Eleanor Tomlin Helms Ward, a retired specialist in clinical psychiatric nursing, died on Dec. 21 at Johns Hopkins Hospital of pneumonia after a recent stroke. She was 68.
Mrs. Ward had a notable career as a teacher, supervisor and practitioner in psychiatric nursing, holding various leadership roles at the Phipps Clinic of Johns Hopkins Hospital. In 1970, she was named its director of psychiatric nursing.
She was born in Chapel Hill, N.C., moving as a child with her family to Baltimore, where her father became director of research at the Emerson Drug Co.
She graduated from the Roland Park Country School and later received her Registered Nurse degree from the School of Nursing at Church Home and Hospital. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the Johns Hopkins University and a master's degree from the University of Maryland. She also attended the University of Minnesota, where she was a member of the Pegasus Society.
Mrs. Ward was one of the earliest specialists in clinical psychiatric nursing and contributed to the establishment of national certification in this field.
In 1973, she entered private practice in Baltimore, although she continued her teaching and supervisory roles in psychotherapy and family therapy at Hopkins, where she was an instructor in
psychiatry at the medical school.
Mrs. Ward was a mentor for many family therapists and psychotherapists in the region. She was also a member of many professional societies, including Sigma Theta Tau, the professional honor society in nursing; the Maryland Society for Clinical Social Work; and the American and Maryland nursing associations.
A memorial service will be held at St. David's Episcopal Church, 4700 Roland Ave., at 2 p.m. Sunday. After the service, there will be a celebration of her life at the Johns Hopkins Club on the university's Homewood campus, 34th and North Charles streets.
She is survived by her husband, Dr. Robert F. Ward; two daughters, Dr. Katherine Reichelderfer-Smith of Hyattsville and
Janet L. Hanson of Baltimore; a son, Richard E. Hanson, also of Baltimore; a stepdaughter, Dr. Lydia Ward-Chene of Chicago, and a granddaughter, Katherine E. Smith of Hyattsville.
She is also survived by two sisters, Anne Helms Irons of RodgerForge and Mary Jane Blaustein of Stevenson; and two brothers, Dr. Samuel T. Helms of Towson and Christopher Lee Helms of Tucson, Ariz.
The family suggested that memorial contributions could be made in Mrs. Ward's name to the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing.