Pat Gabbe, ’69 MD, wrote an article published by U.S. News discussing the racism she sees daily during her job as a pediatrician
In the article, she speaks about racism in Ohio and how children, specifically black infants, are affected. She urges Ohio lawmakers to “consider a resolution that would make the state the first to [declare racism a public healthcrisis].”
Jump to class year:
Class of 1961
Daniel Wilhelm, '61 MD, Retires from Active Practice
Dr. Daniel Wilhelm is well known as maybe the biggest fan of Ohio State football in St. Clair County. It's a measure of how well-liked he is that most people forgive him for that. The doctor, who probably has seen most of the kids in St. Clair County, retired in July after 52 years of practice as a pediatrician.
"I grew up in Columbus, and I was a Buckeye fan," Wilhelm said. "Played a lot of football down there and actually was asked by Woody Hayes to come to Ohio State.
"Being 18, I wanted to get out on my own and ended up at the University of Dayton. Played ball there a year and got hurt and decided to focus on the medical aspect of things.
"... I was accepted into medical school after three years at Dayton. I got my MD from Ohio State and also a master’s degree from Ohio State."
Wilhelm, 82, came to Port Huron in 1966, but the man from Columbus retained some Ohio roots.
"I send out some personal Christmas cards I make myself that have something to do with the results of The Game," he said. "And my license plate says 'Beat M'
"We have a lot of fun with that rivalry. ... I think it’s been a great rivalry. I've had a lot of fun with it."
After he finished his training in pediatric medicine in Columbus, Wilhelm spent two years working as a pediatrician at a U.S. Public Health Service hospital on Staten Island in New York.
"I decided I wanted to go back to the Midwest and somewhere on the water," he said. "I came here and saw that blue water for the first time … and I fell in love with it."
He entered practice with Dr. Robert Lugg in 1966.
"I enjoyed working with the kids," Wilhelm said. "You can see good results when you do the right thing. It keeps you young."
When Wilhelm started, childhood diseases such as measles, chicken pox and polio still were common.
"I think with pediatrics, it was very important to try to prevent diseases such as polio through immunizations, meningitis through immunizations, and try to provide guidance for parents as their children grow up," he said.
In the past two decades, Wilhelm said, his focus shifted.
"I saw a big change in pediatric practice," he said. "Those infectious diseases weren’t as common, and I saw a real need to help children who were struggling in school or had behavior issues. That’s the direction I went.
"I personally don’t believe kids choose to do poorly in school or misbehave," Wilhelm said. "If you try to find the reason and work with them on that, they will try to do well.
"You need to put together a good plan with the family that includes the kid himself and the school and myself. I saw a lot of changes and a lot of success."
Wilhelm has six children of his own who grew up in Port Huron. He has been married to Susan for 27 years.
He said he plans to do some consulting work with Renewal Christian Counseling Center in Port Huron "just to keep me young."
"I actually miss the kids," he said. "They are truthful and straight forward, and sometimes they say things that are very funny."
Class of 1962
Congratulations to the 2019-2020 Learn. Serve. Inspire. Curriculum Award winners: Ernest Mazzaferri, ’62 MD
John W. Metcalf Jr., MD, Res Retires after 60 years
Dr. John W. Metcalf Jr. has been getting acclimated to a new schedule this month.
No more getting up and going to work — a radical change of habit given a 60-year career came to a close for the nonagenarian who began his private practice in gynecology and obstetrics in Steubenville on July 1, 1959.
It ended officially on July 3 in the Women’s Health Center at Weirton Medical Center where Metcalf wore his white lab coat one last time and saw his final patient.
His new “boss,” he jokes, is his wife of 43 years, Theresa.
And his new schedule?
“I’m going to get up in the morning and take a shower and shave, come down and eat breakfast and take my first nap,” Metcalf said, smiling softly during a recent conversation in his living room where career memorabilia and remnants from a surprise party were left to linger and savor.
The staff of Weirton Medical Center, current and past co-workers, and his family had surprised Metcalf on June 20, his 90th birthday, with a combination birthday and retirement party in the hospital boardroom. WMC had been his home away from home since it purchased his private practice in 1999.
