Theodore (Ted) Wiprud, 87, who was the first full-time executive director of the D.C. Medical Society, serving from 1938 until his retirement in 1962, died of pneumonia Wednesday at the Bethesda Rehabilitation and Nursing Center. In declining health for sometime, he had been a resident there since April 17.
Popularly known by physicians and patients alike as "Mr. Medicine of Washington," Mr. Wiprud had set up the Medical Bureau, which is the society's telephone exchange and information center, and had been the driving force behind Washington's Blue Shield Plan.
He came to Washington after spending nine years as executive secretary of the Medical Society of Milwaukee County, Wis.
At that time, the D.C. Medical Society and its parent body, the American Medical Association, were under federal antitrust indictment for their part in organized medicine's fight against pioneering group medical practice and group health insurance.
They were found guilty of thwarting the activities of what later became the thriving medical care cooperative, the Group Health Association, and were fined. Their public image was at a low ebb.
It was Mr. Wiprud's job to change that image. Through his dogged persistence and wise counseling, the D.C. Society took the lead nationally in pushing for Blue Shield insurance programs. He served later as an official of Blue Shield.
Under his direction, the society also installed one of the first emergency call services through which patients, having no doctors of their own, could get a physician quickly at any time of day or night. The Medical Bureau also supplied callers with other information.
Mr. Wiprud founded the Medical Council of the Washington Metropolitan Area in 1957 to bring together leaders of the medical societies of Washington, Alexandria and Arlington, Fairfax, Montgomery and Prince George's counties. The council awarded him a Certificate of Meritorious Service in 1960.
During his tenure as executive director, he was managing editor of the "Medical Annals of the District of Columbia." He served on advisory groups to the Selective Service System and D.C. Civilian Defense.
He was on the advisory council of the D.C. Mental Association, lectured on medical economics at Georgetown University, served on the D.C. Commissioners Council on the Aging and was on the board of directors of the Council of Social Agencies for D.C. Vicinity.
He also contributed to a number of medical journals, writing on the business aspects of the profession in which he covered topics such as hospital costs.
The D.C. Medical Society made him an honorary member and awarded him its "Certificate of Meritorious Service.
Mr. Wiprud was born to Norwegian parents. His father was a Lutheran minister in this country, where the family lived. He was born while his mother was visiting in Norway.
He started out to become a banker in the small town of Frederic, Wis. But the Depression came along and he became involved in the problems of doctors who sought his advice on overdue bills. As a result, he became business manager of a clinic in Frederic and then moved on to the Milwaukee County Medical Society.
In addition to his affliation with medical-related organizations here, Mr. Wiprud had been active as a member of the D.C. Traffic Advisory Board, the Rotary Club, the old Washington Board of Trade and the National Press Club. He was a member of All Saints' Epsicopal Church in Chevy Chase.
He is survived by his wife, Alice Mason, of the home in Chevy Chase; a son Grant W., of Bethesda; a daughter, Dorothy Wiprud Manning, of Durham, N.C.; a brother, Anne [WORD ILLEGIBLE] of Washington; a sister, Agnes rud Jensen, of Minneapolis, grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.