In memory of
Roland Graham "Red" Hiss M.D.
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In memory of
Roland Graham "Red" Hiss M.D.
HISS ROLAND "RED" GRAHAM, M.D. Passed away on Thursday, December 15, at the University of Michigan Hospital, surrounded by his family. Red was born on October 9, 1932, to George Crosby and Adrianne (Graham) Hiss in Newark, New Jersey. His first words were his version of "What's that?" The driving curiosity behind these words continued unabated throughout his life. He grew up in Montclair, New Jersey, where he attended public schools and was a superb percussionist in several orchestras, including the All-State Orchestra and the Nutley Symphony while at a very young age. When Red was 10, Mr. Ward, Director of Music, told his principal that "thousands can 'beat a drum,' but only one in a million knows how to play." His high school band percussion section practiced regularly in his basement and they raised funds via odd jobs to buy new percussion instruments. Red honed his timpani skills at Interlochen National Music Camp in 1946 and 1947. He attended the University of Michigan and played cymbals in the Marching Band. In his first semester, he played in the famous Snow Bowl game against Ohio State - a Michigan victory, and went to the Rose Bowl-another Michigan victory. He attended the University of Michigan Medical School, where he organized the Phi Chi Medical Fraternity scribe system, which helped medical students keep up with lecture content for decades to come; his son, John, used this same scribe system when he attended the University of Michigan Medical School years later. After medical school, Red served in the U.S. Air Force as a flight surgeon at the School of Aerospace Medicine in San Antonio, Texas, where he did electrocardiographic research. After his service, he returned to U-M for his internal medicine residency and hematology fellowship. Red joined the faculty of the Medical School as an Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine in 1966. He spent his whole career at Michigan, retiring as Professor of Internal Medicine and Department Chair and Professor of Medical Education in 2003. He served as Coordinator of Affiliated Hospitals, on the Dean's Staff. As Chair of the Department of Medical Education, he strived to make continuing education of physicians and other healthcare professionals as systematic and effective as their initial training. In addition to practicing hematology, he had a long interest in improving diabetes care, particularly translating research findings into clinical care for diabetes. He served as Chief of the Demonstration and Education Division and Director of the Continuing Education and Outreach Core at the Michigan Diabetes Research and Training Center. At the national level, for the National Institutes of Health, he served on the Steering Committees of the National Diabetes Advisory Board for Patient Education Initiatives and the National Diabetes Education Program. Red received many teaching awards and was principle lecturer for the hematology sequence for sophomore medical students for over 25 years. He devoted his career to medical education and quality patient care and left a legacy of teaching throughout his lifetime that included not only medical students, but residents, fellows, practicing physicians, patients, the faculty whom he lead, and many, many others, throughout the world. He is remembered fondly by U-M graduates everywhere. He was an avid Michigan football fan. In family gatherings, with his brother-in-law, "The Big Buckeye," football was a major focus of discussion. Family members, friends, and neighbors came to discuss their ailments with Red, and to have him explain what their own physicians had told them. He explained and interpreted patiently, and in doing so, comforted many - even those with very serious illnesses. He was a consummate listener, father, and teacher. Red had a characteristic optimism and a sunny disposition that made him a welcome participant in a variety of activities. It rubbed off on others. He also worked hard. Throughout his life, if he saw something that needed organizing and doing, he made a project out of it and persuaded others to join in. His enthusiasm was infectious. He will be remembered lovingly and very much missed. Red is survived by his wife, Margaret (Peggy); brother, Richard (Jane) Hiss of Charlottesville, Virginia; brother-in laws, Paul McGrath of Newport Beach, California and Patrick (Barbara) McGrath of Dublin, Ohio; his son, John (Rita) Hiss of Orinda, California; daughter, Meredith Ketzner of Ann Arbor, MI; and four grandchildren, Nathan and Johnny Hiss of Orinda, CA, Brianna Ketzner of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Morgan Brown of Troy, OH; and two great- grandchildren, Delesia Meadows and Drayden Lee, both of Milwaukee, WI. A celebration of his life will be held this spring and will be announced near the end of March. Donations in his memory, may be directed to Medecins Sans Frontieres/Doctors Without Borders: www.doctorswithoutborders.org ; Telephone 212-679-6800; or to Mercy Ships: www.MercyShips.org ; Telephone 903-939-7000.
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