Dr. Elaine Henley
Dr. Elaine Henley

Dr. Elaine Henley passed away May 31 at the age of 92. She had been a faculty member in the Department of Medicine for 64 years. 

Henley graduated from UCLA in 1947 and went on to attend the University of California Medical School in Berkeley, during a time when less than five percent of medical students were women.

She came to the University of Washington as a fellow in Endocrinology in 1954, under Dr. Robert Williams, the first Chair of the Department of Medicine.

Henley directed the Occupational Medicine at UWMC from 1961-1982 and was the medical director of Hall Health on upper campus from 1982-1993.

Dubbed “The Grand Dame of Northwest Endocrinology,” she continued to see patients in the Endocrine Clinic at UWMC until she was 90. 

She was a dedicated mentor, accomplished educator, role model and outspoken patient and trainee advocate, and tireless clinician.

“We have been deeply fortunate for Elaine’s contributions over more than 60 years, attending in the Endocrine Fellows Clinic from 1954-2015 and contributing in so many intangible ways to our division,” said Division Head Dr. Stephanie Page. “Her legacy will live on through all the lives she has touched.”

Personal life

Henley family, 2015
Elaine and Ernest Henley with their grandchildren, 2015

She married Dr. Ernest Henley (physicist and UW College of Arts & Sciences dean emeritus) in 1948 and they had two children: Karen (assistant professor of psychiatry at Boston University) and Brad (UW professor of orthopedics and sports medicine), and four grandchildren.

"We know that we were all blessed to have her in our lives for so long, as a confidant, an advisor and a doctor who looked out for the well-being of her family and a myriad of others." 

-Brad Henley

The family requests that memorial gifts be made in support of the Elaine Henley Endowed Fellowship Fund at UW Medicine.