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In Memoriam

Yale Medicine Magazine, 2012 - Autumn


Arthur Edward Baue, M.D., the former chair of the Department of Surgery at Yale, died at home in Hamden, Conn., on December 28, 2011. He was 82. Baue devoted much of his career to the study of shock following trauma and is credited with defining the concept of posttraumatic multiple organ failure in the care and study of injured patients. A graduate of Harvard Medical School, he performed his general surgery training at Massachusetts General Hospital before pursuing advanced thoracic surgical training in 1962 at the Frenchay Hospital in North Bristol, England. He then returned to the United States; after a year at the University of Missouri School of Medicine, he was recruited by the University of Pennsylvania in 1963. Baue returned to Missouri in 1967 as the surgeon in chief and Edison Professor of Surgery at the Jewish Hospital of St. Louis. In 1975 he was recruited to Yale as the Guthrie Professor and chair of the Department of Surgery as well as surgeon in chief of Yale-New Haven Hospital. He returned to St. Louis University Medical Center as a professor of surgery in 1985 and retired in 1997.

James J. Fischer, M.D., Ph.D., HS ’65, chair of the Department of Therapeutic Radiology at the School of Medicine from 1972 to 2002, died while running on the beach near his home in Madison, Conn., on February 22. He was 75. Fischer received his undergraduate degree from Yale in 1957, his medical degree from Harvard in 1961, and his Ph.D. in 1964. He conducted pioneering studies on the use of nuclear magnetic resonance to study enzyme complexes, publishing a seminal paper on the topic in Nature in 1963. He returned to Yale in 1964 for an internship in internal medicine under Paul Beeson, M.D., then trained as a clinical and research fellow in the Department of Radiology. Fischer was named the Robert E. Hunter Professor when radiation therapy became a free-standing department in 1972. He was also appointed chair of the new department, a position he held until 2002.

Gilbert H. Glaser, M.D., the founding chair of the Department of Neurology, died on January 21, 2012, at the Hospital of Saint Raphael in New Haven. He was 91. Glaser was a professor emeritus at the School of Medicine and considered an international authority on epilepsy. He is widely acknowledged as one of the founders of neurology as an independent discipline.

Glaser received his undergraduate and medical degrees from Columbia University and trained at the Neurological Institute of Columbia University. From 1946 through 1948, he served as director of the electroencephalography laboratory at Brooke Army Medical Center in Texas. Glaser was an assistant attending and chief of the neurology clinic at the Neurology Institute in New York before moving to Yale in 1952 as assistant professor and head of the Section of Neurology, then a division within the Department of Medicine. He was appointed a full professor in 1963. Neurology became a free-standing department in 1971, with Glaser serving as its chair until his semiretirement in 1986. He retired fully in 1991.

John P. Hayslett, M.D., HS ’66, FW ’67, professor emeritus of medicine and founding chief of the Section of Nephrology, died at Connecticut Hospice on April 15. He was 77. Hayslett earned his medical degree in 1960 from Cornell University Medical College. He came to Yale in 1960 and served in administrative roles, including director of the Dana Medical Clinic, president of the medical staff of Yale-New Haven Hospital, and medical director of the Yale Physician Associate (PA) Program. A tireless advocate of the PA profession, he revised the curriculum to allow the program to confer the master of medical sciences degree and advised students and faculty on their research projects. An inpatient medicine team at the VA Connecticut Healthcare System’s West Haven campus was named in his honor in 2011 in recognition of his outstanding service as a clinician and educator at that institution.

Howard M. Spiro, M.D., the founding section chief of gastroenterology in the Department of Internal Medicine and founding director of the Yale Program for Humanities in Medicine, died on March 11 in Branford, Conn., after a brief illness. He was 87.

