Schumann tended to a wide range of patients, from seniors suffering from cardiopulmonary conditions to young mothers-to-be, “delivering the children of children I have delivered.” Among other civic activities he served as a deputy sheriff. He is survived by a daughter and a son.
Class of 1935
Joseph F. McClughan, a retired general surgeon, died July 9, 2006. Dr. McClughan served in the U.S. Army and was an active alumnus. He is survived by his wife, Annette, two daughters, and three grandchildren.
Class of 1939
Lowell L. Eddy, a retired surgeon, died Dec. 15, 2005. He was former chief of surgery at the Ballard General Hospital in Edmonds, Wash. In his retirement, Dr. Eddy gathered medical supplies for hospitals in developing countries and was an avid birdwatcher. He is survived by two sons and two grandchildren.
Class of 1944
James Dick, a retired pediatrician, died of bladder cancer on June 5, 2006, at age 86. A native of Liverpool, England, he came to the United States as a child. He served as captain in the U.S. Army. A former member of the clinical faculty in pediatrics at New York University and State University at Stony Brook medical schools, Dr. Dick contributed chapters to several textbooks in pediatrics. He spent more than a half century in solo private practice in Hempstead and Levittown, N.Y., and served as director of pediatrics at North Shore University Hospital and chief of pediatrics at the Community Hospital in Glen Cove. A pediatrician through and through, he wrote to the families of his former patients upon his retirement: “I will never lose interest in the progress of your children and their future successes in education and life.” He is survived by his wife, Ann, five daughters, four sons, 18 grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.
David B. Moore, a retired obstetrician/gynecologist and loyal alumnus from Tenafly, N.J., died Nov. 22, 2005. As a former member of the clinical faculty in ob/gyn at P&S, he was affiliated for many years with Sloane Hospital. He served as a past secretary-treasurer of the Society of Practitioners at Presbyterian Hospital. Survivors include two daughters and a son, Eric Moore’75.
Homer D. Peabody JR., a retired pulmonologist and former medical director of Rees-Stanley Research Foundation, died Dec. 23, 2005. An avid athlete till late in life, Dr. Peabody was selected as one of five individuals to carry the Olympic Torch in San Diego in 1996. In addition to writing numerous articles in pulmonary medicine, he was author of a book, “Rees-Stealy Clinic, San Diego’s First Group Practice,” of which he had been a member. Dr. Peabody served in the U.S. Army Medical Corps during and immediately following World War II. His many honors included a Physicians Recognition Award from the American Medical Association, a salute as “Athlete of the Century” from San Diego High School, and “Mr. San Diego” Award of the San Diego Rotary Club in 1997. He also served as a past president of the American Group Practice Foundation. He is survived by his wife, Betty, two daughters, and two sons.
Homer D. Peabody Jr.'44
Class of 1945
Richard P. Lasser, a retired cardiologist, died July 6, 2006. A former member of the clinical faculty of medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and director of medicine at Jewish Memorial Hospital in New York, Dr. Lasser served a term as president of the New York Cardiological Society. He published more than 80 papers in cardiology and was co-author of a widely used textbook. A widower, he is survived by his partner, Marguerite Klein, and two sons, both physicians.
Richard P. Lasser'45
Robert E. Johnson died Aug. 22, 2005. A retired internist formerly affiliated with Metro West Medical Center in Framingham, Mass., he specialized in arthritis. Dr. Johnson had been a member of the editorial board of the New England Journal of Medicine. He served with the Medical Corps, AUS, immediately after World War II. A generous supporter of P&S in his lifetime, he left a bequest to the medical school in his will. He is survived by his wife, Lorna D. Johnson, M.D., a daughter, and a son.
Class of 1947
Edward B. Gardner died June 27, 2006. A retired psychiatrist, Dr. Gardner first trained in pediatrics before switching to treat “man’s irrational behavior, the waste of human resources,” as he once put it in an alumni questionnaire. In solo private practice, he also consulted to the public schools of Harrison, N.Y., and the County Mental Health Clinic in Yonkers. In his spare time he played violin in chamber music groups and was a passionate sailor. He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth, two daughters, a son, a stepdaughter, and a stepson. Most memorable among his post-medical school experiences, he once wrote, was “learning the art and craft of listening.”
Edward B. Gardnerr'47
Retired surgeon John P. Kengeter died Feb. 17, 2006. A former staff surgeon with the Veterans Administration Hospital in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., he had been chairman of the Department of Surgery of the Community Medical Center in Toms River, N.J. He served as secretary of the Society of Widows and Orphans and as a member of the board of trustees of the Medical Society of New Jersey. His extramedical passions were raising sheep and collecting antique cars. He served as a captain in the U.S. Army Medical Corps in Japan and Korea. Surviving him are his wife, Jane, a daughter, and two sons.
