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In Memoriam: Dr. Finberg led research in rehydration therapy :

February 24, 2016
Dr. FinbergDr. Finberg

Dr. Finberg led research in rehydration therapy

A pioneer in the understanding of salt and water balance and research on rehydration therapy in children, Laurence Finberg, M.D., FAAP, of San Francisco, died Jan. 22. He was 92.

Over his 50-year career, Dr. Finberg was dedicated to prevention and management of hyper- and hyponatremia, diabetic ketoacidosis and cerebral herniation as well as oral rehydration therapy. In the 1970s, he began pushing for lead testing in the environment where children live and play rather than waiting to find high levels in children’s blood.

Dr. Finberg was chair of the AAP Committees on Nutrition and Environmental Hazards. He was honored with the President’s Certificate for Outstanding Service in 1991 and the Samuel J. Fomon Nutrition Award in 1992. The American Medical Association recognized him with the Joseph B. Goldberger Award in Clinical Nutrition in 1993.

At the American Board of Pediatrics (ABP), Dr. Finberg served as president (1978), two terms on the Board of Directors, two terms as chair of the board and was an oral examiner and member of several committees. He also assisted the ABP in the transition between presidents in 1992.

He served on the Governor's Advisory Council to New York State Department of Health and was a consultant to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and the World Health Organization's Diarrheal Control Program.

After earning his undergraduate degree and M.D. (1946) from University of Chicago, Dr. Finberg served in the U.S. Public Health Service and completed his residency at Baltimore City Hospitals and Johns Hopkins Medical School. He was on faculty at Johns Hopkins from 1950-’63, followed by chair of pediatrics at Montefiore Hospital and professor of pediatrics at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He then became chair of pediatrics at State University of New York (SUNY) at Downstate in Brooklyn (1982-’94) and was dean of the School of Medicine at SUNY Downstate (1988-’91).

He is survived by his wife of 20 years, Joann Quane-Finberg, three children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He is predeceased by his first wife of 49 years, Harriet Levinson Finberg.


William H. Bergstrom, M.D., FAAP, of Syracuse, N.Y., died Jan. 16 at age 95.

Carolyn R. Denning, M.D., FAAP, of Englewood, N.J., died Jan. 10 at age 88.

Robin Goldman, M.D., FAAP, of Scarsdale, N.Y., died Jan. 20 at age 58.

Raymond B. Karasic, M.D., FAAP, of Wilmington, Del., died Jan. 19 at age 64.

David A. Levitsky, M.D., FAAP, of Jupiter, Fla., died Jan. 7 at age 91.

Robert Pittell, M.D., FAAP, of Hollywood, Fla., died Dec. 9 at age 85.

Elaine Ross, M.D., FAAP, of Orlando, Fla., died Dec. 31 at age 92.

Dowain Wright, M.D., Ph.D., FAAP, of Madera, Calif., died Jan. 11 at age 56.

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