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Neonatologist Edward Ogata, MD, 1945-2017

March 1, 2017

Edward S. Ogata, MD, a neonatologist at the University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children's Hospital, died on Feb. 24 surrounded by his family after having a series of recent strokes. Ogata, 71, was a professor of pediatrics and director of pediatric outreach and process improvement programs at the University of Chicago Medicine.

Before joining UChicago Medicine as a consultant in 2014, Ogata served as chief medical officer of the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago from 1998 to 2012, where he was instrumental in opening the hospital's new downtown facility. From 2012 to 2014, he was chief medical officer at Sidra Medical and Research Center, an academic medical center that cares for women and children in Qatar. He joined the University of Chicago faculty in December 2015.

"Since joining our department, he has made a huge impression on all who met and worked with him at a professional and personal level," said John M. Cunningham, MD, chairman of UChicago's Department of Pediatrics. "His accomplishments in enhancing our women's and children's network are testimony to his vision, abilities and regard in the Chicago health care community. Personally, I will miss his calm demeanor and wise counsel, his friendship, and his commitment to the children entrusted to our care."

Ogata worked to cement pediatric relationships with Little Company of Mary Hospital and Health Care Centers and Edward-Elmhurst Health, helping UChicago Medicine increase its subspecialty care for infants and children in the west and southwest suburbs.

"He was a colleague for over 30 years and a close friend for much of that time," said Jeffrey Glassroth, MD, dean for clinical affairs and physician director of UChicago Medicine's faculty practice plan. "He was a terrific doctor, a very caring physician and caring person in general. He helped the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Chicago establish some relationships with community hospitals in a very short period of time. He bonded with his colleagues and became a valued member of our faculty and our community here. He was just a warm, soft-spoken guy who was beloved by his patients when he was in practice."

Ogata had a background in clinical research, with an interest in perinatal biology and issues that affected fetal health, including diabetes during pregnancy. In addition to his medical education and training, he held a master's degree in business administration and was a certified professional health risk manager. He was known to take a scholarly approach to his operational and management responsibilities.

"Dr. Ogata was a dedicated teacher and mentor to many academic neonatologists. To those of us privileged to work with him, he was an excellent role model of service to patients, the value of scholarship and of life/work balance," said Erika Claud, MD, associate professor of pediatrics. "We recognized and inherited his confidence in our success and he paved paths for us in very practical ways. His involvement with trainees reflected care for us as individuals rather than just a part of his job. And that made him great in our eyes – in all the ways that truly matter."

Ogata earned his undergraduate degree from Harvard University in 1967 and completed postsecondary programs at both the Northwestern University Medical School (now the Feinberg School of Medicine) and J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management. After receiving his degrees, he completed an internship and residency at the University of California-San Francisco Medical Center. He also served as a major in the U.S. Army Medical Corps from 1975 until 1977.

Along with myriad friends and colleagues, Ogata leaves behind a wife, Kathleen Field Orr, three daughters, Alexa, Beth and Maisie, two step children, Elizabeth and James, and four grandchildren, Patrick, Peter, Liam and Emma.

Orr said her family has been overwhelmed by an outpouring of support since Ogata's death.

"Ed was a very compassionate, cerebral and caring person," she said. "He never hesitated to step up when he thought he might assist. He was an effective leader and administrator, always encouraging the pursuit of higher standards and goals. He was a loving and attentive father and grandfather. And with all of this, he was a fascinating man with many interests. He was a sailor, a fly fisherman, a biker and a chef. I have been blessed to have shared his life with him these past 16 years."

Funeral services will be private. However, a public memorial service will be held 11 a.m., April 1, 2017, at the UChicago Rockefeller Chapel, 5850 South Woodlawn Ave., Chicago.

Donations in Ogata's memory may be made to Thea Academy for Urban School Leadership (AUSL), 3400 North Austin Ave., Chicago, Illinois 60634, The Night Ministry, 4711 North Ravenswood Ave. Chicago, Illinois 60640; and The Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra, 377 Artists Walk, Park Forest, Illinois 60466.

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