Current Issue
Spring 2014
BMM Current Issue
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Ata K. Erdogan ’98 MD’02

Ata K. Erdogan, 36, passed away in August 2012 after a prolonged battle with cancer. He graduated from Phillips Academy in 1994 and from Brown’s Program in Liberal Medical Education. He completed internal medicine and cardiology training at Northwestern in 2009. He then joined the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute at Northwestern.

His Brown classmates Saori A. Murakami and David Bae are leading an effort to establish the Ata K. Erdogan Memorial Term Scholarship at Alpert Medical School in his memory. In a letter to their class, they wrote: “Those fortunate enough to have known Ata will always remember his generous spirit, his amazing strength, his infectious smile, and his love for those around him. He was truly a wonderful human being who epitomized perfection as a physician, a friend, a brother, and a son.”

He is survived by his parents, Drs. Mehmet and Remziye Erdogan; and a brother, Mete.

Gifts in Ata’s memory can be sent to Brown University, Ata K. Erdogan Memorial Term Scholarship, Office of Biomedical Advancement, Box G-ADV, Providence, RI 02912.

James Mott Bliss, MD RES’07

James (Jake) M. Bliss, 37, died November 10, 2012, of complications from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease). Jake graduated from Moses Brown School (1993), Yale University (1998), and Tulane University Medical School (2012). After receiving his medical degree, he completed his orthopedic surgery residency at Brown University, a fellowship in orthopedic trauma at Brown, and a fellowship in total joint replacements at the Scripps Clinic in San Diego, CA, finishing his training in 2009. He then joined the medical staff of the Sansum Clinic in Santa Barbara, CA, where he specialized in complex joint replacement surgery.

The son of Clinical Assistant Professor of Orthopaedics Thomas F. Bliss, Jake said he always knew he would be an orthopedic surgeon. His deep love of the field, and of medicine broadly, was unwavering. In an interview with Santa Barbara Street Medicine after his diagnosis, he said of his career: “I could enjoy it for my whole life. I got a tremendous amount of satisfaction from doing what I did. And it was worth all the sacrifices. I am very grateful for the one year I had to practice.”

During his career, Jake garnered the respect and admiration of all who had the privilege to know him. A lifelong Quaker, Jake was committed to helping those less fortunate. Even before graduating from high school, he established with a friend a summer camp for underprivileged children in Providence. After receiving the diagnosis of ALS, Jake discontinued the practice of surgery, but continued to volunteer with Doctors Without Walls-Santa Barbara Street Medicine. “I found that I could still be a doctor with the homeless population,” Jake said. “While I was going through the transition of accepting my fate and struggling with life-and-death issues, they really helped me by allowing me to help them.”

Jake, above all, was known for his many close friends and the love he held for his family. He spent the last year of his life much as he spent the previous 36—committed to having fun, making the most of every moment, and improving the lives of those around him. He leaves his wife, Dr. Laurel A. Bliss, and his daughter, Devon A. Bliss, of Santa Barbara, CA. Jake was born in Rehoboth, MA, the son of Dr. Thomas F. Bliss and the late Josselyn Hallowell Bliss. Jake is also survived by his brothers and sisters and many nieces and nephews.

The Bliss family asks that those inspired by Jake’s life volunteer a morning to their community in his memory. 

Richard Browning

Richard A. Browning ’75 MD ’78, PMD ’12

Richard A. Browning, 59, passed away on November 13, 2012. He was the former chief of anesthesia at Rhode Island Hospital and The Miriam Hospital and served as clinical professor of anesthesia at Alpert Medical School. Browning joined the Rhode Island Hospital Department of Anesthesia in 1985 and had served as chief of that department since 1988. He was a member of the board of directors of the American Society of Anesthesiologists, the Rhode Island Society of Anesthesiologists, and the Society for Pediatric Anesthesia, among others, and a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. He completed his internship and residency in pediatrics at Rhode Island Hospital, where he served as chief resident. He also completed a residency in anesthesia at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and a fellowship in anesthesia and critical care medicine at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Rick was an avid golfer and enjoyed playing platform tennis. He is survived by his wife, Lisa, and their three children, Chris, Karen MD’12, and Lauren. 

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