Undergraduate Degree

  • Stanford University , 1978 , Stanford , CA

Graduate Degree

  • Harvard University School of Public Health , 1983 , Boston , MA

Medical School

  • Harvard Medical School , 1983 , Boston , MA


  • Boston Children's Hospital , 1984 , Boston , MA


  • Boston Children's Hospital , 1987 , Boston , MA


Joint Program in Neonatology
  • Boston Children's Hospital , 1990 , Boston , MA

Philosophy of Care

In the Boston Children’s Hospital (BCH) Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) our philosophy is to ensure that every patient receives the best care for the best possible outcomes. We consider our “patient” to be the baby and the family; we are constantly striving to serve the needs of both. This requires a team based approach with all members being essential. Newborns are the smallest and, at times, among the sickest patients receiving health care. Safe, high quality, family-centered care for these vulnerable patients requires collaboration among knowledgeable, highly skilled clinicians. I’m very privileged to be a member of the team, providing this care while training a promising generation of future physician leaders and contributing to research that will benefit future patients and populations.


DeWayne Pursley, MD, MPH, is chief of the Department of Neonatology and director of the Klarman Family Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. He is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School (HMS). An elected member of the American Pediatric Society, Dr. Pursley’s interests include NICU resource allocation and utilization, and racial and social disparities in infant outcomes.  He is a member of the NIH Advisory Council for Child Health and Human Development and the board of directors of both the American Board of Pediatrics, where he was the past chair of its Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine Sub-board, and the National Perinatal Information Center. He is a founding member of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) NICU Verification Program, and in the past has served as chair of the AAP Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine Section, co-chair of the AAP Diversity and Inclusion Task Force, and president of the AAP Massachusetts Chapter. He also recently led an AAP project to examine resource overuse in newborn medicine and serves on the steering committee for the Vermont-Oxford Network Newborn Intensive Collaborative for Quality project on antibiotic stewardship. A recipient of the HMS Dean’s Community Service Award, Dr. Pursley has also been recognized with the March of Dimes Massachusetts Chapter Franklin Delano Roosevelt Award, the Excellence in Mentoring Award from the HMS Office of Recruitment and Multicultural Affairs, and the HMS Harold Amos Faculty Diversity Award.


  • American Board of Pediatrics, General Pediatrics
  • American Board of Pediatrics, Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine


