Saturday, August 16, 2008

Summer hiatus

My summer vacation is upon me, and none too soon: today's highs in Portland will again flirt with the 100-degree mark, the third day in a row of unusual heat here in the Pacific Northwest. I'll be out of the office from August 18-22, but will be back to blogging after my return on August 25.

Friday, August 15, 2008

In memoriam: Rodney K. Beals, MD, 1931-2008

We are saddened this morning on hearing confirmation of the death of Dr. Rodney K. Beals, M.D., graduate of the University of Oregon Medical School (Class of 1956) and professor emeritus in the Department of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation.

Dr. Beals died of leukemia, which he had been battling for some time. His illness gave us pause when considering him for an oral history interview this summer, but Dr. Beals was adamant that he had the strength and stamina to do it. And did he ever! After three hours of interviewing, he was still going strong even as the crew was flagging. He completed edits to the bulk of the interview transcript just a few weeks ago and had already sent them to us for final corrections.

A short obituary for Dr. Beals was published in this morning's Oregonian. In an announcement to the community, School of Medicine Dean Mark Richardson gave a precis of Beals' career:
Dr. Beals’ long relationship with the OHSU School of Medicine spanned five decades. He served as Head of the Division of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation within the Department of Surgery from 1981 to 1994, and was a Professor in the Department of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation when it was established in 1994. Dr. Beals was an active clinician, researcher and teacher until his retirement this year.

A graduate of Willamette University, Dr. Beals received his MD degree from the University of Oregon Medical School (the precursor to the OHSU School of Medicine) and interned at Minneapolis General Hospital before completing residencies at San Bernadino County Hospital and at OHSU.

He was nationally-recognized for his research on skeletal manifestations of dwarfing conditions and was widely published, with over 150 articles and other publications. His clinical and research activities were closely interwoven. He collaborated through much of his career with pediatrician and medical geneticist Dr. Frederick Hecht. Dr. Beals often related how their meeting was the consequence of an enduring academic challenge – scarce lab space. As neighbors in the same lab each became interested in the work of the other. Among other outcomes, they unraveled the genetic basis for two muscular disorders which, today are named after their professional partnership. Beals Syndrome, named for Dr. Beals alone and the third to bear his name in honor of his defining work, is an inherited disorder where certain joints are permanently fixed in a flexed position.
A kind and personable man with a passion for medicine and the history of orthopedics in Oregon, Dr. Beals will be greatly missed.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Upcoming Event: A Lady Alone

At long last, OHSU will be host to the one-woman show A Lady Alone, a play based on the life and times of Elizabeth Blackwell, M.D. The OHSU Center for Women's Health is sponsoring the event, which is free and open to the public. Advance registration is required, though; register online here.

Complete information:

A Lady Alone - Elizabeth Blackwell: First Woman Doctor

Event Details:
Join us for this inspiring theatrical presentation of the life of Elizabeth Blackwell: first woman doctor. After being rejected by all the leading medical schools, Miss Blackwell was accepted by Geneva Medical College where she graduated first in her class in 1849, becoming the first woman doctor to graduate from medical school and the first woman doctor of medicine in the modern era. In addition to starting medical schools for women, she was a social activist working to make the lives of women and children better. Besides the obvious challenges she faced, she lost an eye and had to let go of her dream of becoming the first woman surgeon. Her story is fast moving, riveting and full of inspiration.

Event Date: Tuesday, September 24, 2008
Event Time: 5:30 pm
Location: OHSU Auditorium-Old Library Building, Marquam Hill Campus, 3181 SW Sam Jackson Park Rd
Contact Phone: 503-418-4506
Contact Email: cwh[at]
Online Reg. Closes: Sun, Sep 21, 2008 11:59 PM PDT

Additional Information:
Admission is free, but reservations are required.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

John Terry on the "firebrand" Marie Equi

A note that we are now smack dab in the middle of a two-part newspaper series on one of Oregon's early women physicians, the infamous, the "firebrand," Marie Equi.

John Terry, author of the weekly "Oregon's Trails" column in the Sunday edition of the Oregonian, gave us part one on August 10 (available online free for what appears to be about a month or so). The first installment covers the episode in which Equi horsewhips a minister in The Dalles, OR.

Equi, shown here in her 1903 class picture from the University of Oregon Medical School, was recently featured in the local installation of the NLM traveling exhibit Changing the Face of Medicine: Celebrating America's Women Physicians. It's too bad that Mr. Terry's column comes just days after that exhibit closed...

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Summer cleaning: our windfall

As departments continue to spend quiet summer hours cleaning out old files, we continue to receive materials. Today, a cheerful Delivery Services employee dropped off eight more boxes of records from OHSU Community Relations. Looking quickly through, I found binders full of Campusgram issues and a handful of other university publications, plus documentation of the activities of the Marquam Hill Steering Committee (art exhibits and other community events) and OHSU Public Relations (ad campaigns and donor information). There is also an entire box plus of records from the OHSU Research Convocations.

But the coolest thing I've seen so far--and this will tell you how much information professionals appreciate the quiet amateurs in their midst--is a binder containing a typescript Index to the Board minutes, covering the years ca. 1929-1958, with sections for everything from policies and budget authorizations to sabbaticals and travel requests, gifts to military affairs, commencement to curriculum. For each item, there is a date and page number. All I can say is, THANK YOU MARY ANN LOCKWOOD!

The complete index table of contents, for OHSU history junkies, is shown below:

Monday, August 11, 2008

More gems from Friday's donation

Along with Lavinia Dock's textbook on Materia Medica for Nurses, we received on Friday five boxes of records from the School of Nursing and one and a half boxes of personal papers from Barbara Gaines, RN, EdD, professor of nursing and author of the only available history of the school.

With half-staff this week (our archivist is taking a well-earned week off), there won't be much processing of this material for a while, but I couldn't resist opening some folders. We have received a run of the Faculty News Bulletin, a monthly mimeographed newsletter from the then-named Dept. of Nursing Education within the University of Oregon Medical School. Among the bulletins were a few true memos, sent out by Dean Jean Boyle to the school's faculty and staff. The memo below caught my eye and tickled my fancy: it's a wonderful example of how much simpler campus life--and library collection management--were fifty years ago.

Plus, since I myself am headed down again this warm and humid afternoon on our continuing quest to assess all the volumes in off-site storage, I was interested to see that the faculty used to be as engaged in the process as the librarians were. If only I could get some of the nursing faculty to don grubbies and head down there with us today....!