Marion D'Lugoff, an assistant professor at the
Johns Hopkins School of
Nursing and a health care crusader for East Baltimore,
died of lymphoma on Sunday, Sept. 4, surrounded by her
family and friends. She was 61 and lived in Pikesville.
D'Lugoff was known throughout Baltimore for her
dedication to community-based care and her commitment to
bringing quality health care to the city's poorest and most
vulnerable populations. When she joined the School of
Nursing faculty in 1992, D'Lugoff found both a desperate
need for community-based health care in East Baltimore and
a lack of opportunities for nursing students to experience
community health nursing in an urban setting. In response,
and as a mechanism to address both problems simultaneously,
D'Lugoff founded the Lillian D. Wald Community Nursing
Center in 1994 to provide free health services to the poor,
uninsured or underinsured residents of East Baltimore.
Today, the Wald Center at Rutland serves hundreds of
families and offers dozens of students each year an
opportunity to conduct clinical rotations and gain valuable
experience among urban populations.
Throughout her career, D'Lugoff earned accolades and
national acclaim for her work in community health nursing.
She was the first nurse to become a Robert Wood Johnson
Health Policy Fellow, earning this prestigious award from
the Institute of Medicine in 1976. In 1996, she was
honored with the Johns Hopkins Martin Luther King Jr.
Community Service Award in recognition of her volunteer
work. For her service to mothers and children in East
Baltimore, she received the M. Frances Etchberger Award
from the Maryland Public Health Association in 2002. More
recently, D'Lugoff was named a Nurse Hero Honoree, a 2003
Health Care Hero award bestowed by the statewide
publication The Daily Record.
D'Lugoff earned the respect, admiration and gratitude
of her students, co-workers and patients not only for her
nursing skill but also for her willingness to give of
herself. She established a personal connection with each
client and was unafraid to care about her patients as
"Marion held an unwavering commitment to her clients,"
said Beth Sloand, an SoN assistant professor and pediatric
nurse practitioner who worked with D'Lugoff at the Wald
Center. "In fact, it seemed like those in the direst
circumstances, such as immigrants [and the] impoverished,
abused, homeless, mentally or emotionally ill, received the
very best of health care and caring from Marion."
D'Lugoff's former students agree. "When she spoke with
anyone — a colleague, patient, student or child
— she would give them 100 percent of her attention,"
said Jennifer Klein, a Dallas nurse practitioner who works
with HIV patients. "She taught me that people are people
and should be respected, whichever side of the needle they
Shannon Micheel, a family nurse practitioner in
Eugene, Ore., believes her nursing practice is definitely
influenced by her former professor. "I will often encounter
a situation in which I ask myself, What would Marion do?"
she said. "I will go the extra mile for my patients because
that's how I was mentored."
Nancy Glass remembers D'Lugoff as both a mentor and a
colleague. Now an assistant professor at Oregon Health &
Science University School of Nursing, Glass is creating a
community clinic similar to the Wald Center. She believes
that as D'Lugoff's students embark on their own careers,
"they spread her vision of nursing."
"Marion had a passion about this community and about
providing care," she said. "She loved being a nurse, loved
her profession. And she taught me to love nursing too."
Nursing Dean Martha N. Hill concurred with the
memories of colleagues and former students, observing that
D'Lugoff was "the Divine Miss M of community health
nursing. She was a maven, a mentor and a marvelous
"Through her students' and colleagues' memories and
through the Wald Center, more patients and future students
will continue to benefit from D'Lugoff's legacy," said
Hill, urging all to join her in ensuring that "the clinic
remains a continuing memorial to Marion, our Divine Miss
D'Lugoff is survived by her husband Burton C.
D'Lugoff, a retired associate professor of medicine and
psychiatry at Johns Hopkins; children Daniel Raphael
D'Lugoff and Sarah Rachel D'Lugoff; siblings Jack Isaacs,
Larry Isaacs and Ce-Ce Sloan; many generations of nieces
and nephews; and many, many friends.
Funeral services were held Sept. 7. In lieu of
flowers, contributions in D'Lugoff's memory may be directed
to the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, 525 N.
Wolfe St., Room 529, Baltimore, MD 21205. For more
information, contact the SoN Office of Development at