Cole elected to March of Dimes national board


F. Sessions Cole, MD, the Park J. White, MD, Professor and vice chair of the Department of Pediatrics at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, has been elected to the March of Dimes National Board of Trustees.

March of Dimes trustees, who serve as volunteers, represent the public in governing the organization and advancing its mission for the health of mothers and babies. Trustees serve five-year terms.

“My involvement with the Missouri Chapter of March of Dimes dates back more than two decades, and I am honored to be joining the national board of such a respected organization,” Cole said. “I am looking forward to this new role and the opportunity to work to give more babies a healthy start in life.”

Cole, who also is the chief medical officer of St. Louis Children’s Hospital, is recognized as a driving force behind the success of the hospital and its Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Additionally, he is the university’s assistant vice chancellor for children’s health and director of the Division of Newborn Medicine.

He is a leading national advocate of the consequences of premature birth and advises colleagues and would-be parents about in vitro fertilization and delayed childbirth.

Cole, who in 1997 was awarded the FDR Leadership Award from the March of Dimes, is a member of the organization’s Scientific Advisory Committee on Prematurity. He has worked with the March of Dimes Missouri chapter for many years.

Cole received his medical degree from Yale University School of Medicine in 1973. He joined Washington University School of Medicine in 1986 as an associate professor of pediatrics and of cell biology and physiology. Within two years he was named director of newborn medicine and had restructured the newborn medicine service at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, Barnes Hospital and Jewish Hospital. Under his direction, the department has become a leader in providing medical services to infants.

This year, the March of Dimes, a leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health, is celebrating its 75th anniversary and its ongoing work to help babies get a healthy start in life.

Washington University School of Medicine’s 2,100 employed and volunteer faculty physicians also are the medical staff of Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals. The School of Medicine is one of the leading medical research, teaching and patient-care institutions in the nation, currently ranked sixth in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Through its affiliations with Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals, the School of Medicine is linked to BJC HealthCare.