Beloved Pediatrician Dr. Mary Ann LoFrumento Bids Farewell to Morristown
More than 36 years ago, a significant storm blew across the Hudson River and shook the foundations of Morristown Memorial Hospital. The rest is history.
“Mary Ann provided skillful, wise and tireless leadership for the staff,” Dr. Ziring said. “She became part of a group participating in the development of a vision for our future, a place where all patients could come, regardless of socioeconomic status or level of disability, for skilled, compassionate care. Mary Ann has truly been one of our brightest lights leading the way.”
In 1984, after completing her pediatric residency at Babies Hospital, a part of Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, Mary Ann LoFrumento, MD, accepted a one-year position as chief resident in pediatrics for Morristown Memorial Hospital (now Morristown Medical Center), under Chairman Philip Ziring, MD. She never left.
Dr. LoFrumento brought her passion for medical education, fierce advocacy for the well-being of children and an unrelenting vision that someday our community would have a preeminent children’s hospital.
Dr. LoFrumento is defined by her boundless energy, integrity and commitment to making a difference.
“'Dr. Mary Ann,' founded, and for 20 years, ran a thriving pediatrics practice, Franklin Pediatrics in Morristown, caring for generations of children and their parents. Acknowledged as one of the “Best Doctors in America” and “Top Doctors in the New York Metro Area,” she is the author and producer of the award-winning Simply Parenting book and videos series designed to bring parenting back to basics for new and anxious parents. She is often tapped by national media to comment on pediatric issues and trends and has been a regular contributor to parenting magazines and websites.
The success of Goryeb Children’s Hospital is also part of her legacy. She realized that to create a nationally recognized children’s hospital necessitated significant financial support, and thus became a Foundation for Morristown Medical Center trustee, and the first co-chairperson of the Pediatric Philanthropy Council along with the late Joseph Goryeb and the late David Farris.
“Mary Ann is always a loving and supportive advocate and helped my Mom, Dad and family be more understanding of the needs for growth at Goryeb. Her work will never be forgotten. Thank you, Mary Ann!” Rick Goryeb, co-chair of the Goryeb Philanthropy Council said.
As assistant pediatric residency director, Dr. LoFrumento also inspired medical students and pediatric residents with her passion for medical education, intellectual curiosity and the love of pediatrics.
“She will always be the quintessential teacher,” former chairman of pediatrics John Truman, MD, said. “She knew everything and made sure that her students knew what they needed to know. Above all, she knew children and how to teach pediatrics.”
In 2011, Dr. LoFrumento joined forces with Anthony Orsini, DO, a former neonatologist at Goryeb Children’s Hospital, to launch the national “breaking bad news” program, which teaches compassionate communication skills to medical residents.
“She had an unwavering focus and deep desire to make the world a better place,” Dr. Orsini said. Throughout her career, Dr. LoFumento has held multiple positions at Atlantic Health System and Goryeb Children’s Hospital, where she has been on the pediatric faculty for more than 30 years. Currently, she is a newborn specialist and medical director of the nursery at Morristown Medical Center and an assistant clinical professor in pediatrics for Sydney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University.
“On behalf of her pediatric hospitalist colleagues, we will all miss Mary Ann's strong compassion and dedication, not just to her patients and their families, but also to her colleagues, the nursery staff, the pediatric hospitalist division, the residents, medical education and so much more. The impact of her boundless energy, desire to do good, and innate need to care for others will leave a lasting impression," Niva Shah, DO, said.
Walter Rosenfeld, MD, chair of pediatrics for Goryeb Children's Hospital also reflected on Dr. LoFumento’s dedication to the field of pediatric medicine.
“Mary Ann’s love for children, her family and the multiple causes she believes in help to explain her life’s work,” Dr. Rosenfeld said. “With each new undertaking in her career there seems to be a logical fit and a progression from the last that she has mastered. Always thinking of others, being a champion and advocate, she will be leaving a substantial legacy at Goryeb Children’s Hospital. I will miss her daily presence but recognize the many people and programs that benefited from her involvement.”
Gaines M. Mimms, MD, director of neonatology for Goryeb Children’s Hospital and co-chair of the Goryeb Philanthropy Council, began his friendship and medical career with Dr. LoFrumento at in the NICU at Babies and Children’s Hospital in New York City many years ago.
“Mary Ann’s mentor in medical school is the living legend of neonatology, Dr. Maria Delivoria-Papadopoulos, and still calls Mary Ann her Pinocchio. Somehow these two diminutive women share the same energy, creativity, humanity and intellect in abundance. Mary Ann refers to my colleagues in neonatology as the three wise men, but our wisdom has distinct boundaries inside of the NICU walls. Mary Ann thinks big and has extended herself far beyond the confines of Morristown Medical Center by co-founding Hands Up for Haiti, a medical humanitarian organization committed to improving the quality and sustainability of healthcare in northern Haiti. She was awarded the 2019 NJ State Governor’s Jefferson Award for Public Service in the Ambassador Category for this initiative.
"Her picture of a failed attempt at examining the throat of a child has been hanging in the neonatology office for 30 years, a reminder of her integrity and commitment to excellence in care. Dr. LoFrumento will be returning to Babies Hospital – now NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital – in New York City, where she will continue to take care of babies and their parents.
"Your friends and colleagues at Goryeb Children’s Hospital salute you, and we will miss you. Thank you, Mary Ann."
If you would like to make a gift to Goryeb Children’s Hospital in honor of Dr. LoFrumento’s legacy, please fill out the donation form below. You can also leave a comment for us to share with Dr. LoFrumento as she embarks on the next phase of her journey.