Paul J. Isakson, M.D.

  • Wednesday December 7, 2016
Share this Post:

October 26, 1937 �" September 25, 2016

Dr. Paul J. Isakson retired to Eagle Point, Oregon in 2009 and died from complications of renal failure with a significant antecedent renal sepsis at the Asante Medical Center in Medford, Oregon September 25, 2016.

Paul was born in St. Paul, Minnesota on October 26, 1937. His undergraduate education was at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota and he received his medical degree from the University of Minnesota School of Medicine in 1963. His internship and residency were done at the Southern Pacific Memorial Hospital in San Francisco. He served in the United States Navy at the Naval Hospital at St. Albans, Long Island, New York.

Paul was in private practice in San Francisco from 1969 �" with affiliations at Davies Medical Center, St. Francis Memorial Hospital, St. Mary's Hospital, and the Sutter Group of Hospitals �" through the time that he assumed the role of medical director at Laguna Honda Hospital on a full-time basis. He was appointed to the Mayor's Long Term Care Coordinating Council in 2004 and the Laguna Honda Hospital Assisted Living Advisory Group in 2006. In retirement he enjoyed his passion for gardening and being with his second life partner, James Johnson. His first life partner, Robert Noeltner, died of lung cancer several years prior. Paul always considered himself the luckiest person on earth to have been blessed with two such meaningful and fulfilling relationships.

Paul was a committed clinician of the highest order and developed a professional, caring, and continual relationship with all he served over his years of practice and his administrative roles at Laguna Honda Hospital. During the AIDS crisis he was on the forefront of new therapies including the AZT trials and subsequent therapies. His commitment to the LGBTQ community was unwavering through his many years in practice and while in command at Laguna Honda Hospital. Additionally, Paul loved committee work at all his hospitals and never faltered in his commitment to the best medical care possible by whatever changes might be made for improvement.

A memorial was held at Laguna Honda Hospital October 5 at which time many colleagues, nurses, staff, and friends recounted their experiences with him over a lifetime of service to the patients and friends he loved and to the city of his dreams, San Francisco.

A fund will be established for recognition in his honor at Laguna Honda Hospital. Please contact Dr. Jerome Goldstein regarding the Paul J. Isakson memorial. Contributions can be made to the Diversity Foundation of San Francisco ( or contact Goldstein at [email protected] or (415) 279-6952 for more information.