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Judith  Palfrey, MD

Judith Palfrey
Medicine Research
General Pediatrics Research
Hospital Title:
Director, Global Health Program
Academic Title:
T. Berry Brazelton Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School
Research Focus Area:
Children with special health care needsEarly Interventionglobal health
Contact Via Email
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Research Overview

Judith Palfrey's primary research interest is in designing and evaluating programs for children with special health care needs. Her work is focused on the development of innovative systems of care and the assessment of the costs and benefits of such systems. She is currently the Principal Investigator of the NIDDR funded Opening Doors: The National Center for Children with Special Health Care Needs. This project is directed at improving access to early identification, community inclusion and effective transition services for children and youth from traditionally underserved communities. Dr. Palfrey is a national leader in research on the medical home for children with special health care needs, having conducted the Pediatric Alliance for Coordinated Care, which established the feasibility of the medical home for CSHCN. Dr. Palfrey also founded Project School Care which produced guidelines for the safe inclusion of CSHCN in schools.

About Judith Palfrey

Dr. Palfrey received her MD from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. She did her residency training at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and was a fellow in Community Child Health at Children's Hospital. From 1986 to 2008, she served as the Chief of the Division of General Pediatrics at Children's Hospital. She was the National Director of Building Bright Futures, the Director of the National Program Office of the Anne E. Dyson Pediatric Training in the Community Initiative and is a Past President of the Ambulatory Pediatrics Association. She is currently the Director of the Children's International Pediatric Center and is working to establish training and service programs in international sites based on her experiences in the United States. She is the author of five books including Community Child Health (Praeger Press, 1994) and Child Health in America (Johns Hopkins Press, 2006).


Publications powered by Harvard Catalyst Profiles
  1. Peacock-Chambers E, Del Canto P, Ahlers D, Valdivia Peralta M, Palfrey J. School-Based Disaster Recovery: Promotion of Children's Mental Health Over the Long Haul. Disaster Med Public Health Prep. 2017 Oct; 11(5):633-636.
  2. Russ CM, Tran T, Silverman M, Palfrey J. A Study of Global Health Elective Outcomes: A Pediatric Residency Experience. Glob Pediatr Health. 2017; 4:2333794X16683806.
  3. Rosen-Reynoso M, Porche MV, Kwan N, Bethell C, Thomas V, Robertson J, Hawes E, Foley S, Palfrey J. Disparities in Access to Easy-to-Use Services for Children with Special Health Care Needs. Matern Child Health J. 2016 May; 20(5):1041-53.
  4. Palfrey J. Conscientious refusal or discrimination against gay parents? AMA J Ethics. 2015 Oct 01; 17(10):897-903.
  5. Lee C, Du YB, Christina D, Palfrey J, O'Rourke E, Belfer M. Displacement as a predictor of functional impairment in tsunami-exposed children. Disasters. 2015 Jan; 39(1):86-107.
  6. Palfrey JS. Transforming child health care. Pediatrics. 2013 Dec; 132(6):1123-4.
  7. Chapman T, Palfrey J. Reforming care for children with disabilities. Mod Healthc. 2013 Nov 18; 43(46):25.
  8. Palfrey JS, Palfrey S. Preventing gun deaths in children. N Engl J Med. 2013 Jan 31; 368(5):401-3.
  9. Du YB, Lee CT, Christina D, Belfer ML, Betancourt TS, O'Rourke EJ, Palfrey JS. The living environment and children's fears following the Indonesian tsunami. Disasters. 2012 Jul; 36(3):495-513.
  10. Palfrey JS, Chamberlain LJ. Do medical professionalism and medical education involve commitments to political advocacy? Acad Med. 2011 Sep; 86(9):1062-3; author reply 1065.
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  12. Palfrey JS, Cheng TL, Schuster MA. A history of the Academic Pediatric Association's public policy and advocacy initiatives. Acad Pediatr. 2011 May-Jun; 11(3):205-10.
