Scott Berns, MD, MPH

Scott D. Berns, MD, MPH, FAAP

President and CEO

Scott Berns has extensive experience in both clinical and administrative roles, along with a passion for improving children’s health, especially among vulnerable children.

Berns joined NICHQ from the March of Dimes National Office, where he was the Senior Vice President of Chapter Programs and Deputy Medical Officer. There he provided direction in education and community services to all March of Dimes state-based chapters, including DC and Puerto Rico. Berns directed national initiatives that are implemented in communities, such as family support and professional development in the newborn intensive care unit (NICU), mobile health care, and Healthy Babies Are Worth the Wait®. He is editor and co-author of “Toward Improving the Outcome of Pregnancy III: Enhancing Perinatal Health Through Quality, Safety and Performance Initiatives.”

Berns is a board certified pediatrician and pediatric emergency physician. He is a Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and Clinical Professor of Health Services, Policy and Practice at the Brown School of Public Health in Providence, RI. He formerly held the post of Medical Director of Pediatric Trauma at Hasbro Children’s Hospital in Providence, RI for 7 years. Berns is also a co-founder of The Progeria Research Foundation, Inc., and serves as its chairman of the board.

Berns received his bachelor’s and medical degrees from Boston University. He completed his residency in pediatrics at Rhode Island Hospital and completed a fellowship in pediatric emergency medicine at Children's National Medical Center in Washington, DC. Berns earned a masters of public health from the Harvard School of Public Health with a concentration in health, policy and management. Berns also completed a one-year White House Fellowship where he served as a Special Assistant to the U.S. Secretary of Transportation.

Berns has made multiple media appearances as an expert in perinatal health; his son Sam and family were featured in an HBO Emmy Award-winning documentary titled “Life According to Sam.” Among many accolades, Berns has received the Willis Wingert Award for excellence in research in pediatric emergency medicine, a national award from the National Perinatal Association, and a public health service award from the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Judi Gooding

Judith Gooding

Chief Operating Officer

Judith Gooding has nearly 30 years of nonprofit management experience, including 18 years leading comprehensive national programs and partnerships. She brings expertise in strategic planning, organizational operations and program development, as well as volunteer and staff development, and corporate communications and marketing. Gooding has a particular interest and experience in national spread and sustainability of proven maternal and child health programs.

Prior to her NICHQ appointment, Gooding was most recently Vice President of Signature Programs at March of Dimes Foundation where she was responsible for leading and scaling programs such as NICU Family Support®, Healthy Babies are Worth the Wait®, Share Your Story online community, and Mom & Baby Mobile Health Centers®.

After joining the March of Dimes in 1987, Gooding held leadership positions in Marketing and Communications, the Office of the President and the Office of the Medical Director, where she co-led the National Folic Acid Campaign with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

From 2000-2002, Gooding was Associate Executive Director of the Fresh Air Fund, a social support nonprofit serving 7,000 inner-city children. She led program improvement in this highly complex organization that provides summer vacation experiences for children in the homes of volunteer host families in 12 states and Canada. Following her work with the Fresh Air Fund, Judith was VP of Community Impact for United Way and an independent consultant to several nonprofit organizations, and rejoined the March of Dimes in 2005.

Gooding has a BA in English Education from Longwood University, Va., and certificate to teach English as a second language from Columbia University Teachers College. She is a member of the American Public Health Association and the National Association of Neonatal Nurses and serves on the planning committees for the Gravens Conference for Care of the High-Risk Newborn and the NICU Leadership Forum.

Joann Petrini

Joann Petrini, PhD, MPH

Chief Science Officer

Joann Petrini has over 25 years of experience working in perinatal epidemiology and public health.

Petrini has been director of Clinical and Health Outcomes Research in the Department of Research and Innovation at Western Connecticut Health Network for the past seven years. In this role, she has led research including both industry-sponsored clinical trials and investigator-initiated studies at three hospitals in Connecticut. Prior to that, Petrini served in various roles at the March of Dimes Foundation, including director of the Perinatal Data Center and senior advisor to the Office of the President.

Petrini has served as one of 15 members of the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services’ Advisory Committee on Infant Mortality. In 2002, Petrini was selected as the recipient of the National Young Professional Achievement Award from the Coalition for Excellence in Maternal and Child Health Epidemiology.

Petrini currently has academic appointments as a clinical associate professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Women’s Health at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York and an associate professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at the University of Vermont College of Medicine.

Petrini received a bachelor’s degree from Southern Connecticut State University and a master’s degree in Public Health from Yale University. She has a second master’s degree in Public Administration and a doctoral degree in Health Policy, Finance and Research from New York University.