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Louise Cavagnaro was born in Portland, Oregon. She received a baccalaureate degree in nursing from the University of Oregon in 1943. She began her career as an Army Nurse in World War II. She served primarily as an operating room nurse and was stationed at Bushnell General Hospital in Utah, with the 318th and 186th units in England, the 36th general hospital in France and the 125th evacuation hospital in Germany. In 1946, she joined the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission as Director of Nursing in Hiroshima, Japan. Upon return to the United States in 1951, she enrolled in the program in Hospital Administration at Columbia University from which she received her masters degree. She began her affiliation with Johns Hopkins in 1953 and held numerous administrative positions at the hospital, including in the Department of Surgery, Medical Affairs, and Patient Services. She was active in the establishment of organ procurement programs and transplant resources throughout Maryland and the southeastern United States. When the new Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing opened in 1984, she was appointed to the faculty as Clinical Associate. She was an honorary member of the Johns Hopkins Nurses’ Alumni Association. She retired in 1985 as Johns Hopkins Hospital Assistant Vice President. After her retirement, she began volunteering at the Alan Mason Chesney Medical Archives.

Scope and Content

The Louise Cavagnaro Collection includes personal and professional correspondence, administrative files, records of Johns Hopkins Hospital house staff, information pertaining to the Transplant Resource Center of Maryland, her master’s thesis from Columbia, and material related to her service with the army during World War II and the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission in postwar Japan.

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