Dr. Lucey brought many firsts to Pediatrics, AAP, profession
TrishaKorioth, Staff Writer
A pioneering neonatologist, editor, mentor and advocate for children whose name was
at the top of the Pediatrics masthead for more than three decades, Jerold F. Lucey, M.D., FAAP, opened many doors
for the AAP journal and the field of pediatrics.
Dr. Lucey, of Burlington, Vt., and Osprey, Fla., died at age 91 on Dec. 10.
His accomplishments spanned beyond 34 years of Pediatrics’ successes while he was the longest-serving editor in chief and beyond the lifesaving
advances in neonatology he uncovered as a researcher.
Dr. Lucey’s work helped introduce the use of phototherapy for jaundice in the U.S.,
as well transcutaneous oxygen monitoring and artificial surfactant treatment.
After a sabbatical in the National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit in Oxford, England,
in the 1980s, he established the Vermont Oxford Network, a research and trials network
that links over 1,200 neonatal intensive care nurseries around the world.
A snapshot of his life and career highlights are captured in a 2002 AAP Oral History
by Lawrence M. Gartner, M.D., FAAP (http://bit.ly/LuceyHistory).
“If you just looked at his achievements as a neonatologist or his achievements as
an editor or his achievements as an advocate for children, each of those would say
he’s a remarkable man. When they all come from the same person, it makes him an extraordinary
individual,” said Lewis R. First, M.D., FAAP, Pediatrics editor who Dr. Lucey recruited as a Pediatrics editorial board member.
Dr. Lucey also was “incredibly humble and real,” Dr. First said. “He answered his
own phones, and his door was always open for someone to come in and sit down and talk
with him about anything and everything.”
Over 34 years, Dr. Lucey took Pediatrics to the top as the most-cited pediatric peer-reviewed journal. It remains in the top
100 journals of all time out of 20,000 registered medical journals and is translated
into multiple languages. Pediatrics also was the first pediatric journal online.
“It has never been a job; it’s been an honor and a privilege to be the editor-in-chief
of Pediatrics,” Dr. Lucey wrote before he retired on Jan. 1, 2009 (http://bit.ly/2l7v16x).
For 50-plus years, Dr. Lucey worked at the University of Vermont (UVM) Robert Larner,
M.D. College of Medicine and Medical Center. As UVM’s second pediatric hire, he helped
pediatrics Chair James McKay, M.D., FAAP, expand the department and established Vermont’s
first neonatal unit. Dr. Lucey was Harry Wallace Professor of Neonatology, and in
2008, UVM created a professorship in neonatology in his name. In 2011, he was named
the UVM University Distinguished Professor of Pediatrics.
Dr. Lucey served in the Navy and attended Dartmouth College. He earned his medical
degree from NYU Medical School and completed an internship at Bellevue Hospital and
Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center. His residency was at Babies Hospital and research
fellowship at Harvard Medical School and Children’s Medical Center.
He served as chair of the AAP Committee on Fetus and Newborn and was a member of the
Section on Perinatal Pediatrics.
Dr. Lucey earned numerous honors, including the Clifford G. Grulee Award (1981), Virginia
Apgar Award (1993), Lifetime Achievement Award (1997) and Neonatal Education Award
(1997) from the Academy; the Alfred I. duPont Award for Excellence in Children’s Health
Care from the Nemours Foundation (2007); American Pediatric Society John Howland Award
(2009); National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine (IOM) Senior Membership
(2000) and IOM Gustav O. Lienhard Award (2011).
Dr. Lucey loved chocolate chip cookies, the Celtics basketball team, current events
and most of all, his family. He is survived by his wife, Ingela, four children, four
grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
“He really prided himself on being a teacher, mentor, friend to so many of us who
carry his pediatric legacy forward,” Dr. First said. “He’s in every one of us who
had the pleasure to know and work with him each and every day.”