Few personified the Detroit/Harlem connection with as much distinction as Dr. Wanda Huff. Born in Detroit on August 14, 1947, Dr. Huff was a prominent doctor of internal medicine in Harlem for years, and she leaves an impressive record of service. She died on April 13 in Yonkers. She was 72.
The notice of her passing was visibly displayed on the obituary pages of The New York Times, where a place face rarely appears. But on this occasion it was hard to miss her gorgeous smiling face that radiated a care and compassion that must have been experienced by countless patients.
After excelling in the public school system of Detroit, Wanda attended Cornell University and then went onto Yale’s School of Medicine in 1973, becoming the school’s fifth female graduate. She also possessed a master’s degree in Public Health from Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health.
The Times obit and Legacy.com agree on her magnitude of accomplishments, noting that she served as a physician and later an administrator on the medical staffs of Harlem Hospital Center, New York-Presbyterian/Columbia Medical Center and Woodhull Medical Center. She also established her own private practice in Harlem. In 1991, she became New York’s first African American female director of an ICU at North General Hospital.
Dr. Huff joined the NYC Health and Hospitals Corporation as its medical director and administrator of Communicare and its program director for Medical Oversight and Quality Assurance before retiring in 2004. She was an active member of the National Medical Association and served as the president of its Susan Smith McKinney Stewart Chapter. Dr. Huff is survived by her daughter, Brooke Dickson; her son, Wesley Dickson; her sister, Lei Damaris; other family members; and her extended family of medical colleagues.
Funeral arrangements are being handled by Duchynski-Cherko Funeral Home of Yonkers, NY and Stinson Funeral Home of Detroit, MI. In lieu of flowers, please donate in her memory to the Lung.org.