Doris Emma Roberts

Epidemiologist, Public Health Nurse

Doris Emma Roberts, 89, an epidemiologist and a nurse with the U.S. Public Health Service, died of kidney failure and sepsis Oct. 22 at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda. She was a resident of Bethesda.

Dr. Roberts was born in Toledo and grew up in Chester, W.Va. She trained at the Brigham School of Nursing in Boston and became a registered nurse in 1938. She attended Simmons College in Boston and graduated from Geneva College in Beaver Falls, Pa.

From 1938 to 1945, she was a nurse in New Haven, Conn., and Millburn, N.J. In 1945, she entered the uniformed Public Health Service as a supervisory nurse in charge of tuberculosis patients of the Baltimore County Health Department. She was the tuberculosis consultant for the Maryland Department of Health from 1946 to 1950.

She came to Washington in 1950 as chief nurse in the tuberculosis program of the Public Health Service, a position she held until 1957. She received a master's degree in public health from the University of Minnesota in 1958.

From 1958 to 1963, she worked in the nursing division of the Public Health Service before going to graduate school at the University of North Carolina. She received a doctorate in epidemiology in 1967.

From 1966 to 1975, Dr. Roberts was chief of the nursing practice branch of the U.S. Health Resources Administration at the old Department of Health, Education and Welfare. When she retired from the Public Health Service in 1975 with the rank of captain, she was presented a distinguished service award.

Dr. Roberts was a consultant with the World Health Organization from 1961 to 1982 and an adjunct professor at the University of North Carolina School of Public Health from 1975 to 1992. She was elected to the Institute of Medicine, part of the National Academy of Sciences, in 1973.

She was a member of All Saints' Episcopal Church in Chevy Chase, where she was president of Women of All Saints'.

She volunteered for Meals on Wheels and enjoyed needlework and gardening.

Survivors include a sister.