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On October 20, 1927, Coleman Hospital officially opened. It was the only hospital in Indiana designed and restricted to female patients. Today, a bronze tablet reminds those who pass through the building that “This hospital was given by Mr. And Mrs. William H. Coleman in living memory of their daughter, Suemma Vajen Coleman Atkins, AD, 1927.” The Coleman Hospital commemorates Suemma Coleman Atkins who died April 16, 1924, of chronic renal disease, which was a complication of her only pregnancy. Mr. and Mrs. Coleman retained an active interest in the hospital until their deaths in 1946 and 1947, respectively. Mr. Coleman, who became ill late in his life, was the only male patient ever to be admitted to the hospital.
During its existence, Coleman Hospital had an outstanding record for service, teaching and research. Immediately after its opening, the hospital was used to its fullest extent. Many times it was necessary to place beds in the corridors to handle the number of patients. Because of the quality of the physicians on its staff, it quickly became a state referral center for difficult and complicated obstetrical problems.
Well over 65,000 babies were delivered during the lifetime of the Coleman Hospital. During those years, every Indiana University School of Medicine student learned to do his or her first normal deliveries there. In the early years, the Gynecology and Obstetrics divisions were separate entities:
CHAIRMAN OF GYNECOLOGY CHAIRMAN OF OBSTETRICS
Orange G. Pfaff, 1927 A. M. Mendenhall, 1927-34
Frank Walker, 1926-36 Frank Beckman, 1935-46
Carl Habich, 1937, 1946
In 1942, the one-year residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Indiana University Medical Center was extended to three years. In 1946, a combined Obstetrical and Gynecological Department was established. Dr. Carl Huber became the first Professor and Chairman of this department in 1948. Between 1946-1950, an informal relationship was established by Dr. Huber between the Ob/Gyn Residency Program at I.U.M.C. and the Marion County General Hospital, which was renamed Wishard Memorial Hospital (now Eskenazi Health); hence, in 1950, the residency programs were combined.
In 1967, Dr. Huber was named Indiana University’s first Coleman Professor, and endowed-named chair in the School of Medicine. In 1970, the department moved from the Coleman Hospital to the newly opened University Hospital. Since knowledge in the medical field was constantly increasing, it became apparent that an additional year of residency experience and learning would be beneficial to future Ob/Gyn physicians. Therefore, in June 1974, the Ob/Gyn Residency Program became a four-year curriculum. In 1996, the IU program consolidated with the Methodist training program under the Indiana University School of Medicine title. Methodist, Riley and University Hospitals formally consolidated on January 1, 1997, under the name of IU Health Partners.
COLEMAN PROFESSOR and CHAIRMAN
DEPARTMENT OF OBSTETRICS and GYNECOLOGY
Carl P. Huber, MD 1948-1969
Charles A. Hunter, MD 1969-1981
Clarence E. Ehrlich, MD 1981-1992
In 1996, an endowed professorship in the memory of Dr. Clarence Ehrlich was established.
CLARENCE E. EHRLICH PROFESSOR and CHAIR
DEPARTMENT OF OBSTETRICS AND GYNECOLOGY
Frederick B. Stehman, MD 1994 – 2008
Lee Learman, MD 2008 – 2015
Jeffrey Rothenberg, MD 2015 – 2016 (Interim)
Jeffrey F. Peipert, MD 2016 – present