  13. Palfrey JS, Brei TJ. Children's health care providers and health care quality measurement. Acad Pediatr. 2011 May-Jun; 11(3 Suppl):S87-8.
  14. Berry JG, Bloom S, Foley S, Palfrey JS. Health inequity in children and youth with chronic health conditions. Pediatrics. 2010 Dec; 126 Suppl 3:S111-9.
  15. Palfrey JS, Huntington NL, Yusuf A, Foley SM, Nary D, Jenkins R. Viewing services for children and youth with special health care needs through a community lens. Pediatrics. 2010 Dec; 126 Suppl 3:S107-10.
  16. Palfrey JS. Female genital mutilation. US policy on genital cutting. BMJ. 2010 Jul 27; 341:c4013.
  17. Palfrey JS, Hall R. Health care reform: the doorway to health care transformation. Pediatrics. 2010 Aug; 126(2):374-5.
  18. Glader LJ, Palfrey JS. Care of the child assisted by technology. Pediatr Rev. 2009 Nov; 30(11):439-44; quiz 445.
  19. Palfrey JS. How health care reform can benefit children and adolescents. N Engl J Med. 2009 Oct 22; 361(17):e34.
  20. Fortuna RJ, Palfrey JS, Shelov SP, Samuels RC. Paediatric experiences with work-hour limitations. J Eval Clin Pract. 2009 Feb; 15(1):116-20.
  21. Stanton B, Huang CC, Armstrong RW, Sectish TC, Palfrey J, Nelson BD, Herlihy JM, Alden E, Keenan W, Szilagyi P. Global health training for pediatric residents. Pediatr Ann. 2008 Dec; 37(12):786-7, 792-6.
  22. Palfrey JS, Foley SM, Sharma N. Developmental and behavioral disorders grown up. J Dev Behav Pediatr. 2008 Dec; 29(6):524-33.
  23. Graham RJ, Pemstein DM, Palfrey JS. Included but isolated: early intervention programmes provision for children and families with chronic respiratory support needs. Child Care Health Dev. 2008 May; 34(3):373-9.
  24. Palfrey JS. History of Bright Futures. Pediatr Ann. 2008 Mar; 37(3):135-42.
  25. Minkovitz CS, O'Connor KG, Grason H, Palfrey JS, Chandra A, Tonniges TF. Pediatricians' perspectives regarding community child health: training, involvement, and expectations according to age. Pediatrics. 2007 Nov; 120(5):1036-43.
  26. Samuels RC, Liu J, Sofis LA, Palfrey JS. Immunizations in children with special health care needs in a medical home model of care. Matern Child Health J. 2008 May; 12(3):357-62.
  27. Palfrey JS, Hauser-Cram P, Bronson MB, Warfield ME, Sirin S, Chan E. The Brookline Early Education Project: a 25-year follow-up study of a family-centered early health and development intervention. Pediatrics. 2005 Jul; 116(1):144-52.
  28. Samuels RC, Chi GW, Rauch DA, Palfrey JS, Shelov SP. Lessons from pediatrics residency program directors' experiences with work hour limitations in New York State. Acad Med. 2005 May; 80(5):467-72.
  29. Palfrey JS, Tonniges TF, Green M, Richmond J. Introduction: Addressing the millennial morbidity--the context of community pediatrics. Pediatrics. 2005 Apr; 115(4 Suppl):1121-3.
  30. Palfrey JS, Hametz P, Grason H, McCaskill QE, Scott G, Chi GW. Educating the next generation of pediatricians in urban health care: the Anne E. Dyson Community Pediatrics Training Initiative. Acad Med. 2004 Dec; 79(12):1184-91.
  31. Roth EJ, Barreto P, Sherritt L, Palfrey JS, Risko W, Knight JR. A new, experiential curriculum in child advocacy for pediatric residents. Ambul Pediatr. 2004 Sep-Oct; 4(5):418-23.