The celebration included the presentation of a plaque that reads: “In recognition of decades of distinguished service in your community. Thank you, Dr. John Metcalf, for making WMC a better place!” It now joins other through-the-years acknowledgments on a table underneath a “Tree of Life” wall hanging that had been an office fixture.
“I put my lab coat on and found out I didn’t have any patients,” Metcalf said, recalling his actions in the moments before the party unfolded, a setting where Theresa had scurried to make photo boards for the occasion — “like he’s graduating from high school,” she said.
One of the boards bears photos showing Metcalf holding some of the thousands of babies he delivered; another is a photo of Metcalf with his father, the late John W. Metcalf, who operated a family practice in Jefferson County from 1922 until his death in 1960 and was his son’s inspiration for entering the medical field. And there are pictures of staff members, among them nurse Annie Wright, who worked with Metcalf for 38 years.
The festivities brought comments from Dr. Jasbir Singh Makar, cardiovascular disease and internal medicine specialist, who spoke about his longtime friendship and working relationship with Metcalf.
“Fifty-two years ago, July 1, 1967, I was lucky enough to meet this man,” Makar said. “I could have never asked for a better friend or teacher. There is no one with a more contagious smile or zeal and zest for helping others than this man.”
Makar shared a story of how he had only been in the area briefly and only flown three times in his life, when Metcalf offered to take him up in his personal plane to get an aerial view of the then-Ohio Valley Hospital where they both worked.
“There we were, up above the hospital, and he takes his hands off the controls and told me to fly the plane,” he said. “That is how he was. If he saw something in you, he trusted you. I did not fly that plane.”
Makar ended the story by noting that while he didn’t take control of the aircraft, he did take over when Metcalf would offer him the chance to assist or even finish a procedure in the operating room.
“May we all have a great career and full head of hair like you when we retire,” Makar added.
Sharon Evans was another co-worker celebrating Metcalf at the party.
“I was his nurse for 12 years,” she said. “I kept saying I was going to wait for him to retire first, but he held on too long. When I think of him the words ‘love,’ ‘respect’ and ‘admire’ are what come to mind.”
Blanche Williams, a retired nurse, helped Metcalf start the Family Planning Association clinic in Steubenville in 1971, now the Women’s Health Center.
Williams said Metcalf called her and told her he wanted to start a place where low-income and uninsured women could get the health care they needed.
“He is what you want in a doctor,” she said. “He never said no to a patient that I asked him to see.”
Ann Quillen, former executive director of the Jefferson County Fourth Street Health Center, now the Ohio Valley Health Center, said Metcalf always treated any patient at the clinic with full respect and made sure they got a complete exam.
“He was always kind to the women, and they got the very best care he could give,” Quillen said of the free clinic where Metcalf had served as a volunteer until recently.
A Valley Life story noting Metcalf’s 50 years in practice bore the headline “The doctor is in … still.”
Not now, though.
“After 60 years, I think it’s time,” he said.
“Sixty years is a long time to work.”
That such longevity in one profession is a rarity, Metcalf noted, “Well, obviously I liked my job, and I liked to work, and I cut back down on the hard things — the deliveries I didn’t do after 2004 and then I stopped surgery shortly thereafter, so I have been doing just office work since.
“I started in 1959 — I was 30. And I’m 90,” he said.
Metcalf said he always wanted to be a doctor other than some fleeting thoughts as a boy of other options — a cowboy or a fireman, perhaps.
In high school, Metcalf knew he was destined to be a doctor.
“He told me he would go with his dad, who had a family practice, and they did house calls, so he’d get in the car and go with him, and if there were kids playing outside in the yard where his dad went to make the call, he’d get out and play with them,” Theresa interjected. “I thought that sounds like him. He loves to play.”
Doctoring was a serious pursuit, though.
Metcalf graduated from Toronto High School in 1947 and started college two weeks later at Kent State University, where he earned his bachelor of science degree and went on to the University of Maryland School of Medicine, his father’s alma mater. Metcalf earned his doctor of medicine degree in 1953 and entered the U.S. Navy, serving his internship in the U.S. Naval Hospital in San Diego.
He was assigned to duty with the Marine Corps in Japan and Korea during the waning years of the Korean conflict and was discharged with the rank of lieutenant commander.
