In Memoriam: Spring/Summer 2023
Bennett Stein, MD, the Byron Stookey Professor Emeritus of Neurological Surgery and former chair of the Department of Neurological Surgery, died Oct. 7, 2022. He studied with Malcolm Carpenter at Columbia before becoming chair of neurological surgery at Tufts University. He returned to VP&S in 1980 as chair of neurological surgery, a position he held until retiring in 1997.
Other Faculty Deaths
Lucien J. Cote, MD, professor emeritus of neurology, died Dec. 21, 2022.
Philip Lamar Graham III, MD, former associate professor of pediatrics, died July 17, 2022.
Margaret Caroline Heagarty, MD, professor emeritus of pediatrics and director of pediatrics at Harlem Hospital Center for 22 years, died Dec. 23, 2022.
Wylie C. Hembree III, MD, retired associate professor of clinical obstetrics & gynecology, died Dec. 16, 2022.
Albrecht Kellerer, PhD, professor of biophysics from 1968 to 1978 at the Columbia University Radiological Research Laboratory (now called the Center for Radiological Research), died July 31, 2022 .
Artemis Nash, MD, former faculty member in the Department of Pathology & Cell Biology, died Dec. 6, 2022.
Michael R. Rosen, MD, the Gustavus A. Pfeiffer Professor of Pharmacology and professor of pediatrics, died Jan. 6, 2023.
Ralph L. Sacco, MD, adjunct professor of neurology, died Jan. 17, 2023.
Mark Sorensen, MD, associate clinical professor of psychiatry, died Jan. 16, 2023.
Barbara H. Stanley, PhD, professor of medical psychology (in psychiatry), died Jan. 25, 2023.
Ronald L. Van Heertum, MD, retired professor of radiology, died Dec. 7, 2022.
Robert “Bob” Bruce Wallace, a cardiac surgeon, died Aug. 23, 2022, at his home in Alexandria, Virginia, at age 91. Dr. Wallace trained at St. Vincent’s Hospital in New York, Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, and the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. He joined the staff of the Mayo Clinic in 1964, where he rose to be chair of the Department of Surgery, professor of surgery at the Mayo Medical School, governor on the board of the Mayo Clinic, and trustee on the board of the Mayo Foundation. In 1980, he joined Georgetown University as a professor and chief of surgery. He also served as president of the American Association of Thoracic Surgeons. After retirement, Dr. Wallace helped found the LeDucq Foundation for cardiovascular research and advised the Culmore Clinic, a non-profit clinic serving low-income adults. He mentored inner-city students and enjoyed golf. Dr. Wallace is survived by his wife of 67 years, Betty, three children, six grandchildren, and two brothers.
David Widrow, an internist residing in Olympia, Washington, died Nov. 15, 2022. He was 90.
Sara “Sallie” Elizabeth Daley Schuh, who devoted her life to caring for abused and neglected children, died Nov. 25, 2022, in Charleston, South Carolina, at age 87. Dr. Schuh was instrumental in founding the Dee Norton Low Country Children’s Center, bringing legal and medical care to abused children. She trained generations of doctors to care for children as a professor of pediatrics at the Medical University of South Carolina from 1969 to 2017, retiring at age 82. She earned an MPH from Columbia Mailman School of Public Health in 1968. She is survived by her husband, Dr. Fredric DeGraw Schuh, five children, and 10 grandchildren.
Courtney W. Brown, an orthopedist specializing in the spine, died Nov. 15, 2022, after a brief illness with COVID-19. He was 87. Dr. Brown trained at St. Luke’s Hospital in New York City. He served in the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam War at Orlando Air Force Base and U-Tapao Air Force Base in Thailand. He settled in Colorado because he didn’t want to need a sweater while golfing in the summer. Dr. Brown spent some 40 years at the Lakewood Orthopedic Clinic and later the Panorama Orthopedic and Spine Center before retirement. He continued to see patients at Craig Hospital. He was a member of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, the Association of Bone and Joint Surgeons, and the Scoliosis Research Society. He founded the Blue River Trauma Society, which combined helicopter skiing with medical seminars. Dr. Brown is survived by his wife, Ingrid, three children, and two grandchildren.
