February 23, 2022

Upperman appointed to NACCD advisory committee

Vanderbilt’s Jeffrey Upperman, MD, has been appointed to the National Advisory Committee on Children and Disasters (NACCD) by the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services.


by Christina Echegaray

Jeffrey Upperman, MD, surgeon-in-chief of Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, has been appointed to the National Advisory Committee on Children and Disasters (NACCD) by the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Jeffrey Upperman, MD

The NACCD is charged with evaluating issues and programs and providing recommendations to the HHS secretary to ensure children’s public health and medical care needs are met during disasters.

Specifically, the group gives findings, advice and recommendations “to support and enhance all-hazards public health and medical preparedness, response activities and recovery aimed at meeting the unique needs of children, in a developmentally and socially appropriate manner, across the entire spectrum of their physical, mental, emotional and behavioral well-being.”

“Dr. Upperman is a national leader in disaster management as well as traumatic injuries in children. With this skill set he is uniquely qualified to advise the Secretary of Health and Human Service in this important area,” said Seth Karp, MD, H. William Scott Jr. Professor and the chair of the Section of Surgical Sciences.

Upperman, a pediatric trauma surgeon who specializes in emergency preparedness with a focus on children and families, participated in the first NACCD committee meeting virtually on Feb. 17. The NACCD is a 25-member committee, with 13 non-federal voting members.

“It is indeed an honor and pleasure to again serve our country by helping to prepare families and children for disasters,” said Upperman, who has been at Children’s Hospital since 2019. “I look forward to continued service to families and communities in need before, during and after disaster strikes by advising the Secretary on evidence-based approaches to the holistic preparation for communities across this great country.”

This is Upperman’s second appointment to the NACCD, previously having served a term from 2014-2018. A retired lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Medical Corps, he served as chief of surgery during operation Iraqi Freedom 2 in 2004.

As a researcher, Upperman has published more than 180 peer-reviewed publications, 200 abstracts and 20 book chapters. His focuses include sepsis, inflammation, trauma and disaster preparedness, and he has received research funding support for these areas from the National Institutes of Health, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Department of Health and Human Services.

Upperman graduated from Stanford University with a bachelor’s degree in human biology and a master’s degree in sociology. He earned a medical degree from New Jersey Medical School. He did his internship and residency at University Hospital in New Jersey and completed a fellowship in pediatric surgery at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.

Among his many other professional service activities, Upperman has been a member of the disaster committee for the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma, served as secretary of the Pediatric Trauma Society, and, most recently, was named Governor of the American College of Surgeons.