Dr Fred Daum is the 2009 recipient of the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition (NASPGHAN) Distinguished Service Award. Fred is currently a professor of pediatrics and a clinical scholar in the School of Medicine at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and the chief of the Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology at Winthrop Hospital in Mineola, NY.
Fred was born and raised in Boston. He received his undergraduate degree at Harvard, and his MD at the Tufts University School of Medicine. He came to New York for training in pediatrics, completing his residency at Bronx Municipal Hospital. After a stint in the army, he returned to New York for a fellowship in adolescent medicine at Montefiore Medical Center. It was here that Fred's interests gravitated to pediatric gastroenterology. In the mid 1970s, while serving as an attending physician in the Division of Adolescent Medicine at Montefiore, he was named the physician-in-charge of the pediatric gastroenterology service.
Shortly thereafter, he was recruited by Dr Mervin Silverberg, the first president of what was then known as the North American Society of Pediatric Gastroenterology, to develop a division of pediatric gastroenterology at North Shore Hospital, a small community hospital on Long Island (New York). Although the Department of Pediatrics at North Shore included only 6 full-time physicians when Fred arrived in 1977, he quickly recognized that the New York metropolitan area deserved world-class academic physicians dedicated to treating children with gastroenterological problems. Within a year of arriving at North Shore, he established an academic fellowship-training program in pediatric gastroenterology. As early as 1980, the fellowship required 3 years of full-time training in pediatric gastroenterology, more than half of the time devoted to clinical or basic research.
Fred is recognized both nationally and internationally as a superlative clinician and diagnostician. He is widely known for treating the whole child rather than the clinical diagnosis. Focusing on the importance of the psychosocial context of a child's complaint, he attempts to heal families, not just patients. His clinical interests span a wide gamut of topics from cholestatic liver disease to constipation. He has a well-deserved reputation as an expert in the care of children with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and was an early pioneer in the use of nutritional and immunomodulatory therapies for the treatment of children with these difficult, chronic diseases. He was among the first in North America to develop a center devoted to the care of children with IBD, and viewed the Center for Pediatric Ileitis and Colitis at North Shore University Hospital as both a model for the multidisciplinary care of children with IBD and a resource to promote the finest research in the field.
He has always viewed his clinical experiences through the eyes of an academician and published a wide variety of articles in prestigious peer-reviewed journals based on the lessons learned from clinical practice. He has also edited 3 textbooks, including a textbook of pediatric gastroenterology edited with Mervin Silverberg, MD, and another on biliary atresia edited with Stanley Fisher, MD.
Fred's clinical expertise is only exceeded by his capability as a teacher. He has trained countless postgraduate fellows, pediatric residents, and medical students. I am lucky to have had the opportunity to be 1 of them. Although his lectures are scholarly and insightful, he really shines in small groups in which he can teach trainees how to think and apply their knowledge to the benefit of their patients. Those of us who have been fortunate enough to be 1 of Fred's trainees or colleagues have further experienced the benefit of his attention to our career development. Fred has always put the advancement of his trainees and colleagues first and his own needs second. His creativity and drive ignite those around him to undertake challenges that serve to advance their own careers.
At the time that Fred established his pediatric gastrointestinal fellowship program, the field was in its infancy, with no formal certification process or standardized approach to the training of fellows. Fred advocated for national academic standards and contributed greatly to the early development of NASPGHAN's standards as chair of the training committee, as well as during 2 terms on the NASPGHAN executive council. Throughout his career, he has been an advocate for children and the field of pediatric gastroenterology. He has served as the NASPGHAN representative to a variety of organizations, including the Coalition of Digestive Disease Disorders, the National Institutes of Health Clearinghouse for Digestive Diseases, the National Digestive Advisory Board, and the American College of Gastroenterology. He has also served as the first Chair of the American College of Gastroenterology's Committee on Pediatric Gastroenterology, as a pediatric consultant to the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America, and on the Medical Advisory Board of the Children's Liver Foundation. In each of these roles, he has steadfastly argued on behalf of children and stressed the unique role that pediatric gastroenterologists must play in managing the gastrointestinal problems of childhood.
I can honestly say, however, that despite these achievements, Fred's passion has always been, and will always remain, his family. He is happily married to Michelle and has 5 children and 2 grandchildren. No matter how busy his day may be, he has always found time to be at 1 of their tennis matches, soccer games, or hockey tournaments. He has taught all of us that work and family can, and should, be balanced, and those of us who have had the privilege of working for and with him are the better for this role model. Thanks Fred, and congratulations on this prestigious award.