March 4, 2005

Remembering: H. David Hall, D.M.D., M.D.

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H. David Hall, D.M.D., M.D.

Remembering: H. David Hall, D.M.D., M.D.

H. David Hall, D.M.D., M.D., died Feb. 24 in an accident at his vacation home in Sewanee. He was 73.

Dr. Hall, professor of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Emeritus, was chair of the department from 1968 until his retirement in 1996. At Vanderbilt, Dr. Hall established one of the most respected training programs in the country. During his tenure, he trained more than 55 residents in oral and maxillofacial surgery.

Born in Henryetta, Okla., he received his undergraduate degree at the University of Oklahoma, and then earned a dental degree from Harvard University in 1957. He completed his Oral Surgery residency training at the Massachusetts General Hospital and the University of Alabama Medical Center, and in 1977 earned a medical degree from the University of Alabama School of Medicine. He served as chairman of the Oral Surgery Department at the Alabama Medical Center from 1965 until 1968, when he left to come to Vanderbilt.

At Vanderbilt, Dr. Hall started the University's first training program in oral and maxillofacial surgery. He also established one of the first integrated dual training programs in the country, where individuals received a medical degree in conjunction with residency training in oral and maxillofacial surgery. Dr. Hall also conducted basic science and clinical research. During his career he concentrated on two major areas: research into the growth and development of salivary glands and how the autonomic nervous system influences them; and clinical research in evaluating the success of various surgical treatments. Some of Dr. Hall's surgical accomplishments include surgery for temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction, alveolar cleft repair and complex facial asymmetry. Citing the need for dental care in modern medical centers, Dr. Hall was also instrumental in the expansion of VUMC's dental care facilities. He has also been named one of the nations best doctors in Town and Country magazine.

Dr. Hall was a founding member of the American Society of TMJ Surgeons and was a member of the American Dental Association, the Nashville Academy of Medicine, the Southern Medical Association, the American Society of Maxillofacial Surgeons, the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, the International Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, the American Cleft Palate Association and the International Association for Dental Research.

Shortly before his retirement, Dr. Hall was honored with the establishment of the H. David Hall Scholarship by some of the residents he trained.

Scott B. Boyd, D.D.S, Ph.D., who took over as chair of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery when Dr. Hall retired, said that his job was easier because of the solid foundation laid by Dr. Hall in his almost 30 years of department leadership. “He really built this program at Vanderbilt from the ground up. He established a strong clinical program and provided expanded educational opportunities to residents, such as the medical degree. His excellence in patient care and scholarly activities provided a model for all residents to emulate. The current success of our department is in large part due to what Dr. Hall established many years ago.”

Samuel J. McKenna, D.D.S., M.D., professor of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at Vanderbilt, was a resident at Vanderbilt who trained under Dr. Hall. “Without a doubt, he was a leader in our specialty, a giant in the field of oral and maxillofacial surgery. As an educator, he taught me the virtues of dedication, impeccable attention to patient care, and critical thinking.”

McKenna said that even in retirement, Dr. Hall was still active in the department. “We saw a lot of him. It was nice. He was still very active, had written several papers since retirement and was also writing a book chapter. Just a few days before he died, Dr. Hall had attended the annual H. David Hall lectureship, established five years ago in his honor.”

After retirement, Dr. Hall became active in community service, volunteering his time at Room in the Inn, Project Hope and the Lentz Public Health Center in Nashville.

Dr. Hall is survived by his wife, Katherine “Kay,” sons Steven Hall, of Ft. Myers, Fla., Andrew Hall, of Nashville, and Brian Hall, of Memphis, and three grandchildren.

A memorial service was held on Wednesday, March 2 in Nashville. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to The H. David Hall Scholarship Fund, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, 1623 Vanderbilt Clinic, Dept. of OMS, Nashville, Tenn. 37232; or to the Room-In-The-Inn Fund at the Cathedral of the Incarnation, 2001 West End Ave., Nashville, Tenn., 37203.