On Friday, May 31st, Dr. Henry H Hood passed away peacefully in his sleep at his home. Dr. Hood was an orthopedic surgeon in Lancaster for over three decades. Dr. Hood was born on June 30, 1939 in Washington, PA. He graduated high school from Millbrook School in Millbrook, New York. After receiving an undergraduate degree from Brown University in 1961, he spent a year at Washington and Jefferson College in preparation for medical school at Jefferson Medical University in Philadelphia where he graduated in 1966. Prior to moving to Lancaster in 1974 to open a private practice, he completed residencies in Akron, Chicago, and Toronto, served two years in the Air Force at the Minot Air Force Base Regional Medical Hospital, and taught at the University of Florida Medical School. He was passionate about teaching and mentoring. Throughout his career in private practice, Dr. Hood welcomed numerous medical students into his office who spent months learning new skills. For 18 years, Dr. Hood spent Sunday mornings at the New Life Church in Columbus offering medical services to the homeless and destitute, while simultaneously mentoring medical students from OSU medical school who volunteered at the clinic. He started a free medical clinic for local residents at Maywood Mission. Known for his gentle bedside manner, unorthodox sense of humor, story-telling prowess, love of a good joke, and his charming whistle, he touched the lives of numerous patients and impacted the life of every person he knew.
Although known for his medical contributions in the community, Dr. Hood was a true Renaissance man who had diverse interests and a generous heart. His love of sports remained a constant throughout his life. Not only did he convey and share that love with his own children, he shared it with the community and, as he so often did, used his passion to better the lives of everyone around him. He was a little league baseball coach, an avid golfer and team physician for the Lancaster High School football team. Identifying a need for exercise facilities, he constructed the Dr. Henry Hood Strength and Conditioning Center for athletes at LHS, fondly known as “The Hood.” In a desire to share his passion for golf, he organized free golf clinics for young enthusiasts at the Lancaster Country Club. When the Lancaster Country Club was struggling financially, Dr. Hood and others stepped in to purchase the community landmark established in 1903. LCC then became one of his favorite projects. For the past few years, he became a permanent fixture at LCC, riding around the golf course ensuring that the grounds and facilities remained in beautiful condition for the membership, working tirelessly to keep the community institution vital and thriving.
Dr. Hood was a true entrepreneur and lived by the philosophy: “What can I do to help you?” When his devoted wife of 56 years, Eleanor, became a Director of the newly formed Lancaster Festival, Henry whole heartedly supported her interest in promoting the arts in Lancaster and remained a generous sponsor of what has become a community treasure for 35 years. After developing a friendship with Jack Hicks, Dr. Hood recognized Jack’s creative genius and talent as a cabinet-maker. Together, they started the Hicks Collection, a thriving business that provided gorgeous furniture and cabinetry throughout the houses of Lancaster for 20 years. Dr. Hood loved to bring out the best in everyone and worked as hard as necessary to help others reach their full potential.
Dr. Hood made a lasting impact on the world locally and globally. In 1984, he met Dr. Robert Simon, Founder and Chairman of the Board of the International Medical Corps (IMC). A lifelong friendship and partnership was born. For 35 years the two have worked to build the IMC into an organization which has provided medical relief, education and training to 51 countries around the globe, from Afghanistan to Zambia. Dr. Simon shared these heartfelt memories:
“It is impossible for me to think or say IMC without combining it with Henry’s name. Henry was one of the founding board members since we started IMC in 1984. He was committed to helping destitute and desperate people around the world.
His vision is the vision of IMC. Henry worked in a number of war zones, including Afghanistan, Somalia, Nicaragua, Pakistan, and disaster areas such as Haiti and Indonesia. In each he trained people. If there were doctors there he would train them on surgical skills they never learned but now needed to help their people, if none where there he taught medic trainees these skills.
To train Afghan medics he invented a traction device that was made of bamboo shoots and ties that remains in the manual he helped write 30 years later. The reduction of common dislocations was taught using techniques he invented such as using a tree limb and lever system he developed to reduce complex dislocations and fracture dislocations.
He was the Chair of the most important committee in the IMC – the International Operations Committee – the committee that controls what actions the organization takes in each war zone.
Together we wrote the IMC Training Manual, which today remains the most complete training manual of its kind in the world. Many of the techniques Henry developed remain in there.
While Henry is gone, great spirits like his will never be gone. That is the “soul” they leave behind forever!”
Dr. Hood is survived by his wife Eleanor Hood; son Henry H. Hood III, his wife Diane Hood, children Garrett and Meredith, and step-children Chasity and Jennifer; daughter Elise Hood Egan, her husband Michael J Egan and children Michael “Jay”, Halie and Annabel; brother, Paul and his wife Molly Hood, and his loving cat Jasper.
All friends are warmly invited to share in a Celebration of Life with Dr. Hood’s family on Saturday, June 8 at the Lancaster Country Club from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, donations to the International Medical Corps, 12400 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 1500, Los Angeles, CA 90025 or the Fairfield Medical Center Foundation, 401 North Ewing Street, Lancaster, Ohio 43130 would be welcome. Caring Cremation has taken place through the Frank E. Smith Funeral Home. Online condolences can be made at www.funeralhome.com
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