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Subject: Anne Davis Wichern, 78, Specialist in Pulmonary Diseases

March 9
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Date Posted: March 31, 2003 8:14:55 EDT

Anne Logan Davis Wichern, a lung specialist at Bellevue Hospital Center and professor emeritus at New York University who established one of the country's first emphysema clinics, died March 9. She was 78 and lived on the Upper East Side.

The cause was cancer, her family said, and she died at the Columbia-Presbyterian Center of New York-Presbyterian Hospital.

Dr. Davis, as she was known professionally, was a pioneer in the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases. She founded the emphysema unit at Bellevue in 1956 and remained its director until two years ago, when it was merged into the hospital's chest and asthma units.

She was associated with Bellevue since she started her internship there in 1949. An authority in pulmonary critical care, she formally retired in December as an attending physician at the hospital.

She directed the Bellevue chest clinic from 1987 to 1992, overseeing some 6,000 patient visits every year. Through the 1970's and 1980's, she also was a physician and consultant at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Manhattan.

She started her academic career as an instructor at the Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1957, rising to assistant professor of medicine in 1968. That year, she accepted an associate professorship with permanent tenure at the New York University School of Medicine, from which she retired in December.

Anne Logan Davis was born in Rahway, N.J., and graduated from Wellesley College in 1945 and received her medical degree at Columbia in 1949. She decided to specialize in chest and pediatric pulmonary medicine while a resident at Bellevue in the 1950's, after recovering from tuberculosis contracted during her internship.

From experience, she found that in a busy municipal hospital the special needs of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary illnesses tended to receive short shrift. She was given the opportunity to organize the emphysema clinic to deal comprehensively with the patients' medical, social and economic conditions, and to undertake a systematic study and record of their progress.

Dr. Davis is survived by her husband of 47 years, Dr. Walter Adam Wichern Jr., chairman emeritus of surgery at St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center; a son, Walter A. III, and a daughter, A. Logan Wichern, both of Manhattan; and a sister, Carol Goodman of Morristown, N.J.

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