Long-time faculty member will leave the Miller School to continue leadership roles advancing child health policy, lifelong learning and continuous credentialing
Judy Schaechter, M.D., M.B.A., former chair of the Department of Pediatrics, is leaving the University of Miami to become the new president and CEO of the American Board of Pediatrics (ABP), effective January 1, 2022.
Dr. Schaechter will succeed David G. Nichols, M.D., M.B.A., who is retiring after more than 25 years of association with the ABP. She will continue his work of positioning the ABP as one of the key leaders and conveners among pediatric organizations, and making improvements to advance the health of children, adolescents, and young adults.
Dr. Schaechter stepped down as chair of the Department of Pediatrics and chief of service at Holtz Children’s Hospital at UM/Jackson Memorial Medical Center on August 31, 2020, to accept a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation fellowship in Washington, D.C. The prestigious one-year fellowship has enabled her to begin expanding her longtime involvement in health policy and child policy at the local and state levels to the federal level.
Dr. Schaechter, who is professor of pediatrics and public health sciences, has been on the faculty of the Miller School since 1997 and has received a number of prestigious local and national awards.
Dr. Schaechter has focused much of her work on child safety, most notably firearm injury prevention. Her commitment has led to leadership positions with many advocacy organizations, including the presidency of the National Injury Free Coalition for Kids, whose Miami chapter she founded in 2000. From 2011 to 2017, Dr. Schaechter was a plaintiff in the federal case that overturned Florida’s Physician Gag Law, which restricted doctors from discussing gun injury risk with patients.
“Fired up” about issues that change lives
“I’ve always been focused on — even fired up about — issues that change lives for children and families. Advocacy provides an opportunity to speak up and stand strong for children; it has been part of my professional approach since I started in pediatrics,” she said. “I will miss the Miller School, because academic medicine has supported my interests from both sides — working with partners to explore big ideas and caring for the smallest among us, one-to-one.”
“Dr. Schaechter has demonstrated outspoken leadership regarding state and local issues that are also of national concern,” said Henri R. Ford, M.D., M.H.A., dean and chief academic officer of the Miller School. “Her advocacy has produced positive results, and we wish her well continuing the work that means so much to her.”
Dr. Schaechter is also a committed advocate for prevention and treatment efforts in areas such as vaccination, nutrition, health disparities, and school health. As chair, she worked to build the Department of Pediatrics’ leadership in issues such as access to care, racial justice, and gender equity.
“Demonstrating that a focus on certain social issues would ultimately have a positive impact on clinical outcomes has been one of Dr. Schaechter’s most important contributions to the field. Her instinct for seeing these connections significantly increased the value of our department’s work,” said Glenn Flores, M.D., professor and chair of the Department of Pediatrics, and senior associate dean for child health.