Steven Winkler

b. December 4, 1953

Steven Winkler grew up in Dalton, Georgia, a small Jewish community outside Chattanooga, Tennessee. He graduated from Darlington School, a private high school in Rome, Georgia. Winkler attended Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, and did graduate work at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. His career has been in health and hospital administration in facilities throughout the South. In 1984, Steven came to Louisiana to work for Baton Rouge General Hospital and worked as a hospital administrator before Hurricane Katrina. He has also been actively involved with the Jewish Federation of Greater Baton Rouge. Steven and his wife Monica have three kids. Following Katrina, Steven led restoration efforts at Beth Israel Synagogue, assisted evacuees with insurance and medicare claims, and worked with the Louisiana Family Assistance Center to locate and reunite displaced family members.

Scope and Content Note

Steven shares his family history, educational background, and experiences growing up Jewish in the South. He grew up a Conservative Jew in Dalton, Georgia, with a small Jewish community. Steven talks about his career path as a hospital administrator and coming to Baton Rouge for a position with Baton Rouge General in 1984. Shortly before Hurricane Katrina, both Steven and his wife, a former emergency room nurse, were let go from their jobs, so they were able to help with the recovery efforts. They helped set up a surge hospital at a K-Mart in Baton Rouge and worked closely with the coroner's office. Steven describes the medical issues that patients were being treated for – skin conditions, lack of medicine, diabetes, hypertension, and those who had lost or been displaced from families. Steven tells the story of rescuing Torahs from synagogues in the city with a fellow Katrina's Jewish Voices interviewee, Richard Lipsey. During Hurricane Rita, Steven became more closely involved with recovery efforts through the Jewish Federation of Greater Baton Rouge. Finally, Steven reflects on his passion for medical care and hospital systems that help the whole of society.

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How to cite this page

Oral History of Steven Winkler. Interviewed by Rosalind Hinton. 28 November 2006. Jewish Women's Archive. (Viewed on February 23, 2024) <http://jwa.org/oralhistories/winkler-steven>.

Oral History of Steven Winkler by the Jewish Women's Archive is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at https://jwa.org/contact/OralHistory.