J. Ward Donovan died peacefully surrounded by his family on June 27, 2020 after courageously battling cancer.
Ward was a pioneer and natural leader in Emergency Medicine and Medical Toxicology. Ward completed his residency in Emergency Medicine at M.S. Hershey Medical Center and in a few short years became the Chief of Emergency Medicine. He sat for the first Emergency Medicine Board examination in 1980.
During a sabbatical year Ward took a visiting professorship in toxicology at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, Scotland. This experience with Dr. Alex Proudfoot increased his passion for the bedside care of the critically poisoned patient. The Penn State Poison Center and toxicology service that he created became one of the busiest in the country due to his dedication and stamina. Ward was on-call more than every other night to cover this service for over 30 years at the Penn State Hershey Medical Center and then the PinnacleHealth System in Harrisburg, PA. Ward was also a leader of our toxicology societies. He was on the Board of Directors for both The American Academy of Clinical Toxicology and The American College of Medical Toxicology.
Ward’s legacy continues in the many medical toxicology fellows that he mentored. The toxicology bedside service also inspired medical students and emergency medicine residents to pursue and to establish new medical toxicology services and fellowships.
Ward was a loving and dedicated spouse, father and grandfather. Joan his wife of 46 years; daughter, Erin; son-in-law, Greg; and grandchildren Seamus and Aoife were blessed to be with him these last days as well as other family members from all over the country who were able to come and say good-bye. Ward was predeceased by his beloved son, Ryan Ward Donovan.
Thanks, Ward for your exceptional care of the poisoned patient and your leadership, but mostly the friendship and cherished memories you leave us.
J. Ward Donovan’s Obituary: https://www.hooverfuneralhome.com/obituary/j-ward-donovan
Authorship credit to Dr. Keith Burkhart