Donald A. Cornely, former chair of the Department of Maternal and Child Health in what is now the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, died on March 19 at his home in Mt. Pleasant, S.C. He was 79.
Cornely received his medical degree from Jefferson Medical University and his master of public health degree from Johns Hopkins. He joined the Department of Maternal and Child Health, now part of the Department of Population and Family Health Sciences, in 1965 and became chair in 1970. Trained as a pediatrician, Cornely focused his efforts on programs to improve the well-being of infants and children. Under his leadership, the school established a nurse-midwifery training program and a formalized doctoral program for the department.
"One of Don Cornely's greatest contribution to the field of maternal and child health is to have pioneered doctoral education for maternal child health researchers and practitioners. His legacy is the large number of MCH leaders whom he mentored here at Hopkins," said Bernard Guyer, who succeeded Cornely as department chair in 1989 and is the school's Zanvyl Krieger Professor of Children's Health.
In 1990, the school established the Donald A. Cornely Scholarship in Maternal and Child Health. The fund supports a doctoral student whose research work has application for the practice of maternal and child health.
Before coming to Johns Hopkins, Cornely taught at the University of Pennsylvania and University of Pittsburgh and worked for the Pennsylvania Health Department. He also served as chairman of the National Research Committee for the Easter Seals Society and with the organization's board of directors. Among his prestigious awards, Cornely received the Clifford G. Grulee Award for outstanding service to the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Dr. Martha Mae Eliot Award for exceptional achievement presented by the American Public Health Association.
He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Marie, and their 13 children.