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Rhoads, Jonathan E. (Evans), 1907-2002.

Internationally known surgeon, University of Pennsylvania

Westtown School, '24;
Haverford College
Johns Hopkins University, MD

Papers  (pdf file)

    from Philadelphia Inquirer
    from (see also below)

Jonathan Evans Rhoads, 94, surgeon, medical researcher
By Kristin E. Holmes

Dr. Jonathan Evans Rhoads, 94, of Haverford, a renowned surgeon and medical researcher at the University of Pennsylvania's School of Medicine, died of gastric cancer Thursday at the pavilion named for him at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

During a nearly 70-year career at Penn's medical school and hospital, Dr. Rhoads taught many surgeons, headed academic and hospital departments, and helped develop a form of nutrition for surgical patients that increased their chances of surviving.

Dr. Rhoads chaired the medical school's department of surgical research and headed the department of surgery at the hospital from 1959 to 1972. For three of those years, he also held the position of university provost, the first member of the medical faculty to serve as the school's chief academic adviser.

Through most of his career, he performed research focusing on nutrition in surgical patients. His work culminated in the development of an intravenous nutrient mixture that is now widely used to feed patients who are unable to eat. Dr. Rhoads and his colleague Stanley Dudrick received the Goldberger Award from the American Medical Association for their work.

Born into a Quaker family that settled in the region in 1682, Dr. Rhoads grew up in Germantown. He is a graduate of the Westtown School and Haverford College, where he was a Phi Beta Kappa member. In 1932, he earned a medical degree from Johns Hopkins University.

Dr. Rhoads arrived at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in 1932 as an intern. He became an instructor at the medical school in 1934 and later earned a doctorate in medical sciences from Penn.

In 1936, Dr. Rhoads married Teresa Folin, a physician and daughter of biochemist Otto Folin. Mrs. Rhoads died in 1987. Dr. Rhoads married Katharine Evans Goddard Rhoads in 1990.

Dr. Rhoads received many awards, including the Medallion of the Surgeon General of the United States and the Philadelphia Award during the country's Bicentennial Celebration in 1976.

He served as president or chaired organizations including the American College of Surgeons and the American Cancer Society. Dr. Rhoads was the editor of the society's medical journal for 20 years. In 1972, he was appointed by President Richard Nixon to serve on the National Cancer Advisory Board. In 1994, a pavilion at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania was named after him.

A member of the Religious Society of Friends, he traveled to Vietnam and Korea on medical missions on behalf of the American Friends Service Committee. He also served on the Philadelphia School Board, and the boards of Haverford College, Bryn Mawr College, and the Westtown School.

In addition to his wife, Dr. Rhoads is survived by daughter Margaret Kendon; sons Jonathan E. Jr., George, Edward, Philip and Charles; and 12 grandchildren.

Burial is private. A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. next Saturday at Germantown Friends Meeting, 47 Coulter St., Philadelphia. Another memorial service will be at 4 p.m. Feb. 7 at Irvine Auditorium, 3401 Spruce St., Philadelphia.

Memorial donations may be made to the Jonathan E. Rhoads Endowment for Friends Children in Friends Schools, 1515 Cherry St., Philadelphia 19102.

Death Notice
Jonathan E. Rhoads M.D.

died  Jan. 3, 2002, of Haverford, formerly of Phila., husband of Katharine Evans Goddard Rhoads and the late Teresa Folin Rhoads, and father of Margaret R. Kendon, Jonathan E. Jr., M.D., George G., M.D., Edward O.F., Philip G. and Charles J. Rhoads; also survived by 12 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren. There will be a Memorial Service, Saturday Jan. 12th, 2 P.M. in The Germantown Friends Meeting, 47 W. Coulter St., Phila. In lieu of flowers, donations in Jonathan's name to: Jonathan E. Rhoads Endowment for Friends Children in Friends Schools, 1515 Cherry St., Phila. PA 19102; or Dept. of Surgery at Univ. of PA Hosp.; or The American Philosophical Society. McILVAINE FUNERAL HOME, East Falls
Published in the Philadelphia Inquirer and/or Philadelphia Daily News from 1/4/2002 - 1/6/2002.


Jonathan Evans Rhoads was born on 9 May 1907 in Philadelphia, the son of Edward G. and Margaret Ely (Paxson) Rhoads. After attending Germantown Friends School and the Westtown School, Rhoads entered Haverford College in 1924 and graduated in 1928 with a B.A. He pursued a career in medicine earning a M.D. from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 1932.

Jonathan Rhoads began his long career at the University of Pennsylvania with an internship at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in 1932. Upon the completion of the internship, he decided to continue at the University in a residency under I. S. Ravdin, the chief of surgery. Ravdin recognized Rhoads' skill and became his mentor at the University. Rhoads became an associate in surgery in the Medical School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1939 and received his Doctor of Science degree from the University in 1940. When Ravdin left the University to work in the 20th General Hospital during World War II, Rhoads headed the Department of Surgery at the University Hospital. As a birth-right Quaker, Rhoads could not participate in any war-related activity and remained at the University.