John P. Kengeter'47
Class of 1948
Mary S.B. Fisher, one of the nation’s most distinguished academic radiologists and the first woman to serve as president of the Philadelphia Roentgen Ray Society (the oldest radiological society in the world), died April 24, 2006. Professor emerita of radiology at Temple University Medical School in Philadelphia, she was the author of some 50 articles and book chapters and numerous papers and presentations on radiology. Offered at various times the chairmanship of almost every hospital in Philadelphia, she refused each offer in turn, preferring the joys of practice, teaching, and research, remarking that she didn’t “want to be the chairman of anything.” Her honors included the Marie Curie Award of the American Association of Women Radiologists and these awards from Temple University: the Russell P. Moses Memorial Award for Excellence in Clinical Teaching, the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching, the Physician of the Year Award, and the Golden Apple, awarded by her students. She is survived by her husband, George Ross Fisher III’48, two daughters, two sons, eight grandchildren, and one great-grandson.
Mary S.B. Fisher'48
Class of 1949
Samuel A. Johnson, a retired obstetrician/gynecologist, died Sept. 4, 2006, at age 82. Dr. Johnson enlisted in the U.S. Army during World War II and was a first lieutenant in the medical corps during the Korean War. A former member of the clinical faculty in the Department of Ob/Gyn at the University of Connecticut Medical School, Dr. Johnson had been affiliated with New Britain General Hospital and was a partner at the Grove Hill Clinic in New Britain, Conn. He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth, two daughters, two sons, and nine grandchildren.
Class of 1950
Elmer E. Specht, a retired orthopedic surgeon and former professor of orthopedics at the University of Oregon Medical School at Portland, died July 27, 2006. Dr. Specht served in the U.S. Air Force. Recalling his many years of practice, he said, “It appears that we practiced through the golden age of medicine, before the ascendancy/hegemony of the bean counters.” Survivors include his wife, Sue, two daughters, and a granddaughter.
Elmer E. Specht'50
Class of 1951
Elizabeth B. Watkins, a pediatrician and charter member of the American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Child Abuse and Neglect, died June 3, 2006. Dr. Watkins was a pioneering advocate for the protection of children. A clinical professor in the Department of Pediatrics at P&S and director of psychiatry at St. Luke’s Hospital, she served for many years as a member of the New York City Mayor’s Task Force on Child Abuse. Among her fondest post-medical school memories, she once cited: “the sheer adventure of getting to know so many people, from infants to grandparents, the thrills of learning to communicate with infants.” Preceded in death by her husband, John M. Cotton, M.D., she is survived by two daughters and a son.
Jean B. Miller, a pioneering psychiatrist who specialized in the treatment of women’s depression, died July 29, 2006, of respiratory failure. Her well-received book “Toward a New Psychology of Women,” published in 1976, espoused what she called the “relational-cultural theory.” In arguing the detrimental psychological effects of too much isolation on women in particular, she recommended greater empathy on the part of the therapist in psychotherapy. Dr. Miller was one of the co-founders of the Jean Baker Miller Training Institute at Wellesley College. She was also the author of two other books, “Women’s Growth in Connection” (1981) and “The Healing Connection: How Women Form Relationships in Therapy and Life” (1997). She is survived by her husband, Seymour M. Miller, two sons, and a grandchild.
Ernest Reiner, a retired internist who had been called “an angel walking upon this earth” for his commitment to patients, died of a brain tumor on Sept. 12, 2006. A long-time partner in the Palma Ceia Medical Clinic in Tampa, Fla., following his retirement from practice he volunteered as medical director at the Judeo Christian Health Clinic, a position he held until shortly before his death. The clinic provides free health care to Tampa’s working poor. Among the many salutes received in the course of his career, he was named Tampa’s Neighborhood Excellence Program Local Hero and was honored with the Service to Mankind Award of the Greater Tampa Sertoma Club. He served in the U.S. Army Air Corps as squadron bombardier in the European Theater during World War II, earning the Air Medal and the Distinguished Flying Cross. Outside the world of medicine, Dr. Reiner served as a past president of the Florida Orchestra and a past president of the American Medical Tennis Society. He is survived by his wife, Doris, a daughter, a son, and six grandchildren.
H. Gerard Siek JR., a past president of the Florida Orthopedic Society, died April 25, 2006. He saw active duty with the U.S. Army during World War II, serving as a sniper in the Battle of the Bulge. A former chief of orthopedics at the Morton Plant Hospital in Clearwater, Fla., he specialized in spinal stenosis. He was most proud of seeing patients with crippling lower back problems return to productive life. He volunteered his surgical services at the Hopital Sainte Croix in Leogane, Haiti. Preceded in death by his first wife, Anne, he is survived by his wife, Barbara, a daughter, four sons, and eight grandchildren.
