Lurie Children’s Appoints Leading Expert in Pediatric Emergency Medicine as Its New Division Head

September 07, 2018

Internationally recognized physician-scientist in pediatric emergency medicine and epidemiologist Elizabeth Alpern, MD, has been appointed Division Head of Emergency Medicine at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.  Dr. Alpern joined Lurie Children’s in 2013, coming from Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Since 2016, she has served as the Associate Division Head and Director of Research and is a Professor of Pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

After receiving her medical degree from the University of Michigan Medical School, Dr. Alpern completed her residency and fellowship at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. She also obtained a Master of Science in Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics from the University of Pennsylvania.

“We are extraordinarily proud to have someone of Dr. Alpern’s unique caliber as a leader at our institution,” said Thomas P. Shanley, Department Chair of Pediatrics at Feinberg School of Medicine and Department Head of Medicine at Lurie Children's. “Libby has proven to be a visionary who has made exceptional and impactful contributions to the clinical and research areas in pediatric emergency medicine.” 

Her research interests include the use of large databases within research networks to improve the quality of emergent care delivered to children through application of evidence-based work. Dr. Alpern is a founding member of the Pediatric Emergency Care Applied Research Network (PECARN), the first federally funded national network for research on emergency medical services for children. In addition to her leadership roles with PECARN, she also was the Principal Investigator on a project funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) to develop and leverage the PECARN Registry to establish quality benchmarks for urgent and emergent care. 

She is also funded by the National Institutes of Health (NICHD) as the Principal Investigator to expand and utilize the PECARN Registry data to study the risk of sepsis in pediatric emergency department patients. Currently Dr. Alpern serves as the standing member on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Study Section on Biomedical Computing and Health Informatics. She has published over 150 peer-reviewed articles and has lectured nationally and internationally.

Most recently, Dr. Alpern completed a sabbatical supported by Lurie Children's that focused on mentorship for junior research investigators and clinical faculty. Over the past year, she has also been selected and served as a Fellow in the competitive Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM) Program for Women at Drexel University College of Medicine.

Lurie Children's is one of the top children’s hospitals in the country according to USNews & World Report. It is the pediatric teaching arm for Feinberg School of Medicine and one of only a handful of U.S. children’s hospitals with a dedicated pediatric research center, Stanley Manne Children’s Research Institute. Last year, the hospital treated more than 208,000 patients.  

Last year, the hospital treated more than 200,000 children.