Cardiologist, researcher Hultgren dies at home
Herbert N. Hultgren, a noted cardiologist and pioneering researcher in high-altitude medicine, died Oct. 18 of acute myeloid leukemia at his home on the Stanford campus. He was 80.
A memorial tribute at the Faculty Club was to be held Sunday, Nov. 16, at 3 p.m.
Hultgren was chief of Stanford's cardiology division for 12 years. During that time he designed and established the first cardiac catheterization laboratory in Northern California. In 1967 he moved to the VA medical center in Palo Alto, where he served as chief of cardiology services for 16 years.
Hultgren, born in Santa Rosa, graduated from Stanford University in 1939 and from the School of Medicine in 1943. He also completed residencies in internal medicine and pathology at Stanford. Between the two residencies he served in Europe with the U.S. Army Medical Corps. After a research fellowship in cardiology at Thorndike Memorial Laboratory in Boston, he returned to the Bay Area to join the Stanford faculty in 1948.
Uniting medical research with his love of the outdoors, he also became a pioneer in the study of high-altitude medicine. Hultgren climbed extensively in Europe, North America and South America and conducted mountain-travel medical seminars in Nepal, Patagonia and Alaska.
In 1990 he received the Albion W. Hewlett Award, which honors the "physician of care and skill who is committed to discovering and using biologic knowledge, wisdom and compassion to return patients to productive lives."
He authored more than 300 scientific articles and abstracts, 30 book chapters and the book High-Altitude Medicine, which was published last past June.
Norman Shumway, emeritus professor of cardiothoracic surgery, described Hultgren as "a triple-threat man" - a wonderful teacher, devoted doctor and first-rate researcher.
Hultgren is survived by his wife, Barbara; sons, Peter of Phoenix, Bruce of Montara and John of Los Gatos; and one grandson.
Memorial contributions may be forwarded to the Santa Rosa Junior College Foundation, Trussell Human Services Award, 1510 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa, CA 95401, or to the Sempervirens Fund, P.O. Drawer B-E, Los Altos, CA 94023.
Chief of Staff