Stephen Sheldon, DO, Retires with Countless Accomplishments

January 02, 2024

With more than 30 years of clinical service, Dr. Sheldon retires from his role as Director of Sleep Medicine at Lurie Children’s and leaves an amazing legacy and numerous accomplishments.

Stephen Sheldon, DO, joined the faculty at Lurie Children’s in October, 1995, which marked the birth of the pediatric sleep laboratory and sleep medicine center at Lurie Children’s. His role as director would continue for 28 years. The sleep medicine center earned its accreditation by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine that same year and has since renewed accreditation every five years; making it one of a few accredited independent pediatric sleep medicine programs in the region.

Dr. Sheldon has 95 publications, a combination of chapters, papers and books. Dr. Sheldon was appointed to the American Board of Pediatrics in 2005 as a representative to the American Board of Medical Specialties Sleep Medicine Policy and Examination Committee which led to one of his most noteworthy accomplishments. In 2007, he received the very first certificate of special qualification pediatric sleep medicine physician issued by the American Board of Pediatrics. Dr. Sheldon has been a leader of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine AASM since 2000 and has served in many roles.

Most recently, he was appointed as Chair of the AASM Foundation Development Council. His expertise and distinguished service does not stop there. He also continues to serve as an Associate Editor for the Journal Clinical Sleep Medicine (JCSM).

Throughout his career, Dr. Sheldon has served on more than 20 professional organizations and is currently a pediatric sleep medicine consultant on obstructive sleep apnea in children for the American Dental Association; a member, Evidence Committee, OSA and Pediatrics at the American Academy of Pediatrics; the Chair, Education Committee, National Sleep Foundation. He serves on the board of directors for the National Sleep Foundation.

According to Susanna McColley, MD, the former Division Head of Pulmonary Medicine and now an attending physician and Scientific Director for Interdisciplinary Research Partnerships, Stanley Manne Children’s Research Institute at Lurie Children’s, says that Dr. Sheldon has distinguished himself as a leader in education and has taught and mentored many sleep medicine fellows. His efforts have led to numerous fellows pursuing and now practicing within the sleep medicine field, which remains underserved. His care and advocacy for patients has always driven his work added Dr. McColley. “His early and tireless advocacy for the diagnosis and treatment of children at a time when pediatric sleep medicine was still in development is truly remarkable” said Dr. McColley, but it did not stop there. “Stephen helped drive the field forward especially on the educational front where he helped establish the qualifications for the certification in pediatric sleep medicine,” added Dr. McColley.

Dr. Thomas Green was head of the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine when Dr. Sheldon joined the organization. Dr. Green, who went on to become the Chair of the Department of Pediatrics, credits Dr. Sheldon for bringing the program to Lurie Children’s and expanding it to become the premier destination for pediatric sleep medicine on a local and regional level.

The Sleep Medicine Center at Lurie Children’s received its re-accreditation in 2019 by the AASM and is the training site for pediatric sleep medicine for the ACGME accredited fellowship training program of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. The center’s current research studies include investigation into measuring excessive sleepiness in children, evaluating the effects of lack of sleep during childhood, and studying infants’ breathing pattern.