Anita L. Madsen, reporter

News American reporter became director of public affairs for the Sheppard Pratt Health System

July 19, 2013|By Frederick N. Rasmussen, The Baltimore Sun

Anita L. Madsen, a former News American reporter who later became director of public affairs for the Sheppard Pratt Health System, died July 13 of lung cancer at Gilchrist Hospice Care in Towson. She was 69.

Born Anita Lewis and raised in Chicago, she worked from 1973 to 1983 with the Johns Hopkins University Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, including five years with the Johns Hopkins University Press.

While earning a bachelor's degree in mass communications and classical studies in 1983, Ms. Madsen worked the last six months of her senior year as a full-time intern at the old News American.

Ms. Madsen was a staff writer from 1983 until the newspaper ceased publication in 1986, when she joined the staff of the Lexington Herald-Leader in Lexington, Ky., as a medical writer. She later was promoted to a columnist.

In 1995, Ms. Madsen returned to Baltimore when she was named associate director of media at the Johns Hopkins University.

At Hopkins, she developed Internet content with its publishing partner Inteli-Health, and she later went on to redesign the content for Health A to Z.

Her work earned her awards from the American Hospital Association and the Public Relations Society of America.

In 1997, she was appointed director of public affairs for the Sheppard Pratt Health System, where she worked until retiring in 2002.

The former longtime Rodgers Forge resident, who lived in recent years at Horizon House on North Calvert Street, had worked for the last decade as a freelance fiction and nonfiction editor.

In a brief unpublished autobiographical sketch, Ms. Madsen wrote that "she prided herself on never having to publish a correction in connection with any of her articles."

Services are private.

Ms. Madsen is survived by a half brother, Dean Van Kuren of Justice, Ill.; and a half sister, Laura Van Kuren of Plainfield, Ill. Marriages to Steven David Hisley and David Madsen ended in divorce.

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