In Memoriam

Maureen Strafford, MD

1949 ~ 2019

By Neil Schechter, MD

Maureen Strafford, MD died on September 18 at home surrounded by loved ones after a long struggle with cancer.  For those who did not know her, Maureen was a pediatrician, pediatric cardiologist, pediatric cardiac anesthesiologist as well as a pediatric pain physician who worked for many years at Boston Children’s Hospital and ultimately at Tufts Medical Center. 

When a bizarre, nearly fatal reaction to an anesthetic limited her ability to work in the OR, she changed her focus to other ways to address suffering.  She worked with various foundations to implement the white coat ceremony at every medical school and spoke at many of them, emphasizing the importance of the humanism and caring in medicine.  She taught meditation to children and worked on the development of programs to spread this skill to all children. 

Maureen provided leadership to Childkind International, a global initiative to reduce pain in children.  She mentored generations of medical students and modeled for them what a true physician should be – not only knowledgeable but deeply compassionate and caring. Maureen was incredibly kind and generous, an excellent clinician, an out-of-the-box thinker, and a hilarious storyteller.  Those of us who knew and worked with Maureen are deeply saddened by her loss and miss her already.

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