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Patrick honored for neonatal abstinence syndrome research

Jun. 15, 2017, 10:35 AM

Stephen W. Patrick, M.D., MPH, MS, has been chosen to receive the Nemours Child Health Services Research Award, recognizing his work surrounding neonatal abstinence syndrome, a drug withdrawal syndrome experienced by infants exposed to opioids while in utero.

Stephen Patrick, M.D., MPH

The Nemours award recognizes the scientific work of emerging scholars in the field of child health services research, particularly research on quality improvement of pediatric health services. Patrick, a neonatologist at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, will receive the honor at the annual Child Health Services Research Interest Group Meeting on June 24.

“The work that Dr. Patrick is doing is of vital importance as we struggle to address the epidemic of opioid use and abuse. Already at such an early point in his career, he is recognized as a leader in this field at the national level,” said Steven Webber, James C. Overall Professor and Chair of Pediatrics. “His research is very high impact and he has been asked to advise both state and federal governments on policy in this area. This award is great recognition of his contributions.

Patrick, assistant professor of Pediatrics and Health Policy at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, joined the faculty in 2013. His National Institute on Drug Abuse-funded research focuses on improving outcomes for opioid-exposed infants and women with substance-use disorder and evaluating state and federal drug control policies. He previously served as senior science policy adviser to the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, and he has testified before Congress on the rising numbers of newborns diagnosed with opioid withdrawal after birth.

He has served as a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Substance Use and Prevention and as a board member on the U.S. Office of Personnel Management’s multi-state plan program advisory board. In those roles, he also served as an expert consultant for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s development of a guide to the management of opioid-dependent pregnant and parenting women and their children.

Patrick is a graduate of the University of Florida, Florida State University College of Medicine and Harvard School of Public Health. He completed his training in pediatrics, neonatology and health services research as a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholar at the University of Michigan.

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