Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Dr. Virginia Kratz practiced since '47

'Lady doctor' served Kentucky counties

By Rebecca Goodman
The Cincinnati Enquirer

SOUTHGATE - Dr. Virginia Daugherty Kratz, one of the first two women public health officers in Kentucky, died Jan. 17 at St. Luke Hospital East in Fort Thomas. The Southgate resident was 80.

A third-generation doctor, Dr. Kratz graduated from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine in 1947 - when female doctors were something of a novelty.

She was only 24 when she became a public health doctor for Owen and Grant counties, where she was known as the "lady doctor."

Five months after she took the job in 1947, a reporter for the Louisville Courier-Journal wrote that "the new health officer has won the people of Owen and Grant counties to her way of thinking that young doctors, including women, are strictly all right."

The reporter also found it newsworthy that she didn't know how to cook.

Dr. Kratz provided immunizations, checkups, general medical care and nutrition counseling to patients in Grant and Owen, and eventually in Gallatin, Pendleton and Boone counties as well.

"She took it very seriously and enjoyed it thoroughly," said her son-in-law, Fred Stine of Fort Thomas. "Virginia was one of these strong-willed women. She liked to get things done (and) was very hard-working. Whenever she did anything, she'd really throw herself into it."

A native of Independence, Dr. Kratz was valedictorian of the Simon Kenton High School class of 1941.

She took a break from practicing medicine to raise a family during the 1960s. When she returned to work, she decided to switch gears and do a residency at Rollman Psychiatric Institute in Cincinnati. She was a psychiatrist at Rollman for seven years until illness forced her to retire about 15 years ago.

In addition to her son-in-law, survivors include a daughter, Katie Stine of Fort Thomas; a son, Robert Kevin Kratz of Cary, N.C.; and five grandchildren.

Services have been held. Burial was at Independence Cemetery.

Memorials: Fort Thomas Weekday Religious Education, c/o St. Andrew Episcopal Church, 3 Chalfonte Place, Fort Thomas, KY 41075 or the Salvation Army, 340 W. 10th St., Newport, KY 41071.

Bronson: It snowed, and somehow we survived
Retired justice a candidate to lead 37,000 union workers
Ohio's largest library applauded

Taft's address will set agenda
N.H. primary may thin herd
NKU still hoping funds available for building
Historic Rawson estate could be subdivided
Sled hill crashes to a close
Salt trucks prep for icy streets
Wife indicted in fatal stabbing
Creation museum expects crowds
Crestview Hills puts merger to rest
Judge: Release video
Three staffers win KPA awards
CO poisoning hospitalizes six
Church to show documentary
Highway funding bill would give Ohio more
U.S. Secret Service won't review cop tape
Priest won't return to duties after court

Future firefighters learn by battling the real thing
Summit high schoolers return to campus today
Open houses at Catholic schools

River Road bypass to open
Psychologist advocates for the less fortunate
Wal-Mart rezoning vote set tonight
United Way donors hailed
Hospital unit wins magazine plaudit

Dr. Virginia Kratz practiced since '47
Andrew Brady, 89, West Hi band legend