James Theodore “Ted” Howell, MD
Dr. James Theodore “Ted” Howell died January 14, 2014 at the age of 94. Born in Ironton, Ohio on December 15, 1919, Dr. Howell graduated from Ironton High School in 1937, Miami University of Ohio in 1941, and the University of Cincinnati School of Medicine in 1944. He entered the Army Medical Corps immediately after graduation, serving first in the United States, and then in the European Theater of World War II before returning to the United States in 1946.
After the war Dr. Howell sought advanced training in Internal Medicine at the Henry Ford Medical Center in Detroit, Michigan, particularly because it offered a broad scope of ambulatory care opportunities beyond the conventional hospital-based approach to medical care at the time. He remained on staff at the institution for 28 years from 1945 to 1969, serving as Chief Resident, Director of Nursing Education, Medical Division Chief, and ultimately Executive Director 1965-1969. He then became National Director for Health Consulting with Peat, Marwick Mitchell KPMG CPA firm, specializing in academic medical center planning and management, from 1969 to 1980. His work at leading American and European academic medical centers included the planning and construction of Duke North Hospital. He continued to work as a consultant and director of planning in both private and public university medical centers and large ambulatory-based health care delivery systems for the remainder of his career.
With his life-long interests in ambulatory-based care delivery, the health of populations, health care for the poor, and the efficient organization and delivery of medical services, Dr. Howell received several presidential appointments to advisory committees overseeing federal programs in heart disease, cancer, and stroke; served as an advisor for medical research in the Veterans Administration; and became a Fellow of the American College of Health Executives. He was a longtime member of the Society of Medical Administrators, the Council of Medical Administrators, the Association of American Medical Colleges, and a founder member of the Hospital Directors of Medical Education. He was also elected a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, served as a trustee or advisory board member of numerous organizations including the American Hospital Association, the Catholic Health Corporation, and the Salvation Army, and was listed in Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in American Medicine. He was the author of 50 articles and monographs on clinical medicine, medical education, computer systems in medical organizations, hospital administration, and the automated emergency medical record.
Dr. Howell enjoyed numerous interests outside of medicine and was often spoken of as a “Renaissance man” because of the breadth of his interests and talents. His love of American history led to his construction of historically accurate replicas of naval and commercial sailing ships, and to woodcarvings depicting early American scenes. He was a writer, a painter, a published poet, a musician, and a perennial sports fan. He dearly loved the outdoors and was an avid fly fisherman, bird enthusiast and gardener.
As much as he loved his profession of medicine, Dr. Howell’s family was his real joy. He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Sarah Lee Dunn Howell; his daughter, Mary Lee Howell Lobach MD; and son-in-law, David F. Lobach MD PhD, all of Durham, North Carolina. He is also survived by five grandchildren Elizabeth, Rebecca, Anna Laura, Daniel, and Katherine; a niece, Elizabeth Howell Myers of Ottawa, Ohio; and a nephew, Thomas Howell of San Diego, California.
In short, Dr. Howell was a compassionate physician, a visionary leader, a gifted Renaissance man, and a loving husband, father and grandfather. He will be missed by all who knew this gentle, loving, extraordinary man. A Remembrance of Ted’s Life will be held 2 PM Friday in Few Chapel at Croasdaile Village, Durham. Online condolences at www.hallwynne.com. See Obituaries.