Altemeier, William A.

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Doctor William A. Altemeier is a native of Cincinnati and received bachelor's degree in 1930 and his medical degree at the University of Cincinnati in 1933. After an internship at the Cincinnati General Hospital, he served as chief surgical resident at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit.

After earning his M.S. degree from the Graduate School of the University of Michigan, he returned to the University of Cincinnati in 1940 as instructor of surgery. That same year, he founded the Surgical Research Bacteriology Laboratory. He also founded the Burn and Wound Study Unit in 1942, the Center for the Comprehensive Clinical Study of Trauma in 1967, and the Surgical Research Unit in 1973.

Altemeier became assistant professor of surgery at the University of Cincinnati Medical School in 1946 and chairman of the department in 1962. He also served as director of surgical services at the Cincinnati General Hospital, and surgeon-in-chief at Children's and Holmes Hospitals.

Dr. Altemeier has been president of the American Surgical Association, the Central Surgical Association, the Society of Clinical Surgery, the Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract, the Henry Ford Hospital Medical Association and the Cincinnati Surgical Society. He has served as vice president of the Western Surgical Association, the Pan-Pacific Surgical Association, and the International Surgical Society. He was vice chairman of the American Board of Surgery, the Committee on Hospital-Acquired Infections of the American College of Surgeons, and the Editorial Committee that developed the Manual on Control of Infection in Surgical Patients. He is a member of the Editorial Boards of the Annals of Surgery, the American Surgeon, and the new Journal of Surgical Infections, and has served on the board of the Journal of Surgical Research and Surgery.

In 1975, the American College of Surgeons presented him with its Distinguished Service Award and in 1978 elected him president. Also in 1975, the Southern Ohio Region of the National Conference of Christians and Jews presented him with one of its annual service awards. The Royal College of Surgeons of England made him an Honorary Fellow in 1977, the American Burn Association honored him with the Harvey Allen Distinguished Service Award in 1978, and the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh made him an Honorary Fellow in 1979. Most recently, he was presented the First Distinguished Alumnus Award by Henry Ford Hospital.

From the guide to the William A. Altemeier Papers, 1949-1983, (History of Medicine Division. National Library of Medicine)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf William A. Altemeier Papers, 1949-1983 History of Medicine Division. National Library of Medicine
creatorOf William A. Altemeier Archival Collection, 1933-1987 University of Cincinnati, Health Sciences Library, Henry R. Winkler Center for the History of the Health Professions
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Barnard, Christiaan, 1922- person
associatedWith Bryant, Lester person
associatedWith Cincinnati General Hospital corporateBody
associatedWith Day, Stacey B. person
associatedWith DeBakey, Michael E. (Michael Ellis), 1908- person
associatedWith Firor, Warfield Monroe, 1896- person
associatedWith Mattingly, Steele person
associatedWith McClure, Roy D. person
associatedWith Rhoads, Jonathan E. person
associatedWith University of Cincinnati corporateBody
associatedWith University of Cincinnati. College of Medicine corporateBody
associatedWith Wyss, Albert person
associatedWith Wyss, Herbert person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Cincinnati (Ohio)
Infection - surgery


Birth 1910

Death 1983



Ark ID: w6d08hn9

SNAC ID: 28085586