Dr. James Whitfield Reed

November 1, 1932 ~ January 11, 2020 (age 87)


James Whitfield Reed was born on November 1, 1932. The son of migrant farmworkers, he grew up under the care of his beloved aunt, Idella, with the pursuit of educational excellence as a paramount goal. His aunt died after an allergic reaction to a penicillin shot at a medical appointment when James was in his later teens. Fueled by this loss, he went on to complete high school early. Upon graduation, he stated that his goal was, "To become a world-renowned physician."

James Reed attained his desire. He graduated from medical school and continued on to a distinguished career as an Endocrinologist and Internal Medicine Physician in the United States Army. Dr. Reed spent the bulk of his military career at Fort Lewis, and at Dwight D. Eisenhower Army Medical Center. He retired from the military at the rank of Colonel. 

After the military, James spent several years looking for the right fit with the support of his spouse, Edna Stone, and their four children. He briefly practiced independently, then moved to Texas to work with an organization. He found exactly what he had been searching for when he joined Morehouse School of Medicine in December 1985 as Chair of the Department of Medicine

During his over thirty years at Morehouse, Dr. Reed developed and implemented the Internal Medicine Residency Program. He served as the Director of Internal Medicine Residency Program and Acting Chair of Family Medicine from 1991-1998. He was Director of the Clinical Research Center from 1998-2000. He was also the Associate Chair of Medicine for Research and the former Chief of Medical Services at Grady Memorial Hospital for MSM. His most recent appointments were Professor of Medicine, Chief of Endocrinology & Metabolism, Associate Chair of Medicine for Research, and Chief of Medical Services at Grady Memorial Hospital for MSM.

Morehouse recognized Dr. Reed’s scholarship and service with the annual James W. Reed, M.D. Lectureship, which for ten years has brought leading scientists from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health to the MSM community to discuss strategies to address health disparities. 

James Reed, M.D. mentored and trained numerous young individuals at the Morehouse School of Medicine over the course of his career. 

James Reed was an integral part of The International Society of Hypertension in Blacks and was involved in the writing and publication of several health-related books for Blacks. He lectured globally on diabetes and hypertension. He connected with colleagues and communities worldwide. He touched the lives of many patients and endeavored to continuously improve the practice of medicine.

Although medicine and his love for his family were the focal points of Dr. Reed's life, he did have other interests. Travel, British History, and watching Jeopardy were among his favorite activities. He enjoyed all kinds of music and dancing. Jim attended many Seattle Seahawks games with his sons and grandsons and was able to attend a U.S. Open with his daughter, Katherine. He loved comic strips and cartoons.

Dr. Reed died at the family home in Steilacoom, Washington on January 11, 2020. He experienced surgical complications after hospitalization for a bowel obstruction. These complications led to failure of the kidney that Dr. Reed received in a 2001 transplant thanks to his sister, Idella Whitfield. James Reed is survived by his spouse, Dr. Edna Stone, and the couple's children, David, Robert, Mary, and Katherine. Son-in-law, Andrew (Mary), daughter-in-law, Bonny (David), grandsons Devin, Dylan, Donovan, and Greyson, and siblings May, Idella, Altoweise, and Charles are among the loved ones mourning his passing. James was predeceased by his father, Thomas, mother Chineater, and step-father, CO. His burial at Arlington National Cemetery includes full military honors.

Dr. Reed had Polycystic Kidney Disease(PKD). In lieu of flowers, please donate to the American Kidney Fund. Dr. James Reed, Legacy of Love

Dr. Reed's family would like to extend our gratitude to Our Lady Queen of Heaven in Arlington, Virginia and Whiting's Funeral Home in Williamsburg, Virginia. We appreciate the compassion and grace you have shown us in this chaotic and confusing time.

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