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The MUSC community was deeply saddened by the passing of Hulda J. Wohltmann, M.D., on Saturday, Jan. 11. Wohltmann, who was 90 years old when she died, was a renowned clinician and researcher and a beloved educator.
Wohltmann, born April 10, 1923 in Charleston, was a graduate of the College of Charleston and the Medical College of South Carolina. She served at St. Louis Children’s Hospital from 1950 until 1965, returning to MUSC.
She was certified by the American Board of Pediatrics and made significant contributions to diabetes research in pediatric medicine. She was published in numerous medical journals and was a member of many professional organizations.
Honored many times by the S.C. Diabetes Association, she was the recipient of the professional service award, life membership award and special award for Outstanding and Continuous Dedicated Service to S.C. Children with Diabetes. She was listed in Who’s Who of American Women, Who’s Who in America and Best Doctors in the U.S.
In 1983, Wohltmann and John Colwell, M.D., Ph.D., emeritus professor of Medicine at MUSC, were the principal investigators of the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial/Epidemiology of Diabetes Intervention and Complications study at MUSC. This landmark trial, which studies the effects of good glucose control on the development of diabetic complications in Type 1 diabetes, is ongoing and MUSC remains one of the sites involved in following the patients enrolled. The long follow-up of these patients has allowed the medical community to understand and obtain a depth of knowledge concerning the development of diabetic complications and has led to the development of new therapeutic strategies.
Memorials may be made to: All Saints Lutheran Church, 2107 N. Highway, Mount Pleasant, S.C. 29466 or East Cooper Meals on Wheels, 2304 N Highway 17, Mount Pleasant, S.C. 29466.
“I worked with Hulda Wohltmann and her patients in the NIH funded GCRC for 12 years, at a time when Clinical Research was in its beginnings at MUSC. She was a delight to work with and learn from. She was always smiling and her patients loved her. I remember she loved iced coffee and we always tried to make sure there was a fresh but cooled pot at the ready for her.”
—Jan Maria Pittman, R.N., General Internal Medicine
“I remember Hulda Wohltmann as a very kind, warm, caring and excellent physician. I enjoyed working with her when we provided care for two of her patients with a congenital kidney disease. She will be missed.”
—Perry V. Halushka, M.D., Ph.D., College of Graduate Studies
“Hulda Wohltmann was truly a pioneer in diabetes management at MUSC. She saw the benefits of “good glucose control” before most clinical studies were even thought about. She was also Co-PI for the NIH study, Diabetes Control and Complications Trial 1983-1993. She was instrumental in establishing guidelines for carbohydrate counting and taught this “new method” of treatment not only to her patients but the house staff. She always tried to strive for excellence and worked tirelessly for all her pediatric patients and their families.”
—Denise Wood, former MUSC employee
“Love for her patients and an intense desire to prevent them from developing complications was one of Hulda Wohltmann’s main goals in life and her enthusiasm and dedication to ensure that her patients had a long and healthy life was boundless and quite inspiring. Besides being one of my most significant mentors, she was a loyal friend that valued honesty and fairness above all. She always expected that you give your best effort but in return you would have her absolute support. She taught me that love for research and conducting it with absolute honesty, as well as applying research findings to the improvement of patient care were the main requirements to pursue a successful medical research career. She was right and I will always be grateful for her support and fairness, which had a very significant impact in the early stages of my development as a scientist.”
—Maria F. Lopes-Virella, M.D., Ph.D.
Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Medicinal Genetics
“Hulda Wohltmann changed my life in two ways. She got me excited about Diabetes that lead to me becoming a Certified Diabetes Educator and getting to guide and teach many newly diagnosed patients during my years in the General Clinical Research Center. The second thing, that I still do to this day, is drink iced coffee. She was drinking it before it was cool. She was an amazing lady.”
—Debbie S. O’Rear, R.N.