College of
Human
Medicine

Obituaries

William S. White

One of the longest-serving leaders of major philanthropy in the U.S., William S. White passed away peacefully on October 9 at age 82. We are grateful to Mr. White, whose contributions through the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, helped expand the College of Human Medicine and locate its public health program in Flint.

In 2011, the C.S. Mott Foundation supported MSU’s research and feasibility studies with a $2.81M planning grant, and in 2011, announced an additional gift of $9M. With that support, MSU College of Human Medicine created an endowment to be used, in part, to expand the number of medical students trained in Flint, recruit nationally-funded public health researchers focused on solving community health issues identified by the Flint community, and locate MSU’s Public Health Division in downtown Flint.

The expanded program is home to public health researchers, educators, and students, each working to help identify and address public health concerns in the Flint community – a cause that Bill White was always passionate about.

We thank Bill White and the Mott Foundation for making possible this public health research that is
focused on improving lives and making Flint a healthier community.

Read more about Mr. Whites countless achievements.

Dr. Barry Saltman

Dr. Barry Saltman passed away on September 9, 2019. Saltman graduated from MSU College of Human Medicine in 1977 and later served as a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Family Medicine. He also taught Sparrow Hospital medical residents, ran a medical practice in Mason and started a free medical clinic at Cristo Rey Community Center in Lansing.

After retiring from his practice in 2004, Saltman and his wife Suzanne, a nurse practitioner, founded Care Free Medical in Lansing, which serves thousands of local uninsured patients and those with limited access to healthcare. Saltman believed in supporting uninsured patients, and made sure that they received the care they needed. He was passionate about serving the community and inspiring others to volunteer as well.

Saltman is known for his selflessness and sense of humor. He was often called “Dr. Barry” because he would introduce himself as Barry to his new patients, preferring to be called by his first name. Saltman traded his white medical coat for a shirt and tie, and could be seen wearing MSU apparel on game day.

Annie Yang

Second-year MSU College of Human Medicine student Annie Li Yang passed away on June 25, 2019. Yang received her a bachelor of arts in ecology and evolutionary biology from Princeton University, with certificates in Global Health and Health Policy, as well as Planets and Life. In 2018, Annie was accepted to the College of Human Medicine and completed her first year in Lansing, at near the top of her class. She won second place in the Shared Discovery Curriculum student essay contest, for her essay Patiently Gazing into Patients’ Lives.” 

Annie would have received her medical degree in 2022. She planned to pursue a career in ophthalmology.

It was clear from the familiy's stories of Annie, that she loved her fellow students and deeply appreciated her time with staff and faculty of the college. Annie has a very special and loving family who will miss her very much, as we all will.

Norbert Enzer, MD

Dr. Norbert Enzer passed away on June 8, 2019. Saturday at the age of 88. He came to Michigan State University in 1973 as a professor and the second chair of Psychiatry for the Colleges of Human and Osteopathic Medicine. In addition to assuming the challenging administrative responsibilities of a developing department, Dr. Enzer assumed a leadership role in the medical student program. He was a major participant in the development of the problem-based learning (PBL) and behavioral medicine components of the early preclinical curriculum. He also was one of the great pioneers in developing residency training opportunities in public sector psychiatry and recruitment strategies to help meet the shortage of psychiatrists in underserved areas. 

He received his undergraduate degree from Yale University before attending medical school at McGill University Faculty of Medicine, where he graduated in 1956 with highest honors. He completed his formal training with a dual residency in pediatrics and psychiatry and a fellowship in child psychiatry at Duke University.

Dr. Enzer is a widely published author, a member of numerous professional societies and committees, a fellow of the American College of Psychiatrists and a frequent visiting professor. He has served with leadership and prominence on virtually every child and adolescent psychiatry board, as well as on federal government review groups for child psychiatry and education. In recognition of his vast contributions to the field of psychiatry, Dr. Enzer has been a most deserving recipient of numerous awards including the 1997 Career Services Award from the Mental Health Association in Michigan in recognition of his professional lifetime achievements.

Nikolay Dimitrov, MD

Dr. Nikolay Dimitrov passed away on November 10, 2018. A faculty member in the College of Human Medicine for more than 38 years, Dr. Dimitrov was Professor Emeritus in the Division of Hematology/Oncology. He published nearly 150 papers in the field of medicine-oncology, including biologic response modifiers, breast cancer and micronutrients.

Naomi Breslau, PhD

Emeritus Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics Naomi Breslau, PhD, died peacefully October 13, 2018, of complications of cancer of the uterus in the company of her loving family, including her husband, Glenn Davis, the former Dean of the College of Human Medicine. Dr. Breslau joined the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics in 2003 and made important contributions to understanding the epidemiology. Retiring in 2016, Dr. Breslau inspired many, especially young scientists, by her example of strength, intelligence, resilience and independence.

James M. Harkema, MD

Professor Emeritus of Surgery, Dr. James M. Harkema passed away on October 9, 2018. Dr. “Jim” Harkema retired from the College of Human Medicine in 2011 and joined the development task force for the Shared Discovery Curriculum, where he made lasting contributions to our reimagined curriculum and the medical school experience.

Houria “Suzy” Hassouna, MD

Dr. Houria “Suzy” Hassouna died peacefully October 24, 2018, at her home in Okemos. Dr. Hassouna joined the Department of Medicine in 1978 and became an Endowed Rehberg Professor in 2007. Among her scholarly accomplishments, Dr. Hassouna published dozens of articles, was a member of several scientific societies and held two patents.