Dr. George Gershon Sterne
1932 - 2017
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George Gershon Sterne, MD died in Seattle, WA. from complications of multiple myeloma. He was born in Albany, Georgia on March 7, 1932 to Lee M. Sterne and Carolyn Gershon Sterne. He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Sylvia Stahl Sterne and their children Mark Shabot Sterne (Pilar) of San Francisco, CA., Steven Gary Sterne (Jennifer Lynn Dice) of Seattle, WA., and Susan Frances Sterne (Peter Kellers) of Portland, OR., and grandchildren Juliana Rae Kushinka, Olivia Marie Sterne and Aaron Guthrie Sterne. He is the brother of Lee M. Sterne, Jr, Pauline Sterne Schochet and Carla Sterne Linn (Steve) and the late Frances Sterne Weintraub. He was a graduate of Tulane University and Tulane University School of Medicine (1956). He interned at Charity Hospital of New Orleans before becoming a Captain in the U.S. Air Force and serving as a Pediatrician at the 3555th USAF Hospital at Perrin Air Force Base, Texas. He chose to return to New Orleans Charity Hospital to be a Tulane pediatric resident under the esteemed department chair Ralph Platou, MD. He was co-chief resident in 1960-61, after which he joined the pediatric practice of Joseph Diaz and Henry Simon and became a partner in Diaz-Simon-Sterne, later named Napolean Pediatrics. He retired from practice in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina, but resumed practicing part-time in the emergency room at Children's Hospital of New Orleans from 2007 until 2014 at which time he fully retired, having practiced medicine for over 53 years. Dr. Sterne was affiliated with Touro Infirmary(medical executive committee 1972-78), Memorial Hospital, Lakeside Hospital for Women(Chair NICU Committee 1977-88), Children's Hospital of New Orleans(Chief Pediatrics 1977-79), and East Jefferson Hospital. He was a member of the American Medical Association, a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Orleans Parish Medical Society, the Louisiana State Medical Society, the New Orleans Graduate Medical Assembly(1970-1982) and the American Public Health Association(1988-2004). He was deeply involved in the Academy of Pediatrics Committee of Early Childhood and Dependent Care from 1984-93, and chaired the subcommittee on Adoption and Dependent Care. He helped the Academy develop national standards for day care. He also spent many years teaching pediatric residents at Tulane Medical School and hosting them in his practice through the Community Medicine Program. His honors include membership in Alpha Omega Alpha, the Owls Club Teaching Award at Tulane Medical School, the Alfred E. Clay Award for Outstanding Service to Children of the Children's Bureau of New Orleans, the AMA Physician Recognition Award and the Greater New Orleans Section of the National Council of Jewish Women's "Dare to Care about Kids" Award for his work in early childhood care. He served on the board of directors of Agenda for Children and was a president of the board of Children's Bureau 1971-72. Other community service included advising the Red Cross, Newcomb Nursery School, Jewish Community Center Nursery Committee and Jewish Children's Regional Service. He was part of the Louisiana Immunization Network and served on the LA Office of Public Health Measles Immunization Committee. He held editorial positions on several academic journals. He was an early physician participant in the establishment of Head Start in New Orleans and later because the state coordinator of medical consultants for Louisiana Head Start. He also served as consultant to the LA Handicapped Children's Program from 1971-82. Dr. Sterne was an avid reader, thinker and humanitarian; a man who believed in the power of ideas and in the hope that people would choose to do good. For him, God was the "ultimate source of hydrogen atoms," a force that set in motion the events that led to life and to humanity-but that having begun the process, this force no longer took an active interest. The essence of his humanitarianism is the belief that if there is to be good in the world, we must take an active part in doing good. In his retirement, he enjoyed summers in Seattle with his family, especially his grandchildren, walking in Audubon Park, his weekly poker game, his book group and his Wednesday and Friday lunch gatherings where he enjoyed being with his close friends, He was never at a loss for a joke or a sharp witticism. A memorial service will be held in New Orleans at a later date. Kindly omit flowers. Donations in memory of Dr. Sterne may be made to the American Academy of Pediatrics, 141 Northwest Point Blvd, Elk Grove, Il. 60007-1098, Planned Parenthood, 4636 So. Claiborne Avenue, New Orleans, La. 70125, or the New Orleans Public Library Foundation, 938 Lafayette Street, Suite 322, New Orleans, La. 70113. Tharp-Sontheimer Funeral Home, 1600 No. Causeway Blvd, Metairie, La. 70001

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Published in The New Orleans Advocate from Nov. 11 to Nov. 12, 2017.
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