In Memoriam

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J. Andrew Armer ’58

J. Andrew Armer ’58, January 29, 1995, in San Francisco, of complications related to AIDS. He was the former medical director of the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. He earned an MD degree from the University of Rochester School of Medicine in 1962 and interned at the University of Utah hospitals. A Vietnam War veteran, he served in the U.S. Air Force as director of professional services from 1963 to 1964. He moved to Washington, D.C., to work as a resident in neurology at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center and was a flight surgeon for the presidential support team out of Andrews Air Force Base from 1968 to 1971. He was honorably discharged at the rank of major in 1971. He entered private practice in neurology in the Washington area, serving as chief of neurology at Hadley Memorial Hospital, Doctors Hospital, Southern Maryland Hospital Center, and Physicians Memorial Hospital, and as president of the medical staff at Greater Southeast Community Hospital. In 1983 he became the first medical director for the Smithsonian Institution, where he was responsible for the health of its 6,000 employees worldwide and for emergency medical services for its visitors. He was a leader in promoting better understanding of deep-sea medicine and improving the safety of deep-sea diving. He also introduced a number of new safety programs at the Smithsonian. He retired from the Smithsonian in 1992 and moved to Tiburon, California, where he pursued his lifelong avocations of travel, opera, and hunting. He is survived by his brother, two nieces, and many cousins.

Appeared in Reed magazine: May 1995

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