Spiro graduated from Harvard College in 1944 and received his medical degree from Harvard in 1947. After completing an internship at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital (now Brigham and Women’s Hospital), he remained there to pursue research, primarily on gastrointestinal physiology. After serving for two years in the military as chief of gastroenterology at Madigan Army Hospital in Tacoma, Wash., he returned to Boston to spend two years in research at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Spiro was recruited to Yale in 1955 by Paul Beeson, M.D., to establish the first full-time academic gastroenterology section at Yale. His ambition was to establish a nationally recognized academic research section of gastroenterology and to incorporate both medical and psychological concerns in the teaching and provision of patient care. Spiro was well-known for his strong dedication to patients and bedside teaching.

In 1965 he established the Yale-Affiliated Gastroenterology Program, an educational collaboration among fellowship training programs in south-central Connecticut. He was a prolific writer, with publications ranging from his textbook Clinical Gastroenterology and scientific peer-reviewed papers to the popular books Doctors, Patients and Placebos; When Doctors Get Sick; and Facing Death. Spiro, along with Enid Peschel, Ph.D., a medical researcher and educator, established the Yale Program for Humanities in Medicine in 1982. Students, faculty, and members of the public would gather weekly to sip sherry and listen to speakers address topics breaching the boundaries between medicine and the humanities, including art, history, music, and politics.

Raymond S. Yesner, M.D., professor emeritus of pathology, former associate dean of the School of Medicine, and senior research scientist, died at his home in Woodbridge, Conn., on February 8. He was 97.

Yesner’s education began in a one-room schoolhouse in Wellington, Maine; he later attended P.S. 19 in New York City before high school at Boston Latin. At 16, he graduated with an academic scholarship to Harvard College. He chose Tufts for his medical education and completed his internship and residency at the Beth Israel Hospital in Boston. Yesner joined the School of Medicine in 1947 as an assistant professor and became chief of laboratory medicine at the VA Hospital in West Haven in 1953. He served as associate dean of the School of Medicine from 1968 to 1974. In 1969 he was promoted to chief of staff of the VA. He served as director of the electron microscope laboratory there until he became the director of the autopsy service at Yale. Yesner made significant contributions to the understanding of lung tumors and their pathology.

Alvin A. Bakst, M.D., HS ’49, a pioneer in open heart surgery, died on December 31 in Rancho Mirage, Calif. He was 87. Bakst traveled to Chile in 1962 with a team of doctors and nurses to perform the first open heart surgeries in that country and to train local surgeons. He was also a pioneer in pediatric open heart surgery and he invented a finger scalpel to facilitate open heart surgery on infants.

Robin S. Ballantyne, M.D., HS ’70, a retired radiologist, died on February 9 at his home in Reno, Nev. After serving in the U.S. Army from 1960 to 1962 he attended the University of San Francisco Medical School, interned at the School of Medicine, and completed his residency in diagnostic radiology at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in San Jose, Calif., in 1972.

Allan A. Brandt, M.D. ’51, of Milford, Conn., died on May 1. He was 89. Brandt practiced as a local physician for many years prior to becoming director of emergency medical Services at Milford Hospital. He was instrumental in establishing the city’s first Emergency Medical Services Council, which allowed Milford to pioneer participation in the national 911 system.

Donald S. Childs Jr., M.D. ’42, a retired radiologist, died on December 10, 2011 in Rochester, Minn. He was 95. Childs joined the Mayo Clinic in 1949 and retired in 1981. He was instrumental in forming the Department of Therapeutic Radiology at the Mayo Clinic and served as its chair for many years.

Sanford F. Cockerell, M.D. ’45, a retired pediatrician, died at his home in Independence, Mo., on January 31. He was 90.

Charles Daukas, M.D. ’55, died on January 8 at his home in Weekapaug, R.I. He was 81. Daukas practiced ophthalmology in East Hartford, Conn., before joining a practice in Warwick, R.I. He retired in 1998.

