Pediatrician Wins Eliot Award

Will lecture on “The Practice of Political Medicine,” on February 7, at 7 p.m.

By Kevin Myers | January 31, 2018

Established on the occasion of Reed’s centennial, the Thomas Lamb Eliot Award recognizes distinguished and sustained achievement by a Reed College graduate. This year’s honor goes to Dr. Abraham “Abe” Bergman from the class of 1954.

Dr. Bergman has dedicated his career to the health and safety of underserved children. His research focused on sudden infant death syndrome, pediatric manpower, and injury prevention. In his long career as a pediatrician, Dr. Bergman saw many cases of children suffering from potentially preventable conditions; in response, he began the practice of “political medicine,” a term Bergman coined to describe the art of persuading lawmakers to pass legislation for the improvement of children's health.

Dr. Bergman is professor emeritus of pediatrics at the University of Washington's Harborview Medical Center, where he served as chief of pediatrics from 1983–2002. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from Reed College and his Doctor of Medicine from Case Western Reserve University and served in the U.S. Public Health Service before joining the faculty at University of Washington. He is the author of 93 peer-reviewed journal articles and 10 books.

Bergman will present a talk, “The Practice of Political Medicine,” on Wednesday, February 7, at 7 p.m. in Reed College’s Vollum lecture hall. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Past recipients of the Eliot Award include:

2015–2016: Mark Ptashne ’61, Ludwig Professor of Molecular Biology, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Institute

2014–2015: Arlene Blum ’66, consultant, Arlene Blum Lectures

2013–2014: Gary Snyder ’51, writer

2012–2013: Barbara Ehrenreich ’63, author

2010–2011: Richard Danzig ’65, director, Center for a New American Security