Joel J. Alpert, M.D., FAAP, of Wayland, Mass., died of acute myeloid leukemia on Dec. 31. He was 83. While serving as AAP president in 1998-’99, he focused on access to health insurance for all children and improved tobacco and gun legislation.

Dr. Alpert pioneered pediatric primary care training, including at continuity clinic sites, community health centers and through development of a medical school curriculum that emphasized child development, advocacy and ambulatory issues.

He defined primary care in the 1973 book The Education of Physicians for Primary Care, which he authored with Evan Charney, M.D., FAAP. The definition was used by national organizations, including the Institute of Medicine.

“He loved to do primary care and was a skilled advocate for the most needy of his patients,” said Robert Haggerty, M.D., FAAP, who taught and later worked with Dr. Alpert at Boston Children’s Hospital. “The pediatric world has a...

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