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Dr.  Sheldon B. Korones
  • Sheldon B. Korones Newborn Center
    Memphis, TN

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Memories & Candles

“I HAD THE PLEASURE OF MEETING MR. KORONES WHILE ALL 4 OF MY CHILDREN SPENT TIME IN THE NIC-UNIT AT THE MEDICAL CENTER., FROM 1994-2002 THE BEST...Read More »
1 of 14 | Posted by: ANGELA SMITH - DALLAS, TX

“I will always and forever hold you in my heart. It was a honor and a pleasure to serve as your Supervisor of Medical Records for The Newborn Center...Read More »
2 of 14 | Posted by: Jennifer Atkeison - Memphis, TN

“Great teacher and a great man. May his soul rest in eternal peace. ”
3 of 14 | Posted by: Ganapathy Rama - NC

“I worked with Dr. Korones for 12 years and I loved him so much. I learned so much for him and for that I am eternally grateful, his love for babies...Read More »
4 of 14 | Posted by: Karen Golden - Biscoe, AR

“I had the privilege of meeting Dr. Korornes at the Newborn Center as a student nurse in 1974. Watching him work with these tiny patients was awe...Read More »
5 of 14 | Posted by: Sydney Tesson - Lancaster, SC

“Saddened by the news, but in the same time rejoiced to know, that he had a wonderful life! His love for life, curiosity, compassion, unparalleled...Read More »
6 of 14 | Posted by: Eniko Karman Pivnick, M.D. - TN

“I was fortunate to work under Dr Korones from 1979 until his retirement. In fact I still work at the SBK Newborn center. He was passionate in caring...Read More »
7 of 14 | Posted by: Mry Nell Duerr - Memphis, TN

“I was privileged to work as a nurse with Dr. Korones until his retirement in 2009. His passion for the tiniest patients was always evident. He truly...Read More »
8 of 14 | Posted by: Alisha Steele - Olive Branch, MS

“Because of Dr. K, my 19 year old son Avery is here today. Not only was he born 12 weeks early, but he also had a multitude of severe complications....Read More »
9 of 14 | Posted by: Pamela Maneclang - Collierville, TN

“37 years after meeting Dr K, I remain awed by his knowledge, his selfless dedication, and humanity, and not a day goes by for me without some...Read More »
10 of 14 | Posted by: Ral;;h Franceschini - Los Angeles, CA

“I had the privilege of meeting Dr Korones in sept 1988 when my son was one of his patients. He was an amazing man and will forever be missed. ”
11 of 14 | Posted by: Melissa Bruntz - Memphis, TN

“Dr Korones was my role model for providing unwavering care regardless of social or economic standing. He will be missed ”
12 of 14 | Posted by: bill walsh chief of nurseries vanderbilt - TN

“I worked for "Dr. K" for over 15 years at The Newborn Center as a Perinatal Social Worker. What a wonderful teacher he was and oh how he loved those...Read More »
13 of 14 | Posted by: Sherrie L Stafford - Germantown, TN

“It was a great honor to work with Dr. Korones when I first started nursing. You will be greatly missed and always loved for the care you gave your...Read More »
14 of 14 | Posted by: Cheryl R Golliver - Horn Lake, MS


Wheat Emblem

Dr. Sheldon Bernarr Korones, died early Wednesday morning at his home in Memphis. He was 89 years old.

Born in New York City and raised on Manhattan's Lower East Side by Russian-Jewish emigrates, Dr. Korones graduated from Seward Park High School in New York City, the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, and the University of Tennessee School of Medicine in Memphis. He did his pediatric internship at Boston City Hospital, his residency at Columbia Babies Hospital (now New York Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital) in New York City, and post-graduate work in pathology under Sidney Farber at Children's Medical Center, Boston. He served as a commissioned officer with the United States Public Health Service in New York from 1951 to 1953.

Married to Judith Kest in 1952, he returned to Memphis in 1954 to join the private practice of Gilbert Levy. He opened his own private practice in East Memphis a few years later.

In 1968, struck by the disparity between the medical care available to his East Memphis patients and that offered to the city's poor population, he left private practice to devote himself full-time to the care of critically ill infants at the city's public hospital. What started as a small unit for a handful of babies grew under his leadership to become one of the largest neonatal intensive care units in the country, a unit that now bears his name.

Since opening in 1968, the Sheldon B. Korones Newborn Center has successfully treated more than 45,000 premature babies, some weighing just one pound. It is one of the oldest and largest neonatal intensive care units in the United States, treating more than 1,300 premature or critically ill newborns each year. Dr. Korones was one of the first neonatologists in country to bring in specially trained social workers and perinatal workers to help the whole family cope with the inevitable challenges of dealing with premature or critically ill newborns. Over the years, young physicians came from around the world to train with him, and went on to launch their own successful careers in neonatology. He led NIH-funded research at the Newborn Center, and in so doing advanced the field's understanding of the critically ill newborn. He held numerous university appointments, and at the time of his retirement in 2009, he was Alumni Distinguished Service Professor of Pediatrics and Obstetrics and Gynecology. Although he was a busy and respected researcher and administrator, he continued to care for his tiny patients at their bedsides and never lost sight of the fact that they were the central focus of his work.

A devotee of photography, travel, and classical music, he was a husband, father, and grandfather extraordinaire. He is survived by his wife, Judith Korones; his brother N. David Korones; a son, Dr. David Korones and daughter-in-law Ann Falsey, of Rochester, NY; a daughter, Susan Korones Gifford, and son-in-law Chris Gifford, of Montclair, NJ; and four grandchildren, Ben and Sarah Korones and Katharine and Henry Gifford.

Services will be 3:00 pm Friday, July 5th in the Sanctuary of Temple Israel, 1376 E. Massey Rd., with burial to follow in Temple Israel Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that contributions be made to the Sheldon B. Korones Newborn Center, Temple Israel, or the Mid-South Food Bank.

Canale Funeral Directors
901.452.6400
www.canalefuneraldirectors.com