He delivered more than a hundred babies during his internship before attending graduate school at Ohio State University where he completed his residency in obstetrics and gynecology, receiving a master of medical science degree.
He was certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology in 1962.
He’d always envisioned himself returning to his hometown area to practice — a plan that prevailed.
He started his private practice in obstetrics and gynecology in Steubenville on July 1, 1959, in the downtown First National Bank building’s 11th floor and was on the medical staff of Ohio Valley Hospital, Gill Memorial Hospital and Weirton General Hospital. He was the first chairman of the obstetrics and gynecology department when St. John’s Hospital opened. He also served as chairman of that department at OVH and as president of the medical staff.
Fast forward 60 years, and blink, blink, the career is history.
“It was nice — a wonderful job,” Metcalf said. “I enjoyed it.”
What did he like most about it?
“Taking care of people and the relationship I had with my patients,” he responds without hesitation.
Having treated generations of patients and delivered thousands of babies can be cause for amusing moments.
It’s not uncommon, for example, for the Metcalfs to be approached by a mother and grown child, with the mother noting, “Don’t you remember, Dr. Metcalf — he delivered you.”
Metcalf flips through the pages of a 15 cent notebook that documented births early on — one baby here, one baby there.
“It takes a while when you first start to get some patients,” he said.
He would bring new lives into the world up until 15 years ago.
“It was more than 6,000 but fewer than 7,000 babies,” Metcalf said. “There were years when I did a baby a day.”
“He really loved it, he did. It was fun,” Theresa said. “We’d be out at a social event or just out period, and he’d get a call and go to the delivery room, so I would go, too,” she said.
“At the old Ohio Valley, before it was Trinity, I could sit at the nurses’ station, and I could see him, and the back of the patient so I wasn’t invading on the patient’s privacy, and I could tell how much he enjoyed it. He looked so happy. It was just great to watch. I knew he loved it, and I loved watching him, and he was so good at it,” she said.
“And once in a while, if it was somebody I knew, I’d sit out in the waiting room with the grandparents or the parents or whoever. I knew he loved it, and it was just joyful, wasn’t it?” Theresa sought affirmation from her husband.
“When I’d go out in the middle of the night, she’d wake up when I had to leave, I’d go deliver a baby and come home, and she was still awake, and I fell asleep before she did,” Metcalf said.
“When you do obstetrics for a living, most of the time it’s a happy time. Occasionally you have a problem, and those are always sad, but you have to take the bitter with the sweet,” he said.
There have been many changes in health care in the past 60 years, according to Metcalf.
“Medicine is so different. When I started to practice, most people did not have insurance,” Metcalf said.
“It was between the patient and the doctor. You settled on a price, and they paid you the best way they could, and if they didn’t pay you, you ate it and went on to deliver the next baby,” he said.
“When I started my practice, it was $150 for global care, that included 9 months of prenatal care and six weeks and a 12-week check-up after. Then it went to about $2,500 maybe,” he said.
The Metcalfs are the parents of seven children; the great-grandparents of 26 — 20 of whom Metcalf delivered himself; and 19 great-great-grandchildren. Some medical influence made its way through the generations. Daughter Lisa, for example, is an orthopedic trauma surgeon. Granddaughter Molly is a pediatric nurse at Ruby Memorial.
Metcalf welcomes retirement with a tinge of emotion.
“I have a little sad feeling about it, but I think it’s time,” he said, grateful for the career he’s had and the memories it has fostered.
“If you’re lucky enough to find a job you really, really love, it’s not like going to work — it’s like going out to play,” he said.
“I enjoyed what I did, and I did what I enjoyed.”
Nine College of Medicine Alumni Selected as Members of Mazzaferri-Ellison Society of Master Clinicians Inaugural Class
An induction ceremony for the inaugural class of the Mazzaferri-Ellison Society of Master Clinicians was held at the Biannual Medical Staff Meeting on June 27, 2018. The society is named in honor of Drs. Ernest Mazzaferri Sr. and Chris Ellison, who have both been widely recognized for their clinical excellence, professionalism, leadership, exemplary service and commitment to The Ohio State University and the College of Medicine. The alumni selected include:
James Allen, '84 MD
Ron Harter, '89 MD
David Kasick, '03 MD
Lisa Keder, '89 MD
John Kissel, MD, Res
Ernest Mazzaferri Sr., '62 MD (in memoriam represented by Ernest Mazzaferri Jr., MD)
William Pease, MD, Res
Steven Steinberg, '78 MD
Pat Vaccaro, MD, Res
Class of 1966
2019 Courage to Teach Honors Handed Out
On April 25, 2019, Courage to Teach held a reception and awarded Mary Beth Fontana, '66 MD, emeritus professor of Internal Medicine, the 2019 Master Teacher Award. Al Steginsky, '83 MD was also honored.
