In Memoriam: Joyce Cohen Lashof, 1926-2022

Joyce Cohen Lashof, who broke gender barriers as the first woman to be appointed director of any state department of public health and the first woman appointed dean of the Uniersity of California, Berkeley School of Public Health, died on June 4 in Berkeley, California. She was 96 years old.

A native of Philadelphia and the daughter of Ukrainian immigrants, Dr. Lashof was a graduate of Duke University and the Woman’s Medical College of Pennsylvania, which was eventually absorbed by the Drexel College of Medicine. She then taught at the University of Chicago and the University of Illinois College of Medicine.

In 1973, Dr. Lashof became the first female director of the State of Illinois Public Health Department. She served as deputy assistant secretary for health at the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare and as assistant director of the Office of Technology Assessment before becoming the first female dean of a professional school at Berkeley when she became dean of Berkeley Public Health in 1981. She later served terms as president of both the Association of Schools of Public Health and the American Public Health Association.

After leaving Berkeley, Dr. Lashof went on to chair the Presidential Advisory Committee on the Gulf War Veterans’ Illnesses and the Institute of Medicine Committee on Technologies for the Early Detection of Breast Cancer. In 1995, she received the Sedgwick Memorial Medal for Distinguished Service in Public Health from the American Public Health Association.

Filed Under: In Memoriam


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