David Harry Bruce Jr., an internist, died Nov. 19, 2022. He was 85. He trained in Burlington, Vermont, joined the U.S. Public Health Service, and served as the service unit director on the Flathead Reservation and Crow and Northern Cheyenne Reservation in Montana. Dr. Bruce later completed his internal medicine training at Charity Hospital in New Orleans and pulmonary training at McGill University. In 1976, he joined the Albany Veterans Administration in New York state, where he was chief of pulmonary medicine. He established the first sleep lab in Troy, New York, and worked at his private practice, Pulmonary & Critical Care Services, until he retired at age 83. Dr. Bruce was a gifted storyteller who enjoyed camping, gardening, woodworking, and piano playing. He is survived by his wife, Mary Ann Bruce, five children, and four granddaughters.
Stephen A. Feig, a pediatrician in Los Angeles known as “Dr. Turkey” to his patients, died Nov. 30, 2022, at the age of 84. He completed his pediatric residency at Mount Sinai Children’s Hospital in New York City and his fellowship in pediatric hematology/ oncology at Boston Children’s Hospital. Dr. Feig was professor of pediatric hematology and oncology at UCLA for more than 40 years before his retirement in 2016, and he served as division chief for many years. His habit of joking with patients by calling them “turkeys” led to his nickname and an extensive collection of turkey memorabilia. He was an avid tennis player, sports fan, and world traveler. He loved fishing, art, opera, and solving crossword puzzles. He is survived by his wife, Judy, three children, and five grandchildren.
Jacob David “Jack” Lindy, a psychiatrist who helped to found and lead the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, died Nov. 7, 2022. He was 85. Dr. Lindy served as a captain in the U.S. Army stationed in Germany. In 1967, he moved his young family to Cincinnati, where he began the practice of psychiatry and his work with veterans returning from the war in Vietnam. In 1979, Dr. Lindy married his friend and colleague, Joanne. Together, they began pioneering work on diagnosing and treating post-traumatic stress disorder through early intervention at the scenes of disasters and in follow-up studies. He later helped to build the Cincinnati Psychoanalytic Institute and the Cincinnati Center for Psychoanalysis. He served as residency training director at the University of Cincinnati’s psychiatry department. Dr. Lindy played the piano, learned to compose chamber music, and wrote dozens of plays, books, and essays. He is survived by his wife, Joanne, five children, 10 grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.
Gerald Lawrence Mackler, a hematologist and oncologist, died Jan. 5, 2023, at age 85. He trained at the University of Pennsylvania and the National Cancer Institute in Washington, D.C., before moving to Athens, Pennsylvania, where he practiced medicine for many years. He also taught at SUNY Binghamton. Dr. Mackler loved literature and classical music. He played piano in a trio. He is survived by his wife, Birgitta, four children, and seven grandchildren.
Jeanne W. Baer, a radiologist and longtime Closter, New Jersey, resident, died Sept. 26, 2022. Dr. Baer is survived by three children. She was known as “Mama Baer” to her five grandchildren.
Stephen Miles Berger, a pioneer of invasive cardiology, died Dec. 7, 2022. He was 83. He trained at Albert Einstein Medical Center and the Mayo Clinic before completing a tour in 1969 as a U.S. Army physician in South Korea, where he met his wife, Sukie, in Pusan. They returned to Philadelphia to complete Dr. Berger’s residency and fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania before settling in Columbus, Ohio. He founded Cardiology Inc., where he and his eventual 10 partners ran Ohio’s most extensive cardiology practice for 40 years. Dr. Berger played the piano and guitar, was a member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians, and spoke French. He received a lifesaving transplant in 2009. He is survived by his wife, Yong Suk “Sukie,” three daughters, and six grandchildren.
Michael “Mike” Dee Iseman, who helped build the pulmonary medicine program at National Jewish Health in Denver, Colorado, died Nov. 20, 2022, after a brief battle with cancer. He was 83. After medical school, Dr. Iseman served two years in the U.S. Navy, stationed out of Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. He later served in the National Guard in Colorado. He served on the University of Colorado medical school faculty, led the tuberculosis program at National Jewish Hospital, and was inducted into the Hall of Fame for the American Thoracic Society. An accomplished athlete, Dr. Iseman was a member of the Nebraska High School Sports Hall of Fame. He played rugby at Columbia. In his 40s, he was persuaded to try crew and went on to win a masters world championship. Dr. Iseman is survived by his wife, Joan, two sons (including Matt Iseman’98), and a granddaughter.