Additionally, these residents were honored for their teaching excellence and inducted into Courage to Teach:
Kelly Copeland, '15 MD
Mitchell Ramsey, '15 MD
Mary Ryan, '16 MD
Jeffrey Schord, '16 MD
Shauna Schord, '16 MD
Wesley W. Hiser, '66 MD, inducted into Newton Hall of Fame
The Newton Local Schools inducted two new members into its Hall of Fame on Saturday, May 11 at its annual alumni banquet.
Wesley Hiser, of Casper, Wyoming, was nominated by Chuck Martin. Donna Wilberding, of Piqua, was nominated by Rob Schultz of Bellbrook, Jody Smith of Ludlow Falls, and Rick Perkins of Pleasant Hill.
Hiser graduated in 1958 from Newton High School. He was an honor student, a member of the track team, an FFA member and performed in the junior and senior class plays.
According to his 1958 senior yearbook, Hiser wanted to be a large-animal veterinarian.
Hiser attended The Ohio State University. According to his nomination, after two years of courses, he spoke to local veterinarians who convinced him not to go into that field. He then decided to obtain his medical degree from The Ohio State Medical School. Hiser interned in Los Angeles, California. While there, he was drafted into the U.S. Army. He was sent to Fort Sam Houston, then Fort Benning and was assigned to the 7th Special Forces. He also served with the 5th and 10th Special Forces.
Hiser spent 13 months on tour in Vietnam. He received the Bronze Star for his service and was also awarded the Combat Medics Badge.
In 1976, Hiser served as a pulmonologist at the Wyoming Medical Center.
Hiser admitted Vice President Dick Cheney several times and also cared for Cheney’s father.
Hiser was awarded the Physician of the Year Award in 2015 by the Wyoming Medical Society.
“Wes is a very humble man. His story needs to be told to our students as an inspiration to them. His service to his country and to his fellow man shows his concern for others. His work in the medical field is outstanding. Wes is an example of one of the finest students who have graduated from Newton High School,” stated Martin.
Carole Miller, ’66 MD, honored as a Local Legend by the National Library of Medicine for her lifelong achievement in neurosurgery
A distinguished professor emeritus of neurosurgery at The Ohio State University who served twice as interim chair of her department-in 1988-89 for the Division of Neurosurgery and, for the newly created Department of Neurological Surgery from 2003 to 2004, Carole Miller is clinical professor and director of OSU’s residency program.
Errol R. Alden, ’66 MD, was awarded the Ihsan Dogramaci Family Health Foundation prize for his globally recognized work in family health by the World Health Organization.
As part of the 2020 prize, he will receive $20,000.
Class of 1967
Russel E. Kaufman, ’73 MD and Jay E. Pfeiffer, ’67 MD inducted into Kenton City Schools Alumni Hall of Fame
Three new inductees into the Kenton City Schools Alumni Hall of Fame were announced. They are Russel E. Kaufman, class of 1964; Jay E. Pfeiffer, class of 1956, and Rodney Rogers, class of 1976. They were selected by an eight-member committee and were honored at the Kenton High School graduation in May.
Kaufman has been an academic leader in biomedicine for 35 years, serving Chief of Hematology/Oncology, Vice Chancellor at Duke University in Durham, NC, where he is currently an emeritus professor of Medicine and Biochemistry.
He left Duke in 2002 to become President and CEO of The Wistar Institute in Philadelphia (first biomedical research institute in the U.S.), from which he retired in March 2015 and is president emeritus. He now is Executive-in Residence for Pappas-Capital in North Carolina and founder of Kaufman Life Sciences, his current consulting business.
