About the Department : Letter from the Chair

A Letter from the Chair, Dr. Judy Schaechter

The Department of Pediatrics at the University of Miami has over a 60-year history of innovative research with international implications, preventive health that changes communities, standard-setting education, and child health care that brings hope to families.

Breakthrough Science
At UM Pediatrics, our teams have defined or contributed to significant pediatric advancements, including:
• Touch Therapy or skin-to-skin care newborns;
• The diagnosis of—and then prevention of—neonatal HIV;
• Prematurity survival rates, reductions in respiratory disease, infection, vision, growth, and neurodevelopment sequelae;
• The chromosomal basis of Fragile X syndrome;
• The demonstrated benefits of mesynchymal stem cells in improving graft sustainability in solid organ transplantation;
• How to reduce the risk of child abuse;
• How to mitigate the long-term effects of cancer treatments;
• Improvements in early detection and treatment for congenital heart disease;
• New assistive technology for children with neurodevelopmental disabilities.

In all of these cases, our goal is to give children the opportunity to live healthy and full lives, to enjoy meaningful social relationships, to succeed in school, and to grow into adults who make the world a better place for their own children.

Far-Reaching Education that Cares
Our faculty have trained thousands of young doctors – to care about children, families, and communities – in Miami and abroad. The Department of Pediatrics at the University of Miami is made up of physician-scientists, pediatricians, child psychologists, PhDs, social workers, education doctorates, physical therapists, occupational therapists, audiologists, speech pathologists—everyone children need. Our teams work across the scientific/health spectrum as we develop innovative approaches to care for children – and to train those who will care for them in the future – in a comprehensive fashion.

The UM Child Health family is extended across the Americas. We provide full-service primary and subspecialty care to children throughout South Florida in a number of convenient locations. We are also the preferred source of care for international patients from the Caribbean, Central America, and South America and are actively working with colleagues (1) in Peru, to raise the standard of bone marrow transplantation for children, (2) in Paraguay, to improve early detection and intervention for children with developmental disabilities, and (3) in Haiti, to establish a pediatric residency to serve the children of that country. Our Neonatology Conference draws over 1000 attendees from all over the world.

Expert Convenient Comprehensive Care
Our primary hospital partner is Holtz Children’s Hospital at the UM/Jackson Memorial Medical Center. Holtz, ranked by the US News and World Report, hosts our internationally-recognized Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and the largest dialysis non-profit unit in Florida with outstanding outcomes. The Pediatric Intensive Care Unit is recognized as the finest in the region, and cares for children admitted through Ryder Trauma Center. Holtz Children’s Hospital is home to the pediatric component of the Miami Transplant Institute, one of the world’s leaders in solid organ transplantation—particularly multi-organ transplantation—with outcomes beating national benchmarks.

The University of Miami Department of Pediatrics dedicates itself to science so that children can live healthy lives. When something interferes with that, we are here to treat them as part of our family.

Judy Schaechter, M.D., M.B.A.
Professor & Chair, Department of Pediatrics
Chief of Service, Holtz Children’s Hospital, Jackson Health System
George E. Batchelor Endowed Chair in Pediatrics