  32. Nader PR, Kaczorowski J, Benioff S, Tonniges T, Schwarz D, Palfrey J. Education for community pediatrics. Clin Pediatr (Phila). 2004 Jul-Aug; 43(6):505-21.
  33. Palfrey JS, Sofis LA, Davidson EJ, Liu J, Freeman L, Ganz ML. The Pediatric Alliance for Coordinated Care: evaluation of a medical home model. Pediatrics. 2004 May; 113(5 Suppl):1507-16.
  34. Winickoff JP, Buckley VJ, Palfrey JS, Perrin JM, Rigotti NA. Intervention with parental smokers in an outpatient pediatric clinic using counseling and nicotine replacement. Pediatrics. 2003 Nov; 112(5):1127-33.
  35. Beers NS, Kemeny A, Sherritt L, Palfrey JS. Variations in state-level definitions: children with special health care needs. Public Health Rep. 2003 Sep-Oct; 118(5):434-47.
  36. Blaschke GS, Palfrey JS, Lynch J. Advocating for children during uncertain times. Pediatr Ann. 2003 Apr; 32(4):271-4.
  37. Winickoff JP, Hillis VJ, Palfrey JS, Perrin JM, Rigotti NA. A smoking cessation intervention for parents of children who are hospitalized for respiratory illness: the stop tobacco outreach program. Pediatrics. 2003 Jan; 111(1):140-5.
  38. Davidson EJ, Silva TJ, Sofis LA, Ganz ML, Palfrey JS. The doctor's dilemma: challenges for the primary care physician caring for the child with special health care needs. Ambul Pediatr. 2002 May-Jun; 2(3):218-23.
  39. Palfrey JS, Frazer CH. Determining the etiology of developmental delay in very young children: what if we had a common internationally accepted protocol?! J Pediatr. 2000 May; 136(5):569-70.
  40. Rodman J, Weill K, Driscoll M, Fenton T, Alpert H, Salem-Schatz S, Palfrey JS. A nationwide survey of financing health-related services for special education students. J Sch Health. 1999 Apr; 69(4):133-9.
  41. Leslie LK, Sarah R, Palfrey JS. Child health care in changing times. Pediatrics. 1998 Apr; 101(4 Pt 2):746-51; discussion 751-2.
  42. Palfrey JS. Comprehensive child health. Is it in the picture? Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1998 Mar; 152(3):222-3.
  43. Palfrey JS. Keeping children and families in the center of our concern. Ambulatory Pediatric Association presidential address. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1997 Apr; 151(4):337-40.
  44. Lipper EG, Farr M, Marchese C, Palfrey J, Darby BJ. Partnerships in school care: meeting the needs of New York city schoolchildren with complex medical conditions. Am J Public Health. 1997 Feb; 87(2):291-3.
  45. Palfrey JS. Amber, Katie, and Ryan: lessons from children with complex medical conditions. J Sch Health. 1995 Sep; 65(7):265-7.
  46. Palfrey JS, Samuels RC, Haynie M, Cammisa ML. Health care reform: what's in it for children with chronic illness and disability. J Sch Health. 1994 Aug; 64(6):234-7.
  47. Palfrey JS, Haynie M, Porter S, Fenton T, Cooperman-Vincent P, Shaw D, Johnson B, Bierle T, Walker DK. Prevalence of medical technology assistance among children in Massachusetts in 1987 and 1990. Public Health Rep. 1994 Mar-Apr; 109(2):226-33.
  48. First LR, Palfrey JS. The infant or young child with developmental delay. N Engl J Med. 1994 Feb 17; 330(7):478-83.
  49. Crocker AC, Lavin AT, Palfrey JS, Porter SM, Shaw DM, Weill KS. Supports for children with HIV infection in school: Best practices guidelines. J Sch Health. 1994 Jan; 64(1):32.
