Sunday, February 8, 2009

Rest in Peace Dr. William Cohen

I found out yesterday that the Down Syndrome Community has lost a wonderful doctor. Dr. William Cohen of Childrens Hospital in Pittsburgh died Friday evening of a massive heart attack. Its with a very sad heart that I must say Good Bye. He was by far the most caring, passionate about Down Syndrome, passionate about families, passionate about advocating and educating Down Syndrome man I'm sure we will ever meet. Because we have twins when we go to meet with him we get four hours of his time. One might think that a four hour doctors appointment might sound excruciating but it was very far from it. We enjoyed every minute of it. He listened to us, asks questions and offered advice, then he played with boys a bit, did a medical evaluation and then came back and recapped the appointment with us and made recommendations for what to do next.

This is what I read from today:

"Dr. Bill Cohen, national leader in the Down syndrome movement and dear friend of the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS), died on February 6, 2009. He touched the hearts of families around the country and was a respected colleague to all physicians who knew him. Dr. Cohen was serving on the NDSS Clinical Advisory Board.

As a developmental-behavioral pediatrician, Dr. Cohen was the director of the Down Syndrome Center at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. He was the co-founder and co-chair of the Down Syndrome Medical Interest Group (DSMIG) which produced the seminal healthcare guidelines for all persons with Down syndrome, ages 0-18. He also co-authored the book, Down Syndrome: Visions for the 21st Century, published in 2002 on behalf of the NDSS. For all of these visionary efforts, he was given a Clinical Service Award by the NDSS in 2004.

His colleagues remember him best for his seemingly endless amount of joy, his eager willingness to share best practices, and his earnest belief that all people with Down syndrome deserve the best from their medical providers and society, at large.

In addition to his work on Down syndrome, Dr. Cohen was a leader in teaching and studying doctor-patient communication, family adaptation to chronic medical conditions, clinical hypnosis, and family therapy. He was a clinical member of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Society for Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, Ambulatory Pediatric Association, and the American Balint Society.

The world will continue to change positively because of Dr. Cohen’s lasting impressions. The NDSS family misses him intensely and will be grateful to him forever."

And when you have some time it is VERY much worth every minute to watch this video of his last presentation with the NDSS:

Prayers go out to his family, co-workers and the all of his patients who feel such a loss of a great doctor that will be impossible to replace.



Penny Green said...

Just read the news about Bill Cohen on your blog, what a sad loss to the DS community, he was a wonderful man!

Whilst I'm here I'd also like to say that it's the first time I've visited and I think your boys are adorable. Here in the UK I ahve known a set of twins with DS since they were tiny and watching them grow up has been a true delight.

I'll be back to visit again.

Penny Green
Down's Heart Group

amy flege said...

so sad and huge loss to our DS community as well!!

Anonymous said...

sorry to hear that hopefully he was able to inspire someone to follow in his foot steps to service the DS community the way it deserves.