Dr. Richard N. Stauffer, 59, directed orthopedic surgery

March 03, 1998|By Edward Gunts | Edward Gunts,SUN STAFF

Dr. Richard N. Stauffer, chairman and director of the orthopedic surgery department at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, died of pneumonia Friday.

Dr. Stauffer, who died at Johns Hopkins Hospital, was 59 and lived in Garrison.

Since 1991, he was the medical school's Robert A. Robinson professor of orthopedic surgery and orthopedic surgeon-in-chief at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

He was considered an international authority on the biomechanics of total joint replacements, joint motion and forces in walking, and the evaluation of patients with total joint replacements.

His contributions in the clinical and research aspects of hip disease were recognized by his peers in the national Hip Society, which gave him the John Charnley Award for outstanding research in 1988.

Dr. Stauffer was a trustee of Hopkins Hospital and chairman of its medical staff. He also served on many committees, including the Executive Committee for Surgery and the Reengineering Steering Committee, and was instrumental in working with his colleagues to reorganize the governance of the Clinical Practice Association of the School of Medicine.

"He was an understanding, compassionate and, above all, ethical human being," said Dr. James Michelson, assistant director and vice chairman of orthopedic surgery at Hopkins medical school. "He will be greatly missed."

Dr. Stauffer was born in Kearney, Neb., and raised in Hastings, Neb. He received a bachelor's degree from Hastings College in 1959 and a medical degree from Northwestern University School of Medicine in Chicago in 1963.

He completed an internship in surgery at Chicago Wesley Memorial Hospital and a residency in orthopedic surgery at the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine in Rochester, Minn. From 1965 to 1967, in the middle of his residency, he served in the Navy.

Dr. Stauffer joined the faculty of the University of Iowa as an assistant professor of orthopedic surgery in 1970. Two years later, he began a 19-year tenure at the Mayo Medical School and Clinic, advancing from an instructor in orthopedic surgery to a full professor. He joined Hopkins in 1991.

He served on the board of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and its Committee on Research from 1981 to 1987.

He also served as president of the Orthopaedic Research Society and on the executive committee of the American Orthopaedic Association.

He was on the editorial boards of two publications, Archives of Surgery and Journal of Arthroplasty, and was editor-in-chief of the Atlas of Orthopaedic Surgical Exposure and Advances in XTC Operative Orthopaedics. He also chaired a U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisory panel. Memorial services will be private.

Dr. Stauffer is survived by his wife, Kathleen; a daughter, Betsy Stauffer of San Francisco; two sons, Peter Stauffer of Farmington, Minn., and Joseph Stauffer of Bloomington, Minn.; his mother, Joan Stauffer of Hastings; a brother, Daniel Stauffer of San Francisco; and one grandchild.

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