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In Memoriam

Yale Medicine Magazine, 2012 - Winter


C. Davenport Cook, M.D., the fourth chair of the Department of Pediatrics who oversaw the expansion of subspecialty services, died in Old Lyme, Conn., on September 4. He was 91. During his 10-year tenure, Cook, a ninth-generation physician, recruited faculty and oversaw the opening of the nation’s first modern neonatal intensive care unit at Yale. His commitment to underserved populations led him to become a founder of the Hill Health Center and to work as a physician in the New Haven public schools.

Gregory E. Gardiner, Ph.D., died on September 7 at his home in Stonington, Conn. He was 67. Gardiner was the former managing director of Yale’s Office of Cooperative Research, where he was responsible for development of technology and licensing of intellectual property created by Yale faculty. He devoted more than 30 years of industry, consulting, and investment experience to the Healthcare Group of CMM. He was also a partner in Elm Street Ventures, which specialized in the life sciences. He served as a director of five biotech companies as well as a consultant and advisor to several investment funds and pharmaceutical and biotech companies.

John A. Kirchner, M.D., a world-renowned physician-scientist who served as chief of the Section of Otolaryngology at Yale School of Medicine for 30 years, died on July 31 at Yale-New Haven Hospital after a brief illness. He was 96. Kirchner was a skilled surgeon and prolific researcher, with expertise in the anatomy, physiology, and pathology of the larynx and pharynx, and in the surgical treatment of laryngeal cancers.

Frank F. Richards, M.D., a professor emeritus of medicine (tropical) who served on the Yale faculty from 1968 until 2001, died on June 13 at Connecticut Hospice in Branford. He was 82. Richards co-founded and directed the MacArthur Center for Molecular Parasitology and Tropical Diseases at Yale and was a co-founder and associate director of the Morgan-Tan Centers of Biological and Medical Research at Fudan University in Shanghai.

Herbert S. Sacks, M.D., HS ’53, died on August 30 in New Haven. He was 84. Sacks was a renowned clinical professor of child and adolescent psychiatry at the School of Medicine, as well as an international medical consultant who worked with the U.S. Peace Corps and the Agency for International Development. He was a founding member of the Committee on International Health, which has awarded international student travel grants to Yale medical, nursing, and physician associate students for more than 40 years.
Sacks’ international work focused on the psychological impact of population dislocation caused by natural disasters and water development projects. He was an early advocate for the integration of traditional healing practices into structured public health programs in conjunction with village leaders and traditional healers. As president of the Connecticut Psychiatric Association, Sacks led a successful campaign to mandate group insurance coverage for outpatient psychiatric treatment—the first such state legislation in the country. In 1997, as president of the American Psychiatric Association, he spearheaded a national initiative for mental health parity in insurance coverage as part of a policy of universal access to mental health care.

Robert L. Scheig, M.D. ’56, HS ’61, FW ’62, professor emeritus of medicine at the State University of New York at Buffalo, died on April 8 at Hospice Buffalo. He was 80. After holding various appointments at Yale, Scheig was appointed professor of medicine at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine in 1973 and was its acting head of medicine until 1979. In 1981 he became head of the department of medicine at Buffalo General Hospital and professor of medicine at the University of Buffalo.

Michael D. Albis, M.D., HS ’50, a pediatrician in Hamden for many years, died on July 19 in Farmington Hills, Mich. He was 86.

Carole L. Berger, Ph.D., research scientist in the Department of Dermatology, passed away from a rapidly progressive malignancy on July 25. She was 66.

Thomas J. Coleman, M.D. ’46, an orthopaedic surgeon, died on July 1 in Arcadia, Calif. He was 89.

Charles J. Corbin, PA-C ’74, died on December 24, 2009. He was 73.

Lawrence G. Crowley, M.D. ’44, HS ’51, died on March 30 in Cupertino, Calif. He was 91. A surgeon, Crowley was the dean of the University of Wisconsin Medical School and dean and vice president for medical affairs at Stanford University after 1977.

M. Michael Eisenberg, M.D., HS ’62, died in New York City on February 24. He was 80 and had been a professor of surgery at Weill Cornell Medical Center.

Joseph I. Epstein, M.D. ’43, of Portland, Conn., died at home on May 29. A general practitioner and allergist, he was 92.

John H. Hageman, M.D. ’62, HS ’68, a vascular surgeon, died on March 30 in Toledo, Ohio. He was 76.

Paul J. Jakubiak, M.D., HS ’66, a neurosurgeon in Williamston, Mich., died at home on April 11. He was 74.

John J. Jasaitis, M.D. ’59, died on June 11 in Neptune, N.J. Until his retirement in 2009, he was a general surgeon in Manhattan. A veteran of the Vietnam War, he was 77.

Joseph F. Kell Jr., M.D. ’43, a retired neurosurgeon, died on March 15, 2010, in Richmond, Va. He was 92.

John B. LeRoy, M.D. ’50, who did early research on human DNA, died on April 22 in Eastham, Mass. He was 87.

Roland D. Paegle, M.D. ’61, a professor of pathology, died on April 6 in Tierra Verde, Fla. He was 74.

Boris G. Rifkin, M.D., formerly an associate clinical professor of psychiatry, died in Naples, Fla., on April 18 after a long illness. He was 80. Born in Cape Town, South Africa, he practiced psychiatry in New Haven and served as acting chair of the Department of Psychiatry at the Hospital of Saint Raphael in New Haven.

Michael H. Sheard, M.D., FW ’65, professor emeritus of psychiatry, died on June 15. He was 83.

William L. Shepard, M.D. ’53, a retired internist, died on June 26 in San Luis Obispo, Calif. He was 83.

Elihu S. Wing Jr., M.D. ’46, died on April 10 in Providence, R.I., where for many years he was in private practice and led medical missions to Haiti. He was 89.

James W. Wood, M.D., HS ’67, who for many years was in a gastroenterology practice in Greenwich, Conn., died on April 24 in Pittsford, Vt. He was 76.

Send obituary notices to Claire M. Bessinger, Yale Medicine, 1 Church Street, Suite 300, New Haven, CT 06510, or via e-mail to