Dr. Edward Kowalewski, 75, UM medical professor

April 12, 1996

Dr. Edward Joseph Kowalewski, a physician who was chairman of the family medicine program and department at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, died of heart failure Tuesday at Anne Arundel County Medical Center. He was 75 and lived in Arnold.

Dr. Kowalewski became convinced of the values of family medicine -- providing comprehensive medical services for an individual practically from cradle to grave -- while practicing medicine in Pennsylvania after World War II.

In a family practice, emphasis is placed on treatment of all problems, from sniffles to management of long-term conditions, such as terminal cancer. Family practitioners have replaced general practitioners, and their training is broader.

"He was convinced of the concept of family medicine by doing house calls into the 1960s," said his son, Stephen Anthony Kowalewski of Athens, Ga. "I know because people would always call and I'd go with him sometimes."

Dr. Kevin Ferentz, a physician at the UM medical school, worked with Dr. Kowalewski. He said Dr. Kowalewski liked family medicine because he enjoyed watching "babies grow."

In 1972, Dr. Kowalewski became professor and chairman of UM's family medicine department. He retired in 1990.

During his tenure, he instituted the first educational program in geriatric medicine, was chief of staff at University Hospital and president of the medical staff at the Deaton Hospital.

Born in Mount Carmel, Pa., Dr. Kowalewski graduated from Franklin and Marshall College in 1942 and the George Washington University School of Medicine in 1945. He completed an internship at George Washington University Hospital the next year.

He was an Army Air Forces flight surgeon, working with the surgical service at the Army's Valley Forge General Hospital in Pennsylvania.

After completing his military service, he practiced general and family medicine in Rothsville, Pa., for five years before moving to Akron, Pa., where he had a group practice until late 1971.

While at UM, he was instrumental in starting a physician's rehabilitation program to weed out unfit doctors statewide.

" 'Dr. K' was concerned about physicians who became impaired," Dr. Ferentz said. "He was decades ahead of his time. Everyone will feel strongly about his passing."

A Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 10 a.m. today at St. John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church, 689 Ritchie Highway, Severna Park.

Other survivors include his wife, the former Regina Drankwicz; three daughters, Lydia Kovacs of White Plains, Carol Chidester of Mayo and Sharon Loy O'Donnell of Severna Park; two sisters, Clara Zukowski and Dorothy Rupp, both of Ashton, Pa.; nine grandchildren; and two great-granddaughters.

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