Donald Fedder, DrPH, MPH, BSP, FAPhA, a faculty member at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy since the early 1970s, passed away on Aug. 28 at the age of 82.
"Don was a wonderful colleague and friend," says Natalie D. Eddington, PhD, dean of the School of Pharmacy. "He was thoughtful, insightful, and always willing to share his views and advice. He has left an indelible mark on our School, and we will sorely miss him."
Fedder came to the School of Pharmacy in 1947 - not as a faculty member but as a student. He graduated in 1950 with a BSP and took over a pharmacy on Wise Avenue in Dundalk. He operated that pharmacy for more than 20 years. It was the first in Maryland to carry orthotics and home health medical equipment.
In the early 1970s, Fedder was recruited to the School of Pharmacy by Drs. Ralph Shangraw and Peter Lamy. He had recently sold his pharmacy and "retired" so he was available.
As a researcher, Fedder focused on the role of modifiable behaviors in reducing disease risk, increasing patient compliance with medication, and improving relationships between the patient and health care provider. While a member of the School's Department of Pharmaceutical Health Services Research (PHSR), Fedder founded the ENABLE program at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy in the mid-1980s. For 20 years it trained local community health workers to aid high-risk populations with chronic diseases to maintain control of their illnesses. This innovative program earned Fedder campuswide recognition when he received the University of Maryland, Baltimore's 2005 Martin Luther King Jr. Diversity Award.
"Don's pioneering work fostering community outreach and advocating for health care for vulnerable populations through the ENABLE program was the pinnacle of a long and distinguished career in public health and community pharmacy," says Eddington. "As we mourn him, we take note of his remarkable contributions to the well-being of those citizens who fall through the cracks.
While in his 50s and working full-time at the School, Fedder went "back to school" himself and earned master's and doctoral degrees from the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health.
"One of the most important gifts Don has given all of us is his example as a lifelong learner," says Ilene Zuckerman, PharmD, PhD, professor and chair of PHSR. "Many people gained inspiration from him, myself included. Don made a choice to return to the classroom, after a very successful career in community pharmacy, and earn a Doctorate in Public Health. He was passionate about both community pharmacy and public health. The accomplishments throughout his career and the students he taught are the fruits of that passion. We are thankful to Don for providing the vision and inspiration of lifelong learning to all those he touched during his lifetime. He will be remembered."
In November 2009, Fedder retired from the School of Pharmacy as a professor emeritus at a special ceremony that also celebrated his 82nd birthday. Surrounded by his family, friends, and colleagues, Fedder was praised for the positive impact he had on countless students, staff, faculty, and community health workers.
"One of the amazing things about Don Fedder is the fact that he truly was 'Mr. Baltimore' in every sense," says C. Daniel Mullins, PhD, a professor in PHSR and former chair of the department. "For community health, Mr. Baltimore developed the ENABLE program to reach patients with chronic diseases who were homebound or had trouble managing their disease. For public health, he was an advocate and active within our city, as well as at the state and national levels, having served as the president of the Maryland Public Health Association multiple times. On a social level, he was active in the community and a man of culture; he and his wife, Michaeline, were often supporters of the arts, and Mr. Baltimore was always equally comfortable rubbing elbows with the city's elite and those who were less fortunate. He was a model for our city as well as our School."
A funeral was held Tuesday, Aug. 31 at Sol Levinson and Bros. Funeral Home, 8900 Reisterstown Road in Pikesville.
A graduate fellowship in PHSR has been created by Fedder's colleagues at the School of Pharmacy in his memory. To make a contribution to the fellowship through the University of Maryland Baltimore Foundation, Inc. or for information, please contact Janice Batzold at firstname.lastname@example.org or 410-706-1711.