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1941 Joan Holohan Howanitz, MD 2024

Joan Holohan Howantiz, MD

March 1, 1941 — March 29, 2024

New York, New York

Joan Holohan Howanitz, MD of New York City, died on March 29, 2024, at the age of 83 and was buried at St. Mary's Cemetery in Wilkes Barre. 

Joan was born in Schenectady, New York, on March 1, 1941, the sole child of John and Isabel Holohan, and graduated from Syracuse University with a B.S. in Bacteriology and Botany. She attended The Medical College of Pennsylvania (now Drexel University). Graduating in 1969 and ranked at the top of her class, she was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) honorary society. 

Doctor Howanitz trained in Internal Medicine and Endocrinology at the State University of New York (SUNY) Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse, NY, and then in Chemical Pathology at Columbia University in New York City. She returned to Upstate Medical Center as an Assistant Professor, Associate Director of Clinical Laboratories, and Director of the Chemistry Laboratory. Seven years later, she began working in Los Angeles at the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at UCLA Medical Center and at West Los Angeles Veterans Administration Medical Center, where she rose to Professor, Vice Chair, and Chief of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. In 1998, she left Los Angeles to become Professor and Vice Chair of the Pathology Department at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, Director of the Pathology Department at Kings County Medical Center, and Director of Chemistry at SUNY Downstate Medical Center before retiring in 2014. 

Dr. Howanitz authored many scientific articles and textbook chapters. She also edited the medical textbook Laboratory Quality Assurance and the textbook Laboratory Medicine-Test Selection And Interpretation, which students and faculty use at a number of medical schools. She served on the Editorial Board of the American Journal of Clinical Pathology for many years.

Joan was a Test Committee member of the American Board Of Pathology and the first woman to chair a Resource Committee for the College of American Pathologists (CAP). She received the CAP Presidents' award in 2000, the CAP Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007, and earned the Outstanding Physician Award in 2001 and 2007 at Kings County Hospital Center.
She is survived by her husband, Peter J. Howanitz, MD, a daughter, and two grandchildren.

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