Joseph Warshaw, former chair of Pediatrics at the Yale School of Medicine and, more recently, dean of the University of Vermont College of Medicine, died Dec. 29, 2003 of multiple myeloma in Burlington, Vt. He was 67.
Warshaw was an international expert on developmental biology and neonatal medical care and served as chair of pediatrics at the School of Medicine from 1987 until 2000. He was also deputy dean for clinical affairs and physician-in-chief during his time at Yale.
Though Warshaw was known professionally for furthering understanding of the way organs mature differently in normal and diabetic pregnancies, his large family remembers him fondly as a person, his daughter Debbie Gould said.
The Florida native was very close with his family. He is survived by his wife Cynthia; daughters Gould and Kathy Meyer; his son Austin; his mother Mona; a sister, Staci Brenner; brothers Howard and Ira; and six grandchildren.
“He was just a bigger than life kind of person,” Gould said. “He was one of those rare people that had an incredible zest for life and was curious about all people.”
Warshaw’s long list of professional achievements includes over 100 scientific papers, six books and the initiation of both a combined M.D./Ph.D. program and a new medical curriculum at the University of Vermont. He also served as a driving force in the creation of a separate children’s hospital at Yale-New Haven Hospital.
“He was very proud of the role he had in spearheading the children’s hospital at Yale,” Gould said.
During his long career, Warshaw was also a professor and chair of Pediatrics at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, an associate professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and program director of the Developmental Medicine Training Program at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.
After receiving a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Florida, Warshaw attended Duke University for medical school and performed his residency at Duke and the University of Rochester. He served as president of the Society for Pediatric Research, council chair for the American Pediatric Society and chairman of the Board of Trustees of the International Pediatric Research Foundation. He was also on the boards of three major research hospitals.
University of Vermont Provost John Bramley praised Warshaw’s character on the university’s Web site.
“His tremendous courage, determination, good humor and compassion were a lesson for all of us, and we will long remember his optimism and constant good cheer,” Bramley said.