Dr. Peter P. Bosomworth, who led the University of Kentucky Chandler Medical Center for 24 years, died Saturday.
Dr. Bosomworth, 84, an anesthesiologist, was vice president and chancellor of the medical center during a period of growth that saw major increases in faculty, students, grants and construction.
During his tenure, faculty grew from 35 to nearly 600 and the student body increased from 70 nursing and medical students to more than 4,000.
Dr. Bosomworth served as chancellor of the medical center for 24 years, retiring from that position in 1995. And the number of buildings affiliated with the medical center went from two to 15, with the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging, Kentucky Clinic and Lucille Parker Markey Cancer Center being built under his watch.
"He was one of the better appointments I made," the late Otis Singletary, UK president, once said. "He has had a steadfast vision of what that place should become."
When he retired as chancellor in 1994, Dr. Bosomworth had the longest tenure of any top medical center administrator in the country, according to UK's website.
He continued to serve on the medical school faculty until 2001, working in continuing medical education and the UK telemedicine network. UK named its Health Sciences Research Building for him in 2001.
He also was active in civic and volunteer activities, including serving as a member of Urban County Government's ethics commission. He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Science in 2000 from the University of Kentucky and also received other awards and honors including the University of Cincinnati Daniel Drake Distinguished Service Medal.
Dr. Bosomworth was born in Akron, Ohio, in 1930 to parents who had immigrated from England a year earlier.
His father was hired by Harvey Firestone to lead engineering, research and development for Firestone Tire and Rubber Co.
Dr. Bosomworth recalled in a 2011 Herald-Leader article that during World War II, his parents put him and his younger brother to work making brass plugs for use in the military's inflatable life rafts.
"We made thousands, and the money we made went to buy war bonds," Dr. Bosomworth said. "I cashed mine in when I went to college."
He earned his bachelor's degree from Kent State University, his medical degree from the University of Cincinnati and a master's in medical science from Ohio State University, where he also completed his residency.
From 1960 to 1962, he worked as anesthesia director at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Great Lakes, Ill.
In 1962, he turned down a faculty position at Stanford University to become professor and the first chairman of the anesthesiology department at UK.
He ended up sleeping on a gurney while working to get the newly-built UK hospital up and running.
"I arrived three weeks before the hospital opened, and we worked day and night," Dr. Bosomworth said in a 1994 article about his retirement. "In the first 30 days, I went home once."
Reed Polk served as a special assistant to Dr. Bosomworth for 14 years, from 1981 to 1995. Dr. Bosomworth was a man of integrity who not only worked hard but was also respectful of the people who worked for him and with him, Polk said.
"He would never interrupt a conversation," Polk said. "He was never caustic."
Polk said Dr. Bosomworth was also very involved outside of the medical center. Some of the organizations Dr. Bosomworth belonged to included the Boy Scouts, Central Kentucky Riding for the Handicapped, the YMCA Black Achievers program and many others. The Bosomworths also allowed 22 students from around the world to live with them as they pursued their education. In addition, the Bosomworths established a scholarship for students.
Dr. Bosomworth is survived by his wife of many years, Georgia "Jody" Bosomworth, and four children Virginia Bosomworth, Dr. David Bosomorth, Andrew Bosomworth and Amparo Gonzalez Codding. He was preceded in death by one son, Jeffrey Bosomworth.
In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that donations be sent to the Dr. Peter and Jody Bosomworth Medical Foundation Scholarship through the Bluegrass Community Foundation.
A service will be at 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 12 at Second Presbyterian Church. Milward on Broadway is handling the arrangements.