Walter S. Graf, American cardiologist, Died at 98

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Walter S. Graf was born on July 15, 1917, in New York City and died October 18, 2015.

He was an American cardiologist, a pioneer in modern paramedic emergency care.

He helped establish the modern system of paramedic emergency care, at his Los Angeles home, family members said.

Walter completed his medical degree at UC San Francisco in 1942.

Graf was former chief of staff for the Daniel Freeman Hospital.

He established what was thought to be the West Coast’s first dedicated coronary care units there and later created the groundbreaking Daniel Freeman Paramedic Training Program, this was in the 1960s; and In 1999, it merged with the UCLA Center for Pre-Hospital Care.

Walter was the president of the Los Angeles chapter of the American Heart Association in 1969.

Graf, converted a white Chevy van into a “mobile critical care unit.”

Walter said he was inspired by the work of Irish physician Frank Pantridge, who chronicled his success with emergency care in a British medical journal.

The objective was to speed up responses to heart attack calls with a Daniel Freeman nurse and a portable defibrillator.

Later, training was expanded to include firefighters and emergency medical technicians.

In 2010, Walter and three other physicians were honoured by the County of Los Angeles Fire Museum as “pioneers in paramedicine.”

The others were J. Michael Criley, Eugene Nagel and Leonard Cobb.

Walter served as an Army physician in Europe and North Africa.

He taught medicine at the University of Southern California and Loma Linda University.

Walter had a successful cardiology practice, and one of his longtime patients was Kenneth Hahn, a former Los Angeles County supervisor.

Walter had three children from his previous marriages.

Graf’s was currently married to Joan and he had nine children and stepchildren; 19 grandchildren; and 22 great-grandchildren.

Walter passed away at age 98 in October 2015.