USA Mourns Loss of Dr. Hollis J. Wiseman

Posted on October 30, 2014
Ashley Givens

Dr. Hollis J. Wiseman data-lightbox='featured'
Dr. Hollis J. Wiseman was a professor of pediatrics at the USA College of Medicine, where he also served as acting chair for one year. He died Oct. 28, 2014.

Dr. Hollis J. Wiseman, emeritus professor in the department of pediatrics at the USA College of Medicine, passed away on Oct. 28, 2014. He was 87 years old.

"Dr. Wiseman was one of the early pioneers within the College of Medicine in developing the curriculum for our medical students and providing unique opportunities for training in pediatrics," said Dr. Samuel Strada, dean of the USA College of Medicine.

A native of Mobile, Ala., Dr. Wiseman graduated from Murphy High School and earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Ala. He completed two years of medical school at Louisiana State University School of Medicine before earning his medical degree at Harvard Medical School in Cambridge, Mass., in 1952. Dr. Wiseman completed his residency in pediatrics at Children’s Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio, and an international rotary fellowship at Children’s Hospital at the University of Zurich in Zurich, Switzerland.

From 1967-1972, Dr. Wiseman was director of the department of pediatrics and director of medical education at Mobile General Hospital. He also served as director of the Newborn Intensive Care Nursery at USA Medical Center. From 1972-1993, Dr. Wiseman was professor of pediatrics at the USA College of Medicine, where he also served as acting chair for one year. He was named emeritus professor in 1994.

“Dr. Wiseman was ahead of his time in envisioning a regional care network for the care of critically ill infants in Alabama,” said Dr. David Gremse, professor and chair of pediatrics at the USA College of Medicine.

Dr. Gremse trained under Dr. Wiseman when he was a medical student and resident physician at USA. “He was a role model for all of us – he set very high standards for himself and those that worked with him. He was very inspiring and he made you want to do your best to take care of the premature infants in the NICU.”

Dr. Gremse said Dr. Wiseman had an impact on his decision to pursue academic medicine and pediatric gastroenterology. “At the time, there were no pediatric gastroenterologists in Mobile,” he said. “Dr. Wiseman said the community would greatly benefit from a pediatric gastroenterologist, and I took his advice.”

During his career, Dr. Wiseman served as chair of the Fetus and Newborn Committee, Alabama Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics; chair of the Perinatal Advisory Committee, State and Regional; chair of the Perinatal Social Marketing Committee, State of Alabama, Department of Public Health; chair of the Alabama State Governor’s Task Force on Infant Mortality; and chair of the Subcommittee of the State Medicaid Advisory Board and “Healthy Beginnings.”

Dr. Wiseman has received numerous awards, including the American Academy of Pediatrics Award for Leadership as Chairman of the Perinatal Advisory Committee; the Alabama Perinatal Association Award for Outstanding Perinatal Services; the Alabama Hospital Association’s Distinguished Service Award; and Endowed Chair, department of pediatrics, USA College of Medicine. He was also named one of 50 outstanding faculty members by the USA Faculty Senate.

Dr. Wiseman received an honorable discharge in 1946 following his service in the U.S. Naval Reserve. In addition, he volunteered during a 2-month expedition with the Hospital Ship Hope in Brazil in 1973 and was a Project Hope Neonatal Consultant to Egypt in 1978.

The Hollis Wiseman Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at USA Children’s and Women’s Hospital is named in his honor. The Hollis J. Wiseman Neonatal Intensive Care Unit is a Level III unit with the most advanced care for premature and critically ill newborns, and the area's only neonatal transport vehicle.

Each year, the USA College of Medicine awards the Hollis J. Wiseman Award for Excellence in Pediatrics to the medical graduate of USA who during the pediatric clerkship best exemplified Dr. Wiseman’s outstanding qualities.

Dr. Wiseman was preceded in death by his wife, Janice “Teko” Wiseman. She was known for her work in the library systems in Mobile and Fairhope, for her part in the founding of Keep Mobile Beautiful and for efforts to organize bike and walking trails in Baldwin County.

Dr. Wiseman is survived by six children – Holly Lee Wiseman, Merrell Wiseman, Valery De Laney, Dr. Carol Norden, Jay Wiseman and David Wiseman.

A memorial service will be held at Dauphin Way United Methodist Church on Friday, Oct. 31, 2014, at noon. Visitation will be at 11 a.m. in the Fellowship Hall at the church.

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