This is an incredible loss for our PEM fraternity. Our deepest condolences to the Shannon family and the staff @ Children's Hospital of Boston.
----- Forwarded Message ----
From: Bob Mitcheff <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Wednesday, March 11, 2009 10:03:01 AM
Subject: FWD: Sad News About Our Colleague Michael Shannon
To: All Children's Hospital Boston Employees, Staff and Volunteers
From: Gary Fleisher, MD, pediatrician-in-chief, Department of Medicine
James Mandell, MD, chief executive officer
Date: March 10, 2009
Re: Sad news about our colleague Michael Shannon
We are incredibly saddened to let you know that Michael Shannon, MD, MPH, chief emeritus of Emergency Medicine, suddenly passed away while returning from a trip to Argentina. We are nothing short of devastated by this news and this incredible loss.
For those of you who didn't know him, Michael was an incredibly personable, highly talented clinician, researcher and person. He came to Children's in 1983 to complete his training and never left. During his long tenure here, he was chief of the Division of Emergency Medicine, chief of the Division of Clinical Pharmacology, director of the Center for Biopreparedness, and associate chief of the Pediatric Environmental Health Center.
Michael was a true Renaissance man, both in the field of medicine and in his personal life. He regularly broke ground in a vast range of specialties, especially in the areas of substance abuse, pediatric environmental health and drug interactions. Michael became the first African-American to be named a full professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and was chair of the Committee on Environmental Health of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
His wide-ranging talents extended to his life outside Children's, too. A modern dancer and performer for more than 30 years, Michael first began dancing during his undergraduate days at Washington University in St. Louis, and he continued dancing during medical school. He danced professionally for several years and continued performing in two local holiday productions, "Black Nativity" and "Urban Nutcracker."
Michael was an untiring advocate for children. He testified about the safety of cold medicine for children, regularly spoke to news outlets about topics such as the hazards of lead poisoning and unsafe toys, and worked to educate others about the dangers of giving children unsafe therapeutic drugs and dietary supplements. Michael constantly advanced new models of pediatric care that emphasize the impact of environmental factors on the health of children, especially in schools.
The loss to this community, both inside and outside the walls of Children's, is enormous. His quiet, gentlemanly ways will be greatly missed.
He leaves behind his wife, Elaine, and two young-adult children. We will send out a notification about services once they are available.
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