An 85 year old physician who bikes to and from work every day, and swims a quarter of a mile every noontime?
That is Stanley Stamm who is one of Seattle's most beloved children's doctor.|
A heart specialist, he has practiced and taught at Seattle Children's Hospital for over 55 years.
As important as his medical expertise, is Dr. Stamm's passion for children with illnesses and disabilities to have fun, especially in the outdoors.
This passion led him to create a remarkable camp for patients of Children's Hospital, a camp that now bears his name.
Stamm grew up in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood attending Longfellow Grade School (now Meany Middle School) and Garfield High School.
He played football for the Bulldogs, but as he says, "my enthusiasm exceeded my level of skill."
After high school graduation in 1942, he spent a brief time at the University of Washington, before enlisting in the US Navy.
After discharge in 1946, Stamm married his high school sweetheart, Ruth.
He completed his undergraduate education at Seattle University and received his MD degree from St. Louis University.
After medical school he returned to Seattle for an internship at Harborview,
a pediatric residency at Children's Hospital, and a fellowship in the new field of pediatric cardiology.
For a time Stamm combined his work in cardiology with a general pediatric practice at the Sand Point Clinic,
where he developed a large and adoring clientele.
In 1963, he gave up his private practice and became a full-time cardiologist at Children's Hospital.
His combination of clinical skill, and sensitivity to children and parents,
has made him a legend to generations of medical students and pediatric residents.
The opportunity to spend an elective month training with Stamm continues to be treasured by residents.
Since only a limited number can be accommodated, the lucky few are chosen by lottery.
Every year the University of Washington Department of Pediatrics bestows the
Stanley Stamm Role Model in Medicine award to a physician on the faculty who emulates his values.
The Stamm Camp started in 1966 for children with asthma and cystic fibrosis and was held at Don Bosco Camp in Carnation.
After several years a new home was found at Sunset Lake Camp in Wilkeson, near the base of Mt. Rainier.
The camp now serves 100 children ages 6 to 14 with a wide range of disabilities and limitations;
including many in wheelchairs and some who breathe with the aid of respirators.
Activities include swimming, fishing, horseback riding, archery, arts and crafts, sports and games, music and more!
Except for the camp coordinator and cook, the 200 individuals who staff the camp are volunteers.
The guiding spirit of the camp continues to be Stanley Stamm.
He is present at every meal and does not go to sleep until every child is tucked in.
Stamm's passion for helping children with special needs is more than professional; his son Andy, now age 52, has autism.
He rarely talks of the struggles the family underwent in the days before the existence of autism of recognized.
Stamm's devoted wife Ruth died in 2001 and his oldest daughter Pam McNutt in 2008.
His daughter Leslie Boyer lives in Silverdale. He has 4 grandchildren.
On July 1, 2002 Dr. Abraham Bergman stepped down as chief of pediatrics at Harborview Medical Center
to devote his energies to improving health and early learning services for children in foster care,
and to create the Seattle Children's PlayGarden, a project in South Central Seattle
to serve children with physical and mental disabilities.|
He remains an attending physician at Harborview, teaching medical students and pediatric residents.
He is also an emeritus professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine,
where he joined the faculty in 1964.
Bergman was born in Seattle and attended Madrona Elementary School, Meany Middle School, and Garfield High School.
He graduated from Reed College in Portland in 1954 and received his medical degree from Western Reserve University in Cleveland in 1958.
Bergman was a pediatric resident at Boston Children's Hospital and St. Mary's Hospital (London),
and a Fellow in Pediatrics at the Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse.
For 19 years he was director of outpatient services at Children's Hospital, until moving to Harborview in 1983.
Bergman has changed his major research interest about every decade: first, health services, then sudden infant death syndrome,
and most recently, injury prevention.
For 40 years he has practiced "political medicine", defined as using the political process to improve the public's health.
On a national level he worked with former Washington State Senators Warren G. Magnuson and Henry M. Jackson
in the fields of consumer protection, child accident prevention, and Indian health.
This work resulted in such legislation as the Flammable Fabrics Act in 1967, the Poison Prevention Packaging Act of 1970,
the National Health Service Corps in 1972, the Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Act of 1974, and the Indian Health Care Improvement Act (1976).
Locally, Bergman worked to fluoridate Seattle's water supply (1968), and to create the Odessa Brown Children's Clinic (1970).
In 1985, he helped found the Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center (HIPRC)
devoted to research, education and prevention programs aimed at diminishing the personal impact of trauma
and broadening the effectiveness of injury prevention and trauma treatment programs regionally and nationwide.
This has led to his involvement in a variety of injury prevention issues including motorcycle and bicycle helmet usage,
drunken driving, and pedestrian safety.
He headed a bicycle helmet promotion campaign that raised usage rates among Seattle children from 3% to over 60% over a five year period.
Bergman is currently involved in a project with Casey Family Services to assist states to establish systems
that would provide comprehensive health services to children in foster care.
And in a 5 year old effort in Washington State to increase early learning program enrollment of 3-5 year children in foster care.
His proudest accomplishment is being the father of eight wonderful children, and two grandchildren. The youngest three, Pasha (16), Zhenya (14), and Yulia (11 ) were adopted at different times from orphanages in Russia.
Last updated Thursday, February 11th, 2010.
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