Medical 05

Dr. Henry C. Lewis

September 29, 2021

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Obituary

Dr. Henry C. Lewis, 96, of Greensburg, died Wednesday, September 29, 2021 in Hempfield Manor, Greensburg. He was born in Belle Vernon in 1925, son of the late Dr. George Walter Lewis and Alice (Bakewell) Lewis. After the death of his father in 1936, he, his sister, and his mother moved to his aunt and uncle’s house in Carbon, Greensburg. He attended school at Thomas School and Harold's Junior High School, where he met his future wife, Hilda Casteel. He entered the Navy in 1943 during World War II and was assigned to Southern England, Falmouth where he was active in receiving casualties from the invasion. Following the war, he attended St. Vincent College, and later graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a BS degree in 1949. He then attended the University of Pittsburgh Medical School, where he graduated in 1953. Dr. Lewis was elected to the APA Medical Society and won the Mortimer Cohen Award for Pathology. His postgraduate work was done at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. Upon returning to Greensburg in 1956, he joined the practice of Dr. Walter and Donald Bortz. Dr. Lewis was upset by the rate of mortality from coronary heart attacks being at 60%. At that time, Bernard Lown in Boston was segregating coronary care patients into what he called a coronary care unit. He monitored their rhythm electronically and trained a cavalry of nurses to administer intravenous lidocaine to control the rhythm disturbances and taught the nurses to do cardiac defibrillation to control the arrhythmias that were causing the deaths. Dr. Lewis together with Dr. Bortz, Dr. Blackburn and several other doctors, created a coronary care unit in Greensburg. It was the first coronary care unit west of the Alleghenies. The mortality rate dropped from 60% to 18%. In recognition of Dr. Lewis's participation in this endeavor, he received the golden heart award from the American Heart Association. Later, the new coronary care unit which was state of the art, was dedicated to Dr. Lewis and Dr. Blackburn in 2004. Dr. Lewis practiced medicine for 42 years and was later joined by Dr. Rosemarie Pritz. He was the vice president of the staff at both Westmoreland Hospital and Jeannette Hospital. He was cared for in his later years by his daughter Kathleen. Dr. Lewis retired in the year 2000.  He was active in growing bonsais in his greenhouse and remained an active reader in medical literature. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, Hilda (Casteel) Lewis; his son, George Walter Lewis; and his sister, Ruth L. Thompson.  He is survived by his children, Kathleen S. Lewis (Joseph M. Czarnecki), and Dr. Gary W. Lewis (Joann K.); four grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren. Family and friends are invited to a funeral liturgy at 11 AM Saturday at the LEO M. BACHA FUNERAL HOME, INC., 516 Stanton Street, Greensburg.  Private inurnment will take place in Greensburg Catholic Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the American Heart Association, 444 Liberty Ave., Suite 1300, Pittsburgh, PA 15222.  www.bachafh.com

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Services

Funeral Liturgy
Saturday
October 2, 2021

11:00 AM
Greensburg Location
516 Stanton at Green Streets
Greensburg, PA 15601

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