It is a privilege to work with children, adolescents, families and communities to promote their health and wellbeing. Child health forms the foundation of health throughout the lifespan and intergenerationally. My clinical work, teaching and research focuses on child, adolescent and family perspectives on improving health and community-integrated models to interrupt the intergenerational cycle of disadvantage. For 15 years, I co-led the National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded DC-Baltimore Research Center on Child Health Disparities, which outlined a research action agenda on child health disparities. I led the establishment of two clinical and research innovation centers at Johns Hopkins – Centro SOL: Johns Hopkins Center for Salud/(Health) and Opportunity for Latinos and the Rales Center on the Integration of Health and Education. Both of these centers develop and evaluate community-integrated models of health promotion to address the needs of vulnerable children, adolescents and families.
An author of over 200 publications, I have been the principal investigator on numerous federal and foundation grants, including grants from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB), National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD), and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). I have conducted randomized trials of primary care and emergency department-initiated interventions in partnership with community services (such as, mentoring programs, legal advocacy, schools and home visitation) to promote positive youth development, behavioral health integration and family health. I have written on the future of child and adolescent health needs and services, translating life course theory to practice, health equity, and the importance of two-generation programs and a proposed three-generation approach.
I remain active seeing patients with trainees in primary care. I have mentored numerous trainees. An area of emphasis has been strengthening the pipeline of pediatric researchers. As a program director of three previous NIH training grants, I have mentored dozens of interdisciplinary researchers and many more clinicians who have gone on to be leaders in health services innovation and community health.
As a child advocate, I have promoted the importance of pediatric research including initiation of the “7 Great Achievements in Pediatric Research” campaign (Pediatr Res. 2016;80(3):330-7) and have published on the “Next 7 Great Achievements in Pediatric Research” (Pediatrics. 2017;139(5):e20163803). I have written legislation establishing the Maryland Maternal Child Health Task Force (2019 SB406, HB0250), which I co-led. Task Force recommendations resulted in maternal child health becoming one of three state population health goals influencing programming, metrics and investment.
As a past president of the Academic Pediatric Association, I have held numerous leadership roles in the organization as well as in the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Association of Medical School Pediatric Department Chairs. I am currently on the National Advisory Panel of the NIH All of Us Research Program and co-led the Child Enrollment Scientific Vision Working Group, which authored the report on “Opportunities enabled through the enrollment of children in the All of Us Research Program.” I have received numerous recognitions including the American Academy of Pediatrics Education Award and the Job Lewis Smith Award for Community Pediatrics, the Vice Dean’s Award for the Advancement of Women Faculty, and the Academic Pediatric Association’s Public Policy and Advocacy Award. I am an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine (formerly Institute of Medicine) and a member of the Forum for Children’s Well-Being.
I joined the faculty at George Washington University, Children’s National Medical Center in 1993. I became division director of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine at Johns Hopkins University in 2002, chair of Pediatrics at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center in 2013, and the 9th director of Pediatrics and pediatrician-in-chief at Johns Hopkins University in 2016. In 2020, I joined Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and the University of Cincinnati.