Dr. K. K. Wong, head of hospital in 1970s

March 26, 1994|By DeWitt Bliss | DeWitt Bliss,Sun Staff Writer

Dr. Kamehameha K. Wong, one of the last directors of the U.S. Public Health Service Hospital in Baltimore, died Tuesday of an infection at Francis Scott Key Medical Center. He was 78 and lived in Timonium.

Dr. Wong retired as director of the hospital on Wyman Park Drive in 1979, about two years before it was turned over to a private group, Wyman Park Health Systems.

He had come to Baltimore as assistant director in 1970 and became director in the mid-1970s.

In 1978, Rep. John M. Murphy, D-N.Y., cited the Baltimore hospital in his campaign to retain full funding for Public Health Service hospitals.

"I've been particularly impressed with staff reports on the Baltimore hospital, where, despite severe staff and fund constraints, extremely high quality care is given," Mr. Murphy said.

Dr. Wong was an administrator at Public Health Service hospitals in Memphis, Tenn., and Detroit before coming to Baltimore.

Born in Honolulu, he earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in zoology at the University of Hawaii, then entered the Columbia University medical school.

He joined the Public Health Service after graduating from Columbia in 1949 and was an intern at the service's hospital on Staten Island, N.Y.

After serving a surgical residency at a Public Health Service hospital in New Orleans, he became chief of surgery at the federal drug rehabilitation facility in Lexington, Ky.

Services were to be held at 1 p.m. today at the Ruck Towson Funeral Home, 1050 York Road.

He is survived by his wife of 49 years, the former Chu-Nien Tai; a son, Dr. Kamehameha K. Wong Jr. of Los Angeles and Timonium; a daughter, Winnie Johnson of Chicago; a brother, Wilson Wong of Honolulu; four sisters, Winona Tang of Chicago, and Wendy Ching, Wanda Ching and Wrona Au, all of Honolulu; and two grandchildren.

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