January 31, 2012
Beatrice C. Lampkin, M.D. - Great Living Cincinnatian
This story is the third in a series recognizing each member of the 2012 class of Great Living Cincinnatians. Awards will be presented at the Chamber Annual Dinner on February 16, 2012. More info
Beatrice Lampkin has always been a pioneer. Born in Alabama in 1934, she was stricken by polio in 1940. For three weeks, she was quarantined in her home in Tuscaloosa and then underwent treatment-- including multiple trips to Warm Springs, Georgia where President Roosevelt also sought relief. That experience “made me more empathetic and sympathetic when children are sick,” Lampkin said.
The granddaughter of a doctor, she was determined to become a physician herself. In the 1950s, a woman in medical school, especially a woman on crutches, was unusual, but she completed her M.D. in 1960 at the Medical College of Alabama.
Lampkin pursued her residency at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital in 1961 and became the director of the Division of Hematology/Oncology in the Department of Pediatrics in 1973. She was the only pediatric hematologist/oncologist in Cincinnati and cared for 173 children.
By the time she retired as director 18 years later, the division had 13 full-time faculty members, six fellows, four specialty centers and two specialty clinics with the capacity to care for 1,500 children and adolescents a year.
In addition to her clinical and research work, in 1978 Dr. Lampkin and Dr. Paul McEnery met with a group of parents who had seriously ill children at Children’s Hospital and had difficulty finding an affordable place to live while their children were treated.
The plan-- to create a “home away from home”-- inspired a successful $1.3 million fundraising effort which Dr. Lampkin helped lead. In 1982, it resulted in the opening of the Children’s Family House. Later renamed the Ronald McDonald House, the facility has provided a convenient, supportive home for 22,000 families over the last 20 years.
“We are the third-largest of 310 Ronald McDonald Houses worldwide, thanks in large part to Dr. Lampkin’s vision and early leadership,” commented Jennifer Goodin, the executive director of the Ronald McDonald House who, through no coincidence, named her youngest daughter Beatrice.
In 1993, Dr. Lampkin led a group committed to doing something for children impacted by parental substance abuse. Their commitment grew into the creation of GLAD House (Giving Life a Dream), where Dr. Lampkin served as the first president. After years of planning and fundraising, GLAD House opened in 1998 in a revitalized building on the grounds of St. Aloysius Orphanage in Bond Hill. GLAD House is planning to move soon and renovate a building in Pleasant Ridge appropriate for the needs of the children. For more information about GLAD House please refer to gladhouse.org.
The program targets children between 5 and 12 years old, when they “are still at an age that you can mold and motivate their behavior” said Dr. Lampkin. Each day, the staff and volunteers empower the children by teaching them “The Seven C’s”—I didn’t cause it; I can’t cure it; I can’t control it, but I can help take care of myself by communicating my feelings, making healthy choices and by celebrating myself.
Through her work at Children’s and her passion and commitment to the region, the children of Cincinnati have benefitted from the care and leadership of Beatrice Lampkin since 1963.