CWRU Links

TOOMEY, JOHN A.

TOOMEY, JOHN A. (28 May 1889-1 Jan. 1950), physician and professor at Western Reserve University Medical School, was born in Cleveland to Hugh and Mary Jane Burr Toomey, graduated from JOHN CARROLL UNIVERSITY with a B.A. in 1910 and M.A. in 1912, and from Cleveland Law School with an LL.B. in 1913. While in school he worked as assistant superintendent at MT. SINAI Hospital and steward at City Hospital. Admitted to the Ohio bar in 1913, Toomey entered private practice but soon returned to school, graduating from WRU Medical School with a M.D. in 1919. While interning at City Hospital, he was appointed medical superintendent; when the hospital opened a ward for contagious diseases in 1924, he was placed in charge. At WRU, Toomey was demonstrator of anatomy and medicine (1920-22); instructor of pediatrics (1922-24); senior instructor in contagious diseases (1924-28); assistant professor of contagious diseases (1928-31) and pediatrics (1931-33); associate professor of pediatrics (1933-40); and professor of clinical pediatrics (1940-50). For poliomyelitis and the treatment of infantile paralysis, Toomey disliked using plaster casts, arguing that in polio treatment early detection and vigorous massage were vital. He was among the first to realize polio entered the body not through the respiratory system but rather through the gastrointestinal tract. Toomey married Mary Louise Baget in 1918. After her death in 1947, he married Helen Katharine Toomey in 1949. Toomey had 4 children, Charles, John, Mary, and Francis.