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. Zupancic JAF, Kunz SN, Pursley DM. Quantifying the Where and How Long of Newborn Care. Pediatrics. 2020 Aug; 146(2). View abstract
  2. Pursley DM, Zupancic JAF. Using Neonatal Intensive Care Units More Wisely for At-Risk Newborns and Their Families. JAMA Netw Open. 2020 Jun 01; 3(6):e205693. View abstract
  3. Gupta M, Zupancic JAF, Pursley DM. Caring for Newborns Born to Mothers With COVID-19: More Questions Than Answers. Pediatrics. 2020 08; 146(2). View abstract
  4. Litt JS, Fraiman YS, Pursley DM. Health Equity and the Social Determinants: Putting Newborn Health in Context. Pediatrics. 2020 06; 145(6). View abstract
  5. Davis JM, Pursley DM. Preventing long-term respiratory morbidity in preterm neonates: is there a path forward? Pediatr Res. 2020 01; 87(1):9-10. View abstract
  6. Dukhovny D, Buus-Frank ME, Edwards EM, Ho T, Morrow KA, Srinivasan A, Pollock DA, Zupancic JAF, Pursley DM, Goldmann D, Puopolo KM, Soll RF, Horbar JD. A Collaborative Multicenter QI Initiative to Improve Antibiotic Stewardship in Newborns. Pediatrics. 2019 12; 144(6). View abstract
  7. Beck AF, Edwards EM, Horbar JD, Howell EA, McCormick MC, Pursley DM. The color of health: how racism, segregation, and inequality affect the health and well-being of preterm infants and their families. Pediatr Res. 2020 01; 87(2):227-234. View abstract
  8. Davis JM, Pursley DM. Cell-based therapies in neonates: the emerging role of regulatory science. Pediatr Res. 2019 08; 86(2):145-146. View abstract
  9. Gupta M, Pursley DM, Smith VC. Preparing for Discharge From the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Pediatrics. 2019 06; 143(6). View abstract
  10. Burris HH, Lorch SA, Kirpalani H, Pursley DM, Elovitz MA, Clougherty JE. Racial disparities in preterm birth in USA: a biosensor of physical and social environmental exposures. Arch Dis Child. 2019 10; 104(10):931-935. View abstract
  11. Ho T, Buus-Frank ME, Edwards EM, Morrow KA, Ferrelli K, Srinivasan A, Pollock DA, Dukhovny D, Zupancic JAF, Pursley DM, Soll RF, Horbar JD. Adherence of Newborn-Specific Antibiotic Stewardship Programs to CDC Recommendations. Pediatrics. 2018 12; 142(6). View abstract
  12. Kennedy EB, Hacker MR, Miedema D, Pursley DM, Modest AM, Golen TH, Burris HH. NICU Admissions After a Policy to Eliminate Elective Early Term Deliveries Before 39 Weeks' Gestation. Hosp Pediatr. 2018 11; 8(11):686-692. View abstract
  13. 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 04; 141(4). View abstract
  14. Ho T, Dukhovny D, Zupancic JAF, Pursley DM. Value-based care: the preference of outcome over prediction. J Pediatr. 2018 05; 196:330-331. View abstract
  15. Pursley DM, McCormick MC. Bending the arc for the extremely low gestational age newborn. Pediatr Res. 2018 04; 83(4):751-753. View abstract
  16. Stark AR, Papile LA, Pursley DM, Hankins CT, Bondurant PG, Buck RK,]Wallace TJ. Development of a verification program for NICU levels of care. Acta Paediatrica. 2017; 106:27. View abstract
  17. Ho T, Zupancic JAF, Pursley DM, Dukhovny D. Improving Value in Neonatal Intensive Care. Clin Perinatol. 2017 09; 44(3):617-625. View abstract
  18. 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
  19. 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
  20. 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
  21. 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
  22. 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
  23. 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
  24. 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
  25. 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
  26. 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
  27. 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
  28. 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
  29. 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
  30. 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
  31. 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
  32. Pursley DM, Hansen AR, Puder M. Manual of Neonatal Surgical Care. Gastrointestinal Obstruction. 2009. View abstract
  33. Pursley D. Developmental characteristics of preterm infants. Pediatr Rev. 2008 Feb; 29(2):67-8. View abstract
  34. 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
  35. 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
  36. 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
  37. Pursley DM, Hansen AR, Puder M. Manual of Neonatal Surgical Care. Gastrointestinal Obstruction. 2003. View abstract
  38. 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
  39. 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
  40. 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
  41. 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
  42. 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
  43. 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
  44. 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
  45. 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
  46. 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
  47. Pursley DM. Infertility and Reproductive Clinics of North America. The Special Challenge of the Multiple Gestation Newborn. 1998; 9(3):461-474. View abstract
  48. Ellington M, Richardson DK, Gray JE, Pursley DM. Early deaths in Chicago and New England. Pediatrics. 1997 May; 99(5):753-4. View abstract
  49. Gray JE, Pursley DM, Shah B, Rubin LP, Richardson DK. Variability in transfer practices among NICUs: Implications for health services research. Pediatric Research. 1996; 39(4):1580. View abstract
  50. Pursley DM, Richardson DK, Gray JE, Wise PH, McCormick MC. Lower illness severity among black infants reflects physiological advantage among moderately low-birth-weight infants. Pediatric Research. 1995; 37(4):A270. View abstract
  51. Gray J, Goulart R, Pursley D, Roberts A, Pacim D, Uhl L, Kruskall M. Guidelines for neonatal coombs testing - low compliance and clinical utility. Pediatric Research. 1995; 37(4):A258. View abstract
  52. Pursley DM, Richardson DR. Graef JW, ed. Manual of Pediatric Therapeutics. Management of the Sick Newborn. 1993; 137-194. View abstract
  53. Pursley DM, Richardson DK. Graef JW, ed. Manual of Pediatric Therapeutics. Management of the Normal Newborn. 1993; 122-136. View abstract
  54. 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
  55. Wise PH, Pursley DM. Infant mortality as a social mirror. N Engl J Med. 1992 Jun 04; 326(23):1558-60. View abstract
  56. 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
  57. Pursley DM, Stark AR. Cloherty JP, Start AR, eds. Manual of Neonatal Care. Multiple Gestation. 1991; 104-108. View abstract
  58. Kempe A, Wise PH, Sappenfield WM, Barkan SE, Gortmaker SL, First LR, Pursley DM, Sobel AM, Weitzman M, Holgren E. Multiple causation of racial disparities in VLBW- a 2-site population-based study. Pediatric Research. 1990; 27(4):247. View abstract
  59. Pursley DM, Wise PH, Barkan SE, Kempe A, Gortmaker SL, First LR, Sobel AM, Weitzman M. The etiology of elevated black normal birth-weight (NBW) neonatal mortality in a total population with high access to tertiary care. Pediatric Research. 1990; 27(4):A253. View abstract
  60. Share JC, Pursley D, Teele RL. Unsuspected hepatic injury in the neonate--diagnosis by ultrasonography. Pediatr Radiol. 1990; 20(5):320-2. View abstract
  61. 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