January 09, 2017
In Memoriam - Roy DeHart
AsMA was saddened to hear of the death of Roy L. DeHart, M.D., M.P.H., Col., USAF(Ret.), this past December.
Born in Kentucky, Dr. DeHart received his medical degree from The University of Tennessee-Knoxville College of Medicine in 1960. After serving an internship, he went on active duty and completed the primary course in aerospace medicine at the USAF School of Aerospace Medicine, Brooks AFB, TX. He was then assigned as Director of Base Medical Services at Prestwick AB, Scotland. He participated in the USAF residency program from 1964–1967 and earned his M.P.H. at Johns Hopkins University of Hygiene and Public Health in 1965. Later, he earned a masters degree in international affairs from George Washington University in 1974, and graduated from the National War College in 1974.
Dr. DeHart helped found the Aerospace Medicine Residency at Wright State University in Dayton, OH, and a special diploma course in aviation medicine in Australia. He also served as the Commander of the USAF School of Aerospace Medicine from 1980-1983 and was responsible for all training in aerospace medicine in the USAF. He was also appointed an Associate Professor at the Uniformed Services Health Sciences University, Associate Clinical Professor at Wright State University, and Adjunct Professor at the University of Oklahoma and the University of Texas.
After he retired from the U.S. Air Force, Dr. DeHart was named Medical Director of the Hillcrest Occupational Medical Service in Tulsa, OK, and President of the Owning Corporation. Later he became Professor and Director of the Division of Occupational Medicine in the Department of Family Practice at the University of Oklahoma Health Science Center in Oklahoma City. He also served as Director of the Center’s residency in occupational medicine program, which he founded. He was also named Adjunct Professor in Occupational Health for the School of Public Health and Medical Supervisor of the Post-Graduate Occupational Medicine Physician Assistant program.
Dr. DeHart was certified in both occupational and aerospace medicine by the American Board of Preventive Medicine and was certified by the American Board of Family Practice. He served as President of both the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine and the American College of Preventive Medicine. When he retired from the University of Oklahoma, he served on a presidential committee established to study the effects of radiation in worker health during the development of atomic energy in World War II. Later, he also served with Vanderbilt Medical Center/Corporate Health. He fully retired in 2016.
Dr. DeHart was the author of many medical articles and the textbook “Fundamentals of Aerospace Medicine.” He also gave many presentations on the effects of air and space travel. He was a member of the International Academy of Aviation and Space Medicine and a Fellow of the American Public Health Association, the American College of Preventive Medicine, the American Academy of Family Practice, the Royal Society of Health, and the Aerospace Medical Association. His awards and honors included the Theodore C. Lyster Award in 1986 and the Eric Liljencrantz Award in 2000 from the Aerospace Medical Association, the legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters, the Bronze Star, the Air Medal with one oak leaf cluster, and many honors and awards from the Public Health Service, Wright State University, and other organizations. He published over 60 articles, delivered over 100 addresses at aerospace medical forums, and had given innumerable lectures over the years. He also served on the Editorial Boards for various peer-reviewed journals, including Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine (now Aerospace Medicine and Human Performance). Within the Aerospace Medical Association, he spent several years on the Executive Committee and as a committee chair. While he was Chair of AsMA’s Education and Training Committee, the “Essentials of Physician Continuing Medical Education Programs Sponsored by the Aerospace Medical Association” were developed.