  50. Palfrey JS, Fenton T, Lavin AT, Porter SM, Shaw DM, Weill KS, Crocker AC. Schoolchildren with HIV infection: a survey of the nation's largest school districts. J Sch Health. 1994 Jan; 64(1):22-6.
  51. Lavin AT, Porter SM, Shaw DM, Weill KS, Crocker AC, Palfrey JS. School health services in the age of AIDS. J Sch Health. 1994 Jan; 64(1):27-31.
  52. Palfrey JS, Haynie M, Porter S, Bierle T, Cooperman P, Lowcock J. Project School Care: integrating children assisted by medical technology into educational settings. J Sch Health. 1992 Feb; 62(2):50-4.
  53. Palfrey JS, Walker DK, Haynie M, Singer JD, Porter S, Bushey B, Cooperman P. Technology's children: report of a statewide census of children dependent on medical supports. Pediatrics. 1991 May; 87(5):611-8.
  54. Palfrey JS, McGaughey MJ, Cooperman PJ, Fenton T, McManus MA. Financing health services in school-based clinics. Do nontraditional programs tap traditional funding sources? J Adolesc Health. 1991 May; 12(3):233-9.
  55. Levine MD, Palfrey JS, Fenton T. PEER's review: refining the early detection of developmental-behavioral murmurs. J Dev Behav Pediatr. 1990 Dec; 11(6):322-3.
  56. Palfrey JS, Singer JD, Raphael ES, Walker DK. Providing therapeutic services to children in special educational placements: an analysis of the related services provisions of Public Law 94-142 in five urban school districts. Pediatrics. 1990 Apr; 85(4):518-25.
  57. Walker DK, Palfrey JS, Handley-Derry M, Singer JD. Mainstreaming children with handicaps: implications for pediatricians. J Dev Behav Pediatr. 1989 Jun; 10(3):151-6.
  58. Palfrey JS, Rappaport L, DeGraw C. The school-age child: putting it all together. Curr Probl Pediatr. 1989 Jun; 19(6):285-323.
  59. Palfrey JS, Walker DK, Butler JA, Singer JD. Patterns of response in families of chronically disabled children: an assessment in five metropolitan school districts. Am J Orthopsychiatry. 1989 Jan; 59(1):94-104.
  60. DeGraw C, Edell D, Ellers B, Hillemeier M, Liebman J, Perry C, Palfrey JS. Public Law 99-457: new opportunities to serve young children with special needs. J Pediatr. 1988 Dec; 113(6):971-4.
  61. Walker DK, Palfrey JS, Butler JA, Singer J. Use and sources of payment for health and community services for children with impaired mobility. Public Health Rep. 1988 Jul-Aug; 103(4):411-5.
  62. Walker DK, Singer JD, Palfrey JS, Orza M, Wenger M, Butler JA. Who leaves and who stays in special education: a 2-year follow-up study. Except Child. 1988 Feb; 54(5):393-402.
  63. Palfrey JS, Singer JD, Walker DK, Butler JA. Early identification of children's special needs: a study in five metropolitan communities. J Pediatr. 1987 Nov; 111(5):651-9.
  64. Palfrey JS, Sarro LJ, Singer JD, Wenger M. Physician familiarity with the educational programs of their special needs patients. J Dev Behav Pediatr. 1987 Aug; 8(4):198-202.
  65. Butler JA, Rosenbaum S, Palfrey JS. Ensuring access to health care for children with disabilities. N Engl J Med. 1987 Jul 16; 317(3):162-5.
  66. Palfrey JS, Rappaport LA. School placement. Pediatr Rev. 1987 Mar; 8(9):261-71.
  67. Butler JA, Singer JD, Palfrey JS, Walker DK. Health insurance coverage and physician use among children with disabilities: findings from probability samples in five metropolitan areas. Pediatrics. 1987 Jan; 79(1):89-98.
  68. Palfrey JS, Walker DK, Sullivan M, Levine MD. Targeted early childhood programming. The promise half fulfilled. Am J Dis Child. 1987 Jan; 141(1):55-9.
