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Mark A. Schuster, MD, PhD
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Mark A.  Schuster, MD, PhD

Department: Medicine
Research Centers: General Pediatrics Research Center
Hospital Title: Chief, Division of General Pediatrics; Vice Chair for Health Policy, Department of Medicine
Academic Title: William Berenberg Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School
Research Area: Health promotion & risk reduction
parents' role in child health
Health disparities

Research Overview

Mark Schuster, MD, PhD, conducts research on child, adolescent, and family issues and has studied quality of care, family leave, adolescent sexual health, obesity prevention, community-based participatory research, well child care, children with HIV-infected parents, the effects of terrorist attacks on stress and coping, and the health of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth..  Currently, he is leading the AHRQ/CMS-funded Center of Excellence for Pediatric Quality Measurement, which is developing national measures of quality of health care.  He is also leading the NIH-funded “Students for Nutrition and eXercise (SNaX),” a study developing and evaluating strategies to promote healthy eating and physical activity among youth, and “Improving Adolescent HPV Vaccine Series Initiation and Completion in Pediatric Clinics,” a study to develop and pilot test a strategy to change immunization practice.  In addition, he is head of the L.A. site of “Healthy Passages,” which seeks to identify influences on substance use, violence, injuries, physical activity, nutrition, sexual behavior, and mental and physical health by studying ~5,000 youth in three cities as they progress from age 11 to 16.  Dr. Schuster has authored over 130 original research articles.  He is co-author of Everything You Never Wanted Your Kids to Know About Sex (But Were Afraid They’d Ask): The Secrets to Surviving Your Child’s Sexual Development from Birth to the Teens (Crown; 2003) and co-editor of Child Rearing in America: Challenges Facing Parents of Young Children (Cambridge University Press; 2002).  He has appeared on the Today Show, Good Morning America, CNN, ESPN, Fox News, and NPR, and in the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, Time, Newsweek, People, and many parenting magazines.

About Mark Schuster, MD, PhD

Dr. Schuster is William Berenberg Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and Chief of General Pediatrics and Vice Chair for Health Policy in the Department of Medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital.  He received his BA summa cum laude from Yale, his MD from Harvard Medical School, his MPP from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and his PhD from the Pardee RAND Graduate School.  He did his pediatrics residency at Boston Children’s Hospital and his fellowship with the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program at UCLA.  He won the Nemours Child Health Services Research Award from AcademyHealth for early career achievement in 2003, the Academic Pediatric Association Research Award for career achievement in 2009, and the Douglas K. Richardson Award for lifetime achievement in perinatal and pediatric healthcare research from the Society for Pediatric Research in 2014.  He was elected to the Institute of Medicine in 2013, and he is serving as President of the Academic Pediatric Association in 2014-2015.

Key Publications

  • Schuster MA, Bell RM, Kanouse DE. The sexual practices of adolescent virgins: genital sexual activities of high school students who have never had vaginal intercourse.  Am J Public Health. 1996;86:1570-76. PMCID: PMC1380691.
  • Schuster MA, McGlynn EA, Brook RH. How good is the quality of health care in the United States? Milbank Q. 1998;76(4):517-563, 509. PMCID: PMC2751100.
  • Schuster MA, Stein BD, Jaycox LH, Collins RL, Marshall GN, Elliott MN, Zhou AJ, Kanouse DE, Morrison JL, Berry SH. A national survey of stress reactions after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. N Eng J Med. 2001;345(20):1507-1512.
  • Mangione-Smith R, DeCristofaro AH, Setodji CM, Keesey J, Klein DJ, Adams JL, Schuster MA, McGlynn EA. The quality of ambulatory care delivered to children in the United States. N Engl J Med. 2007;357(15):1515-1523.
  • Schuster MA, Corona R, Elliott MN, Kanouse DE, Eastman KL, Zhou AJ, Klein DJ. Evaluation of Talking Parents, Healthy Teens, a new worksite-based parenting programme to promote parent-adolescent communication about sexual health. BMJ. 2008;337:a308. PMCID: PMC2500197.
  • Schuster MA, Chung PJ, Elliott MN, Garfield CF, Vestal KD, Klein DJ. Awareness and use of California’s paid family leave insurance among parents of chronically ill children. JAMA. 2008;300(9):1047-1055.
  • Schuster MA, Chung PJ, Elliott MN, Garfield CF, Vestal KD, Klein DJ. Perceived effects of leave from work and the role of paid leave among parents of children with special health care needs. Am J Public Health. 2009;99(4):698-705. PMCID: PMC2661484.
  • Schuster MA, Elliott MN, Kanouse DE, Wallander JL, Tortolero SR, Ratner JA, Klein DJ, Cuccaro PM, Davies SL, Banspach SW. Racial and ethnic health disparities among fifth-graders in three cities. N Engl J Med. 2012;367(8):735-745.
  • Berry JG, Toomey SL, Zaslavsky AM, Jha AK, Nakamura MM, Klein DJ, Feng JY, Shulman S, Chiang VK, Kaplan W, Hall M, Schuster MA. Pediatric readmission prevalence and variability across hospitals. JAMA. 2013;309(4):372-380. PMCID: PMC3640861.
  • Bogart LM, Elliott MN, Klein DJ, Tortolero SR, Mrug S, Peskin MF, Davies SL, Schink ET, Schuster MA. Peer victimization in fifth grade and health in tenth grade. Pediatrics. 2014;133(3):440-447.

Active Projects

2008-2016 National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities

2 R24 MD001648
Principal Investigator

A Community-Academic Partnership to Address Disparities in Obesity Among Youth

  • Developing and evaluating a multi-level intervention to promote healthy eating and physical activity among middle school students, using community-based participatory research principles.

2011-2015 Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

U18 HS020513
Principal Investigator

Children’s Hospital Boston Center of Excellence for Quality Measurement

  • Developing and testing pediatric quality measures.

2011-2014 CMMS

HHSM5002005 00028I
Principal Investigator

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, subcontract from RAND

  • National Implementation of Medicare Advantage-Prescription Drug Plan CAHPS Survey
  • Analyzing responses to Medicare version of the Consumer Assessments of Health Care Providers and Systems (CAHPS) Survey.
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