Dr. Herbert Kean and the Hon. Joyce Kean
A new hospital, a new routine, a new specialty: Herbert Kean, MD, started his residency at Jefferson feeling slightly out of sync. But the kindness of those around him made an impression. By the end of the first year, Herb thought to himself, “I have found my home; I have found my place.
The Herbert Kean, MD, Chair in Otolaryngology, now held by the department chair, William Keane, MD, was created in 2001, the year they married. The Herbert Kean, MD, Otolaryngology Residency Education and Research Fund followed as did support for the new Herbert Kean, MD, Otolaryngology Facial Plastics and Reconstruction Center, which made Jefferson one of the few academic medical centers in the country with a center devoted solely to plastic and reconstructive surgery of the head and neck.
A Philadelphia native and Phillies fanatic, Herb received his medical degree from Hahnemann University and started his long affiliation with Jefferson a year later in 1957 as a resident in otolaryngology. He specialized in rhinoplasty and spent countless hours perfecting his technique; with pride he notes Philadelphia Magazine named him the area’s “top nose-job doc” for a decade.
Shortly after starting his residency, Herb married his first wife and the mother of their children, Jeannette, who died 30 years later from breast cancer at the age of 50.
Herb served as a volunteer faculty member at Jefferson for most of his career, eventually earning the title clinical professor. He retired from Jefferson and his practice in 1999 after a broken neck robbed him of the fine motor control he needed for surgery.
Joyce graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Temple University and spent three years teaching in the Philadelphia school system. After having two children, Joyce returned to Temple for a law degree to better serve social justice causes she supported. She was in private practice for two decades and also served as a mediator specializing in custody and divorce. She won election to the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas in 1997, where she served as a trial judge until retiring in 2006. The Keans now call Key Biscayne, Fla., home, but they spend one week out of four at their new apartment in Center City, seeing old friends, patronizing the arts and fulfilling their commitments to the community.
Joyce serves as a vice president on the board of the Pennsylvania Ballet and Herb serves on the board at Wistar Institute, two organizations that also have benefited from the Keans’ generosity. Herb also serves on the boards of the Alliance Francaise and the National Liberty Museum, where he is treasurer. He remains active as chairman on the Public Health Committee of the Philadelphia County Medical Society.
The Keans travel extensively, stopping in Paris several times a year to stay in their apartment near the Musee du Louvre.
Above all, the Keans are doting grandparents to six. Joyce’s daughter, Nancy, has two young sons; and Herb’s son, Jon, has a daughter and a son; all live in Los Angeles, where Joyce’s son, Jon, also lives. Herb’s daughter, Marjorie, who lives in Chicago, has two young sons.