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Pediatric pioneer and namesake of children’s hospital dies

November 27, 2018

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The namesake of the children’s hospital at the University of Mississippi Medical Center has died.

The university announced Tuesday that Dr. Blair E. Batson had died Monday at age 98. No cause of death was stated.

Dr. LouAnn Woodward, vice chancellor for health affairs, calls Batson “the father of organized pediatrics in Mississippi.” Colleagues and successors praise Batson’s learning and experience as essential in training generations of medical students.

Batson, who grew up in Pearl River County, was named chair of the medical center’s Department of Pediatrics at age 34 in 1955, two months after the hospital opened. He officially retired in 1989, although he continued to teach afterward.

The university named its new children’s hospital for Batson in 1997.

The medical center plans a memorial service in early 2019.

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