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UW Pediatrics

Late Dr. Abe Bergman was Awarded the Medal of Merit for Exceptional Contributions to the Medic

Dr. Abe Bergman's Family Receiving the Award

Dr. Abe Bergman, a well-known pediatrician and professor, was posthumously awarded the prestigious Medal of Merit by the State of Washington for his exceptional contributions to the medical field. The award ceremony was held at the Legislative Building in Olympia. Secretary of State Steve Hobbs, Governor Jay Inslee, Lieutenant Governor Denny Heck, and Chief Justice Steven C. Gonz├ílez honored his service. 

The Medal of Merit is an esteemed accolade reserved for those who have made exceptional contributions to Washington and its residents. Dr. Bergman's daughter, two grandchildren, and son Matthew Bergman, Brian Johnston, Fred Rivara, and Dr. Leslie Walker-Harding were among those who attended the ceremony to celebrate his achievements.

Dr. Bergman, who passed away in November 2023 at the age of 91, is considered a pioneer in the medical field of Seattle. He was a strong advocate for children living in poverty and those with disabilities. For over two decades, he served as the chief of pediatrics at Harborview Medical Center and founded the Odessa Brown Children's Clinic, primarily serving low-income families.

Dr. Bergman's unwavering dedication to child safety rights had a profound influence beyond the medical field. His pivotal collaboration with U.S. Senators led to the enactment of significant laws, such as the Flammable Fabrics Act of 1967 and the Prevention Packaging Act of 1970.

Dr. Bergman's colleagues remember him not just as a colleague but as an exceptional mentor whose passion for health equity was contagious. Dr. Brian D. Johnston, the Chief of Pediatrics at Harborview Medical Center, said, "Dr. Bergman, through his national political efforts, improved the health of more children than most pediatricians will see in a lifetime."

Dr. Bergman's monumental contributions to the medical field and child safety rights will continue to inspire and guide generations of medical professionals and advocates, serving as a beacon of dedication and service.