Publications powered by Harvard Catalyst Profiles

  1. Stein F, Remley K, Laraque-Arena D, Pursley DM. New Resources and Strategies to Advance the AAP's Values of Diversity, Inclusion, and Health Equity. Pediatrics. 2018 Apr; 141(4). View abstract
  2. Ho T, Dukhovny D, Zupancic JAF, Pursley DM. Value-based care: the preference of outcome over prediction. J Pediatr. 2018 May; 196:330-331. View abstract
  3. Pursley DM, McCormick MC. Bending the arc for the extremely low gestational age newborn. Pediatr Res. 2018 Apr; 83(4):751-753. View abstract
  4. Ho T, Zupancic JAF, Pursley DM, Dukhovny D. Improving Value in Neonatal Intensive Care. Clin Perinatol. 2017 Sep; 44(3):617-625. View abstract
  5. Dukhovny D, Pursley DM, Kirpalani HM, Horbar JH, Zupancic JA. Evidence, Quality, and Waste: Solving the Value Equation in Neonatology. Pediatrics. 2016 Mar; 137(3):e20150312. View abstract
  6. Ho T, Dukhovny D, Zupancic JA, Goldmann DA, Horbar JD, Pursley DM. Choosing Wisely in Newborn Medicine: Five Opportunities to Increase Value. Pediatrics. 2015 Aug; 136(2):e482-9. View abstract
  7. Paydar-Darian N, Pursley DM, Haviland MJ, Mao W, Golen T, Burris HH. Improvement in Perinatal HIV Status Documentation in a Massachusetts Birth Hospital, 2009-2013. Pediatrics. 2015 Jul; 136(1):e234-41. View abstract
  8. Wilfond BS, Magnus D, Antommaria AH, Appelbaum P, Aschner J, Barrington KJ, Beauchamp T, Boss RD, Burke W, Caplan AL, Capron AM, Cho M, Clayton EW, Cole FS, Darlow BA, Diekema D, Faden RR, Feudtner C, Fins JJ, Fost NC, Frader J, Hester DM, Janvier A, Joffe S, Kahn J, Kass NE, Kodish E, Lantos JD, McCullough L, McKinney R, Meadow W, O'Rourke PP, Powderly KE, Pursley DM, Ross LF, Sayeed S, Sharp RR, Sugarman J, Tarnow-Mordi WO, Taylor H, Tomlinson T, Truog RD, Unguru YT, Weise KL, Woodrum D, Youngner S. The OHRP and SUPPORT. N Engl J Med. 2013 Jun 20; 368(25):e36. View abstract
  9. Smith VC, Hwang SS, Dukhovny D, Young S, Pursley DM. Neonatal intensive care unit discharge preparation, family readiness and infant outcomes: connecting the dots. J Perinatol. 2013 Jun; 33(6):415-21. View abstract
  10. Brodsky D, Gupta M, Quinn M, Smallcomb J, Mao W, Koyama N, May V, Waldo K, Young S, Pursley DM. Building collaborative teams in neonatal intensive care. BMJ Qual Saf. 2013 May; 22(5):374-82. View abstract
  11. Smith VC, Dukhovny D, Zupancic JA, Gates HB, Pursley DM. Neonatal intensive care unit discharge preparedness: primary care implications. Clin Pediatr (Phila). 2012 May; 51(5):454-61. View abstract
  12. Dukhovny D, Dukhovny S, Pursley DM, Escobar GJ, McCormick MC, Mao WY, Zupancic JA. The impact of maternal characteristics on the moderately premature infant: an antenatal maternal transport clinical prediction rule. J Perinatol. 2012 Jul; 32(7):532-8. View abstract
  13. Gupta M, Pursley DM. A survey of infection control practices for influenza in mother and newborn units in US hospitals. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2011 Jun; 204(6 Suppl 1):S77-83. View abstract
  14. Rasmussen SA, Kissin DM, Yeung LF, MacFarlane K, Chu SY, Turcios-Ruiz RM, Mitchell EW, Williams J, Fry AM, Hageman J, Uyeki TM, Jamieson DJ. Preparing for influenza after 2009 H1N1: special considerations for pregnant women and newborns. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2011 Jun; 204(6 Suppl 1):S13-20. View abstract
  15. Cole FS, Alleyne C, Barks JD, Boyle RJ, Carroll JL, Dokken D, Edwards WH, Georgieff M, Gregory K, Johnston MV, Kramer M, Mitchell C, Neu J, Pursley DM, Robinson WM, Rowitch DH. NIH Consensus Development Conference statement: inhaled nitric-oxide therapy for premature infants. Pediatrics. 2011 Feb; 127(2):363-9. View abstract
  16. Cole FS, Alleyne C, Barks JD, Boyle RJ, Carroll JL, Dokken D, Edwards WH, Georgieff M, Gregory K, Johnston MV, Kramer M, Mitchell C, Neu J, Pursley DM, Robinson W, Rowitch DH. NIH consensus development conference: Inhaled nitric oxide therapy for premature infants. NIH Consens State Sci Statements. 2010 Oct 29; 27(5):1-34. View abstract
  17. Gray JE, Davis DA, Pursley DM, Smallcomb JE, Geva A, Chawla NV. Network analysis of team structure in the neonatal intensive care unit. Pediatrics. 2010 Jun; 125(6):e1460-7. View abstract
  18. Smith VC, Young S, Pursley DM, McCormick MC, Zupancic JA. Are families prepared for discharge from the NICU? J Perinatol. 2009 Sep; 29(9):623-9. View abstract
  19. Pursley DM, Hansen AR, Puder M. Manual of Neonatal Surgical Care. Gastrointestinal Obstruction. 2009. View abstract
  20. Pursley D. Developmental characteristics of preterm infants. Pediatr Rev. 2008 Feb; 29(2):67-8. View abstract
