Detroit doctor treated patients ‘like family’
Detroit — Dr. Hills Howard Jr. was known for his bedside manner and the attention he gave to his patients.
“He went above and beyond to make sure his patients were taken care of,” said Wilbert Chew, a longtime patient and friend. “We were like family to him.”
Dr. Howard, a retired physician for the Detroit Medical Center, died Sunday, Aug. 16, 2015. He was 69.
Besides his work at the DMC, Dr. Howard operated a successful private practice, Howard Medical Service, and was a medical director for OmniCare Health Plan as well as The Wellness Plan, relatives said.
Dr. Howard graduated from Wayne State University, earning an undergraduate degree in chemistry in 1969 and his medical degree in 1975, relatives said. He also was a member of the Alpha Beta Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.
The medical field suited him since he “was always willing to help people,” said his son, Hills Howard III. “He figured to be a doctor was the easiest way to help people.”
That caring dedication also marked his approach with patients. “He always tried to get you every treatment that you needed,” Chew said. “He was always straight-forward. If he needed to tell you something that you should hear, he would just say it plainly — but not in a harsh way.”
Chew, who saw Dr. Howard for more than 20 years, credits the physician with helping him quit smoking. “I didn’t have to take a patch. He gave me a whole lot of insight on what smoking was doing to me. I probably would’ve smoked for a lot longer if it hadn’t been for his concern for me to stop.”
Born March 12, 1946, he was the third of the late Hills and Mildred Howard’s 11 children.
When not working, Dr. Howard enjoyed tennis, watching football, investing in the stock market and updating his historic home in Detroit’s Boston-Edison neighborhood, his son said.
Other survivors include a daughter, Haleigh, and another son, Harlan.
Services are scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday at People’s Community Church, 8601 Woodward, Detroit.