Dr. Harvey Fischman, 84, epidemiologist

May 20, 2004|By Jacques Kelly | Jacques Kelly,SUN STAFF

Dr. Harvey R. Fischman, a retired epidemiologist with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, died of renal failure May 13 at his Broadmead Retirement Community home in Cockeysville. He was 84.

Born and raised in Brooklyn, N.Y., he earned his undergraduate degree from Brooklyn College, a veterinary degree from the old Middlesex College in Waltham, Mass., and studied at Ecole Nationale Veterinaire d'Alfort in Paris.

He worked with United Nations relief agencies in Asia and the Middle East to control infectious diseases among animals and to bring modern veterinary medicine to China in the 1940s and 1950s.

After earning a master's degree and a doctorate in public health at what is now the Bloomberg School, he worked in New York City and then returned to Hopkins in 1970 to teach in the Department of Epidemiology. He was also assistant dean of academic and student affairs at the School of Public Health from 1970 to 1977.

He studied epidemiology and the control of diseases, including Rocky Mountain spotted fever and rabies in foxes, raccoons, cats and rodents.

Later in his career, Dr. Fischman took up human infectious diseases, including those that had become resistant to control measures including vaccination and antibiotics.

Dr. Fischman retired for the first time in 1985, but returned in 1988 as director of Johns Hopkins' Fogarty AIDS International Training and Research Program. He retired from that job in 1996.

"He enjoyed life and had a restless intellect," said Dr. Margaret Bright, professor emerita at Bloomberg and a friend. "Students felt he had a visionary perspective."

Dr. Fischman traveled widely, and enjoyed painting in watercolors and attending concerts and opera and theater performances.

Services are private.

Survivors include a son, Adam Fischman of Harrisburg, Pa.; a sister, Arlene Ingram of Brooklyn, N.Y.; his companion of many years, Alice Rodman of Baltimore; and nieces and nephews. His marriage to Susan Hetherington ended in divorce.

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