Betty Blumenthal, 1917 – 2006
Elizabeth “Betty” Blumenthal was a medical sculptor and member of the faculty of the Department of Art as Applied to Medicine for over 53 years. In her professional work, Betty designed and fabricated sub-dermal implants for patients with birth defects, deforming injuries, or recovering from cancer surgery. For more than three decades, notable plastic surgeons sought her skills for their patients.
Betty was a 1933 graduate of Western High School in Baltimore. She studied drawing at the Maryland Institute College of Art and later studied at the Schuler School of Fine Art in Baltimore.
In early 1943 when Ranice Crosby became the Director of the Department of Art as Applied to Medicine at Hopkins, Betty was director of the Photography unit at Johns Hopkins Hospital. They had been working together on an obstetrics book for Dr. Nicholson Eastman, so when Ranice decided to add photography to the curriculum, Betty was an excellent choice to teach the course. She taught photography for several years, and in 1944 added moulage (molding and casting body parts) to her instruction duties. Her love for medical sculpture came from her training in medical art at the University of Maryland under Carl Dame Clark. In 1946 The Sunday Sun Magazine (of The Baltimore Sun newspaper) had an article on the department at Hopkins and quoted Betty as saying “when she got a chance to work at the Hopkins, she knew that dreams do, sometimes, come true.”
Her knowledge of prosthetics and medical sculpture has been passed on to a lengthy legacy of medical illustrators. Students including Mary Ann Shumate, Gerald Hodge, and John Cody in the 40’s; Al Teoli, Neil Hardy, and Herb Smith in the 50’s; and Tim Hengst, Mark Miller, and Juan Garcia in the 70’s 80’s and 90’s all gained knowledge from her instruction. Her skills in patient casting and prosthesis sculpting made her a valuable asset our department. Her teaching was a precursor to the Facial Prosthetics clinic operating in our department today.
Always poised and smiling, Betty was a lovely presence in our department for many years.
Randy Brown, 1950 – 2009
For twenty years, our department benefited greatly from the contributions of Phillip Rand Brown, known to all as “Randy”. He was a dedicated teacher who contributed to the medical and surgical education of countless medical and graduate students, surgical residents, and fellows. Respected as animal clinician, he was frequently called upon at Hopkins for difficult animal surgeries and for veterinarian consultation. Randy added greatly to our curriculum as a teacher of surgical instrumentation and technique, a preceptor on many thesis projects, and a passionate participant in student critiques. He was popular with and respected by students and faculty in our department.
Veterinarian and Surgeon
Randy Brown received his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Georgia in 1975 and a Masters of Science in Experimental Surgery from McGill University in 1980. Following a surgical residency at Tufts University and then private practice, Randy joined the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine faculty in 1987. He received a Master of Business Administration degree from Johns Hopkins in 2007. He held a joint appointment in the Division of Comparative Medicine and the Department of Surgery and co-directed the Minimally Invasive Surgical Training Center (MISTC) at Hopkins.
Randy developed close ties with our department shortly after his arrival at Hopkins. His understanding of our field of study and willingness to share his surgical knowledge and expertise were a tremendous asset to our students and faculty. His contributions were recognized as he received the Ranice W. Crosby Distinguished Achievement Award in 1993.
Diplomacy through Medicine
He joined the 175th Medical Group in 1997 and led humanitarian missions to Belize, Central America and Huanuco, Peru before being appointed Medical Commander in 2003. He traveled to Belle Chasse, LA as Commander of medical personnel working at an EMEDS in support of Hurricane Katrina Relief. In 2006, he led over 50 members of the 175th Medical Group Wing, and Maryland Defense Forces on a 30-day humanitarian mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina. The following year, he led the 175th Medical Group to work at a Sioux Indian Reservation in Rosebud, SD. In recognition of his service above and beyond the call of duty, Col. Brown was awarded the Maryland Distinguished Service Cross at his memorial service in Baltimore.
(Dr.) Brown was a brilliant and respected teacher whose volunteerism, dedication, and commitment to the mission of the Defense Institute for Medical Operations helped build and improve the medical capacity of important U.S. allies around the world. He was an envoy of diplomacy through medicine. He personally taught hundreds of international military and civilian personnel how to develop trauma systems and improve disaster response in countries including Pakistan, Moldova, Chile, and Colombia. Additionally, he conducted environmental assessments in Uganda, Cape Verde, and Ghana and participated in a humanitarian mission in Bangladesh for severe flood disaster relief.
In addition to his academic life, Randy was an active and distinguished member of the US military. As Commander of the 175th Medical Group, Maryland Air National Guard, Col. Brown led the global engagement of the medical group and its support of the national and worldwide missions of the flying units of the Maryland Air National Guard. Col. Brown’s military career started in 1981 as Public Health Officer in the Air Force Reserves at Westover AFB, Mass. Col. Brown was mobilized for Operation Desert Storm in 1991 and, upon his demobilization, he promptly commanded a humanitarian mission to Honduras.
Randy’s love of learning, zest for life and boundless energy will be remembered. He enriched many of our lives through his teaching, mentoring and world wide humanitarian efforts. Wherever he found himself, he was always organizing, always mobilizing, always trying to make the world a better place.
Ranice Crosby, 1915 – 2007
Ranice arrived at Hopkins in 1937 to study medical illustration under Max Brödel. In 1943, she became the first woman to direct a department at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, serving as the Director of the Department for 40 years until she stepped down in 1983. As Director Emerita, she continued to teach in the department for another 22 years.
A founding member of the Association of Medical Illustrators (AMI), she contributed to the development of our profession and led it to the successful establishment of accredited graduate programs. Under her leadership, the instructional program in Medical and Biological Illustration was elevated to a graduate level degree in 1961. She was honored by the AMI in 1987 as a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award. In recognition of her dedication to teaching and significant contributions to the field of medical illustration, Johns Hopkins University conferred the honorary degree Doctor of Humane Letters upon her in May 2002.
She has inspired and encouraged her students to become the finest members of the profession. The Ranice W. Crosby Memorial will be held on Friday May 18, 2007 at 4:00.
Leon Schlossberg, 1912 – 1999
During a career that spanned six decades, Leon Schlossberg dedicated his enormous talent to one of his true passions: the understanding of living, functional anatomy. He was an illustrator in the Department of Surgery and an educator in the Department of Art as Applied to Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University until his death in 1999. Leon inspired countless physicians, surgeons, and students throughout the world with his elegant portrayals of surgical techniques.
Leon exemplified the province of the medical illustrator learned from his teacher and mentor, Max Brödel. Brödel’s unique media use and approach to visual presentation inspired Leon in each piece of work he created. His illustrations are respected for their anatomic accuracy, ability to educate, and creativity. In his most famous work, The Johns Hopkins Atlas of Functional Anatomy, his dedication to the teaching ideals of Brödel is perhaps best reflected.
Leon’s creativity was also expressed in the creation of several three dimensional medical products. The most renowned was “Mr. Bones”, an 18-inch scale model of the human skeleton introduced in 1961. For many years “Mr. Bones” was most financially successful item carried by the Johns Hopkins University Press – even making an appearance on NBC’s Today show in 1974!
Leon Schlossberg was referred to as “the Dean of Medical Illustrators” because of his wide range of knowledge and tenure in depicting surgery and anatomy. He considered his collaboration with some of Hopkins’ finest surgical pioneers equal to his work with graduate students of medical illustration. He approached each venture with the firm belief in the value of the illustration. In turn, he garnered the respect of friends, students and colleagues the world over.