William O. Edward, M.D. ’55, died on January 1 in Albuquerque, N.M. He was 81. He practiced ophthalmology for 44 years and was a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, and a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the Frederick Cordes Eye Society, and the American Society of Retina Specialists. He was co-founder and organizer of the Aspen Retinal Detachment Society, an international organization for the study of the retina founded in 1972.

James F.X. Egan, M.D., HS ’70, an ob/gyn, died at his home in Groton Long Point, Conn., on March 19.

Sheldon Fox, M.D., HS ’42, died on March 29 at his home in Hillside, N.J., after a long illness. He was 92. Fox was a radiologist who operated the first cobalt super-voltage radiotherapy equipment in New Jersey. He also introduced angiography, nuclear medicine, ultrasonography, and computed tomography in the state.

John S. Goetcheus, M.D., HS ’71, died on November 19 in Boca Grande, Fla. He was 73. Goetcheus, who received his medical degree from Western Reserve School of Medicine, practiced orthopaedic surgery in Essex, Conn., for 30 years. He was on the clinical faculty at the School of Medicine until his retirement in 2000.

William Harrison Jr., M.D. ’42, FW ’50, HS ’51, died on April 8 in Kingsport, Tenn. He was 95.

Paul W. Hoffert, M.D. ’45, HS ’46, of Tucson, Ariz., a retired general and vascular surgeon, died on February 12 in Mamaroneck, N.Y.

David L. Kneapler, M.D. ’72, who specialized in internal medicine and rheumatology and practiced in the San Francisco area for more than 30 years, died in his sleep on February 15. He was 65.

Frank Lepreau, M.D., HS ’45, a retired general and thoracic surgeon who served at medical missions in Kenya and Haiti, died on January 25 at his home in Westport, Mass. He was 99.

Richard P. Levy, M.D. ’47, a former head of the internal medicine residency program at Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine and a visiting professor of medicine at Dartmouth Medical School from 2001 to 2005, died on January 19, 2012, in Quechee, Vt.

Robert C. Merrill, M.D. ’51, died on February 24 in Victorville, Calif. He was 90. Merrill practiced medicine in the U.S. Air Force and in private practice. He most recently practiced at the Industrial Medical Group in North Las Vegas, Nev., before retiring in Victorville in 2001.

Milnor B. Morrison, Jr., M.D. ’52, died on February 16 in Kent, Conn. He was 93. After medical school and training in New York Morrison joined his father in general practice in Pawling, N.Y. Between them, they delivered hundreds of babies.

William O. Robertson, M.D., HS ’56, a pediatrician and founder of the Washington Poison Center, died on November 30 at his home in Seattle. He was 86. Robertson was one of Seattle's most influential physicians in pediatrics, toxicology, teaching and poison prevention.

Patricia H. Rosenberger, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist at the VA Connecticut Healthcare System in West Haven, died on June 20 in New Haven. She was 57.

George D. Stilwill, M.D., HS ’ 58, a retired orthopaedic surgeon, died on January 23 in East Lansing, Michigan. He was 89. Stilwill was a graduate of the University of Michigan Medical School and trained in orthopaedic surgery at Yale, Harvard University, Boston Children's Hospital, and Peter Bent Brigham Hospital.

Lynn C. Stoker, M.D. ’53, a retired general surgeon, died on March 4 at his home in White Bear Lake, Minn. He was 84.

Timothy J. Twito, M.D., HS ’88, died on December 24 at his home in Northfield, Minn. He was 54. He practiced general psychiatry for almost 25 years in Minnesota.

Raphael Zahler, M.D. ’80, Ph.D., a cardiologist and medical researcher who furthered understanding of heart physiology, died on December 13 in Glendora, Calif. He was 66. Zahler’s career spanned mathematics, computer science, cardiology, and medical research. In high school he was a finalist in the 1962 Westinghouse Science Talent Search and was granted tenure in the mathematics department of Rutgers University at age 26. Zahler went on to teach and practice cardiology at the University School of Medicine and at Kaiser Permanente–Los Angeles.

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