Humanitarian Award recognizes lifelong service to society or to humankind and honors those who have provided extraordinary service to their community, demonstrating leadership through global or local service. The award honors those who have fulfilled the obligations of their education through creative citizenship and exemplary service leadership in ways that benefit society and bring credit to the institution.
Stephen Berman, MD, professor of Pediatrics in the University of Colorado School of Medicine, served most recently as the director of the Center for Global Health in the Colorado School of Public Health. Born in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, he graduated from Wesleyan University in Connecticut, after which he attended Temple University School of Medicine.
Upon finishing his year as Chief Resident in the Department of Pediatrics, Dr. Berman, along with his new wife Elaine, moved to Cali, Colombia, where he led a research program focused on acute respiratory infections. His time there marked the establishment of a lifelong commitment to international public health, particularly in Latin America.
Following two years of living abroad, Dr. Berman joined the University of Colorado School of Medicine Department of Pediatrics as a faculty member, becoming the General Academic Pediatrics’ youngest section head at the age of 34 in 1981. He was known for his advocacy work on behalf of children, with a special focus on those with complex medical needs.
Dr. Berman was also known for his contributions to teaching curricula, authoring four editions of his own pediatric textbook Pediatric Decision Making and publishing more than 100 peer-reviewed research articles and textbook chapters. Additionally, he served as editor for Global Child Health Advocacy: On the Front Lines and the disaster course manual Pediatrics in Disasters (PEDS), the latter of which was developed in collaboration with the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and World Health Organization (WHO). Dr. Berman was elected president of the American Academy of Pediatrics in 2000, during which time he launched an important pediatric disaster response training initiative.
In 2007, he became the inaugural Chair of General Pediatrics at Children’s Hospital Colorado, followed by the director of the Center for Global Health at the Colorado School of Public Health in 2011. Dr. Berman was a giant in the field of pediatrics and public health.
Steve carried out many international research projects and served as special advisor to WHO, PAHO, and US AID. He also served as a consultant to the Ministry of Health of many countries throughout the world. Throughout his illustrious career, Dr. Berman remained devoted to children in need and was an advocate for child health in many countries including Columbia, India and Guatemala, as well as many more.
He passed away in January of 2023, leaving behind a legacy of humanitarian service.