The class of 2001 at Wright State University School of Medicine honored the late John J. Halki, M.D., Ph.D., with the medical school's annual Appreciation Award at graduation ceremonies held June 8. The award recognizes Dr. Halki's "outstanding leadership" as one of the medical school's founders. Accepting the award was his wife, Mrs. Betsy Halki, and his children, Jay Halki and Carla Halki Mathews.
Dr. Halki's distinguished military career began in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He later joined the U.S. Air Force and was promoted to a series of assignments, concluding his military career as commander of the Wright-Patterson Medical Center. When he retired from the Air Force in 1981, he held the rank of brigadier general.
During his Air force career Dr. Halki became a physician, scientist, and health care administrator. He received an M.D. degree from the Medical College of Virginia and a Ph.D. degree in pharmacology from the University of Kansas. In 1975, while he was medical center commander at Wright-Patterson, Dr. Halki joined the faculty of Wright State University School of Medicine. As assistant dean for Air Force Affairs, he played an influential role in establishing the medical school's close collaboration with the U.S. Air Force.
In 1982, Dr. Halki was appointed as the first Nicholas J. Thompson Professor and Chair of Wright State's Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. He led the department until his retirement from Wright State in 1989, when he was appointed professor emeritus.
After his retirement, Dr. Halki continued to be an active supporter of the School of Medicine. Two awards were created in his honor: the John J. Halki Scholarship Award and the John J. Halki Exemplary Physician Excellence Award. In 1999 he stepped out of retirement to chair the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology again while a national search was conducted for a new chair.
"Throughout his service at Wright State, Dr. Halki was an exemplary physician role model for medical students, residents, and faculty," said Class of 2001 graduate Jennifer S. Bantz, who presented the award.
The Class of 2001 is the 22nd class of M.D.'s to graduate from Wright State. Fifty of the 83 graduates (60 percent) will enter primary care residencies in family medicine, internal medicine, and pediatrics following graduation. Since 1980, when the charter class completed medical school, Wright State has graduated 1,814 M.D.'s.