Torrance Memorial Medical Center and the entire community mourned the recent passing of radiologist Richard B. Hoffman, MD, a beloved member of the hospital staff for nearly 40 years. Hoffman-who was recently diagnosed with acute leukemia and was undergoing treatment-died of complications from pneumonia. He was surrounded by family and in the hospital he loved.
Hoffman arrived at the Torrance Memorial Radiology Department in 1973 and played a key role in the department's growth, including his impact on how diagnostic cardiovascular services were rendered. The radiologist was also critical in the implementation of CT scan technology at the medical center, allowing for cross-sectional imaging of the human body, a method far more advanced than those that preceded it. Always a visionary, he also helped introduce ultrasound and PET/CT to the department's capabilities way ahead of most other community hospitals.
Beyond the walls of Torrance Memorial Medical Center, Hoffman invented, along with Don Desiletts, MD, the first percutaenous sheath-a device that has become an indispensable component of most interventional procedures.
His colleagues, friends and family describe Hoffman as truly compassionate. His daughter, Heidi Hoffman, MD, a radiologist at Torrance Memorial, says, "Working alongside my dad in a professional capacity has been an incredible gift. Since I was a child, I witnessed my dad's unwavering passion for radiology and his desire to create the most progressive radiology department in the community. My dad never settled for mediocrity and was always striving to learn new things and better the workplace around him."
Hoffman spent 38 years at Torrance Memorial Medical Center and served many times as chief of the Radiology Department. Actively practicing until his diagnosis in August, Hoffman was also elected president of the Torrance Memorial Health Care Foundation Board. In addition, Hoffman was instrumental in helping plan the development of the new Patient Tower currently being constructed. The development of this facility was so inspiring and important to Hoffman that his family arranged for dirt from the construction site to be used in his burial.
Hoffman is survived by his wife of 48 years, Carole Hoffman, daughter Heidi, son and radiation oncologist Rex Hoffman, MD, brother Stuart, daughter-in-law Erin, and two grandsons.