Spirit of Maryville 2017: Michael DeBaun


Michael R. DeBaun, MD, MPH, is the JC Peterson Chair in Pediatric Pulmonology at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn. Previously he served as the Ferring Family Chair in Pediatrics at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. DeBaun has provided groundbreaking research and leadership in the treatment and care of children with sickle cell disease.

An internationally known physician, researcher, lecturer and mentor, he created the Charles Drew Community Blood Donor Campaign, which encourages diversity among blood donors to better match donors with patients who have rare blood types, like sickle cell patients. He also created the Sickle Cell Sabbath, a national model that engages churches in the African American community to host blood drives and raise awareness of how ethnically similar blood donations help reduce complications in sickle cell patients and reduce the need for repeated transfusions. DeBaun has a strong connection to Maryville University.

His mother, Everlouis Rutledge DeBaun, ’58, was Maryville’s first African-American graduate. She served as a longtime teacher in St. Louis Public Schools. In lasting tribute, the DeBaun family supports the Everlouis Rutledge DeBaun Endowed Scholarship at Maryville, created by the Class of 1958 in her memory.