But in the nomination letter submitted to the committee, it cites his roots coming from a working-class family in Hardin County where Kaufman’s curiosity led him to question everything from taking apart motors to reading the World Book Encyclopedia in its entirety.
During his youth his industry was exemplified by always having jobs, including a Kenton Times paper route. He usedh is savings to buy a lawn mower and created a yard mowing service.
Kaufman enrolled himself in Ohio State University, earned a bachelor’s degree in zoology and biochemistry, then went on to the OSU College of Medicine, graduation cum laude in 1973. That led to his distinguished career at Duke, where he was an outstanding and recognized teacher, clinician, and researcher.
Pfeiffer was a family physician in Kenton for 47 years, retiring in 2015. He became the first member of his family to receive a college degree. After graduation from KHS, he entered Ohio State University and earned a bachelor’s degree in biology. He was accepted into the Ohio State medical class which began in September of 1963. He received his MD degree in 1967. After a year spent in training at Mt. Carmel Hospital in Columbus, he was ready to start his practice in July of 1968.
According to a nominating letter from his family, although Pfeiffer had several other opportunities to practice, “We strongly believe that Dad never had any serious thoughts other than to return to Kenton, Ohio.” He opened his practice in July of 1968 and retired in October of 2015.
“We believe that giving medical care to the residents of Hardin County was a dream come true for Dad. His practice included the delivery of 1,100 babies and during the last few years he had the pleasure of seeing many third generation patients,” his family said.
Pfeiffer served the medical community in many ways, including at Hardin Memorial Hospital, where he was chief of staff, chief of obstetrics and chief of family practice for 12 years. He served as health commissioner of Hardin County for 24 years and was medical director of one or more nursing homes for over 35 years.
He also enjoyed being the team physician for Kenton High School for several years.
Ernest R. Estep, '67 MD, Receives 2018 Summa Health Distinguished Physician Award at the 2018 Summa Society Celebration
Ernest R. Estep, MD – “Ernie” to his friends – is an icon to a generation of patients and physicians in Akron. He was a trusted mentor to countless residents – including many current Summa Health leaders – during nearly 30 years as an obstetrician and gynecologist. Among patients, he earned a sterling reputation as a conscientious and caring physician.
Dr. Estep served in a variety of leadership positions, including medical staff president from 1986-89 and on the Summa Health board of directors from 1988-99, before retiring in 2004. His leadership also extended into the community as a founding member of the Medical Society of Greater Akron and its board of directors in 1996, serving as its president in 1999. He also has been a longtime board member of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park Countryside Conservancy, Akron Community Foundation and Bath United Church of Christ.
The Tiffin native graduated from his hometown college, Heidelberg, in 1963, and has served on its board of trustees since 2000. He married his high school sweetheart – and fellow avid gardener – Bonnie in 1964. The couple’s beautiful, 11-acre Bath Township estate, which is catalogued in the Smithsonian’s Archive of American Gardens, was featured in the March/April 2018 issue of Ohio Gardener magazine.
Summa Society Celebration
On May 24, Summa Health honored its most generous donors and the powerful and lasting spirit of philanthropy at the annual Summa Society Celebration with more than 350 guests at the Hilton Akron/Fairlawn.
The evening began with a special reception for members of the Thomas W. Cornell Society, which recognizes benefactors who have given $1 million or more to Summa Health. Cliff Deveny, M.D., interim president and chief executive officer of Summa Health, acknowledged their remarkable support for the health system with Anthony Lockhart, chair, Summa Health Board of Directors, and Thomas Clark, chair, Summa Health Foundation board of directors.
At the celebration, Dr. Deveny joined Clark, Lockhart and Phylis Ferrara, president, Summa Health Foundation and chief development officer, Summa Health, to thank guests for their generosity and assistance in strengthening the ability of Summa Health to provide the highest quality, compassionate care to patients, their families and the community.
Two prestigious awards were given to longtime friends of Summa Health. Ernest R. Estep, MD, received the Summa Health Distinguished Physician Award, the health system's highest physician honor. Richard M. and Yvonne Hamlin received the Boniface DeRoo Award for Philanthropy -- the health system's highest philanthropic award.
