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New Interim Chairman of Pediatrics Named

(Jul 26, 2007)

Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital is pleased to announce that Richard Polin, MD, Professor of Pediatrics and Director of the Division of Perinatal Medicine within the Department of Pediatrics, has agreed to serve as Interim Chairman of Pediatrics. Dr. Polin succeeds John M. Driscoll, Jr., MD, who stepped down as Chair in June.

For nearly 40 years, Dr. Driscoll has been a leading force in our pediatrics program, serving the last 15 years as Chairman of Pediatrics at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and Director of the Hospital's Pediatrics Service. Dr. Driscoll has been a national advocate for children's health, and he was instrumental in realizing the opening of the new Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital of NewYork-Presbyterian in 2003. Dr. Driscoll will remain a valued member of the faculty and continue his pediatric practice here.

Dr. Richard Polin is a dedicated clinician and established researcher. He has been tireless in leading initiatives to improve neonatal health. As director of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital, a position he has held since 1998, Dr. Polin has helped advance the fields of developmental immunology and neonatal immunity. His interests also include neonatal sepsis, fluid and electrolyte management in the newborn, and hyperbilirubinemia. Recently, he helped to direct a multi-center clinical trial that provided the first conclusive evidence that a head cooling device, known as the “Cool Cap,” may prevent brain damage in oxygen-deprived newborns.

Dr. Polin earned his undergraduate and medical degrees from Temple University and began his training at Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago. In 1972, he joined Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and, what was then termed Babies Hospital, for a pediatric residency. He later completed a neonatology fellowship, a year as chief resident, and a Rustin McIntosh Fellowship in Pediatrics.

In 1978, Dr. Polin moved to The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, where he held several leadership positions in pediatrics and neonatology, returning to Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital in 1998 as a full professor and Director of the NICU. In 2005, he received the esteemed Physician of the Year Award, from both NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center and the Children's Hospital Division of Nursing. In fall of 2006, Dr. Polin received the annual Neonatal Education Award from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) section on perinatal pediatrics for his outstanding and enduring contributions to excellence in neonatal and perinatal medicine. He has edited more than 20 books, including Fetal and Neonatal Physiology, the definitive text on newborn physiology.

Charles Schleien, MD, will assume the newly created position of Interim Senior Vice Chairman, working closely with Dr. Polin.

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