J. Dennis Baker, professor emeritus of surgery at UCLA and researcher in vascular physiologic testing and imaging, died Jan. 26, 2021, due to heart failure. He was also a doctor at the Veterans Administration for more than 46 years as a surgeon, chief of vascular, and administrator. Though born in Michigan, Dr. Baker was raised in Cuba. After medical school, he served in the U.S. Public Health Service in Panama before training at Bellevue Hospital in New York, Tufts-New England Medical Center, and Henry Ford Hospital. He joined UCLA in 1975 and was a member of several vascular societies, receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society for Clinical Vascular Surgery in 2010. Dr. Baker spoke several languages, loved water sports, and raised Samoyed dogs. He is survived by his wife, Kay, two sons, and four grandchildren.
David C. Charlesworth, a cardiac surgeon at Catholic Medical Center in New Hampshire from 1986 to 2010 and co-founder of Cardiothoracic Surgical Associates there, died Nov. 14, 2022. He was 77. Dr. Charlesworth served in the U.S. Army Medical Corps in Germany from 1972 to 1975 before completing surgical training at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. He joined the Hillsborough County Medical Society and New Hampshire Medical Society when he moved to New Hampshire from Utah in 1986 and was appointed president of the New Hampshire Medical Society in 2000. He helped found the Northern New England Cardiovascular Disease Research Group. He loved skiing, running, and golf. Dr. Charlesworth is survived by his wife, Jane, three children, and seven grandchildren, who knew him as “Poppy.”
Olin L. West, a psychiatrist and neurologist, died Oct. 31, 2022. He was 83. His early work involved team development in hospital and community settings, specializing in group therapies and programs such as the day hospital in the basement of the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine. In the 1970s, he was elected Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association for his work developing housing options for indigent, mentally ill people in New York City. Dr. West, who was known as the “big O,” is remembered as a courageous man who once saved his son when a horse the son was riding became spooked. He also rescued a large family dog from drowning in an icy pond. A longtime tenor banjo player who loved New Orleans Dixieland, Dr. West gained professional experience in the 1970s playing in Greenwich Village jazz bars. He was greatly admired as an athlete in his youth and loved tennis, fishing, and animals. Dr. West is survived by his wife, Katherine, two sons, and one grandchild.
James B. Calderbank, an internist and anesthesiologist in Asheville, North Carolina, died Sept. 24, 2021. He was 74. He had a private practice in internal medicine for nine years and worked in emergency room trauma care before completing a second residency in anesthesia and working 22 years in that specialty. Dr. Calderbank retired in 2016 from Mission/St Joseph’s Hospital in Asheville. He enjoyed tinkering with toys, was an avid birder, loved riding motorcycles, and was an experienced radio-controlled model pilot. He is survived by his wife, Sandra, two children, and four grandchildren.
Gunar Gundis Mezaraups, former chief of radiology at both Seton and St. David’s hospitals in Austin, Texas, died Nov. 13, 2022, following a battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 75. Dr. Mezaraups was born in a displaced persons camp in Germany and immigrated with his parents to the United States in 1951 after the Soviet invasion of their Latvian homeland. His beginnings as a refugee gave him a gracious perspective and belief that people should accept the cards they are dealt and not become anxious or stressed about things beyond their control. He trained at UCLA, became an assistant professor, and then moved to Austin and joined its Radiological Association. He loved traveling, art, skiing, history, and crossword puzzles. He is survived by his wife, Lauren, and two children.
Charles “Chuck” G. Wagner, an emergency room physician, died Oct. 8, 2022. A decorated helicopter pilot, he served in the U.S. Army in Korea in 1965 and in Vietnam from 1966 to 1967. Dr. Wagner trained at St. Luke’s Hospital in New York City and worked in Illinois before joining Milford Memorial Hospital in Milton, Delaware. In 1980, he established the Milton Family Practice. It grew to serve 12,000 patients and was rebranded as Pointe Primary Care. Dr. Wagner later became a qualified hot air balloon pilot. He designed and ordered a balloon to represent Delaware, named it “Della,” started the state’s first hot air balloon team, and organized hot air balloon festivals in Milton with funds benefiting local children’s health and theater programs. He held several patents for energy conservation, monitoring technology, and hardware. He is survived by his wife, Patt, two children, four grandchildren, a stepson, and two step-grandchildren.