  69. Palfrey JS, Singer JD, Walker DK, Butler JA. Health and special education: a study of new developments for handicapped children in five metropolitan communities. Public Health Rep. 1986 Jul-Aug; 101(4):379-88.
  70. Palfrey JS, Handley-Derry M. Issues in the classification of children who fail in school: categorical versus descriptive approaches. Pediatrician. 1986; 13(2-3):81-8.
  71. Singer JD, Butler JA, Palfrey JS. Health care access and use among handicapped students in five public school systems. Med Care. 1986 Jan; 24(1):1-13.
  72. Palfrey JS, Levine MD, Walker DK, Sullivan M. The emergence of attention deficits in early childhood: a prospective study. J Dev Behav Pediatr. 1985 Dec; 6(6):339-48.
  73. Levine MD, Karniski WM, Palfrey JS, Meltzer LJ, Fenton T. A study of risk factor complexes in early adolescent delinquency. Am J Dis Child. 1985 Jan; 139(1):50-6.
  74. Meltzer LJ, Levine MD, Karniski W, Palfrey JS, Clarke S. An analysis of the learning styles of adolescent delinquents. J Learn Disabil. 1984 Dec; 17(10):600-8.
  75. Palfrey JS, Karniski W, Clarke S, Tomaselli M, Meltzer LJ, Levine MD. Health profiles of early adolescent delinquents. Public Health Rep. 1983 Sep-Oct; 98(5):449-57.
  76. Levine MD, Meltzer LJ, Busch B, Palfrey J, Sullivan M. The pediatric early elementary examination: studies of a neurodevelopmental examination for 7- to 9-year-old children. Pediatrics. 1983 Jun; 71(6):894-903.
  77. Karniski WM, Levine MD, Clarke S, Palfrey JS, Meltzer LJ. A study of neurodevelopmental findings in early adolescent delinquents. J Adolesc Health Care. 1982 Dec; 3(3):151-9.
  78. Meltzer LJ, Levine MD, Palfrey JS, Aufseeser CL, Oberklaid F. Evaluation of a multidimensional assessment procedure for preschool children. J Dev Behav Pediatr. 1981 Sep; 2(3):67-73.
  79. Palfrey JS, Levine MD, Oberklaid F, Lerner M, Aufseeser CL. An analysis of observed attention and activity patterns in preschool children. J Pediatr. 1981 Jun; 98(6):1006-11.
  80. Palfrey JS. Commentary: P.L. 94-142: the Education for all Handicapped Children Act. J Pediatr. 1980 Sep; 97(3):417-9.
  81. Levine MD, Oberklaid F, Ferb TE, Hanson MA, Palfrey JS, Aufseeser CL. The Pediatric Examination of Educational Readiness: validation of an extended observation procedure. Pediatrics. 1980 Sep; 66(3):341-9.
  82. Palfrey JS, Hanson MA, Pleszczynska C, Norton S, Levine MD. Selective hearing screening for young children. Clin Pediatr (Phila). 1980 Jul; 19(7):473-7.
  83. Palfrey JS, Levy JC, Gilbert KL. Use of primary care facilities by patients attending specialty clinics. Pediatrics. 1980 Mar; 65(3):567-72.
  84. Stuckey A, Puczynski M, Palfrey JS, Hunt-Glover J. Medical alternative for students. Pediatrics. 1979 Dec; 64(6):975-6.
  85. Palfrey JS, Mervis RC, Butler JA. New directions in the evaluation and education of handicapped children. N Engl J Med. 1978 Apr 13; 298(15):819-24.
  86. Levine MD, Palfrey JS, Lamb GA, Weisberg HI, Bryk AS. Infants in a public school system: the indicators of early health and educational need. Pediatrics. 1977 Oct; 60(4 Pt 2):579-87.
  87. Rudisch GA, Palfrey JS. Skateboard safety. Pediatrics. 1977 Jun; 59(6):953.
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