With the return of the physicians from the war, Jonathan Rhoads was able to lighten his work load at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and devote more time to research and teaching. He became a member of the faculty of the Medical School. In 1944 he was appointed an Assistant Professor of Surgical Research and, in 1945, as an Assistant Professor of Surgery. It was not long before Rhoads' extraordinary skill and knowledge propelled him to upper levels of the Medical School and Hospital. He was appointed a full professor of surgery and the J. William White Professor of Surgical Research in 1949. His rise did not stop at the Medical School, but continued into the University proper when he was appointed Provost of the University in 1956, a position he held until 1959. Upon stepping down from the provostship, Rhoads returned to the Medical School and Hospital as the chair of the Department of Surgery and the John Rhea Barton Professor of Surgery. He held these posts until he retired from his administrative positions in 1972. As an honor to his distinguished career, Rhoads contents holds the position of Professor of Surgery at the School of Medicine.

In addition to his many posts at the University of Pennsylvania, Jonathan Rhoads was very active in other hospitals in the Philadelphia area as well as a large number of professional organizations. Early in his career he had a close affiliation with Pennsylvania Hospital, beginning in 1939 and culminating in 1972 with the being appointed the chief of surgery for the hospital. Among the more significant consulting staff positions he held were those at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and the Veterans Administration Hospital in Philadelphia. Rhoads has held positions in over twenty different professional and educational organizations. Among the most prominent are: Chairman of Surgical Advisory Committee, Food and Drug Administration, 1972-74; Member of American Board of Surgery, 1963-1969; member and chairman of the editorial board of the Annals of Surgery, 1947-1977; President, American Philosophical Society, 1976-84; President of Board of Managers, Haverford College, 1963-1978; Board of Education, City of Philadelphia, 1965-71. His special interest in cancer research and funding lead to his participation in the National Cancer Institute in the early 1970s. He also served as a director at large of the American Cancer Society, Inc., 1965-67, and a board member and president of the Philadelphia Division of the American Cancer Society.

Jonathan Rhoads has received a myriad of awards and honors during his long career. He holds honorary doctorates from Swarthmore College, Hahneman Medical College, Duke University, the Medical College of Ohio, Georgetown University, Yale University, and Thomas Jefferson University.

Rhoads married first Teresa Folin, who also graduated from Johns Hopkins Medical School in 1932, and second Katherine Evans Goddard. Jonathan and Teresa Rhoads had six children.

Dr. Jonathan E. Rhoads, an internationally known surgeon who pioneered the development of intravenous nutrition, died on January 3, 2002, at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. He was 94 and had worked at the hospital for almost 70 years ,starting as a junior doctor in 1932 and progressing to become Chairman of the Department of Surgery from 1959 to 1972. He remained active on the faculty of the Penn Medical School up to his final hospitalization. Dr. Rhoads was one of the most prominent surgeons of his generation. He edited a leading textbook in the field that was first published in 1957 and went through four editions. He pursued an active laboratory research program through most of his career that focused particularly on nutrition in surgical patients. His work culminated with the development of an intravenous nutrient mixture that was demonstrated for the first time to be capable of supporting normal growth in young animals and in children with severe bowel disease who received no food by mouth. This approach, known as total parenteral nutrition, is now widely used to support patients who are unable to eat. Rhoads and his younger colleague, Dr. Stanley Dudrick received the Goldberger Award from the American Medical Association for this work. Dr. Rhoads was recognized for his work in cancer surgery and was active with the American Cancer Society, serving as its President in 1969-70, and for two decades as Editor of its medical journal, Cancer. He was appointed by President Nixon to the National Cancer Advisory Board, which he chaired from 1972 to 1979. He had a knack for moving issues through boards and committees, which together with his indefatigable work habit led him to leadership positions in several of the major U.S. and international surgical associations, including the American College of Surgeons,the American Surgical Association, the American Trauma Society, the International Federation of Surgical Colleges, the International Surgical Group, and the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition. He served terms as President of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia and as President of the American Philosophical Society, for whichhe co-chaired the 250th Anniversary of its founding by Benjamin Franklin. Dr. Rhoads was the son of a Quaker physician who practiced in the Germantown section of Philadelphia. His father was active in Quaker affairs and Rhoads attended Quaker schools, including Haverford College before earning his MD at Johns Hopkins. He developed a life- long interest in education and served for many years on the committees incharge of Germantown Friends School, and WesttownSchool and on the Boards of Bryn Mawr College andHaverford College. In 1956 Rhoadswas appointed as Provost of the University of Pennsylvania, a position that he held for three years while continuing to practice surgery. He also served on the Philadelphia School Board under Mayor Tate. He was the recipient of the Philadelphia Award (the city's highest honor) in the bicentennial year of 1976. His work was recognized through the conferral of ten honorary degrees, several from the institutions he served as well as others including Yale, Duke, and Georgetown Universities. Dr. Rhoads married Teresa Folin, the daughter of a well-known Harvard biochemist, in 1936, but was widowed in 1987. He is survived by their six children, by 12 grandchildren, five great-grandchildren, and by his second wife, Katherine Evans Goddard Rhoads. In 1994, A.S.P.E.N. started the Rhoads Research Foundation and began providing annual grant support to nutrition researchers drawn from the health professions A.S.P.E.N.represents. The grants are intended to assist nutrition investigators by providing preliminary funding for promising new research in the fields of nutrition and metabolic support and related areas of clinical nutrition.A.S.P.E.N. will honor Dr. Rhoads at this year's lecture at Nutrition Week, February 25, 8:00am-9:30am at the San Diego Convention Center.Anyone wishing to make contributions to the Rhoads Research Foundation should send them to:The Rhoads Research Foundation c/o A.S.P.E.N. 8630 Fenton Street, Suite 412, Silver Spring, MD 20910