Title

Nancy Davis Reagan, First Lady with a neurosurgical legacy

Authors

Lena Mary Houlihan, The Loyal and Edith Davis Neurosurgical Research Laboratory, Department of Neurosurgery, Barrow Neurological Institute, St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center, Phoenix, Arizona.
Ann J. Staudinger Knoll, University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix, Phoenix, Arizona.
Jubran H. Jubran, University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix, Phoenix, Arizona.
Dara S. Farhadi, University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix, Phoenix, Arizona.
Dimitri Benner, The Loyal and Edith Davis Neurosurgical Research Laboratory, Department of Neurosurgery, Barrow Neurological Institute, St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center, Phoenix, Arizona.Follow
Joseph M. Zabramski, The Loyal and Edith Davis Neurosurgical Research Laboratory, Department of Neurosurgery, Barrow Neurological Institute, St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center, Phoenix, Arizona.Follow
Michael T. Lawton, The Loyal and Edith Davis Neurosurgical Research Laboratory, Department of Neurosurgery, Barrow Neurological Institute, St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center, Phoenix, Arizona.Follow
Robert F. Spetzler, The Loyal and Edith Davis Neurosurgical Research Laboratory, Department of Neurosurgery, Barrow Neurological Institute, St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center, Phoenix, Arizona.
Mark C. Preul, The Loyal and Edith Davis Neurosurgical Research Laboratory, Department of Neurosurgery, Barrow Neurological Institute, St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center, Phoenix, Arizona. Electronic address: Neuropub@barrowneuro.org.Follow

Document Type

Article

Abstract

Various well-known people associated with the history of the presidency of the United States have experienced neurological disease or injury, especially trauma to the head or spine. Nancy Reagan, however, as the wife of President Ronald Reagan and First Lady, would leave a significant and lasting mark on the progress of neurosurgical science and education. Recognized for endeavors against drug abuse, Alzheimer's disease, and polio, her interest in neurosurgical research is less well known. Nancy's father Loyal Davis was a remarkable neurosurgeon and educator of extraordinary influence. When Barrow Neurological Institute (BNI) founder John Green experienced complications after an illness, Davis served as BNI director during 1966-1967. After Davis's death in 1982, Robert Spetzler, who had been a student of Davis at Northwestern University Medical School and was then BNI director, convinced Green, despite his misgivings, to support a neurosurgical laboratory recognizing Davis. In 1988, Nancy Reagan, then First Lady, dedicated the Loyal and Edith Davis Neurosurgical Research Laboratory. At the dedication, she remarked on her years growing up in the home of a pioneering neurosurgeon and remarked that "my father believed deeply in the importance of research to develop new methods for treating patients." Green and Spetzler's unified efforts honored the extraordinary career of Davis in a manner he would have appreciated, were supported by a First Lady with deep involvement in politics and philanthropy dedicated to promoting advances in medicine, and are part of neurosurgery's unique heritage.

Publication Date

8-15-2021

Publication Title

World neurosurgery

E-ISSN

1878-8769

PubMed ID

34389521

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

10.1016/j.wneu.2021.08.012

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS