January 23, 2006
Orleans ER docs get gift of cookware from Emory colleagues
They say the kitchen is the heart of the home, and in New Orleans, iron cookware has been at the heart of every kitchen for decades, even centuries. Now, thanks to an Emory physician, doctors in the Big Easy can make this claim literally.
Arthur Kellermann, professor and chair of emergency medicine, and his cousin, Bob Kellermann, CEO of Lodge Manufacturing, decided to give 64 emergency physicians—who have been working tirelessly since last summer to serve the medical needs of flood-ravaged New Orleans—a small gift to help them rebuild, starting at the heart.
According to Art Kellermann, Emory’s emergency medicine program, with its strong ties to Grady Hospital, always has had a strong relationship with its counterpart at Louisiana State University and Charity Hospital in New Orleans; both Emory and LSU provide medical staff for large public-hospital emergency rooms, and both have a strong social mission. Kellermann and his team thought a small gift of cast iron cookware offered the hope of a fresh start for Charity’s ER doctors in the coming year.
“These are amazing young doctors,” Kellermann said. “They have been practicing medicine in tent hospitals since they were evacuated from Charity Hospital, and many of them have lost their homes. This is just a small gift to help them rebuild after the flood.”
In the days following Hurricane Katrina, Peter De-Blieux, director of resident and faculty development for LSU’s School of Medicine, and his colleagues worked around the clock in the darkened hallways of Charity to sustain the hospital’s patients after the building lost power and was largely abandoned by the outside world. They didn’t leave Charity until the last patient was evacuated. DeBlieux was delighted when Kellermann proposed the idea of a shipment of cast iron cookware.
“This is a wonderfully generous gift,” he told Kellermann. “It helps more than you may ever imagine.”
Kellermann’s cousin, Bob, said Lodge was happy to contribute what it could.
“News Orleans and the Gulf Coast have such an integral part in our nation’s culinary and cultural history, and much of that history has been created with Cajun and Creole recipes prepared in cast-iron Dutch ovens, skillets and other pieces of cookware from Europe and the United States,” Bob Kellermann said. “I know nothing Lodge can provide will completely assist in the rebuilding efforts, but I do know doctors can’t treat their patients without maintaining their physical strength. We hope our cast iron cookware enables them to complete their medical tasks, and the recipes prepared will lift their spirits.”
Both Kellermanns are descendants of the founder of Lodge Manufacturing Co., Joseph Lodge. Lodge Manufacturing is the lone domestic producer of cast iron cookware. The company shipped 64 Lodge cast iron combo cookers, which include a pot and skillet/lid.
“LSU emergency medicine’s commitment to their patients was stronger than iron,” Art Kellermann said. “The gift is simply a token of our admiration and respect for what they did.”