Jerry Flance is currently Professor Emeritus of Clinical Medicine at the Washington University School of Medicine. He earned his bachelor’s degree in 1931 and his doctorate of medicine in 1935 from WUSTL. After residency training at St. Louis Jewish Hospital, the Robert Koch Tuberculosis Hospital in St. Louis and the Harlem Hospital in New York City, he established the Maryland Medical Group in St. Louis with his partner, Dr. Michael Karl. For over half a century, Jerry was a renowned master clinician, diagnostician extraordinaire and exemplary medical scholar and teacher.
During his career, Jerry has been an unswerving advocate for the disadvantaged and a proponent of community health. In 1953, he initiated a hospital-based home-care program at Jewish Hospital, serving as its director for 11 years. During that time, he started the first formal home-care program for tuberculosis in the United States, a model subsequently emulated by many other hospitals. In 1957, Jerry helped organize St. Louis Physicians against Air Pollution and since that time has been the region’s driving force against air pollution, serving on many committees and working with political and business leaders to improve the quality of air in the St. Louis area. Continuing his belief in community health care, he organized a free medical clinic for the poor and disadvantaged in a deprived area of St. Louis City in 1964. He also helped reorganize nursing care in the city’s hospitals and public clinics.
After retiring from private practice in 1998, which allowed him to devote all his time to community health, Jerry became a special consultant for Community Development in the Washington University School of Medicine. In this role, he successfully led the university to redevelop the downtrodden Forest Park Southeast neighborhood. He also developed the Grace Hill Clinic, which serves impoverished patients in another depressed area of St. Louis City.
Jerry recognizes that the health of a nation’s people depends upon the health of the underlying society. Accordingly, he advocates a “total approach” to health and health care. In his nomination of Jerry, Dr. Kenneth Ludmerer, Professor of Medicine and History, wrote, “What is particularly remarkable to me about Dr. Flance is the passion and joy he derives from this work. I have never know anyone with the excitement, energy, joy and good will that he exudes – whether he is working to cure a patient or rebuild a community… I always feel better just being in his presence.”