ROBERT SIFFERT

Obituary
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SIFFERT--Robert S., orthopedic surgeon, passed away peacefully at home on February 18. He was 96 years old. Dr. Siffert was the youngest and longest-serving Chair of the Department of Orthopedics at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City, serving for 26 years. In 1960, he was appointed Director of the Department. When the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine was created, he served as its first Professor and Chairman of Orthopedics. He was the first recipient of the Robert K. Lippmann Chair in Orthopedics. In 1986, he was named the Bernard J. Lasker/Robert S. Siffert Distinguished Service Professor. Dr. Siffert also was the Senior Orthopedic Consultant for the Department of Health of NYC. He published over 150 articles with major emphasis on research and clinical pediatric orthopedics. His book "How Your Child's Body Grows" was an accessible guide for parents. He was a fellow of many national and international orthopedic societies. He received numerous awards, including the Arthritis Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award, the Mt. Sinai Hospital Jacobi Medallion and the Richman Award for Humanism and Ethics. He also served as the Vice President of the National Easter Seals. Dr. Siffert worked with Care-Medico on month-long medical service missions teaching and delivering medical care in developing countries, including Tunisia, Kenya, Indonesia, Afghanistan, Peru and Haiti. Dr. Siffert insisted that he never retired but "graduated" to continue his research in osteoporosis and his work as a graphic artist. Dr. Siffert was an avid artist. His woodcuts were shown in New York and on Martha's Vineyard. Dozens of his woodcuts now hang on permanent display at the United States Courthouse in Manhattan and in the United States Supreme Court. Dr. Siffert served as Captain and Flight Surgeon in the U.S. Army Air Force in World War II, flying the "hump" between China, Burma and India. He received four Battle Stars. Dr. Siffert was predeceased by his wife, Miriam, of 67 years. He is survived by his daughter Joan, his son John (Goldie), his grandchildren Molly Ann Ouanes (Alexx), David and Matthew, as well as his partner Ruth Friendly. He will be missed profoundly by his family and all he touched. Donations may be made to the Department of Orthopedics, Mt. Sinai Medical Center.

Published in The New York Times on Feb. 20, 2015
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