Jerry Hulka, professor emeritus, passes away at 84

Jaroslav F. (Jerry) Hulka, MD, professor emeritus of obstetrics and gynecology in the UNC School of Medicine and of maternal and child health at UNC’s Gillings School of Global Public Health, died Nov. 24. He was 84.

Jerry Hulka, professor emeritus, passes away at 84 click to enlarge Jaroslav F. (Jerry) Hulka, MD

Born in New York City in 1930, Hulka graduated from Harvard College and earned a medical degree at Columbia University. After working as a physician for six years in Pittsburgh, he was drawn to Chapel Hill in 1967, where there was a developing interest in the study of population growth.

His long and active career reflected a commitment to women’s reproductive rights and to making obstetrical and gynecological procedures for women, including procedures for infertility, safer and less invasive.

He was a faculty fellow at the Carolina Population Center, where his work focused on human reproduction management, and he served as chair of Planned Parenthood’s National Medical Committee.

In addition to teaching responsibilities at UNC and his work to evaluate the safety and efficacy of endoscopic surgical instruments and procedures, he served as president of the American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists. He received a number of awards, notably the 1994 Society of Lapraroendoscopic Surgeons’ EXCEL Award, honoring surgeons who make outstanding contributions to the fields of laparoscopy, endoscopy and minimally invasive surgery.

Hulka was the husband of Barbara Sorenson Hulka, MD, MPH, Kenan Professor Emeritus of epidemiology at the Gillings School. The Hulkas were longtime friends of and donors to the School, having funded the Barbara Sorenson Hulka Distinguished Professorship in Cancer Epidemiology, now held by Andrew Olshan, PhD, chair of the epidemiology department.

A memorial will be held to commemorate his life on Sunday, Jan. 11 at 3 p.m. in the Old Well Room of the Carolina Inn.

Dr. Hulka’s obituary appears in The News and Observer (Raleigh).

Article originally published by UNC's Gillings School of Public Health

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