Class of 1968
My Turn: Neil Baum, '68 MD
My Favorite Medical School Professor
I was a third-year medical student at The Ohio State University and my first rotation was medicine\hematology. The rounding professor was Dr. Charles Mengel, no relation I’m sure to Dr. Josef Mengele of Auschwitz infamy. Dr. Mengel had a reputation as an expert in physical diagnosis. The routine would be for Dr. Mengel to perform a physical exam before the HOPI, PMH, and ROS was given to him and he predicted the chief complaint and offer a differential diagnosis.
The routine would include the hematology fellow, the first and second year IM resident, the intern and 3-5 medical students meeting at the nursing station at 8 a.m. The fellow would bring a recently laundered white coat and as Dr. Mengel would adorn the coat you could hear the starch in the sleeves separate like opening a Velcro strap on a hat band. Dr. Mengel was taken to the bedside of a patient who was usually admitted during the evening or early morning hours so that Dr. Mengel couldn’t have possibly seen the chart or have spoken to the patient. The admitting doctor introduced the patient to Dr. Mengel and the professor started his physical exam making only tangential comments about the weather, the hospital, or comments about the students but never asked any leading questions about the patient’s health history or chief complaint.
Dr. Mengel would start by examining the hair on the face and head, looking at the conjunctiva, performing a funduscopic exam, looking at the tongue and oral mucosa, taking the blood pressure and pulse, examining the chest and abdomen, examining the extremities, assessing the peripheral pulses in the extremities, observing the hands including the nail beds, and, finally, performing a neurologic exam.
This would usually take 10-15 minutes and then Dr. Mengel would predict a history of SOB, lack of energy, lethargy, difficulty with ambulation, falling, paresthesia of the lower extremities, visual problems and probably unable to drive a car at night, and pica or clay eating, which was a common condition in the rural communities of southern Ohio. His diagnosis was pernicious anemia, peripheral neuropathy and Vitamin B12 deficiency. He noted the severe skin pallor and he would predict within a point or two the hemoglobin and hematocrit and total iron binding capacity. He noted the beefy red discoloration of the tongue and optic neuritis on the funduscopic exam also signs of pernicious anemia. He predicted that the red cell morphology would reveal large, nucleated red cells. He diagnosed peripheral neuropathy using the tuning fork, a cotton bud, and the pin-prick test on the hands and feet. He examined the nail beds and noted the pallor comparing the patient’s nails to a student’s nails confirming the diagnosis of severe anemia.
The admitting doctor would then give the history and our mouths would often drop open as Dr. Mengel was so accurate in his evaluation and his diagnosis just from the physical exam.
Each of these patient evaluations was followed by a teaching sessions on some element of the patient’s evaluation and diagnosis. For example, he would ask what are the causes of vitamin B12 deficiency? He would start with the medical students and work his way up to the fellow for answers. He escalated his excoriation of the doctors with the least admonition to the students and nearly ruthless with the fellow if he\she didn’t know the answer. He would mime opening his newly starched lab coat and pretend he was writing on the interior of the coat the name of the doctor and how many causes he\she could name but always with a wink and a smile so that everyone knew he wasn’t serious about keeping score. I recall that these rounds were a great learning experience for the patient, the students, and the doctors. I can assure you that no one was bored on rounds with Dr. Mengel.
This unusual approach to the evaluation of the patient going backward from the physical exam to the history was very impressive to everyone on rounds with Dr. Mengel. Any student who had the opportunity to participate in this kind of learning would never forget those rounds and the importance of the physical examination.
Dr. Neil Baum
Professor of Clinical Urology
Tulane Medical School
New Orleans, LA
Class of 1969
Patricia Gabbe, ’69 MD, was honored in an article on HealthLeaders Media as a women leader in healthcare on International Women’s Day!
Pat Gabbe, ’69 MD, wrote an article published by U.S. News discussing the racism she sees daily during her job as a pediatrician
In the article, she speaks about racism in Ohio and how children, specifically black infants, are affected. She urges Ohio lawmakers to “consider a resolution that would make the state the first to [declare racism a public health crisis].”
Keith Wilson, ’69 MD, has published his fourth book entitled PLUNDER, and it has been described as a “thrilling blend of Indiana Jones and Romancing the Stone”
He was the director of the MRI Section at Toledo Hospital and the medical director of the PET-CT/MRI outpatient office. He has also written several short stories.