In memory of
Dr. Charles Colcock Jones Carpenter Jr.
Dr. Charles Colcock Jones Carpenter, Jr., a pioneering medical researcher is remembered as a mentor to doctors worldwide, as an innovator in cholera and HIV/AIDS treatment, and a big hearted family man. He was passionate about ensuring fair treatment of all people, especially those disadvantaged by societal forces. Chuck to his friends was born January 5, 1931, in Savannah, Georgia, where his ancestors had fought in the American Revolution. At 5 his family moved to Birmingham where his father became the sixth Episcopal Bishop of the Diocese of Alabama. Starting school at Lakeview he completed grammar school at Glen Iris. Beginning high school at Phillips he completed at Lawrenceville School in New Jersey, graduating as salutatorian and head scholar. At Princeton he graduated in English Literature. Four years later he graduated from Johns Hopkins Medical School. He was Chief Resident there when he met and married Sally Fisher, whose father was well known for his work on penicillin. During his military duty at NIH in Bethesda, Maryland, they had their first son, Charles, and eighteen months later, Murray was born. Then the four of them lived in Calcutta, India, for twenty months fighting a cholera epidemic. His research helped lead to the development of oral rehydration therapy, a simple treatment that has saved millions of lives worldwide and is still the treatment of choice today. When the Carpenters returned to Baltimore their third son, Andrew, was born and Carpenter became a tenured professor at Hopkins and Physician in Chief at Baltimore City Hospitals. In 1973 he became Chief of Medicine at Case Western Reserve Hospitals in Cleveland,. One of his innovations there was to develop the nation's first division of geographic medicine that took him to two dozen countries. In 1986 he moved to the Brown University Department of Medicine in Providence, RI, where he was a professor of medicine and Physician in Chief at the Miriam Hospital. Here he became focused on the care and treatment of patients with HIV/AIDS. He served as director of the Brown University International Health Institute and the director of the Lifespan/Tufts/Brown Center for AIDS Research. Carpenter was among the first to recognize the extent of heterosexual transmission in AIDS worldwide, and this led to his pioneering work on HIV in women. At the same time he started a program to care for Rhode Island state prisoners with HIV, which inspired physicians to look at the larger issues of caring for people in mass incarceration. He worked with colleagues in India and the Philippines to reduce the spread of HIV. For the National Academy of Science's Institute of Medicine, he chaired a subcommittee to evaluate the President's "Emergency Plan for HIV/AIS Research which took him to several countries in Africa. Carpenter retired at 84, and he and Sally moved to Falmouth, Maine to be closer to their three sons and grandchildren. He is known for his gentle bedside manner and compassionate treatment of all patients. He was driven by the conviction that all patients deserve equal treatment regardless of race, social status, gender or sexual orientation. He is also remembered for his collaboration with overseas colleagues, especially in Bangladesh, India, Japan and Ghana. In 1998 he received the Order of t he Sacred Treasure from the Emperor of Japan for his contributions to the U. S.-Japan Cooperative Medical Science Program. As a member of the National Academy of Science's Institute of Medicine he served on committees studying smallpox and malaria. He also served as President of the Association of American Physicians, the Chairman of the American Board of Internal Medicine, and was co-editor of seven editions of Cecil Essentials of Internal Medicine in addition to publishing multitudes of medical papers. In 2007, at age 76, he received the Robert H. Williams, MD, Distinguished Chair of Medicine Award from the Association of Professors of Medicine awarded to a physician who has demonstrated outstanding leadership as the chair of a department of medicine In spite of all this, his children and grandchildren and nephews and nieces say he always had time for them. Sometimes this meant fishing with worms and bobbers, other times it meant an evening jog, a few sets of tennis or a bicycle trip along the coast of Georgia. Dr. Carpenter died peacefully at home on March 19 with his wife and sons by his side. He is survived by Sally, his wife of 61 years; his brother, Douglas (Ann Piper) Carpenter of Birmingham, his sisters, Ruth Pitts of Mountain Brook and Alexandra Cole of Springfield, NJ; sons Charles of Portland, ME, Murray and Andrew of Belfast, Me. Donations in his memory could go to the Immunology Center Patient Assistance fund at Miriam Hospital at the Brown University campus, the Southern Poverty Law Center, or to the charity of your choice.
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