The newly inscribed etching on the glass reads: J. Harold Kotte, MD Student Study Area.
"He would be so proud to see this,” Kotte’s daughter, Mary Smyth, said at a recent ribbon cutting ceremony on the University of Cincinnati (UC) medical campus where her father’s name now welcomes medical students to space dedicated to their academic pursuit.
That space, located on the G level of the UC College of Medicine’s Medical Sciences Building, honors the life and professional contributions of UC alum J. Harold Kotte (1912-2011) MD (BS ’34, Med ‘37), a prominent Cincinnati cardiologist whose medical career, both as a practicing physician and medical educator, spanned decades.
"It will no doubt become part of the student vernacular here to say, ‘I’ll meet you in the Kotte area to go over notes,’” first-year medical student Mick Eskender remarked at the reception.
Kotte’s achievements significantly influenced medicine in Greater Cincinnati, including being widely known as the first board-certified cardiologist in Cincinnati, starting the first cardiac lab and developing the first open heart surgery program. Kotte was also well known for making house calls, and is credited as being among one of the last physicians in Cincinnati to do so.
At the ceremony, William Barrett, MD, chair of the UC Department of Radiation Oncology and medical director of the UC Health Barrett Center, delivered a heartfelt dedication speech to Kotte’s family, friends and College of Medicine administration and faculty.
"He was diagnosing with accuracy well into his 90s,” Barrett said of Kotte, family friend and colleague to Barrett’s father, Charles Barrett, MD, for whom the Barrett Center is named.
Kotte served on the UC medical school faculty from 1941 until his death, and the Kotte estate provided a $100,000 gift to the college for support of its academic mission.
"Dr. Kotte’s reputation was as a devoted and compassionate physician … a champion of medicine and a true friend to his alma mater,” said Thomas Boat, MD, dean of the College of Medicine and vice president for health affairs.
For more information about the Kotte gift or other scholarship opportunities in the College of Medicine, please contact Mike Zenz, executive director at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine office of development and alumni affairs, at 513-558-3355 or firstname.lastname@example.org.