Stephan L. Kamholz, Chair of Medicine at Maimonides Hospital, Dies at 72


“He spent his last eight weeks continuing to teach,” this time from his bed as a patient, said his daughter Sandra Kamholz Oza, an internist at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx. As someone infected with the virus, he served as a new kind of instructor for doctors and nurses learning how to treat a novel disease, she said. “They learned to care for someone who was critically ill. He was teaching up until his last breath.”

That came on June 11, in the hospital where he had worked since 2013.

His wife, Rosemary Kamholz, a retired nurse, said it was not clear how or where he contracted the virus. “But my guess is that he caught it at work,” she said. “He was very hands-on.”

Though doctors and nurses in the hospital were getting sick, especially in the first few weeks, he never considered not going to work, his daughter said. “My dad would never say to his staff, ‘I want you to assume this risk, but I won’t assume it myself.’” As chair of medicine, he was the physician leader for most of the hospital’s divisions.

Stephan Leonard Kamholz was born on Oct. 16, 1947, in Manhattan, and grew up in Bayside, Queens, the only child of Sidney and Sylvia Kamholz, a podiatrist and secretary. He attended New York University’s old Bronx campus, graduating in 1968, and went on to the New York Medical College, then on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, graduating in 1972.

He chose pulmonology as his specialty, and while serving his fellowship at Montefiore Medical Center, met Rosemary Potucek, who was the supervisor of inpatient services for the department.

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