September 16, 2010

Children’s Hospital names Lowen to lead Child Abuse Pediatrics

Children’s Hospital names Lowen to lead Child Abuse Pediatrics

Deborah Lowen, M.D.

Deborah Lowen, M.D.

Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt

Lowen, who is board certified in Child Abuse Pediatrics, will perform medical evaluations when there is suspicion of abuse or neglect, liaison with law enforcement and child welfare organizations and teach medical students, residents and attending physicians about signs of maltreatment.

“These kids have already been through a lot. Without the appropriate medical evaluation, they are not protected from further harm or are more traumatized,” said Lowen, who will also serve as an associate professor in the Department of Pediatrics.

Shari Barkin, M.D., director of the Division of General Pediatrics, said Lowen is a great asset to the division.

“This is a critical position that requires expertise, dedication, compassion, and fierce advocacy for children and families. Dr. Lowen is exactly the right person for the job,” Barkin said.

Lowen provides detailed evaluations, which include lengthy medical history and any studies that have been done.

“I’m trying to determine was it an accident? Is there a medical problem that is mimicking abuse? Was the child neglected, but there is a reason for it, like not enough money to buy medications?”

Lowen said honesty and cooperation are her top priorities.
“It’s important that we are honest. Sometimes I have to say that I don’t know whether it is abuse, and I’m not afraid to do that,” she said.

“It’s also important to work as a team within the hospital and with community groups to ensure that these kids are safe.”

Lowen completed a fellowship in Child Abuse and Neglect at Brown University School of Medicine, and served most recently at the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine, Tulsa, where she was a child abuse pediatrician, director of the Child Abuse Pediatrics Fellowship program and medical director of the Children’s Justice Center.