Posts Tagged ‘doctors’

Dr. Howard B. Liebgold, MD – 1932-2013

posted on December 10, 2013

by Lincoln Cushing, Heritage writer

Kaiser Permanente, and the practice of phobic medicine, lost a great leader this summer when Howard Barry Liebgold, MD, passed away at age 81.

Dr. Howard Liebgold, MD, Planning for Health newsletter, Spring 1977Dr. Liebgold, who died August 15, got his undergraduate education at the University of California, Los Angeles and served his residency at the University of California San Francisco Medical Center (1956-1958) until earning his medical degree. He joined the Vallejo Kaiser Permanente Rehabilitation Center permanent staff as a rehabilitation physician in 1962.

During his tenure he served in many key capacities, including the chief of Kaiser Federation Rehabilitation Center, director of medical education at Vallejo, and chief of the chronic pain and acupuncture clinics.

Affectionately known as “Dr. Fear,” Dr. Liebgold was best known for 25 years of teaching classes and workshops about easing the painful restriction of phobic symptoms. Liebgold himself was severely phobic for more than three decades, but eventually developed a method of slow desensitization that worked. He called the resulting program Phobease, and wrote several books on the subject, including Curing Anxiety, Phobias, Shyness and Obsessive Compulsive Disorders (self-published, 1995). He helped to cure more than 10,000 people of their severe anxieties and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders.


Dr. Liebgold, former Associate U.S. Supreme Court Justice Arthur J. Goldberg, and Margaret “Maggie” Knott at the Kaiser Permanente Rehabilitation Center (Vallejo), January 25, 1975

Dr. Liebgold also was an early proponent of acupuncture. In 1975 he received national media coverage for helping former Associate U.S. Supreme Court Justice Arthur J. Goldberg recover from an injured arm. Goldberg hailed the Vallejo center as “Most outstanding in the country.” Dr. Liebgold treated a thousand patients a year in addition to his inpatient rehabilitation work, and believed that acupuncture filled a very real need.

“I never embraced the Chinese philosophy. I was a Western physician. What I embraced was the Canadian belief, what they called the dry-needling technique, that this was purely a biomedical phenomenon. What acupuncture does is to produce micro-injuries and the healing of the micro-injuries also heals anything in the area.”[i]

Dr. Liebgold also embraced modern technology in the service of medical care. In 1964, he participated in a series of medical radio conferences that linked the University of California Medical Center with groups of practicing physicians from the Oregon border south to Bakersfield. The program, which was broadcast twice weekly, was conducted in a question-and-answer forum with participation from medical staff representing 70 California hospitals. According to Dr. Liebgold, this program provided the opportunity for small hospitals to have direct contact with the medical school and eminent specialists in various fields of medicine.

Dr. Liebgold represented the inquisitive mind and personal bravery that makes a doctor a true healer. He will be missed.

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[i] Unpublished interview by Steve Gilford, 1999 (TPMG P2853)

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Film of Mason City (Washington) Hospital doctors, nurses, and staff – 1938

posted on November 27, 2013

by Lincoln Cushing, Heritage writer


Still from film of doctors, nurses, and staff at Mason City (Washington) Hospital serving the workers at Grand Coulee Dam, circa 1938. Click on photo to see film clip.

This piece is a Thanksgiving offering, a display of our deep appreciation for all the health care professionals who keep us well.

Kaiser Permanente Heritage Resources recently digitized some silent film footage of the Mason City (Washington) Hospital circa 1938. It shows doctors and nurses who were proud to serve at America’s largest Depression-era construction project, living under hardship conditions in a remote town with blistering heat and freezing cold.

This facility was the birthplace of the Kaiser Permanente health plan, where Dr. Sidney Garfield was brought up to care for the workers and families at Henry J. Kaiser’s massive Grand Coulee Dam project.

The original hospital at the site had fallen into disrepair and the unions claimed it was insufficient for their members’ health care. In 1938 Kaiser Industries won the contract to finish the dam, and Henry J. Kaiser and his son Edgar (General Manager of the project) spared no expense on a remodel.  Among the many modern amenities installed was air conditioning.

In this clip Kaiser Permanente founding physician Dr. Sidney Garfield is seen exiting the recently-renovated facility to a gathering of doctors and nurses which includes Dr. Cecil Cutting (center of this frame, with a ball in his hand), Dr. Wallace Neighbor, nurse anaesthetist Geraldine “Jerry” Searcy, and RN’s Winifred Wetherill and Evie Sanger. The footage is short clip from recently digitized from Dr. Neighbor’s home movies, which also includes doctors on horseback, the local rodeo, scenes of Mason City, and dam construction.

See them thrive. Then go thrive yourself, and help build thriving communities.

MWAK Hospital 1936-37

Original hospital at Mason City, circa 1936.
(Under original construction consortium of Mason, Walsh, Atkenson-Kier, or MWAK)

File #1020 - Mason City Hospital - Grand Coulee Dam

Renovated hospital at Mason City, circa 1938.
(Kaiser Industries)

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