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Candice M.
Republican MI 10

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  • Tribute to Dr. Sheldon Kapen

    by Representative Candice S. Miller

    Posted on 2013-01-04

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    MILLER of michigan in the house of representatives Friday, January 4, 2013 Mrs. MILLER of Michigan. Mr. Speaker, I would like to pay tribute to the memory of a great citizen of the State of Michigan, the late Dr. Sheldon Kapen. Sadly, Dr. Kapen passed away on Thanksgiving Day at the age of 77.

    He was the longtime Chairman of the Department of Neurology at the John V. Dingell Veterans Administration Hospital in Detroit and a leading figure in the field of sleep disorders research who made many outstanding discoveries and contributions. The plaque which honors him at the VA hospital calls Dr. Kapen ``A Physician, a teacher, a scientist, a leader, and a friend''.

    My sincerest condolences go out to his family. I would like to place into the Record an article from the VA Hospital bulletin on the occasion of the naming of the Sheldon Kapen Sleep Laboratory last year as well as an obituary that appeared in the Wayne State University newspaper.

    Detroit VAMC Sleep Clinic Honors Dr. Kapen (By Alysse Mengason) This fall, the Detroit VAMC staff and patients paid tribute to one of its long-time physicians, hanging a plaque in his honor in the sleep clinic.

    Dr. Sheldon Kapen's legacy is represented in the sleep lab, which he founded in 1985, when he took over a new 2 bed unit in the old Detroit VAMC in Allen Park. Dr. Kapen started the first sleep lab in any VA facility. Dr. Kapen achieved many successes over the years. Among the grants he won, Dr. Kapen received a VA Research Grant to study stroke and sleep.

    When the Detroit VA Medical Center moved to Detroit and became the John D. Dingell VA Medical Center, Dr. Kapen was able to expand the clinic into a new 8 bed facility with state of the art equipment and more staff.

    Dr. Kapen's sleep medicine and laboratory was the first VA sleep lab to be accredited, and approximately the 20th in the nation (there are now about 1,000 accredited sleep labs in the U.S.). He also had the first VA-based accredited fellowship program in 1989 (the 4th overall in the country) and it has also been reaccredited multiple times.

    In his more than 30 years with the VA, Dr. Kapen has trained dozens of physicians, and continues to train and supervise sleep fellows from Wayne State University.

    ____ (Nov. 26, 2012) Dr. Sheldon Kapen, Longtime Neurology Faculty Member, Dies Dr. Sheldon Kapen, M.D., 77, of West Bloomfield, Mich., died Nov. 22.

    Dr. Kapen was a longtime member of the Wayne State University Department of Neurology and chief of Neurology at the John Dingell Veterans Administration Hospital for 25 years until his retirement in November 2011.

    ``Sheldon Kapen was an important contributor to the academic and clinical missions of the Department of Neurology and the Veterans Administration hospital for many years,'' said Robert Lisak, M.D., professor and former chair of Neurology. ``He was a pioneer in the study of and treatment of disorders of sleep. For that reason the sleep laboratory at the John Dingell VA Hospital was recently named in his honor. Shelly was a dedicated physician and a person of integrity. He will be missed.'' The funeral was held Nov. 23 at the Ira Kaufman Chapel, 18325 W. Nine Mile Road, Southfield.

    The family of Dr. Kapen will gather through the evening of Nov. 26 at 4564 Fairway Ridge Court, West Bloomfield, for friends to call. The phone number is 248-626- [[Page E16]] 2907. Religious services will be held Monday evening.

    Dr. Kapen is survived by his wife, Rachel; children Gilead (Karen) Kapen, Alon (Amal) Kapen, Ehud (Debra) Kapen and Avi Kapen; grandchildren Rome, Michaela, Alia, Matan, Simon, Caleb and Kayla Kapen and Leah Schloss; and sister Nessa (Alfred) Bertel.

    The family suggests contributions in memory of Dr. Kapen be made to the Holocaust Memorial Center, 28123 Orchard Lake Road, Farmington Hills, MI 48334.


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