Walter F. Ballinger, MD, embodied the spirit of rigorous and broad-based learning at Washington University School of Medicine. Former head of the Department of Surgery, Ballinger relished his role as an educator.
“He thrived on teaching and cared deeply about training the next generation of surgeons,” says his wife, Mary Randolph Ballinger. “He always wanted to bring out the excellence in their talents.”
Timothy J. Eberlein, MD, the Bixby Professor and head of the Department of Surgery says, “Dr. Ballinger often said that training the next generation of surgeons would be the most important, and among our most challenging, tasks.”
So it was a fitting tribute that shortly before Ballinger passed away last year at the age of 85, one of his first surgical interns, Gordon W. Philpott, MD, suggested a fund that would support the establishment of the Dr. and Mrs. Walter F. Ballinger Surgical Academic Education Program. The initial endowment was funded by the Ballingers, and former residents and friends made generous contributions.
The program enables the Department of Surgery to expand the knowledge of surgical training beyond the clinical practice of surgery to include topics such as ethics, public health and health care delivery.
“This is a way to honor the school and the person and to benefit society through advancement of education,” says Philpott, emeritus professor of surgery and a former member of the university’s Board of Trustees. “It fits with Walter’s own passion of continuous learning.”
Washington University School of Medicine has received many gifts to honor faculty who have been outstanding mentors and colleagues. The outpouring of generosity for recent memorial gifts reflects the school’s collegial spirit.
In the Cardiovascular Division, the first John P. Boineau Lecture was held in April 2012 to honor Boineau’s contributions in the fields of cardiothoracic surgery and cardiology. The lecture fund was created through the generosity of current and former faculty and former residents.
“Dr. Boineau made substantial contributions to the Cox-Maze procedure for the treatment of atrial fibrillation, the most common arrhythmia that we treat,” says Douglas L. Mann, MD, Lewin Professor and chief of the Cardiovascular Division. “This procedure formed the basis for ablation therapy and is practiced by electrophysiologists on a daily basis. Dr. Boineau’s contributions will continue to be felt for the next decade, and likely well beyond that.”
In the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, the Paul Manske, MD Resident Learning and Teaching Center debuts next year to honor his memory. Manske, the former chairman of the department, died in April 2011.
“We are dedicating this space in honor of Dr. Manske because he was a world-renowned hand surgeon and a true gentleman who also was a highly effective teacher. This center will enable us to honor his legacy and his life here at the medical center where he spent nearly his entire career,” says Richard H. Gelberman, MD, the Fred C. Reynolds Professor and head of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. “It will be a state-of-the-art learning center for residents and house staff encompassing individual computer carousels, an anatomical dissection facility, and an arthroscopy and surgical skills simulation center.”
Former orthopaedic surgery resident Bruce A. Bollinger, MD, was among those who made a memorial gift to recognize Manske. “Dr. Manske was an excellent surgeon, research scientist and educator and was always very approachable with questions or issues,” says Bollinger. “I feel I owe much to him and the rest of the faculty during my time at Barnes, and I hope the new center will facilitate education and training through easier access to information and hands-on simulator equipment.”
In November, the Department of Pediatrics will host the 11th annual J. Neal and Lois Middelkamp Lecture. The lectureship rotates topics between Middelkamp’s passions — infectious diseases and medical education. “The establishment of this lectureship enables us to bring in national and world leaders to inform and inspire the Washington University community,” says Alan L. Schwartz, PhD, MD, the Harriet B. Spoehrer Professor and head of the Department of Pediatrics. The Middelkamps established the endowed fund in 2001 and, upon his death in November 2011, gifts in tribute to his accomplishments and mentorship were directed to the fund. The comments from former students and residents reflect a tremendous depth of gratitude for the role he played in their lives.
Another beloved mentor and colleague, Stuart S. Sagel, MD, will be recognized in the Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology with a conference room named in his honor. “Residents, fellows and faculty members alike benefited from his excellence as a clinician and teacher for decades,” says R. Gilbert Jost, MD, the Elizabeth E. Mallinckrodt Professor and head of the Department of Radiology and director of Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology. Teaching conferences will be held in the renovated space and will serve as an ongoing reminder of Sagel’s many contributions. Sagel passed away in November 2011, and the Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology will keep his legacy alive through this constant reminder.