Harvard Medical School
Flag at Half-Staff


The HMS flag is at half-staff this morning in memory of Ruthanne B. Simmons, MD, Clinical Instructor in Ophthalmology, who died of breast cancer on November 8, 2002 at the age of 43.

A graduate of Harvard Medical School ('87), Dr. Simmons was a glaucoma and cataract specialist with Ophthalmic Consultants of Boston. After earning a bachelor's degree in psychology at Wesleyan University, Dr. Simmons was inspired to enter medicine by the example of her father, Dr. Richard J. Simmons, an internationally known surgeon, glaucoma specialist and a former HMS faculty member.

Although her passion in medicine was clinical practice, surgery, and patient care, Dr. Simmons was also an active researcher and author. She was Director of Research for the New England Eye Research Foundation and authored multiple chapters in major Ophthalmology textbooks, as well as numerous scientific journal articles, primarily dealing with new methods of glaucoma surgery and laser treatments. She was also a frequent lecturer and course director at national and international ophthalmology meetings.

Dr. Simmons was a member of many professional societies, including the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the American Glaucoma Society, the New England Ophthalmological Society, and the American Eye Study Club.

Dr. Simmons is survived by her husband, Dr. Robert A. Stern, their two children, Nicholas and Laura Simmons-Stern, her parents, brother, and two sisters. A memorial service will be held Monday, November 18, 2002 at 2:30 PM at The Second Church in Newton, with a reception immediately following at Brae Burn Country Club also in Newton.