Tuesday, July 21, 2015

they're back! two of the founding doctors

Last summer we honored Ira Greifer by inducting him into the FV Hall of Fame at our annual August gathering of the Board of Trustees, alumni and friends. Search in this blog for "Ira Greifer" and you'll find my write-ups on that good event (or click here). Naturally, to help honor Ira, we invited all the pediatric nephrologists who had participated in our dialysis program over the years to return to camp and help in the celebration. Two of those returning were Bill Primack and Lew Reisman. Bill was the founding doctor - the very first medical director of the unit when it opened in 1975.

Yes, 1975. It's 2015 now. That's FORTY years ago.

Bill Primack was there and making sure the crazy experiment worked. It did. Bill was amazing back then (and, as it turns out, still is). He was involved for several years - maybe five(?). He was in Massachusetts back then and for the last bunch of years in North Carolina, at UNC (wearing his Tar Hell blue hats). He has just retired and is, for the moment, staying in Chapel Hill. One of Bill's children, Dana Russell, was also a Frost Valley person in her day - becoming a staff member. Dana lives in L.A. and a few years back came to a small alumni gathering we hosted there.

Lew Reisman started doing 2-week stints as doctor at camp in the late 70s - maybe '78? He was immediately beloved: a man with an old-style sense of humor, impeccable political ethics, ready always with a ready laugh (at himself, usually). Lew continued to do his session at camp until 1985 or '86. It's been 30 years since he did his session in the dialysis unit.

Well, get this.

Because Rick Kaskel (also a long-time doc in the program and for the past many years our Medical Director) re-connected with Bill and Lew last summer, he pestered them all year to return this summer. And, lo and behold, each of them said yes. Bill came up from North Carolina to be the doc for the first week of session 2. And Lew came all the way from Israel (he lives most of the year in Jerusalem) to be at FV for the second week of session 2 (the current week).

There must always be a kidney MD in camp, so Bill waited for Lew to arrive, before briefing him on the kids' status - and then took off for New Jersey where he was to meet with the Gottscho Foundation folks about an idea he has for measuring wellness and health of kids at camp. So there was a moment when these two founders were back at camp. I was having lunch with Bill when Lew showed up. Lew grabbed a plate and amid the dining hall we had a little reunion. I snapped this photo. Click on the image for a larger view.

Bill and Lew! Back together at FV! After all these years.