On December 10, 2017, Jerold F. Lucey, MD, Professor Emeritus of Pediatrics, passed away and with his passing we lost a hero, a mentor, and friend to our journal and to the thousands of authors, reviewers, editorial board members, and our readers, who benefited from his many contributions not just to our journal but to the field of neonatology and the broader field of pediatrics.
Jerry Lucey’s work as a neonatologist led to some of the most significant discoveries in this unique pediatric specialty that he helped grow and develop. He introduced phototherapy in this country for the treatment of jaundiced infants, as well as transcutaneous oxygen monitoring, and conducted the first randomized trial of artificial surfactant in the United States, leading many premature infants to breathe normally and no longer suffer from respiratory distress syndrome. His vision of the importance of collaborating with other neonatal intensive care units led to his founding the Vermont Oxford Neonatal Network. This network, now composed of over 1200 neonatal intensive care units in this country and around the world, has been responsible for landmark improvements in the overall quality of care to premature infants.
For readers ofPediatrics, Dr. Lucey also served for a record 34 years as the editor-in-chief of our journal. Under his editorial leadership, the journal grew to become the premier peer-reviewed print and online pediatric publication, nationally and internationally. He was the recipient of many coveted national and international awards including being awarded in 1995 the Harry Wallace Professorship in Neonatology and in 2008 had a professorship of neonatology at the University of Vermont named in his honor. Dr. Lucey was the recipient in 2009 of the John Howland Award from the American Pediatric Society, the highest award given to an academic pediatrician in this country who exemplifies the highest qualities of scholarship and advocacy on behalf of children.
Most importantly, Dr. Lucey did all this while never forgetting his commitment and dedication to students, residents, fellows, staff, and faculty—all of whom loved the fact that his door was always open and that he always answered his own phone. And then there were the thousands upon thousands of infants and children whose lives were improved because of Dr. Lucey’s individual contributions or his editorial talents to share discoveries in our journal that would improve pediatric care in the United States and in turn around the world.
Because of the contributions Dr. Lucey made to our journal and our specialty, as current editor in chief, along with our deputy editor Dr. Alex Kemper, we have elected to salute Dr. Lucey with a commentary (10.1542/peds.2017-4216) that highlights even more the legacy he leaves behind and yet is carried forward by those of us fortunate to know him and work with him. If you did not know Dr. Lucey or simply want to remember what he did as a pediatrician and neonatologist that made him the leader in our field that he was and will always be, we hope you will check out the commentary and realize there is more of Dr. Lucey in each of us than we may have realized. We will miss him.