NASPGHAN 50th Anniversary

NASPGHAN is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2022. We are commemorating the occasion by highlighting the Society’s history with a timeline detailing the seminal events that have made NASPGHAN into the organization it is today. In preparation for NASPGHAN’s 50th Anniversary, the late great Professor Jim Heubi proposed that a concerted effort be made to develop a comprehensive, yet concise history of our Society’s origins and highlights. Specifically, Dr. Heubi envisioned a “living” timeline that could be found on the NASPGHAN website with digital, written and video materials. It will thereby serve as an everlasting accessible archive available to members, corporate partners, and patients. The completion of the timeline was accomplished after Dr. Heubi’s passing under the leadership of Drs. Harland Winter, Melvin Heyman and Joel Rosh, with assistance from NASPGHAN staff, Margaret Stallings and Kim Rose. Past presidents provided invaluable input as well as personal interviews conducted by our Bowel Sounds Team.

It should be emphasized that this is a living document and will and can be continuously updated. You have the opportunity to add events/pictures by using the timeline submission form found here. We will be announcing the development of a fund in honor of Jim Heubi which will ensure that this continues to be both endearing and enduring!

  • 1960 - The Early Years

    The early history of NASPGHAN is most appropriately understood in the context of this letter to Dr. Jane Todaro written in 1985 by Dr. Murray Davidson: Dear Jane, I can more easily tell you about the origins of pediatric gastroenterology generally in this country than I can about the Society itself. If you are interested

  • 1969 - Pediatric Gut Club

    A special interest in gastrointestinal diseases in infants and children dates back to the early 1960s, when Norman Kretchmer, then president of the Society for Pediatric Research, established at its annual meeting a gastrointestinal subsection for platform presentations chaired by Joyce Gryboski. The key academicians providing the impetus for this new area of interest were

  • 1971 - First Textbook Devoted to Pediatric GI Disease

    The first textbook (Roy C, Silverman A, Cozzetto FJ 1971 Pediatric Clinical Gastroenterology. St. Louis, MO, C.V. Mosby) devoted to pediatric GI disease was published in the United States (1971) was co-authored by Drs. Arnold Silverman, Claude Roy, and Frank Cozzetto of University of Colorado. Dr. Joyce Gryboski of Yale University followed in 1975 with

  • 1972 - First NIH Training Program in Pediatric Gastroenterology

    In 1967, Michael Thaler, MD established the Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology at UCSF, focused on Pediatric Hepatology. In 1972, the program was awarded the first NIH-training program for pediatric gastroenterology.

  • 1973 - Mervin Silverberg MD, President

    Mervin Silverberg MD served as the first President of NASPG from 1973 – 1974.

  • 1973 - Formation of NASPG

    The Pediatric Gut club spawned the creation of what was then called the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology (NASPG). The creation occurred in an airplane when, returning from a meeting, Murray, Merv and Larry were seated three across, with Murray in the middle seat. With lined pads and pencils or pens, the three started

  • 1974 - Lawrence Gartner MD, President

    Lawrence Gartner MD served as President from 1974 – 1975.

  • 1975 - Harvey Sharp MD, President

    Harvey Sharp MD served as President from 1975 – 1976.

  • 1975 - Official NASPG Bylaws

    The first set of bylaws were written and codified in 1975.

  • 1976 - JR Hamilton MD, President

    JR Hamilton MD, served as NASPG Preident from 1976 – 1978.

  • 1977 - John Herbst MD, President

    John Herbst MD, served as NASPG Preident from 1977 – 1978.

  • 1978 - W. Allan Walker MD, President

    W. Allan Walker MD, served as NASPG Preident from 1978 – 1979.

  • 1978 - Joint Meeting with ESPGN

    The growing success of each society’s meetings stimulated an interest in expanding the science and education shared by the two societies. Accordingly, a first combined meeting was held in Paris that year. Records of the program and speakers have not been found, but a splendid final dinner was held at the Restaurant Pre Catalan in

  • Harry Greene

    1979 - Harry Greene MD, President

    Harry Greene MD, served as NASPG Preident from 1979 – 1980.

  • 1980 - John Watkins MD, President

    John Watkins MD served as NASPG President from 1980 – 1981

  • 1981 - Geraldine Powell MD, President

    Geraldine Powell MD served as NASPG President from 1981 – 1982

  • 1981 - 2nd and 3rd Year Fellows Conferences Started

    Minutes May 1981 Daniel Caplan, Secretary Treasurer Steve Werlin, MD talked about his contact with Ross Laboratories to help set up a retreat for fellows as being done for those in neonatology. Ross Laboratories felt that they might be able to supply $15,000 and perhaps 15 fellows and some faculty could meet each year. Topics

  • 1982 - William F. Balistreri MD, President

    William F. Balistreri MD served as NASPG President from 1982 – 1984

  • 1982 - JPGN Founded as Official Journal of NASPG and ESPGN

    The Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition (JPGN), first published in 1982, with Emi Lebenthal as the founding Editor-in-chief, played an important on-going role in consolidating the development of pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition. Newsletter April 1982 Geraldine Powell MD Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition The first issue of the new journal “Pediatric Gastroenterology and

  • 1984 - Richard Grand MD President

    Richard Grand MD served as NASPG President from 1984 – 1986


Our Partners
The Association of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition Nurses
Help & Hope for Children with Digestive Disorders
Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition
JPGN Reports