Dr. Jerome Berman, age 93, of Atlanta died Thursday, May 31, 2018.
He was born in Atlanta and was a 1942 graduate of Boys’ High. He received his B.S. degree from Emory University in 1945 and his M.D. degree from the Emory University School of Medicine in 1948. He completed his internship at Beth Israel Hospital in New York City and his pediatric residency at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta. He then served for two years in the United States Army Medical Corps during the Korean War, stationed at Fort Jackson in South Carolina.
After his service in the military, he began a solo pediatric practice in Sandy Springs, then an undeveloped area. His thriving pediatric practice grew as he added partners as he tended to the medical needs of many Atlanta children. He served on the executive committee of the state chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics. He also served as chairman of the pediatrics section of Northside Hospital and conducted sick and well-baby clinics at Fulton County health centers. After 33 years, he ended his pediatric practice in 1982 when he became blind.
He faced the challenge of blindness with the assistance of the Center for the Visually Impaired in Atlanta, which taught him how to adapt to his new circumstances. He took on this challenge and in 1989 received his master of public health degree from the Emory University School of Public Health, the first blind student to achieve that degree. He then helped others in a number of ways for the rest of his life.
With the Center for the Visually Impaired and his friend Stanley Friedman, he founded the Babies Early Growth Intervention Network (BEGIN) program in 1985, which brightens the future for blind children and their families by providing an early intervention program for visually impaired preschoolers in the Southeastern United States. He served as a member of the Center for the Visually Impaired board of trustees from 1993 to 2002. From 1987 to 2010 he was a principal speaker for the Metropolitan Atlanta United Way annual campaign. He made over 700 speeches on behalf of United Way and the Center for the Visually Impaired throughout Georgia. His speaking engagements resulted in the raising of millions of dollars for greater Atlanta service organizations.
He received many honors for his work. He received a Special Award of Merit from the state chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics for his service to the children of Georgia. In 1996 he carried the Olympic torch on the day before the opening of the Atlanta Olympic Games. In 2002 he received the Carl Aven Cup from the Medical Association of Atlanta, the medical association’s most prestigious honor, given for outstanding community service by one of its members. In 2012 he received the Distinguished Medical Achievement Award from the Emory School of Medicine’s Atlanta Medical Alumni.
He is survived by his three daughters, Karen Berman of Milledgeville, Ellen Berman of Atlanta and Sally Berman of Glendale, Calif.; his son-in-law, Paul Accettura of Milledgeville; his two grandchildren, Shayna Fix of Atlanta and Raphael Fix of Las Vegas; and his sister, Hazel Karp. He was predeceased by his wife, attorney Betty Green Berman. The family would also like to express thanks to his caregivers for the loving care they provided in his last years.
Sign the online guestbook at dresslerjewishfunerals.com. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the BEGIN program at the Center for the Visually Impaired, www.cviga.org, 739 W. Peachtree St. NW, Atlanta, GA 30308. A graveside service will be held Sunday, June 3, at 4 p.m. at Arlington Memorial Park with Rabbi Neil Sandler officiating. Arrangements by Dressler’s Jewish Funeral Care, 770-451-4999.