It is with great sadness that I report that Suzanne L. Bowyer, MD, has lost her valiant 12-year battle with cancer. Sue grew up in Ohio, graduated from the Ohio State University in 1975, and earned her MD from the University of Michigan in 1979, where she did her pediatrics training. She did a fellowship in allergy and immunology at the University of Colorado and National Jewish Center for Immunology and Respiratory Medicine. She spent a year at the University of Michigan, then returned to Denver for two years on the faculty. She then moved to University of Southern California from 1988–1991. She moved to Indianapolis in 1991, where she spent the rest of her remarkable career. She served as residency directory in pediatrics until 2003, and chief of the division of rheumatology at the Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis. She was director of the fellowship program from 2003 until 2012. Sue was perhaps best known for establishing the first computerized registry for childhood rheumatic diseases with her husband, Phillip Roettcher.
Sue worked tirelessly for pediatric rheumatology on the American Academy of Pediatrics, the ACR, and the American Board of Pediatrics Sub-board in Rheumatology. Her quiet persistence placed pediatric rheumatologists on almost every major committee of the ACR. She was the ultimate educator, honored repeatedly for her teaching, including with the James T. Cassidy award in 2008. Among her other many awards were the Distinguished Service Award of the ACR in 2010 and the Career Service Award at the 2011 PRYSM meeting. She was a role model to countless medical trainees, and most of us now in the field of pediatric rheumatology.
Sue had three passions: her god, her family (her husband Phil, her daughter Donita, and her son Jack), and her work. Her loves at work were medical education and pediatric rheumatology, but most of all, her patients and their families. In honor of her dedication to medical education and to education in pediatric rheumatology in particular, an endowment fund has been established at the Riley Hospital for Children in Sue’s name. Donations can be made to the fund at https://app.etapestry.com/hosted/RileyChildren/OnlineGiving.html (or www.rileykids.org). Please complete the information in the honor or memorial section. The family will be notified of the gift. To have the funds restricted to the Dr. Suzanne Bowyer endowment in rheumatology, please write in the comments section: Bowyer fund.
Kathleen M. O’Neil, MD
Professor of Pediatrics
Chief, Section of Pediatric Rheumatology Riley Hospital for Children