Paul Anthony “Tony” di Sant’Agnese, a surgical pathologist and teacher, researcher, and department head who practiced at the University of Rochester/Strong Memorial Hospital for four decades, died Oct. 28, 2022. He was 73. A leader in the field of prostate research, he was the first author on neuroendocrine differentiation in carcinoma of the prostate and the first person to identify the neuroendocrine prostate cell under a microscope. This discovery of a mutation of common prostate cancer cells allowed for the possibility of prostate cancer cells deviating and displaying different markers, calling for alternative treatment protocols. Dr. di Sant’Agnese retired in 2014 and moved to Naples, Florida, and Lake Norman, North Carolina. He enjoyed the beach and swimming in the lake with his family’s golden retriever, Wrigley. He is survived by his wife, Anita, three children, and a sister.
Mary Ellen (Leder) Skalina, a retired neonatologist at Cooper University, Lankenau, and Chester County hospitals in Pennsylvania, died July 29, 2022. She was 70. She trained at Children’s National Hospital in Washington, D.C., and at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland. Nicknamed “Mel” for her initials, Dr. Skalina is remembered for her composure and elegance in even the most trying of circumstances and was known to appear in the delivery room in scrubs, pearls, and high heels. She published oft-cited early research on neonatal hypertension, respiratory distress syndrome, and other issues regarding newborns in the American Journal of Perinatology, the Journal of Pediatrics, and other publications. She served on the board of directors for A Better Chance Strath Haven and as a volunteer at Congregation Ohev Shalom. Dr. Skalina enjoyed cooking and the Pennsylvania Ballet. She took up ballroom dancing with her husband to keep active after she was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2000. She is survived by her husband and fellow physician, Dr. Stefan Skalina, three children, and four grandchildren.
Robert Charles Lauer, a cardiologist known as “Dr. Bob,” died Aug. 17, 2022, after a four-year battle with prostate cancer. He was 75. He received his PhD degree from Columbia in 1974 in microbiology and immunology. Dr. Lauer later completed medical training at NewYork- Presbyterian. In 1983, he joined a cardiology practice in New Jersey. He was a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology. From 2010 to 2012 he developed a cardiology clinic for thousands of low-income people in Artesia, New Mexico. He returned to New Jersey and spent the next four years as an employee of Deborah Heart and Lung Hospital in an office in Manahawkin. Dr. Lauer was an avid sportsman and accomplished pianist. He is survived by his wife, Phyllis, two sons, and a granddaughter.
Susan L. Rattner, an internist and academic administrator, died Dec. 22, 2022, after three years of battling AL amyloidosis. She was 70. She was a member of the first class to include women at Union College, was elected to Alpha Omega Alpha at VP&S, and completed a residency in internal medicine at Presbyterian. Dr. Rattner became assistant dean for student affairs at Hahnemann in Philadelphia and earned an MS degree in clinical epidemiology from the University of Pennsylvania during a sabbatical year. She later became vice dean for academic affairs/undergraduate medical education at Jefferson Medical College and was elected to the American College of Physicians. She edited the book, “Professionalism in Medicine: The Case-based Guide for Medical Students.” She retired from the university in 2016 but continued caring for patients in women’s health at the Philadelphia Veterans Administration and the Community Volunteers in Medicine clinic in West Chester, Pennsylvania. She was a longtime faculty adviser for the Foundation for the Advancement of International Medical Education and Research, enjoying contact with physicians around the globe. Dr. Rattner is survived by her husband, Kenneth Mendel, MD, two children, and three grandchildren.
Srilakshmi “Sangeeth” Kottai Gnanasekaran, a pediatrician specializing in health care policy for children with chronic disease, died Sept. 11, 2022. She was born in Cairo, Egypt. Dr. Gnanasekaran received a bachelor’s degree in economics from Columbia College in 1993. She also studied public health at Columbia and completed her pediatric residency at Columbia in 2003. Dr. Gnanasekaran loved to travel, cook, and dine out with friends and family. She also really loved chocolate. She is survived by her husband, Christopher William, and a son.