In Memory of Gregory S Liptak, MD, MPH
(1947 - 2012)

Gregory S Liptak, MD, MPH
Appointed 06/01/06

Gregory S. Liptak, MD, MPH passed away on March 4, 2012 after battling a rare form of cancer for over a year. Greg was the Division Chief of the Center for Behavior, Development, and Genetics, and of Child Development in the Department of Pediatrics since his appointment here at Upstate in 2006.

The Department of Pediatrics will be honoring Dr. Liptak and his career in the form of an academic Festschrift on Saturday, March 24, 2012. Dr. Liptak is a nationally known figure in the field of child development and the department will be paying tribute to him at this event that will include a scientific program in the Treehouse during the afternoon and a dinner to follow. In addition to the outside speakers, the incoming President of the American Academy of Pediatrics will be there to present an award for Dr. Liptak's service as Chair on the AAP Council on Children with Disabilities.

Dr. Liptak was also the Chairperson of the AAP Council on Children with Disabilities (COCWD). The COCWD issued the following statement and are collecting responses from those who wish to share their sentiments with his family.

Members, Colleagues, and Friends,

It is with a heavy heart that I type this message to you. Dr Greg Liptak, COCWD Chairperson, passed away this weekend. As some of you know, Greg was battling cancer for over a year and he passed peacefully with his family by his side.

He made amazing contributions to his field and to children with disabilities and their families. Working with him was always a pleasure and the Executive Committee and I always welcomed his dry humor amidst a sea of work-related emails. He was extremely dedicated to the work of the COCWD and the AAP as a whole and I know we will be happy to continue that work on his behalf.

I would like to collect thoughts and sentiments from his colleagues and friends at the AAP, so that we may present it to his wife and sons in the future. If you would like to submit a message to be shared with Greg's family, please do so here:

Obituary from the Syracuse Post Standard

Gregory S. Liptak 

March 4, 2012 The falling snow on Sunday was the heavens weeping that Gregory S. Liptak, MD, MPH, of Retsof, was taken too early from this world. For 14 months he fought a lethal and rare form of cancer that kills most people in half that time; he died at the age of 65 surrounded by his family late Saturday night at Strong Memorial Hospital. A colleague of his at Strong (where he practiced pediatrics for 27 years) once wrote that he was "a unique combination of talent, compassion, brilliance and creativity." As a world-renowned developmental pediatrician, Dr. Liptak improved the lives of thousands of children and families with rare diseases and disabilities. In an article he wrote for the Journal of the American Medical Association in 1985, Dr. Liptak reflected on his "crusade to protect life from the dragon of death." It is such a cruel irony that this hero would be stricken by the most deadly and poorly-understood dragon of all - cancer. He committed his life to serving others as a husband, a father, a teacher, a volunteer and an advocate for those who could not advocate for themselves. His passing will be deeply mourned, but his life and what he stood for will be eternally celebrated through The Liptak Foundation, dedicated to providing compassionate care to ALL patients and their families. A Memorial Service will be held in the spring of 2012. The Liptak family welcomes your thoughts and memories of a great man - please e-mail us at