Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Barbara Starfield

By now I assume that most readers of this blog are aware of the sudden death of Dr. Barbara Starfield this weekend. I have attached the letter from the Dean of the School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins, where she was a professor. Before I received this (indirectly) I first heard the news forward from literally around the world -- a US colleague forwarded a note from a colleague in Greece who had gotten it from one in South Africa. Since then, through various sources, I have received the news forward from a number of other countries; she was truly an internationally respected scholar.

In case there is anyone who doesn't know, Dr. Starfield, a pediatrician, was the pre-eminent scholar on health workforce policy. Her work, and that of her colleagues, on the benefits of systems based in primary care to the health of populations, generated the evidence that is much of the underpinning of current efforts to increase primary care in the US.

I, we, all of us, are greatly indebted to her, and those of us who did not know her personally will miss her leadership. 
Dear colleagues,

I have very sad news. Barbara Starfield, professor of Health Policy
and Management, died Friday evening of an apparent heart attack while
swimming—an activity that she dearly loved.

Our School has lost one of its great leaders. Barbara was a giant in
the field of primary care and health policy who mentored many of us.
Her work led to the development of important methodological tools for
assessing diagnosed morbidity burden and had worldwide impact. She was
steadfast in her belief that a quality primary care system is critical
to the future of health care in this country and worldwide and
received numerous accolades for her work in this important area.

Barbara came to Johns Hopkins in 1959 as a fellow in pediatrics at the
School of Medicine. She joined our School in 1962 where she earned her
MPH in epidemiology. As professor, she went on to lead the Division of
Health Policy in the Department of Health Policy and Management from
1975 to 1994. After stepping down as Division head, Barbara remained
an active member of the HPM faculty and was founding director of the
Primary Care Policy Center. She was named Distinguished University
Professor in 1994. Barbara was greatly admired as a teacher, mentor
and colleague.

I am sure that I speak for all of us when I say that my deepest
sympathies are with Tony Holtzman--Barbara’s husband, her four
children, her eight grandchildren, as well her many friends and
colleagues around the world.

We’ll provide information about funeral arrangements and a memorial
service when they are available.


Michael J. Klag, MD, MPH

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

No comments:

Total Pageviews