HIPRC Co-Founder, Dr. Abraham B. Bergman, Remembered for Child Advocacy

HIPRC Co-Founder, Dr. Abraham B. Bergman, Remembered for Child Advocacy

By: Alexandra de Leon Date: November 17th, 2023

Courtesy: Bergman Family, UW Medicine

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Dr. Abraham “Abe” B. Bergman, the Harborview Injury Prevention & Research Center’s Co-Founder, who spent his career working on the prevention of injuries to children, passed away November 10, in Seattle.

As Chief of Pediatrics at Harborview Medical Center, Dr. Bergman teamed up with Dr. Cliff Heman, chief of trauma, to form the Harborview Injury Prevention & Research Center. He recruited Dr. Frederick Rivara back to Seattle, who became director of HIPRC in 1987. 

Through this, Drs. Bergman and Rivara developed various injury prevention campaigns, including the Seattle Bicycle Helmet Campaign, which became a model for cities around the world.  “In the 1970’s, Washington had repealed its motorcycle helmet law,” HIPRC Core Faculty Member Dr. Rivara says. “Abe had the brilliant idea of looking at how much unhelmeted motorcyclists treated at HMC cost the state.” With this information Dr. Bergman was able to convince the state legislature to pass a motorcycle helmet law, which they did the following year. 

Additionally, Dr. Bergman worked with John Moffat, Seattle Police Department, to address the problem of pedestrian injuries in the city and worked with communities to do “traffic calming” to reduce such injuries.

“He was a major force in the community working to address injuries and disparities,” says Dr. Rivara.  

To read more about Dr. Abraham Bergman, his life, and legacy, please visit UW Medicine > >

Condolences for the Bergman family may be sent to Dr. Sarah Bergman Lewis, Ballard Pediatrics, 7554 15th Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98117.

Donations in Dr. Bergman’s memory can be made to Seattle PlayGarden.