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In Memoriam: NYAM Fellow Clarence E. Pearson, MD

Dr. Thomas Morris, Dr. Jo Ivey Boufford, Laurie Norris, and Dr. Clarence Pearson at the 2010 John Stearns Legacy Society Luncheon at NYAM

The New York Academy of Medicine mourns the loss of Dr. Clarence E. Pearson, a longtime Fellow and champion of NYAM.

"As a writer, consummate networker and generous friend and colleague, Clarence eagerly shared his expertise in global health and aging in support of NYAM's work promoting urban health and spreading Age-friendly Cities worldwide. We will miss him," said Jo Ivey Boufford, MD, NYAM President.

Dr. Pearson was also a dedicated member of the initial private-public sector coalition established in 1979 by Dr. John Waller at NYAM that led to the creation of its Office of School Health Programs. Initially representing the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, Dr. Pearson served on the NYAM Office of School Health Programs Advisory Committee for the last 35 years, providing his wisdom and advocacy, and engaging the steadfast support of MetLife Foundation to bring additional health resources to public school children and their families.

"With an unfailing generosity of spirit, Clarence shared his expertise and networking abilities to help NYAM secure public funding to institutionalize 'Growing Healthy in New York City,' a comprehensive health education program for public elementary school students citywide," said Joanne de Simone Eichel, Director of the Office of School Health Programs.

Dr. Pearson and his wife, Laurie Norris, made a generous endowment gift to NYAM in 2011 in memory of Laurie’s sister Alison, a nephrologist known for her deep commitment to patient care. The gift established the biennial Alison Norris Nephrology Symposium and annual Alison Norris Nephrology Fellows’ Night at NYAM. The symposium informs health professionals and the general public about the emotional, ethical and end-of-life challenges facing patients with renal failure, and aims to make patients’ voices heard. The Fellows’ Night continues NYAM’s collaboration with the New York Society of Nephrology to support professional education in nephrology. 

Dr. Pearson's career spanned 60 years and included posts as Founding President and CEO of the National Center for Health Education, Senior Advisor to the World Health Organization's Office at the United Nations, and Vice President and Director of Health and Safety Education for MetLife. He served on the boards of AARP, American Federation for Aging Research (AFAR), International Federation on Ageing, and the Board of Overseers of the Dartmouth Medical School's C. Everett Koop Institute. His numerous honors included the International Health Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Public Health Association.

Dr. Pearson's legacy is the people he mentored and advised during his multifaceted life, including interns he and Laurie support through patient advocacy and worldview internships. Donations, in lieu of flowers, may be made to AFAR/Clarence Pearson Internship Fund, c/o AFAR, 55 West 39 St., 16th Fl., New York, NY 10018.

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Posted on June 16, 2014

Gina Ravosa
Director of Marketing & Communications
The New York Academy of Medicine
1216 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10029
(212) 822-7285


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