Pediatrician Dr. Frederick P. Rivara, a worldwide leader in injury prevention, is named the 2021 recipient of the Joseph W. St. Geme Jr. Leadership Award by the Federation of Pediatric Organizations.
The federation is comprised of seven pediatric organizations, representing every pediatrician in the country and the recipient is honored at the Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting’s Opening General Session scheduled for April 30, 2021.
The award was created in 1988 to honor the life, work, and memory of Dr. Joseph W. St. Geme Jr. and to memorialize his many contributions to and his aspirations for pediatrics. The recipient is recognized as being a pediatrician who is perceived as a role model for others to emulate as a clinician, an educator or an investigator. The recipient is a distinguished leader who has “created a future” for pediatrics and for children.
“Fred is an amazing person, both as a person and a scientist,” said Dr. Bruder Stapleton, former chair of pediatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine. He said Rivara is being recognized for his groundbreaking work in injury prevention, research, and advocacy.
Rivara, a practicing pediatrician at Harborview Medical Center and Seattle Children’s, is the founding leader of the Harborview Injury and Prevention Center at UW in Seattle. He conducted seminal research that led to the development of community-based bicycle helmet campaigns throughout the world, thereby saving many bikers from preventable head injuries. He contributed significantly to firearm safety through showing the risks of firearms in the home and developing the science to support evidence-based solutions, including safe storage of firearms, and legislation to prevent firearm access to those who are at highest risk of harm to self or others.
He was a leader in the report commissioned by the World Health Organization to study the toll of injuries to children worldwide and to create strategies to address those. He is now looking at interventions to reduce the effects of concussion in youth and is a leader in developing biomarkers to identify those at greatest risk of developing persistent post-concussive symptoms.
Rivara holds the Seattle Children’s Guild Association Endowed Chair in Pediatric Research,and is vice chair and professor in the Department of Pediatrics at UW School of Medicine, and an adjunct professor in the Department of Epidemiology.
As editor of JAMA Pediatrics from 2000 to 2017, he raised it to be the highest impact pediatric publication in the world. In 2018 he was selected to be the founding editor of JAMA Network Open, the JAMA Network’s open access, general medical journal. Rivara was elected to the Institute of Medicine (now the National Academy of Medicine) in 2005.
Those who know Rivara find him to be an incredibly generous person. He is credited for mentoring hundreds of trainees and junior faculty. Rivara won a national mentorship award by the Academic Pediatric Association in 2012, and the UW Minority Faculty Mentoring Award in 2015. In 1999, the pediatric residents at the UW School of Medicine chose Rivara as the faculty member who is the best role model as a pediatrician.
The Federation of Pediatric Organizations is comprised of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Academic Pediatric Association, American Pediatric Society, American Board of Pediatrics, Association of Medical School Pediatric Department Chairs, Association of Pediatric Program Directors, and Society for Pediatric Research. The federation promotes optimal health for children by building on the efforts and expertise of the member organizations, and on the relationships between the member organizations to accomplish shared goals.