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Patrick’s work lauded by Society for Pediatric Research

Feb. 14, 2019, 9:49 AM


by Christina Echegaray

Stephen Patrick, MD, MPH, MS, has been named to receive the Society for Pediatric Research 2019 Young Investigator Award, an honor bestowed upon a young physician who has embarked on a career in investigative pediatrics.

Stephen Patrick, MD, MPH, MS

Patrick, director of the Vanderbilt Center for Child Health Policy and assistant professor of Pediatrics and Health Policy in the Division of Neonatology, has quickly become one of the nation’s leading experts on the impact of the opioid epidemic on pregnant women and infants.

His research focuses on improving outcomes for pregnant women and infants affected by the epidemic, including infants who have drug withdrawal symptoms after birth, known as neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), as well as evaluating state and federal control policies.

“Dr. Patrick’s outstanding research accomplishments have had a remarkable impact on his field, and the findings of his rigorously conducted health services research have directly resulted in policy changes that have benefitted vulnerable children,” said Steven Webber, MBChB, MRCP, James C. Overall Professor, chair of the Department of Pediatrics and pediatrician-in-chief of Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. “His accomplishments of conducting outstanding research and influencing health policies are most worthy of the SPR Young Investigator Award.”

Patrick will receive his award April 29 during the 2019 Pediatric Academic Societies meeting in Baltimore, where he will also deliver a presentation on his work.

“The whole Division of Neonatology is thrilled over Dr. Patrick’s award. He is so deserving of this honor,” said Susan Guttentag, MD, director of the Division of Neonatology within the Department of Pediatrics and the Julia Carell Stadler Professor. “I served on the nominations committee for this award several years ago, and I can’t recall a time when any applicant in health services and/or policy research was chosen. This is a prestigious award and is a testament to not only the quality of his work but the impact that he’s had nationally.”

In addition to his roles at Vanderbilt, Patrick is adjunct physician policy researcher for RAND Corporation, a nonprofit global policy think tank. Recently, he was named a guest researcher in the Division of Reproductive Health for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Patrick joined Vanderbilt in 2013. Previously, he 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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