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National Leader in Children’s Health Named to Leading Pediatric Post at UCSD, Children’s Hospital


September 23, 2005  |  

Gabriel G. Haddad, M.D., a leading specialist in pediatric respiratory medicine, is the new Chairman of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine and Medical Center and the new Physician-in-Chief at San Diego’s Children’s Hospital and Health Center. UCSD’s Department of Pediatrics and Children’s Hospital are affiliated programs, with most of UCSD’s pediatric training and inpatient care based at Children’s Hospital.

Haddad was jointly recruited from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, where he served as the Chairman of the Department of Pediatrics, and also as Pediatrician-in-Chief at The Children’s Hospital at Montefiore Hospital. He begins his joint duties at UCSD and Children’s Hospital and Health Center on September 1st. He replaces Kenneth L. Jones, M.D., who is returning to his research and clinical activities after serving in these roles since July of 2000.

“Dr. Haddad is an exceptional physician, a distinguished physician scientist and a respected leader in pediatric health,” said Edward W. Holmes, UCSD Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences and Dean, School of Medicine. “We are fortunate to be able to bring him to our community. He has dedicated his career to improving the health of young patients. His compassion, insight, and dedication to advancing patient care through teamwork and partnership between two highly respected medical institutions in New York City will be a tremendous asset as we continue to strengthen our relationship with Children’s Hospital in San Diego.”

An accomplished physician-scientist, Haddad is passionate about developing better care through research. In recent years his research has focused on the basis for cell and tissue injury at the molecular level when tissues and organs are deprived of nutrients and oxygen.

Blair Sadler, President and CEO of Children’s Hospital and Health Center looks to Haddad’s research background as a stepping stone to furthering Children Hospital’s research goals.

“Dr. Haddad will be actively involved in key recruitments in our priority clinical and research areas,” said Sadler. “He will lead the development of a comprehensive strategic research plan.”

Equally important, Sadler foresees Haddad continuing to build upon the link forged between Children’s and UCSD. In 2001 UCSD, Children's Hospital and Health Center, and Children's Specialists of San Diego (CSSD) formally unified pediatric patient care, research, education and community service programs, creating a university-affiliated children's health system to serve the region. The formal agreement provided transition of UCSD's pediatric inpatient programs and specialty services to Children's Hospital, the region’s only health care system dedicated to the health and well-being of children.

“This position is vital to ensure continuing participation between Children’s, CSSD and UCSD, and to helping us take the partnership between our institutions to new and higher levels,” said Dr. Michael Segall, President of CSSD. “We look to Dr. Haddad to be a great bridge builder and liaison between the two organizations.”

Both Children’s and UCSD consider bridge building critical to the ongoing effort to create a truly world-class center for children’s health in San Diego. When the partnership was formed in 2001 the institutions were applauded for paving the way for realizing world-class, pediatric excellence for the children and families of San Diego County. The two institutions are still in the early phases of a promising partnership. With the addition of Haddad the institutions are now poised to deliver on the pledge of providing the leading edge patient care, leadership in research, and training that great university-affiliated children’s hospitals are known for providing.

Ensuring San Diego’s place on the national map as a leading center for children’s health and unifying the two organizations is the reason why Haddad accepted the position.

“It’s exciting to be able to lead these two entities,” said Haddad from his New York office. “Children’s is a major hospital for diagnosing and treating children’s diseases. UCSD, of course, is a spectacular institution in research, teaching and generation of new knowledge. The next five to ten years are going to be very exciting. Our goal is to establish the Department of Pediatrics as one of the top five to ten departments in the country and Children’s as the top Children’s Hospital west of the Mississippi. This can be accomplished by further strengthening research, education and the tertiary and quaternary care collaborations between two already superb institutions.”

Haddad believes that strengthening all aspects of the partnership between UCSD and Children’s will not only reinforce the excellent care already provided, but will also speed the generation of new knowledge through research leading to better care for children today and in future generations.

“Better care occurs through research,” Haddad said, “from bedside to bench, and back. It is important to take questions we encounter at the patient’s bedside and find answers in the laboratory, so we ultimately can provide better treatment and disease prevention programs.”

Haddad has published over 220 articles and manuscripts, written over 70 chapters, and authored numerous medical texts including the landmark Basic Mechanisms of Pediatric Respiratory Disease. He sits on numerous national committees such as the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, and is a member of 17 distinguished medical societies, many in a leadership role. Haddad has held numerous editorial appointments, is a reviewer for 17 respected medical journals, is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, and has been invited to speak at over 100 national and international conferences.

Haddad received his medical education and initial medical training at the American University of Beirut in Lebanon, followed by additional training at University of Texas in Houston. He then moved to Columbia University in New York to do his fellowship before joining the faculty in 1978. Ten years later he accepted an appointment at Yale to direct the Respiratory Medicine Section and serve as Chief of Clinical Service in Respiratory Medicine, and becoming a Professor of Cellular & Molecular Physiology shortly thereafter at the same institution. He was appointed Chairman at Albert Einstein in 2002.

Haddad is married and the father of three children.

Children's Hospital opened its doors in 1954, and over the years has evolved from a 59-bed hospital to a major regional resource for the prevention and treatment of pediatric diseases and injuries, and for advocacy and education on behalf of children. The hospital's Rose Pavilion, which opened in 1993, blends innovative design, color, lighting and proportion to give children the best environment for recovery. Children's has 226 inpatient beds, a 32-bed NICU, a 59-bed convalescent hospital, an extensive network of primary care and specialty care centers, medical staff of over 700, and approximately $8.5 million research funding.

Children’s Specialists of San Diego (CSSD) is a group of private practice, pediatric specialty physicians affiliated with Children’s, UCSD, Scripps, Sharp, Mercy and Palomar-Pomerado hospitals. The 2001 agreement signed between CSSD and UCSD consolidated most regional, pediatric-specialty services, enhancing patient care, research and education.

UCSD's Department of Pediatrics was among the School of Medicine's original departments when the medical school opened in 1968. Today the department has about 115 faculty physicians and researchers, approximately $30 million in research funding, and an extensive community outreach program. The UCSD Medical Center has 40 licensed neonatal intensive care beds, with primary and specialty services provided at UCSD outpatient facilities in Hillcrest and La Jolla. The pediatrics graduate training program has 84 interns, residents and clinical fellows.

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