September 4, 2009

Noted physician, Vine Hill Clinic champion Des Prez dies

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Roger M. Des Prez, M.D.

Noted physician, Vine Hill Clinic champion Des Prez dies

Roger M. Des Prez, M.D., longtime chief of Medicine at the Veterans Administration Hospital and professor of Medicine and Nursing Emeritus at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, died on Aug. 28. He was 82.

Dr. Des Prez, a pulmonologist, joined the staff at Vanderbilt in 1963 and retired in 1995, but returned to work in 1996 as a consulting physician for the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing-affiliated Vine Hill Community Clinic.

In a 2007 VUMC Reporter story, Dr. Des Prez said that working at Vine Hill kept him young. “I'm in an enviable position because physicians today often don't have the time they would like to have with their patients. I have the time to dedicate and am happy to do so.”

Honored by both his physician and nurse co-workers, the Department of Medicine named an annual award for pulmonary fellows, the Roger M. Des Prez Award for Teaching, and in 2003, Dr. Des Prez was honored by VUSN with the Ingeborg Grosser Mauksch Award for Excellence in Faculty Mentoring. He served as the editor of the Chest Section of the Year Book of Medicine for 20 years.

Dr. Des Prez was preceded in death by a daughter, Sarah, and son, Walter.

He is survived by his wife, Patricia; children, Roger (Karen) Des Prez of Tulsa, Okla., Edward (Karla) Des Prez, Patricia (Ronald) Longo, and Julia (Wayne Killius) Des Prez, all of Nashville, and Eleanor (Seth Hurwitz) Des Prez of St. Louis, Mo; and grandchildren Katherine and Samuel Des Prez, Joshua Des Prez, Natalie Longo, Isabella and Julian Killius, and Sophie and Eliza Hurwitz.