Dr. Worth B. Daniels

Baltimore Internist And Johns Hopkins Professor Donated Generously To Community Causes And Nursing Programs

July 16, 2009|By Frederick N. Rasmussen | Frederick N. Rasmussen,fred.rasmussen@baltsun.com

Dr. Worth Bagley Daniels Jr., a retired prominent internist and Baltimore philanthropist, died of congestive heart failure July 9 at his Roland Park home. He was 84.

Dr. Daniels, the son of physician parents who both graduated from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in 1924, was born in New York City and raised in Washington.

He was the grandson of Josephus Daniels, publisher of the Raleigh, N.C., News & Observer, who was secretary of the Navy during World War I.

A 1942 graduate of St. Albans School in Washington, Dr. Daniels attended Harvard University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

"He was accepted to Johns Hopkins School of Medicine early because of a shortage of doctors during World War II," said a daughter, Jane D. J. Daniels of Roland Park.

After graduating in 1948, Dr. Daniels spent three years at Vanderbilt Hospital and Thayer Veterans Hospital in Nashville, Tenn., completing his internship and first-year residency in medicine.

After completing an internship in pathology at Duke Hospital in Durham, N.C., he served as a physician in the Army Medical Corps at hospitals in Germany from 1951 to 1953.

He returned to Baltimore and was working as a physician for the Social Security Administration and the outpatient clinic at the Johns Hopkins University's McCoy College, when in 1954, he was appointed chief resident of the chronic disease ward at the old Baltimore City Hospitals at Bayview.

After completing a fellowship in endocrinology at Hopkins, Dr. Daniels established a private practice in 1958 at 11 E. Chase St., where he remained until retiring in 1989.

"We were cadaver mates at medical school because of the alphabet. Dandy and Daniels," recalled Dr. Walter E. Dandy Jr., a retired Union Memorial Hospital anesthesiologist and longtime friend. "Throughout his career, Worth was highly regarded and well-loved."

Dr. Daniels was a member of the Johns Hopkins Medical School faculty and was an attending physician at Keswick Multi-Care Center for 20 years until his retirement. He also had served as medical director of the Union Memorial Hospice.

"Charm, good sense, a deep concern for people and an engaging bedside manner distinguish Dr. Daniels," said Dr. Isabelle MacGregor, medical director at Keswick. "His insistence that quality medical treatment be an integral part of nursing home care is part of his legacy to Keswick because it defines what we are today."

She recalled Dr. Daniels braving the snows of the Blizzard of 1979, hiking from his Ridgewood Road home, accompanied by his dog, to get to Keswick in order to visit patients. Dr. Daniels and his wife of 47 years, the former Jane Wilhelm, established the Jane and Worth B. Daniels Jr. Fund at the Baltimore Community Foundation.

"Their philanthropy is as substantial as anyone in Baltimore and they did it without fanfare. They did it anonymously and liked remaining in the shadows," said Tom Wilcox, president of the Baltimore Community Foundation.

Dr. Daniels' heart always remained firmly in East Baltimore at Hopkins and he never forgot the debt of gratitude he owed the nurses that he worked with through the years.

In 1991, Dr. Daniels established the Committee of 100, a scholarship fund for the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, that was originally funded by 100 doctors.

In 2005, the school of nursing established the Worth B. Daniels Jr. M.D. Award, to recognize individuals who are not graduates of the school but have given service to the school and its graduates. Dr. Daniels was the first recipient of the award.

Other institutions that benefited from Dr. Daniels' philanthropy included Roland Park Country School and St. Albans School.

Dr. Daniels was a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Board of Internal Medicine, and had been chairman of the board of T he News & Observer.

Dr. Daniels enjoyed reading and had been a member of the Hamilton Street Club.

He was a communicant of St. David's Episcopal Church, where a memorial service was held Wednesday.

Also surviving are another daughter, Ann Osborne Daniels of Roland Park; and three grandchildren.

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