You’re invited to a festschrift, tribute to Dr. Gregory Liptak

Former colleagues and national leaders in the field developmental disabilities in children will gather Saturday, March 24 for a festschrift to pay tribute to Gregory S. Liptak, MD, MPH, a member of the Upstate Medical University faculty who died March 4 at age 65.

The festschrift, writings presented in memory of a scholar, will be held in the Kinney Performance Center, located on the 11th floor of Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital.  The program, which is free and open to the public, will run from 1 to 4:30 p.m. and feature presentations on issues ranging from autism to Down syndrome from Upstate faculty and others, including Upstate’s Henry Roane, PhD; visiting faculty Susan Hyman, MD, University of Rochester Medical Center; Nancy Roizen, MD, Case Western Reserve University; George Worley, MD, Duke University Medical Center; and Laura Lee McIntyre, PhD, Oregon Health Sciences University. Elizabeth McArnaney, MD, Dr. Liptak’s former chair at the University of Rochester Medical Center, will make brief remarks. Thomas McInerney, MD, president-elect of the American Academy of Pediatrics, will make a special presentation honoring Dr. Liptak’s service to pediatrics.

Upstate Pediatrics Chief Thomas R. Welch, MD, said Liptak was already one of the nation’s leading experts in the care of children with disabilities when he joined the Upstate faculty in 2006.

“His national reputation grew during his time at Upstate,” Dr. Welch said. “He grew our small developmental disabilities program into the Center for Development, Genetics, and Behavior, providing multidisciplinary care for children with a range of physical and mental challenges. He displayed a great talent at energizing groups of clinicians to move into new areas, and developed collaborations with individuals at Syracuse University and other SUNY campuses.

“But it was Greg’s dedication to patients that was legendary, and the last few weeks of his life simply exemplified this,” Dr. Welch said.

Dr. Liptak battled an aggressive form of cancer for more than a year, and continued to see patients during his final weeks, often in significant pain.

Plans to honor Liptak were under way before his death. “Greg had every hope of attending this tribute,” Dr. Welch said.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has created a website to collect memories and tributes to Dr. Liptak: Remembering Greg.

Individuals planning to attend the festschrift, must RSVP to Cherlynn Clarry at 315-464-5451.

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