Dr. Stephen Berman, prominent Colorado doctor and advocate for children’s health, dies at 76

Children's Hospital Colorado. April 1, 2020. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)
Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite
Children’s Hospital Colorado at the CU Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, April 1, 2020.

A major figure in children's and public health in Colorado and beyond has died.

Dr. Stephen Berman, one of the state’s most prominent physicians, passed away from lymphoma on Tuesday. He was 76.

“Dr. Steve Berman was one of the pediatric giants of Children’s Hospital Colorado and had a tremendous impact on child health during his career,” said Dr. David Brumbaugh, Chief Medical Officer at Children’s Hospital Colorado. “In addition to being one of the most successful child health advocates in our hospital’s history, Dr. Berman was a gifted clinician with a special interest in children with complex health conditions.”

Courtesy of the Berman family
Dr. Stephen Berman

Berman was a previous president of the American Academy of Pediatrics and held an endowed chair in academic general pediatrics at Children’s Hospital Colorado.

Berman was a longtime professor of both the CU School of Medicine and the Colorado School of Public Health. He was also the director of ColoradoSPH’s Center for Global Health in collaboration with Children’s Hospital.

"Steve was a true champion for children, and this loss will be felt deeply by all who knew him," Dr. Jonathan Samet, the school’s dean, wrote in a message to colleagues.

Berman conducted international research projects and served as special adviser to the World Health Organization and consultant to the health ministries of many nations around the globe, according to his obituary.

Berman started the Children’s Hospital program on epidermolysis bullosa, a group of rare diseases that cause the skin to be fragile and blister easily. 

He helped lead legislative efforts to provide access to health care for Colorado children. 

He was instrumental in the careers of many young doctors. 

“I am one of hundreds of pediatricians who consider Dr. Berman a mentor and will miss him greatly,” said Brumbaugh.

Berman even wrote a textbook called Pediatric Decision Making. He also published more than 100 peer-reviewed research articles and many textbook chapters about common pediatric clinical problems.

He received numerous recognitions and awards, including the Torch of Liberty Award from the Colorado Anti-Defamation League in 2017. He served as a co-chair on the board of The Bell Policy Center, a Colorado nonprofit.

He graduated from Wesleyan University in Connecticut and later Temple University School of Medicine, then settled in Colorado where he did his residency in pediatrics at the University of Colorado.

Berman is survived by his wife Elaine, his son Seth (Lauren) and grandson Asher and his son Ben (Katherine) and his granddaughter Isa, and his brothers Jim (Nina) and Ed (Natalie). A service is scheduled for Sunday.