April 1, 1999
Vol. 18 No. 13

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    Director of Student Health, Herbolsheimer, dies at 86

    Henrietta Herbolsheimer, Director of Student Health at the University Hospitals from 1955 to 1964, died of pancreatic cancer Monday, March 22, at her home. She was 86.

    Herbolsheimer was born in Peru, Ill. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University in 1936 and from the University’s medical school in 1938.

    Herbolsheimer worked for the Illinois Department of Health, where she became interested in women’s health issues. A 1964 Newsweek article quoted her as saying, “Contraception is part of modern medical practice and withholding this information and access to this health service can not be defended.” Soon, hospitals and universities across the United States embraced Herbolsheimer’s views on contraceptives.

    Herbolsheimer also developed programs to benefit premature babies and helped to establish standards for licensing hospitals and nursing homes. “She was a recognized voice for good in the medical community and was devoted to promoting health policy and women’s health issues,” said Dr. Joseph Kirsner, Louis Block Distinguished Service Professor in Medicine. After 10 years with the Illinois Department of Health, Herbolsheimer left to study at Johns Hopkins University where she received her master’s degree in public health in 1948.

    She then returned to Chicago where she was active in the Chicago Medical Society as a counselor and state Medicaid reviewer and advisor. She was vice president of the

    Association of Teachers of Preventive Medicine in 1960 and president of the Illinois College Health Association. She was also on the board of directors for the Visiting Nurse Association.

    No services were held for Herbolsheimer, who is survived by a sister and several nieces and nephews.