Randolph Batson Biographical File
Biographical file on Dr. Batson, including reprints, newspaper clippings, obituaries, oral history transcripts, photographs, and other biographical material.
- 1959 - 2004
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Historical or Biographical Note
Oscar Randolph Batson was born in 1916 in Jackson, Mississippi. He graduated from Vanderbilt in 1938 with a Bachelor's degree. While an undergraduate, he was elected president of the student body and president of his fraternity, Sigma Chi. His long-standing ambition was to become a physician, and he graduated MD from Vanderbilt in 1942. During World War II he served as a Captain in the Medical Corps in Europe. He spent the next thirty years at Vanderbilt, rising to Dean of the Medical School (1963-1972) and Vice Chancellor for Medical Affairs (1971-1974). His accomplishments at Vanderbilt were many. During the 1950s, he worked with polio patients and invented a portable respirator. He was considered an expert on the care of polio patients and wrote the definitive chaper on treatment of polio in 1957 for a standard text book. In the early 1960s Batson established a Center of Chronic Diseases of Childhood and obtained national funding for this center. In 1962 he built the round wing, a revolutionary design and concept for hospitals. The round wing was the principal site for pediatric in-patients until the new hospital opened in 1980. Dr. Batson clearly had the idea of a pediatric hospital within a hospital and had fostered the necessary support of the Junior League and the Nashville community. In 1964, Dr. Batson directed the reorganization of the medical school curriculum. Dr. Batson was appointed Vanderbilt's first Vice-Chancellor for Medical Affairs, serving in this position from 1972-1974. In 1978 Batson left Vanderbilt to become director of the Charles Henderson Child Health Center in Troy, Alabama, where he established a clinic for better care of rural underprivileged children. Dr. Batson died on December 6, 2004.
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