Libby Brateman, retired Professor, Clinical Radiological Physics, Department of Radiology, College of Medicine at the University of Florida, passed away on Saturday, May 5, 2018, in Gainesville, FL. A woman of many talents, Libby embraced life in both her professional career and personal interests. Born in Birmingham, Alabama, Libby received her B.A. in physics at Birmingham Southern College, her M.A. in physics at Auburn University, and her PhD in Medical Physics from the University of Florida. Before becoming a faculty member at the University of Florida in 1985, she worked for Polyclinic Hospital in Harrisburg, PA, the US Department of Health, and completed postdoctoral training in magnetic resonance imaging at the University of Texas. During her thirty-year career at UF, she served as a diagnostic radiology physicist, which involved both clinical and teaching responsibilities. She wrote of her lifelong passion for applied medical physics in clinical settings and the associated education of others. Thus, she was dedicated to ensuring the quality of mammography facilities and imaging techniques, and facilitating the highest quality of patient care through the education and monitoring of practitioners who used radiation. She was a key figure in developing mammography standards in Florida, and conducting site visits to mammography facilities as part of an American College of Radiology review team. For many years at UF, she was responsible for the control program details specified under the national Mammography Quality Standards Act.
Although Libby's career was interrupted for three years while she battled a serious illness, her accomplishments were extraordinary. She taught classes in medical physics, both within the Radiology Department and the College of Engineering, and was known for constantly honing her teaching techniques, developing new courses, and inspiring enthusiasm for her field. Libby was particularly proud of establishing and directing the Diagnostic Imaging Medical Physics Residency Program, one of only eight in the country. In this role, she advised and mentored countless graduate students as well as serving on advisory committees for doctoral candidates. Nationally recognized for her expertise, Libby was awarded the Distinguished Service Award by the American Board of Radiology and became a Fellow in the American College of Radiology. She was an invited developer of syllabi for physics education associated with the American Association of Physicists in Medicine, and involved with both the oral boards and written examinations given by the American College of Radiology.
A true Renaissance persona, Libby was not only a brilliant scientist who excelled as a pioneer in an unusual career path for women, but she was also a person of immense grace and integrity with wide-ranging interests. She loved travel, gardening, cooking, entertaining, the arts, learning new skills, and exploring spiritual paths. Her large circle of friends was a reflection of her appreciation of diverse areas. She deeply treasured her Jewish roots and her involvement in the local Jewish community, and taught many students to read Torah in preparation for Bar and Bat Mitzvahs. Music was particularly important and meaningful to her, and she enriched countless services with her beautiful chanting and interpretation of scripture. Libby's incredible courage and spirit during the last difficult year were an inspiration to all who knew her.
Libby was preceded in death by her parents Samuel and Shulamith Brateman, and is survived by her sister Niesa (Jim) Halpern, nieces Sheri Halpern (Joshua) Youdovin and Jennifer Halpern (Daniel Vranesich), great-niece Louisa Vranesich, and great-nephew Ian Vranesich.
Burial was on Monday, May 7, 2018, at Prairie Creek Conservation Cemetery, with Memorial Service for family and friends on July 15, 2018 at Congregation B'Nai Israel 3830 NW 16 Blvd. Gainesville, FL 32605. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to: JScreen (www.jscreen.org
) which is dedicated to preventing Jewish genetic diseases, and/or Integrative Therapies @ UF Shands (PO Box 100326 Gainesville, FL 32610). Services are in the care of Milam Funeral Home, 311 South Main Street, Gainesville, FL 32601. (352)376-5361. www.milamfh.com
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Published by Gainesville Sun from May 7 to May 9, 2018.