H. Gerard Siek JR.'52
James W. Smith, a leading plastic and reconstructive surgeon, died of a stroke on Aug. 15, 2006. Clinical professor of surgery at Cornell University’s Weill Medical College, Dr. Smith was also the longest serving New York City honorary police surgeon. He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. Following many years of solo private practice, in 1988 he founded the Center for Specialty Care, the state’s first licensed free-standing ambulatory surgery center, serving as its medical director and chairman of the board. A visiting professor around the world, he served as a past president of the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. On a mission from the U.S. State Department, he traveled to India to experiment with the use of microsurgery for treating patients with leprosy. Author or co-author of eight books, 10 book chapters, four educational films, and more than 70 articles, his textbook, “Plastic Surgery: A Concise Guide to Clinical Practice,” is still a standard work. Also a passionate collector, Dr. Smith amassed the world’s largest collection of antique penny arcade games and music machines. Long housed in his barn, the collection was sold at Sotheby’s in 1994 for more than $3 million. Survivors include his wife, Nancy, three daughters, two sons, and 11 grandchildren.
James W. Smith'52
Class of 1953
Jack H. Oppenheimer, an endocrinologist and professor emeritus of medicine at the University of Minnesota at Minneapolis, died April 16, 2006. Dr. Oppenheimer was former director of the endocrinology and metabolism division at the University of Minnesota Hospital. He is survived by his wife, Ann, a daughter, two sons, and seven grandchildren.
Class of 1955
E. Henry King, a retired psychiatrist who devoted his career to pediatrics, preventive medicine, and psychiatry, died June 7, 2006. Dr. King earned his MPH degree from Tulane University in New Orleans. He is survived by his wife, Catherine, five children, and 13 grandchildren.
Simon Ohanessian, a retired cardiologist from Chardon, Ohio, died June 19, 2006. He was born in Baghdad to American parents and came to live in the United States as a teenager. Dr. Ohanessian had taught on the clinical faculty at Case Western Reserve University College of Medicine in Cleveland. He served as chief of medicine, chief of the coronary care unit, and director of the noninvasive cardiac laboratory (which he helped create) at Geauga Hospital in Geauga, Ohio. Survivors include his wife, Cartha, two daughters, and a son.
Class of 1958
Robert G. Campbell, former professor of medicine at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and director of the endocrine-metabolism unit at Monroe Community Hospital, died Aug. 18, 2006. Dr. Campbell, who was professor emeritus of medicine at P&S and a former executive vice president and medical director of St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center in New York, previously served as professor of medicine at Weill Cornell and director of the clinical research center at New York Hospital. An avid sailor, he navigated a 40-foot ketch across the Atlantic, among other voyages. Survivors include his wife, Barbara, a daughter, two sons, and four grandchildren.
Richard F. Hnat, a New York-based obstetrician-gynecologist, died July 16, 2006. He is survived by his wife, Sylvia, two daughters, and a son.
Ernest A. Wacker, a psychiatrist affiliated with Huntington Hospital in Huntington, N.Y., died May 25, 2006. He is survived by his wife, Margaret, a son, and a daughter.
Class of 1959
Robert H. Jones, a retired gastroenterologist from Macon, Ga., died Nov. 26, 2005. He is survived by his wife, Kathryn, four daughters, and nine grandchildren.
Robert H. Jones'59
Class of 1962
Edward A. Oppenheimer, a former member of the clinical faculty at UCLA School of Medicine and a loyal alumnus, died in November 2005. A retired pulmonologist, he had been affiliated with a group practice connected to the Kaiser-Permanente Medical Care Program in Los Angeles. He served on the board of directors of the American Lung Association of Los Angeles. He is survived by his wife, Valerie, and a son.
Scott Murphy, professor of medicine at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, died April 10, 2006. He had been a member of the Cardeza Foundation for Hematological Research and had served as acting director of the Blood Bank at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. He was the co-author of numerous papers in the field of hematology. Dr. Murphy served as a general medical officer in the U.S. Army. Survivors include his wife, Joan, a daughter, and four sons.
Class of 1964
Leonard Leventer died July 20, 2005. The last update from him was in 1967, when he was a graduate student in biochemistry at the University of California at Berkeley and about to begin active military duty.
Class of 1969
Robert N. Dunn, attending orthopedic surgeon and a former chairman of orthopedic surgery at the Medical Center at Princeton, died May 21, 2006. He was a co-author, with R.J. Wineski, of “The Role of Fusion in Lumbar Disc Disease,” a series of seminars on spine surgery. A pilot in his free time, Dr. Dunn served as a senior aviation examiner and aircraft accident examiner for the FAA. He is survived by his wife, Anna-Lena, and a son.
Class of 1985
Andrew H. Kaplan, professor of medicine specializing in infectious disease at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, died unexpectedly in his office at the university June 29, 2006. The cause is not known. He is survived by his wife, Carol.