Henry A. Shenkin, 92, an innovative neurosurgeon and an author, died Saturday at the Quadrangle, a retirement community in Haverford, where he had lived for 18 years.
Dr. Shenkin was founding director, in 1960, of the neurosurgical research laboratory at Episcopal Hospital. He was a professor at the Medical College of Pennsylvania and at Temple University Medical School, and maintained a private practice.
In the early 1970s, he was responsible for the installation of the first CAT scanner in Philadelphia at Episcopal Hospital. He recognized, his son Robert said, that the non-invasive, painless medical testing device would eliminate the need for many surgical procedures on the brain - and possibly put him out of business.
During his career, Dr. Shenkin received several research grants from the National Institutes of Health. He was an early leader in performing surgery for herniated discs; arteriograms to identify intracranial aneurysms; and surgery to treat Parkinson's disease.
He wrote more than 156 professional articles.
After retiring in 1982, he wrote five books, including
Medical Ethics: Evolution Rights and the Physician
Medical Care and Reform: A Guide to Issues and Choices
. He studied philosophy at Cambridge University in England, his son said, and read voraciously.
In 2005 the Henry Shenkin Visiting Lecturer post was established at Temple University Medical School in his honor.
Dr. Shenkin graduated from Central High School, where he was captain of the tennis team. He earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a medical degree from Thomas Jefferson University. He interned at Philadelphia General Hospital. He then spent a year doing research at Yale University and completed a residency in neurosurgery at Penn. He was chief of neurosurgery at Mount Sinai Hospital in Philadelphia and was an associate professor of neurosurgery at Penn before heading the neurosurgery department at Episcopal.
In addition to his son, Dr. Shenkin is survived by another son, Budd; daughters Kathy Seal and Emily Simon; and 11 grandchildren. His wife of 50 years, Renee Friedenberg Shenkin, died in 1989.
A celebration of his life will be observed at 11 a.m. today at the Quadrangle, 3300 Darby Rd., Haverford.