Richard A. Ehrenkranz, MD, 72, of Hamden, CT, died peacefully at Connecticut Hospice on August 8, 2018 from complications related to metastatic rectal cancer. He was surrounded by his family and close friends throughout the final stages of his illness. Dr. Ehrenkranz was a neonatologist and an international leader in the field of infant nutrition and clinical research. He spent his 42-year academic and clinical career at Yale University School of Medicine. He is remembered as a generous colleague who had a remarkable ability to present complex topics in a clear and memorable way. As news of his advancing illness spread, he received countless emails from mentees, students and peers thanking him for being an inspirational leader who was always willing to share his time and knowledge.
Dr Ehrenkranz also shone clinically. His patients and their families benefitted from holistic and compassionate care that led many of them to stay in contact with him year after year. In the week before his death, he received an email from a patient thanking him for saving his life in 1979. Despite having seen more than 20,000 patients over the course of his career, Dr. Ehrenkranz remembered both the patient's name and diagnosis without hesitation. "My patients have given so much to me," he said.
Dr. Ehrenkranz was born July 28, 1946 in Newark, NJ, to Robert and Miriam Ehrenkranz. He grew up in West Orange, NJ and, after graduating West Orange Mountain High School in 1964, he attended Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA (1964-1968). He then received his MD from Downstate Medical Center, State University of New York (1968-1972). Following medical school, he trained in pediatrics at Yale-New Haven Medical Center, New Haven, CT (1972-1974) and then spent 2 years at the Pregnancy Research Center, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institute of Health, Bethesda, MD.
Dr. Ehrenkranz returned to New Haven, CT in July 1976 and performed a Neonatology Fellowship in the Department of Pediatrics, Yale University School of Medicine from 1976-1978. He joined the faculty of Yale Medical School in July 1978, was promoted to Professor of Pediatrics in 1988, and remained an active member of the Department until June 2018. He directed Yale's School of Medicine Neonatal Intensive Care Unit's (NICU) Clinical Research Program and was the NICU's Clinical Director (1982-2004) and Medical Director (2004-2012). He was the Interim Director of the NICU, Yale-New Haven Hospital from 2012-2015.
Dr. Ehrenkranz continued to live his life fully after his diagnosis in 2010, inspiring others with his courage and dignity until the end. He is preceded in his death by his parents, Robert and Miriam. He is survived by his beloved wife Susan, whom he married in 2000 and with whom he built a wonderful life full of family, friends, gardening, travel, and dinner parties. He is also survived by his sister Cheryl and her partner Stuart Motew; his sons and their families: Jeff and Brianne and their children Seamus and Rory; Peter and Callista and their children Aviva and Franklin; and his step-sons and their wives: Thomas Cohn III, Nicholas Cohn and Benvy Caldwell, and Andrew Cohn and Jennifer Tierney.
To celebrate Richard's life, a memorial service will be held at Yale University's Battell Chapel, 400 College St, New Haven, CT at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, August 19, 2018.
In lieu of flowers, please make contributions to: Department of Pediatrics, Section of Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine, 333 Cedar Street/PO Box 208064, New Haven, CT 06520-8064, or Connecticut Hospice, Inc, 100 Double Beach Road, Branford, CT 06405. To sign the online guestbook please visit hawleylincolnmemorial.com