April 28, 2014

Lauren A. Smith, Former Interim Commissioner and Medical Director of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Joins NICHQ

NICHQ announced today that Lauren A. Smith, MD, MPH, has joined the NICHQ team as the Senior Strategic Advisor on the Collaborative Improvement and Innovation Network to Reduce Infant Mortality (IM CoIIN) project.

Smith is a pediatrician and nationally recognized public health leader whose research and policy career has focused on health disparities and the impact of public policies on child health and wellbeing. She served as the Interim Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health until May 2013 after serving as the Medical Director and Chief Medical Officer of the Department since 2007. She provided senior clinical leadership for policy, planning and programs, including initiating and leading the Department’s joint launch of the Massachusetts Perinatal Quality Collaborative to improve birth outcomes in the state and overseeing the Department’s infant mortality and maternal mortality review efforts. Prior to that, Dr. Smith was on the faculty at Boston University School of Medicine and served as a pediatric hospitalist for more than 10 years at Boston Medical Center, where she was the Medical Director of the Pediatric Inpatient Unit for four years. Dr. Smith’s experience in federal and state government also includes roles as a policy analyst for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General and as a W. T. Grant Health Policy Fellow in the office of the Massachusetts Speaker of the House. A graduate of Harvard College, the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine and the University of California, Berkeley School of Public Health, she completed her residency and chief residency in Pediatrics at Children's Hospital in Boston and her fellowship in General Pediatrics at Boston Medical Center.

“Lauren will be a wonderful addition to our team,” said NICHQ president and CEO Charlie Homer, MD, MPH. “She has vast knowledge and experience in areas directly relevant to NICHQ’s work. We look forward to her leadership as we tackle the persistent problem of infant mortality in the US.”

The IM CoIIN project is a multiyear national initiative engaging federal, state, and local leaders, public and private agencies, professionals and communities to employ quality improvement, innovation and collaborative learning to reduce infant mortality and improve birth outcomes. The project is funded by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) of the Health Resources and Service Administration (HRSA) in the Department of Health and Human Services.