School of Medicine Dean Talmadge E. King, Jr., MD, announced the appointment of Raphael Hirsch, MD, as the new Chair of the UCSF Department of Pediatrics and Physician-in-Chief, Benioff Children’s Hospitals, effective July 15, 2019.
Dr. Hirsch comes to UCSF from the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, where he currently serves as Chair of the Stead Family Department of Pediatrics and holds the Joel and Jay Stead Chair for Leadership in Children’s Medicine. He also serves as Physician-in-Chief at the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital.
During his seven years in Iowa, Dr. Hirsch has helped direct a transformation of the pediatric program, spurred by construction of the first free-standing children’s hospital for the University of Iowa, which opened in February of 2017. During his tenure, it became one of the fastest-growing pediatric departments in the country, with a 50% growth in the size of the faculty, dramatic expansion of clinical outreach across the state to better serve communities in need, and a growing NIH portfolio, with a commitment to investing in young physician scientists.
Dr. Hirsch’s research career has focused on understanding the pathophysiology of arthritis and exploring innovative therapies for autoimmune diseases. He has published nearly 100 scientific papers and has been NIH-funded for the past 25 years, most recently as Principal Investigator of an NICHD Child Health Research Development Award that trains junior faculty to become pediatric physician scientists.
Prior to moving to Iowa, Dr. Hirsch spent ten years as Director of the Division of Pediatric Rheumatology at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, where he was also Vice Chair for Faculty Development in Pediatrics at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. During his tenure, the division grew from a one-physician program to one of the largest and most comprehensive programs in the United States, with the nation’s only NIH-funded T32 training grant dedicated solely to the training of pediatric rheumatologists. He has devoted substantial time and energy to teaching, led by a sense of deep personal responsibility to help ensure a rich supply of future pediatric leaders.
Dr. Hirsch has held numerous national leadership positions, including as a member of the Board of Directors of the American College of Rheumatology and as one of the founding Executive Committee members of the Childhood Arthritis and Rheumatology Research Alliance (CARRA), a multi-center clinical research network for pediatric rheumatology. He was recently appointed to the Board of Scientific Counselors at the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS, NIH). He is a member of several national professional organizations including the American Society for Clinical Investigation.
Dr. Hirsch earned his MD from the University of Illinois College of Medicine and completed his pediatric residency at the University of Minnesota, where he also served as chief resident. He completed a pediatric rheumatology fellowship at Children's National Medical Center, Washington, D.C. and a medical staff fellowship at the National Cancer Institute. He has a Business Leadership Certificate from the University of Pittsburgh Katz School of Business.
"I am confident that Dr. Hirsch’s accomplishments in leadership, education, research, and business will position him well to lead the pediatric enterprise at UCSF. I look forward to the excellent work he will accomplish in the pursuit of protecting and advancing the health and well-being of infants, children, and young adults, in the San Francisco Bay Area and around the world," Dr. King stated in his announcement.
"I want to express my appreciation to Dr. Kevin Shannon, for his support and leadership over the two years serving as Interim Chair of Pediatrics. Not only is Dr. Shannon an accomplished researcher
and mentor, he has provided steadfast leadership as we continue to integrate our programs in San Francisco and Oakland. I am grateful for his commitment to UCSF, the faculty and trainees, as well as his candor. I am confident that his partnership and extraordinary institutional knowledge will be deeply appreciated by Dr. Hirsch."