YAM Notes: July/August 2009

By Rich Banbury

Who knew there was an O’Reilly Street in Havana and an annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade celebrated by the multi-cultural Cuban population.  Among those joining the festivities this year was Tom Miller, who was in Havana to participate in an international arts festival.  He describes the atmosphere as one “where artists from around the world and Cuba have clearly made a political statement, and Cuba’s film industry is well-known for its critical assessments”.  Tom’s work as general counsel to Global Exchange, a San Francisco human rights organization which promotes contacts with Cuba, has provided him with an opportunity to assess the cultural and political dynamics of that neighboring country.  The same day I received Tom’s posting from Havana, a Tribune Newspaper wire report featured the St. Patrick’s Day parade and “Cuba’s historic connections to Ireland”, adding that “Havana is crawling with Americans these days”.  Another Cuba aficionado, Karl Robinson, reports that the old guard hard-line communist politicos are dying off and that liberalizing changes for the better are inevitable.  Having taught and practiced homeopathic medicine in Cuba and throughout Latin America, Karl is presently working with homeopathic physicians in Mumbai.  Both Tom and Karl believe that a fresh look at American policy toward the Cuban nation is long overdue.

Dividing his time between Santa Fe and Sienna, Italy, Sam Bowles is a Research Professor and Director of Behavioral Sciences at the Santa Fe Institute, as well as a Professor of Economics at the University of Sienna.  After receiving his doctorate in economics at Harvard, Sam taught at Harvard from 1965 to 1973, prior to his extended tenure at the University of Massachusetts.  His scholarly interests include the evolution of altruistic behavior as a competing dynamic with the traditional theory of self-interest as the driving wheel of human behavior.  Sam’s upcoming book is entitled A Cooperative Species: Human reciprocity and its evolution.  As an aside, Chester Bowles, Sam’s dad, was Governor of Connecticut from 1949 to 1951 and subsequently served as President John Kennedy’s Ambassador to India. Of the former I have first-hand knowledge, since the Governor’s Mansion was one of our regular stops on Halloween.

Two Hospitals — Outstanding hospitals in eastern Pennsylvania and central Connecticut have recently benefited from the forward-looking leadership of classmates Dick Gwinn and Harry Mazadoorian.  Hahnemann University Hospital in Philadelphia is a 618 bed teaching facility associated with the Drexel University College of Medicine.  Dick served as the guiding hand of Hahnemann during his term as chairman of the board from 2004 to 2008, and continues as an active member of the board.  Hahnemann, where Po-Wen Huang’s son is currently completing his residency in emergency medicine, is a major tertiary care facility renowned for its Intensive Care service and its prominence in the field of cardiac surgery.  Harry was chairman of the board at the Hospital of Central Connecticut from 2003 to 2005, and continues in a leadership position as a member of the board.  HCC is a 414 bed acute care teaching hospital affiliated with the University of Connecticut School of Medicine.  Situated at separate campuses in New Britain and Southington, HCC is a product of the recent merger bonding New Britain General Hospital with Bradley Memorial Hospital.

Three docs — Speaking of the world of medicine, three of our class physicians are achieving new and diverse benchmarks.  Bob Resnick of Solana Beach, California has been elected President of the American Gynecological and Obstetrical Society, the senior academic organization in the OBGYN specialty.  Professor Emeritus at the University of California Medical Center in San Diego, Bob reports that this new position will keep him fully occupied, and off the golf course, for another three years.  Walter Franck of Cooperstown, New York, having recently retired after 28 years as Chief of Medicine at Bassett Healthcare, continues as a Professor of Clinical Medicine at Bassett.  An affiliation of hospitals, community health centers, physicians, and other medical providers in eight counties covering 5,000 square miles, Bassett Healthcare maintains a strong academic program through its affiliation with Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center.  Walt’s outstanding influence on the medical profession has been memorialized by Bassett’s establishment of the Dr. Walter A. Franck Excellence in Medical Education endowment fund.  Rob Northrup, after a distinguished academic and international medical career, including his work with Project Hope, has undertaken a new adventure as a full-time vocalist and jazz piano player.  Rob has solved the country life versus city life dilemma by splitting time between his home in Shepherdstown, West Virginia and an apartment in Washington, which he uses for “rehearsal night and theater”.

Dave Carls advises that our Class piggybank has a balance of $85,603.  Needless to say, Dave distains dabbling in derivatives.

All you have to do to find the Class website, managed by Mike Dickerson, is enter Yale60.org into your favorite computer or laptop in order to access more info about your classy classmates.