Dr. J. Richard Gaintner, 68, hospital administrator

May 28, 2004

Dr. J. Richard Gaintner, a hospital administrator and former Johns Hopkins Hospital official, died of pancreatic cancer Tuesday at his home in Gainesville, Fla. He was 68, and formerly resided in Ruxton.

Born and raised in Lancaster, Pa., he earned his undergraduate degree from Lehigh University and his medical degree from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in 1962. He was a captain in the Army Medical Corps and assistant chief of staff at the 85th Evacuation Hospital in Qui Nhon, Vietnam, during the war there.

An internist, he became a medical administrator in the mid-1970s. He returned to Johns Hopkins as associate dean of its medical school and was vice president and deputy director of Johns Hopkins Hospital during the early 1980s.

He was named to the Johns Hopkins Society of Scholars last week.

"He was a very precise, strong, decisive administrator," said Dr. Richard S. Ross, former dean of the medical school, who recruited Dr. Gaintner to return to Hopkins about 25 years ago.

Dr. Gaintner later headed Albany Medical Center in New York, New England Deaconess Hospital in Boston and Shands Healthcare in Gainesville, Fla. He retired in 2002 after six months as executive vice president for health sciences at Georgetown University in Washington.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. June 4 at Evergreen House, 4545 N. Charles St.

Survivors include his wife of 42 years, the former Suzanne Butler; three daughters, Wendy Holcomb of Tacoma, Wash., Sally G. Hess of Phoenix and Jenny Gaintner of Freeland; and seven grandchildren.

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