Page 4              February 2000

Med students teach public about human body at new Science Museum
Medical School's Paparella gives $1 million to MMF
Bata-Jones wins humanitarian medal
$3 million gift will create chair in nursing leadership

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Medical students teach the public about the human body in the new Science Museum


A Medical School student provides this family with information about the heart and lungs in the Human Body Gallery at the Science Museum.

--Photos by Richard Anderson

Students from the University of Minnesota Medical School are helping the public learn more about the human body in an exhibit at the new Science Museum of Minnesota.

The students, members of the Alpha Omega Alpha honor society, are serving as interpreters for the Human Body Gallery, a 6,000-square-foot gallery featuring interactive exhibits on such topics as genetics, evolution, conciousness, anatomy, and microbiology.

The volunteer work is one of many collaborations between the University and the new Science Museum. A four-part weekly lecture series titled “Closing in on Cancer” will feature scientists from the University Cancer Center beginning Feb. 15. The lectures will run from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

In addition, scientists will be at the Human Body Gallery March 4, noon to 5 p.m., to present “Cancer and the Human Body,” a hands-on demonstration that depicts how cancer grows in different parts of the body.

For more information on either Cancer Center event, call Beth Lankey at 612-625-4441, or visit the Cancer Center Web site at

Medical School's Paparella gives $1 million to MMF

When Dr. Michael and Treva Paparella recently experienced significant success with one of their stock investments, they did what most people do: reinvest.

However, they didn’t just invest in more shares. They have given over $1 million of their stock to establish a charitable remainder unitrust with the Minnesota Medical Foundation, which will establish the Paparella Endowed Fund to provide faculty support for the Medical School’s Depart-ment of Otolaryngology.

“We believe in the fundamental greatness of the University of Minnesota with its mission of education, research, and service,” says Paparella, who was chair of the Department of Otolaryngology for 18 years.. “If you’re going to have innovative care, you need to have improved funding and resources to support research and education. It behooves us who have encountered good fortune to help others.”

Along with his work at the U, Paparella also founded and serves as a director of the International Hearing Foundation (IHF), an affiliate of the Minnesota Medical Foundation.

“This gift is a beginning,” he says. “We hope to do more, as long as our investments continue to do well.”

Bata-Jones wins humanitarian medal

Major Bonnie Bata-Jones, right, School of Nursing, received the Humanitarian Service Medal from U.S. Army Lt. Col. Maser last summer. The medal is awarded to members of the Army Reserve, National Guard, and Active Guard Reserve who distinguish themselves by meritorious, direct participation in a significant military or humanitarian act. Bata-Jones received the honor for her participation in “Joint Task Force New Hope,” a humanitarian mission that provided relief for victims of Hurricane Mitch last summer. She was with the 114th Combat Support Hospital from Fort Snelling, a group that delivered health care to over 6,000 hurricane victims in  eastern El Salvador. Bata-Jones has served 17 years in the Army Nurse Corp., and has been a School of Nursing faculty member for six years. She has volunteered on numerous civilian medical missions to Columbia and Honduras, and has taken graduate nursing students for clinical experience in rural Columbia. Bata-Jones currently teaches in the Family Nurse Practitioner Area of Stud

$3 million gift will create chair in nursing leadership

When Kaye Lillehei was a student at the School of Nursing in the 1940s, she and her classmates regarded their dean, Katherine Densford, with a mixture of awe and trepidation.

“There was no one like Katie,” Lillehei recalls. “She was a very strong leader, which made her seem aloof. But she was also a deeply caring person, and she was always very kind to me.”

The impression that Densford made has remained with Kaye Lillehei for more than half a century. This January she and her family announced that they would honor her former professor’s memory with an endowed chair to support a director for the Katharine J. Densford International Center for Nursing Leadership. 

Densford, who was director of the school for 29 years, provided national leadership as nurses grappled with care delivery issues of the day, including the mobilization of nurses for World War II and the racial integration of the professional association. The Densford International Center for Nursing Leadership was created by the School of Nursing in 1997 to provide an international forum for addressing current issues in health care and nursing.

The Katherine R. and C. Walton Lillehei Endowed Chair in Nursing Leadership carries a $3 million endowment—the largest gift in the school’s history. It will be used to recruit a leader who can form a community of thinkers, researchers, and policy experts to apply the nursing perspective to contemporary health issues. 

Katherine (Kaye) Lindberg Lillehei met C. Walton (Walt) Lillehei in the early 1940s, while she was a student nurse at Minneapolis General Hospital (now Hennepin County Medical Center), where he was an intern. She became an R.N. in order to work as a stewardess—a requirement at the time. In 1946, after flying with Northwest Airlines for four years, she married Lillehei and shortly after the ceremony got a “pink slip” from the airlines. In those days the airlines required stewardesses to be single, she recalls with a laugh. She returned to the University of Minnesota, where she earned a B.S. degree in nursing education, but gave up her career to devote all of her time to her family. The Lilleheis had four children—Kimberle, Craig, Kevin, and Clark, who died of a brain tumor at the age of 41. Craig and Kevin are both surgeons; Kimberle Lillehei Loken lives in Duluth.

Although she hasn’t practiced nursing full-time in years, Lillehei says the education she received under Katherine Densford has served her in many ways throughout her life, including caring for her husband after he developed lymphoma in 1949, and serving as a Red Cross volunteer for 25 years.  And she has retained close ties with the school, serving as a member of the School of Nursing Foundation while Ellen Fahy was dean.

The endowed chair, she says, is very important to her and her family because “education is what holds a society together. The Lilleheis are very well educated and very supportive of education. We are very happy to see the money used in this way.”

Kaye Lillehei has also retained the sense of adventure that prompted her to become a stewardess in the 1940s. To celebrate the millennium, she and her son Kevin, a neurosurgeon, traveled to the Arctic Circle to take part in a Lapplander ceremony. She also skis and skates (“very carefully,” she says) and tap dances with the Rockettes, a group of women 55 and older who perform at community centers and nursing homes. 

—Peggy Rinard 

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