She overcame polio to lead long, distinguished career in hematology-oncology

Beatrice Lampkin, MD, a distinguished childhood cancer expert and long-time humanitarian was enshrined in December in the 2012 class of Great Living Cincinnatians, the highest honor of the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber.

Lampkin, born in 1934, survived a bout with polio at age 7 that resulted in her using crutches for the rest of her life. She overcame this obstacle, and historic resistance to women in medicine, to become one of Cincinnati’s finest physicians.

Lampkin began practicing at Cincinnati Children’s in 1965. By 1973, she had been appointed director of the medical center’s Division of Hematology and Oncology.

During her career, she authored or co-authored more than 120 journal articles, more than 30 book chapters and presented nearly 100 abstracts. She also is a past president of the American Society of Hematology-Oncology.

Her philanthropic efforts included leading a $1.3 million fundraising effort to open the Children’s Family House, later renamed the Ronald McDonald House at Cincinnati Children’s – a facility that serves as a home away from home for families of children receiving care at the hospital.  Today, the facility is the third-largest Ronald McDonald House worldwide.

Complications from post–polio syndrome forced Lampkin to retire from full–time medical practice in 1991. However, she has continued with other responsibilities at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. She also helped establish the Glad House, a program designed to break the cycle of drug and alcohol abuse among children of homeless mothers with substance addictions.

Lampkin has received numerous awards and honors, including the naming of the Beatrice C. Lampkin Young Adult Clinic at Children's Hospital Medical Center, given by the American Cancer Society in 1991, induction into the Ohio Women's Hall of Fame in 1997, and the Martin Luther King Humanitarian Award, presented by Children's Hospital Medical Center.  In 2001, she was honored with the Distinguished Career Award of the American Society of Pediatric Hematology—Oncology.

She is a member of the American Association for Cancer Research, American Pediatric Society, American Society of Clinical Oncology, American Society of Hematology, Central Society for Clinical Research, Cincinnati Pediatric Society, and the Society for Pediatric Research.

A brief biography of this accomplished physician is posted online at the U.S. National Library of Medicine.