Caroline Breese Hall


Contemporary Pediatrics' Editor-in-Chief reflects on the career of Editorial Board member Caroline Breese Hall, who passed away on December 10, 2012.


In 1984 when Frank Oski, founding editor in chief of Contemporary Pediatrics, was assembling the members of his original Editorial Board, one of the first people he invited was Caroline (Caren) Breese Hall from the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Rochester.

Since the very first edition of this publication in January 1985, Dr Hall has appeared on the masthead. Her death on December 10, 2012, is a great loss for Contemporary Pediatrics and for the entire pediatric community.

Dr Hall’s colleagues in pediatric infectious diseases best know her acc


omplishments; they have affected pediatrics and children in very
profound ways.

It was Dr Hall whose research clarified the importance of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) as a cause of significant morbidity and mortality in infants.

She went on to elucidate the patterns of transmission of RSV and to provide us with a practical and rapid means of identifying it.

She never strayed far from the study of respiratory viruses, but when human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) was identified as the cause of roseola, she began studies of the epidemiology and pathogenesis of HHV-6 in infants. Her interest in HHV-6 was perhaps prompted by her father’s study of roseola while working as a community pediatrician in Rochester.

Dr Hall was a member of the Institute of Medicine and the Royal College of Physicians. She was a founding member and fifth president of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society and was honored with that Society’s Distinguished Service Award. She served as chair of the Committee on Infectious Diseases (the Red Book Committee) of the American Academy of Pediatrics and was a member of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.

Dr Hall was an honored scientist and pediatrician, but she was also a kind and generous friend. I visited Rochester many years ago to give grand rounds for the Department of Pediatrics. When I checked in to my hotel room, I found a basket of muffins and fruit that Caren had provided-the muffins were handmade by her, and the fruit came from trees on her property.

Caren Hall was an active and engaged member of the Editorial Board of Contemporary Pediatrics for all of the past 27 years. We will miss her kindness, her good humor, and her dedication to providing pediatricians with important information that will enhance their ability to provide excellent care for their patients. 

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