Joel J. Alpert, MD
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. - Joel J. Alpert, MD, of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., Wayland, Mass., and East Parsonsfield, professor and chair Emeritus of the Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) Department of Pediatrics, assistant dean for student affairs, member of the BUSM Dean's Advisory Board (DAB), and chief of Pediatrics at Boston Medical Center (BMC) died on Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013, of leukemia, at the age of 83.
He was born on May 9, 1930, loving son of the late Herman and Alice (Jacobs) Alpert. Dr. Albert is the beloved husband of Barbara (Wasserstrom) Alpert; devoted father of Norman Alpert and his wife Jane of Purchase, N.Y., Mark Alpert and his wife Michelle of Canton, Mass., Deborah Levin and her husband Steven of Wellesley, Mass.; adored grandfather of Caroline, Erin, Heidi, Adam and Natalie Alpert, Joshua and Zachary Levin and Samantha Alpert; and dear brother of Edith Slossberg and her husband Burton of Hamden, Conn. He is also survived by many nieces and nephews.
Dr. Alpert was a recognized leader in pediatrics. During his 42 years at BUSM and BMC (and its precursor Boston City Hospital) he pioneered pediatric primary care training, including continuity clinic sites at community health centers and the development of a curriculum that emphasized child development, advocacy and community care. BUMC's pediatric resident training in primary care in health centers was among the first in the United States.
A graduate of Hillhouse High School, New Haven, Conn., Class of 1948, Yale College Class of 1952 and Harvard Medical School Class of 1956, Dr. Alpert completed his residency at Boston Children's Hospital and also trained as an Exchange Registrar at St. Mary's Hospital in London, UK from 1958 until 1959. He then served as Captain in the U.S. Army
at Ft. Leavenworth, Kan., from 1959 to 1961 and joined the Harvard faculty in 1961. He became professor and chair of the Department of Pediatrics at BUSM and Boston City Hospital in 1972.
Dr. Alpert served as president of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), where he received the AAP Job Lewis Smith Award in Community Pediatrics in 1994. He also served as president of the Ambulatory Pediatric Association (APA) and received the APA George Armstrong Award in 1992, the APA Lifetime Career Achievement Award in 2000, and the APA Public Policy and Advocacy Award in 2002. In 1992 the Massachusetts Poison Control System presented Dr. Alpert
Joel J. Alpert, MD
with a Lifetime Achievement Award and in 1998, he received the prestigious Pew Foundation Award for Achievement in Primary Care-Education.
A member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences (IOM), Dr. Alpert served on the IOM Governing Council and was the pediatric clinician on the IOM Task Force on the Future of Primary Care. He was a member of the Society for Pediatric Research, Alpha Omega Alpha (Boston University) and the American Pediatric Society, and an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Pediatrics and Child Health (London).
He authored numerous publications, including The Education of Physicians for Primary Care (1974), which included the definition of primary care adopted by the Bureau of Health Professions for Title VII training in general medicine, family medicine and pediatrics.
In 2000, Dr. Alpert and his wife Barbara established the Joel and Barbara Alpert Professorship in Pediatrics at BUSM with the support of the Alpert family, the Department of Pediatrics, and their colleagues and friends. The professorship is held by the chair of the Department of Pediatrics. The first incumbent was Barry Zuckerman, MD, from 2000 to 2013. Robert Vinci, MD, was installed as the second Alpert Professor in June 2013. The Alperts also established the Children of the City Fund at BMC in 2000 to support early career pediatric researchers who study issues of importance to inner-city children served by the hospital.
Services will be held at Temple Isaiah, 55 Lincoln St., Lexington, Mass., on Monday, Jan. 6, at 10 a.m. Burial will follow at Westview Cemetery, 520 Bedford St., Lexington. Memorial observance will be at the home of Deborah and Steven Levin following burial until 4 p.m., continuing on Monday evening from 7-9 p.m., then on Tuesday and Wednesday from 1:30-4 p.m.and 7-9 p.m. with services at 7:30 p.m. Memorial observance will also be at the home of Norman and Jane Alpert in Purchase, N.Y., on Wednesday, Jan. 8, and Thursday, Jan. 9, from 5:30-9 p.m., with services at 7 p.m. Minyan services will take place at the home of Norman Alpert on Thursday morning, Jan. 9, at 7 a.m., and Friday morning, Jan. 10, at 7 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to:
The Joel and Barbara Alpert
Children of the City Fund @ Boston
University School of Medicine
850 Harrison Ave., 5th Floor
Boston, Massachusetts 02118
or to a
Levine Chapels, Brookline