Stanley M. Sinkford Jr.

Stanley M. Sinkford Jr., 83, a neonatal specialist who retired in 1994 as chief of pediatrics at the now-defunct D.C. General Hospital, died Oct. 20 at Bedford Court independent-living facility in Silver Spring.

He had prostate cancer, said his son, Stanley Sinkford III.

Dr. Sinkford, a Silver Spring resident, worked in the Washington area for more than 40 years. He joined the faculty at Howard University medical school in 1967 and, seven years later, became chief of the pediatrics department and head of pediatric cardiology at D.C. General Hospital.

Until retiring, he taught Howard University medical students and directed the pediatrics residency training program at D.C. General Hospital.

Dr. Sinkford created the “boarder babies” program at D.C. General Hospital during the surge of crack use in the late 1980s. The babies, many born prematurely, were often abandoned by their mothers. Several of the children were also born addicted to crack cocaine.

In addition to his hospital work, Dr. Sinkford had a part-time private pediatric practice directed toward low-income patients from the late-1960s until 1995.

Stanley McClellan Sinkford Jr. was born in Bluefield, W.Va. He received a bachelor’s degree in 1951 and a medical degree in 1956, both from Howard University. He completed his residency at the University of Chicago and a pediatric cardiology fellowship at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.

He was a volunteer and past president of the American Heart Association’s Washington affiliate. He served on the D.C. Mayor’s Advisory Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect from 1981 to 1994 and was recognized three times by Washingtonian magazine as a distinguished physician in the area.

Besides his son, a pediatric emergency physician who lives in Washington, survivors include his wife of 60 years, Jeanne Craig Sinkford of Silver Spring; three children, Dr. Stanley Sinkford III of Washington, Dianne Sinkford of Silver Spring and Janet Jones of Houston; six sisters, Madeline Greene of Annapolis, Bobbie Ware of Atlanta, Jane Strother of Farmington, Ill., Patricia Redd of Chicago, and Doris Mosley and Jacqueline Sinkford, both of Cleveland; and two granddaughters.

— Megan McDonough