Robert L. Lippa, former emergency room physician

Posted: January 11, 2012

Robert L. Lippa, 55, of Bala Cynwyd, a former emergency room physician at Lankenau Hospital, died Saturday, Jan. 7, of sudden cardiac arrest while rowing in a four-person shell during a morning practice on the Schuylkill.

The website of the Fairmount Rowing Association reported that, as a member for several years, Dr. Lippa "achieved a personal milestone last summer when he won a gold medal . . . at the Masters Nationals in Oklahoma City."

Born in Swampscott, Mass., Dr. Lippa earned a bachelor's degree in neuroscience at Amherst College in 1979 and graduated in 1983 from the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

His daughter, Sara, said he was an emergency room attending physician at what is now Heywood Hospital in Gardner, Mass., from 1986 to 1995 and held the same position at Lankenau from 1996 to 2007.

Since 2007, his daughter said, Dr. Lippa had worked at Hahnemann University Hospital, evaluating work-related injuries for WorkNet Occupational Medicine.

Since 2009, he had been a volunteer at Philadelphia Adaptive Rowing, a program that allows disabled people to row with special equipment, according to its website.

He had been a volunteer with the Spring Mountain Ski Patrol in Montgomery County since 2006.

Besides his daughter, Dr. Lippa is survived by his wife, Carol; sons Alex and Adam; and four sisters.

Visitations were set at D'Anjolell Memorial Home of Broomall, 2811 West Chester Pike, from 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 11, and from 11 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 12, before a noon memorial service there.

Contact staff writer Walter F. Naedele at 215-854-5607 or

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