May 30, 2008

Vanderbilt mourns former Anesthesiology chair Beattie

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Charles Beattie, M.D., Ph.D.

Vanderbilt mourns former Anesthesiology chair Beattie

Charles Beattie, M.D., Ph.D., chair of Vanderbilt's Department of Anesthesiology from 1994 to 2001, died May 25 at his home in Baltimore, Md.

Dr. Beattie, 68, had for a year been battling a neurodegenerative disease related to Parkinson's.

“Charlie’s contributions to Vanderbilt and to the field of Anesthesiology were immense. He will be dearly missed,” said Harry Jacobson, M.D., vice chancellor for Health Affairs.

Steven Gabbe, M.D., dean of the School of Medicine, also was saddened to hear of Dr. Beattie’s passing.

“Charlie led the department through a period of dynamic growth in patient care, education and research, and he did so with great skill and sensitivity, balancing the needs of the department and institution remarkably well.”

Jeff Balser, M.D., Ph.D., associate vice chancellor for Research, said Dr. Beattie's impact on anesthesiology at Vanderbilt and across the country has been staggering.

“I am just one of the many hundreds of fortunate anesthesiology faculty across the country to experience, through his extraordinary example, how the highest standards of quality, vigilance, and commitment change the lives of patients.

“Charlie Beattie was a role model scholar, educator, clinician and human being. He will be sorely missed and fondly remembered by his countless friends and colleagues,” Balser said.

“Charlie was a visionary who advanced the specialty of anesthesiology and implemented unique programs while chair of the department at Vanderbilt,” said Michael Higgins, M.D., M.P.H., professor and chair of Anesthesiology. “He was a mentor and friend to many, including myself, and will be greatly missed.”

Dr. Beattie arrived at Vanderbilt in 1994 from a post as interim chair of the Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine at Johns Hopkins University. At Vanderbilt, he led his department through a period of growth and increasing academic prominence.

Under Dr. Beattie, the department achieved new levels of success, as measured by, among other advancements, increased research funding and more competitive recruitment of faculty and residents.

Dr. Beattie left Vanderbilt in 2001 to become executive vice chairman of the Department of Anesthesiology at New York University, a post he left a year ago when his illness began to develop.

Born in Louisville, Ky., Dr. Beattie received bachelor's and master's degrees in Chemical Engineering from the University of Louisville in 1962 and 1963, a Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering from New York University in 1971, and an M.D. from the University of Kentucky in 1976.

Dr. Beattie is survived by his wife, Missy Beattie, sons Hunter Beattie and John Beattie, and stepson John Whitlow.

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that friends donate to the National Parkinsons Foundation or to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research.