  21. Martin CR, Dumas GJ, Shoaie C, Zheng Z, Mackinnon B, Al-Aweel I, Bistrian BR, Pursley DM, Driscoll DF. Incidence of hypertriglyceridemia in critically ill neonates receiving lipid injectable emulsions in glass versus plastic containers: a retrospective analysis. J Pediatr. 2008 Feb; 152(2):232-6. View abstract
  22. Vanpée M, Walfridsson-Schultz U, Katz-Salamon M, Zupancic JA, Pursley D, Jónsson B. Resuscitation and ventilation strategies for extremely preterm infants: a comparison study between two neonatal centers in Boston and Stockholm. Acta Paediatr. 2007 Jan; 96(1):10-6; discussion 8-9. View abstract
  23. Pursley DM, Silverman GA. Taeusch HW, Ballard RA, Gleason CA, Avery ME, eds. Avery's Diseases of the Newborn. Implications of the Human Genome Project on Neonatal Care. 2004. View abstract
  24. Pursley DM, Hansen AR, Puder M. Manual of Neonatal Surgical Care. Gastrointestinal Obstruction. 2003. View abstract
  25. Gray JE, Safran CA, Davis RB, Pompilio-Weitzner G, Stewart JE, Zaccagnini L, Pursley DM. Yearbook of Medical Informatics. Baby CareLink: Using the Internet and Telemedicine to Improve Care for High Risk Infants. 2002; 399-405. View abstract
  26. Mugford M, Richardson DK, Zupancic JAF, Escobar GJ, Ogino M, Pursley DM. Journal of Perinatology. Re: A Critical Review of Cost Reduction in Neonatal Intensive Care: The ethics of cost reduction. (Letter). 2002; 22(4):336-37. View abstract
  27. Al-Aweel I, Pursley DM, Rubin LP, Shah B, Weisberger S, Richardson DK. Variations in prevalence of hypotension, hypertension, and vasopressor use in NICUs. J Perinatol. 2001 Jul-Aug; 21(5):272-8. View abstract
  28. Richardson DK, Zupancic JA, Escobar GJ, Ogino M, Pursley DM, Mugford M. A critical review of cost reduction in neonatal intensive care. I. The structure of costs. J Perinatol. 2001 Mar; 21(2):107-15. View abstract
  29. Richardson DK, Zupancic JA, Escobar GJ, Ogino M, Pursley DM, Mugford M. A critical review of cost reduction in neonatal intensive care. II. Strategies for reduction. J Perinatol. 2001 Mar; 21(2):121-7. View abstract
  30. Berman S, Richardson DK, Cohen AP, Pursley DM, Lieberman E. Relationship of race and severity of neonatal illness. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2001 Mar; 184(4):668-72. View abstract
  31. Gray JE, Safran C, Davis RB, Pompilio-Weitzner G, Stewart JE, Zaccagnini L, Pursley D. Baby CareLink: using the internet and telemedicine to improve care for high-risk infants. Pediatrics. 2000 Dec; 106(6):1318-24. View abstract
  32. Richardson DK, Gray JE, Gortmaker SL, Goldmann DA, Pursley DM, McCormick MC. Declining severity adjusted mortality: evidence of improving neonatal intensive care. Pediatrics. 1998 Oct; 102(4 Pt 1):893-9. View abstract
  33. Kahn DJ, Richardson DK, Gray JE, Bednarek F, Rubin LP, Shah B, Frantz ID, Pursley DM. Variation among neonatal intensive care units in narcotic administration. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1998 Sep; 152(9):844-51. View abstract
  34. Pursley DM. Infertility and Reproductive Clinics of North America. The Special Challenge of the Multiple Gestation Newborn. 1998; 9(3):461-474. View abstract
  35. Ellington M, Richardson DK, Gray JE, Pursley DM. Early deaths in Chicago and New England. Pediatrics. 1997 May; 99(5):753-4. View abstract
  36. Pursley DM, Richardson DR. Graef JW, ed. Manual of Pediatric Therapeutics. Management of the Sick Newborn. 1993; 137-194. View abstract
  37. Pursley DM, Richardson DK. Graef JW, ed. Manual of Pediatric Therapeutics. Management of the Normal Newborn. 1993; 122-136. View abstract
  38. Kempe A, Wise PH, Barkan SE, Sappenfield WM, Sachs B, Gortmaker SL, Sobol AM, First LR, Pursley D, Rinehart H, et al. Clinical determinants of the racial disparity in very low birth weight. N Engl J Med. 1992 Oct 01; 327(14):969-73. View abstract
  39. Wise PH, Pursley DM. Infant mortality as a social mirror. N Engl J Med. 1992 Jun 04; 326(23):1558-60. View abstract
  40. Pursley DM. Cloherty JP, Stark AR, eds. Manual of Neonatal Care. Identifying the High Risk Newborn and Evaluating Gestational Age, Prematurity, Postmaturity, Large-For-Gestational Age and Small-For-Gestational Age Infants. 1991; 85-103. View abstract
  41. Pursley DM, Stark AR. Cloherty JP, Start AR, eds. Manual of Neonatal Care. Multiple Gestation. 1991; 104-108. View abstract
  42. Share JC, Pursley D, Teele RL. Unsuspected hepatic injury in the neonate--diagnosis by ultrasonography. Pediatr Radiol. 1990; 20(5):320-2. View abstract
  43. Pursley DM, Edouard MM. Buka SL, Peck MG, Gardner JD, eds. Better Health for Children: Action for the Eighties. Medical/Curative Services. 1982; 80-82. View abstract