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MARIN COUNTY'S NEWS MONTHLY - FREE PRESS
(415)868-1600 - (415)868-0502(fax) - P.O. Box 31, Bolinas, CA, 94924

August, 2006

 

Lawrence H. Arnstein, M.D.

Lawrence H Arnstein passed away peacefully on June 30, 2006. His long and distinguished career as a neurosurgeon and instructor spanned over fifty years. He was a 1940 graduate of Stanford University, where he also earned a Doctor of Medicine Degree in 1943. Shortly thereafter, he joined the US Navy and was assigned to the USMC Medical Corps in the South Pacific from 1943-1945. After the war, he completed his Neurosurgical training at UCSF.
Early in his career, Dr. Arnstein was one of a very few neurosurgeons in Northern California. He covered Stanford, Peninsula, San Mateo, Sequoia and El Camino Hospitals. He was a Clinical Instructor for UCSF's Neurosurgical Residency program and spent more than twenty years as a Clinical Professor for Stanford University. He became a practicing neurosurgeon in Marin in 1989, and for eight years was an on-call neurosurgeon at Marin General Hospital.

One of the first doctors to go public about deteriorating conditions at Marin General Hospital following staffing cuts, Dr. Arnstein strongly opposed SutterHealth's control of the District-owned hospital. In 1988, he was elected to the Marin Healthcare District Board with the award-winning slogan "Sometimes it does take a Brain Surgeon." He was re-elected in 2002.

More than anything else, Dr. Arnstein had hoped to live long enough to see control of MGH return to the District. Throughout his life, he was a strong advocate for universal access to quality healthcare.

In addition to his medical career, he took on the task of parenting his three children with great love and devotion. He was the only parent they knew. Despite the long hours that his profession required, he was very much "there" for his children, even finding time to help with homework.

Dr. Arnstein had diverse interests, including his travels to remote and exotic parts of the world, photography and a passion for classic cars. Among the cars he owned was the 1937 "Buried Bugatti." He also loved the performing arts and was a strong supporter of the symphony and the ballet.

He is survived by his loving wife, Mary Margaret and his loving children: Doug Arnstein (wife Andrea), David Arnstein (wife Betsy), and Lacy Marchetti (husband Jim). He left four wonderful grandchildren: Jim and Chris Marchetti, and Allison and Michael Arnstein.

Additionally, an entire community of health care advocates will miss this man. He left just as his work on the Sutter/Marin General Hospital issue would have been completed. Although his position on the Health District Board might be filled with a replacement, he is irreplaceable in our lives. For all who knew him, he will be greatly missed.

In lieu of flowers donations in his honor can be sent to: ALS-Rick Olney Endowment,

ALS Research Center, C/O UCSF Foundation, P.O. Box 410330 San Francisco California 94141-9917


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