Dr. Vernacchio’s research is focused on improving the quality of pediatric healthcare and fostering innovations in the delivery of primary care for children. Current areas of interest include improving processes of asthma care to reduce asthma exacerbations, novel approaches to the interface between primary care and specialty care, and improving care for concussions and musculoskeletal injuries in the primary care setting.


Dr. Vernacchio received his MD from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and his Masters in Epidemiology from Boston University. He completed his internship and residency in pediatrics at Boston Children’s Hospital. Dr. Vernacchio is a practicing primary-care pediatrician and partner at Longwood Pediatrics, LLP, and is also the Director of Research and Analysis for the Pediatric Physicians’ Organization at Children’s, an independent practice association of over 80 pediatric practices in Massachusetts affiliated with Boston Children’s Hospital.


Publications powered by Harvard Catalyst Profiles

  1. The Role of COVID-19 in Transitioning to a Better Pediatric Payment Model. Pediatrics. 2021 01; 147(1). View abstract
  2. A Broad-Based Approach to Social Needs Screening in a Pediatric Primary Care Network. Acad Pediatr. 2021 May-Jun; 21(4):694-701. View abstract
  3. Social Distancing for COVID-19 and Diagnoses of Other Infectious Diseases in Children. Pediatrics. 2020 10; 146(4). View abstract
  4. Effect of an Electronic Health Record Transition on the Provision of Recommended Well Child Services in Pediatric Primary Care Practices. Clin Pediatr (Phila). 2020 02; 59(2):188-197. View abstract
  5. Craniofacial Anthropometry: Normative Data for Caucasian Infants. J Craniofac Surg. 2019 Sep; 30(6):e539-e542. View abstract
  6. Are Pediatric House Calls the Future? Exploring Patient Perceptions of Home-Centered Health. Clin Pediatr (Phila). 2019 09; 58(10):1049-1055. View abstract
  7. Five-Year Outcomes of Behavioral Health Integration in Pediatric Primary Care. Pediatrics. 2019 07; 144(1). View abstract
  8. Effect of Computer-Based Substance Use Screening and Brief Behavioral Counseling vs Usual Care for Youths in Pediatric Primary Care: A Pilot Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Netw Open. 2019 06 05; 2(6):e196258. View abstract
  9. Effect of Instrument-Based Vision Screening for 3- to 5-Year-Old Children on Referrals to Eye Care Specialists. Clin Pediatr (Phila). 2019 05; 58(5):541-546. View abstract
  10. Identifying children at risk of asthma exacerbations: beyond HEDIS. Am J Manag Care. 2018 06 01; 24(6):e170-e174. View abstract
  11. Primary Care Implementation of Instrument-Based Vision Screening for Young Children. Clin Pediatr (Phila). 2018 08; 57(9):1020-1026. View abstract
  12. Enhancing Pediatricians' Behavioral Health Competencies Through Child Psychiatry Consultation and Education. Clin Pediatr (Phila). 2018 07; 57(8):958-969. View abstract
  13. Educational Initiative to Standardize Concussion Management in Pediatric Primary Care. Clin Pediatr (Phila). 2018 06; 57(7):806-814. View abstract
  14. Appropriateness of Tympanostomy Tubes in the Boston Metropolitan Area: Are the AAO-HNSF Guidelines Being Met? Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2017 12; 157(6):1041-1047. View abstract
  15. Implementation of Instrument-Based Vision Screening for Preschool-Age Children in Primary Care. Pediatrics. 2017 Jul; 140(1). View abstract
  16. Implementation and Evaluation of Two Educational Strategies to Improve Screening for Eating Disorders in Pediatric Primary Care. J Adolesc Health. 2017 May; 60(5):606-611. View abstract
  17. A telephone intervention to achieve differentiation in dietary intake: a randomized trial in paediatric primary care. Pediatr Obes. 2017 12; 12(6):494-501. View abstract
  18. Results of a primary care-based quality improvement project to optimize chart-based vision screening for preschool age children. J AAPOS. 2016 08; 20(4):305-9. View abstract
  19. Evaluation of the C6 Lyme Enzyme Immunoassay for the Diagnosis of Lyme Disease in Children and Adolescents. Clin Infect Dis. 2016 10 01; 63(7):922-8. View abstract
  20. 'Constipation Challenge' game improves guideline knowledge and implementation. Med Educ. 2016 May; 50(5):589-90. View abstract
  21. Practice-Based Quality Improvement Collaborative to Increase Chlamydia Screening in Young Women. Pediatrics. 2016 05; 137(5). View abstract
  22. Total Direct Medical Expenses and Characteristics of Privately Insured Adolescents Who Incur High Costs. JAMA Pediatr. 2015 Oct; 169(10):e152682. View abstract
  23. Trends in Ambulatory Care for Children with Concussion and Minor Head Injury from Eastern Massachusetts between 2007 and 2013. J Pediatr. 2015 Sep; 167(3):738-44. View abstract
  24. Population health for children with asthma: time to let some fresh air in. Pediatrics. 2015 Jun; 135(6):1133-4. View abstract
  25. Shared care: a quality improvement initiative to optimize primary care management of constipation. Pediatrics. 2015 May; 135(5):e1300-7. View abstract
  26. Effectiveness of an asthma quality improvement program designed for maintenance of certification. Pediatrics. 2014 Jul; 134(1):e242-8. View abstract
  27. Xylitol syrup for the prevention of acute otitis media. Pediatrics. 2014 Feb; 133(2):289-95. View abstract
  28. Panel 1: Epidemiology, natural history, and risk factors. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2013 Apr; 148(4 Suppl):E1-E25. View abstract
  29. A quality improvement program to reduce unnecessary referrals for adolescent scoliosis. Pediatrics. 2013 Mar; 131(3):e912-20. View abstract
  30. Correlation of care process measures with childhood asthma exacerbations. Pediatrics. 2013 Jan; 131(1):e136-43. View abstract
  31. NHLBI Integrated Guidelines on Cardiovascular Disease Risk Reduction: can we clarify the controversy about cholesterol screening and treatment in childhood? Clin Chem. 2012 Dec; 58(12):1626-30. View abstract
  32. Ambulatory subspecialty visits in a large pediatric primary care network. Health Serv Res. 2012 Aug; 47(4):1755-69. View abstract
  33. Vitamin, fluoride, and iron use among US children younger than 12 years of age: results from the Slone Survey 1998-2007. J Am Diet Assoc. 2011 Feb; 111(2):285-9. View abstract
  34. Management of acute otitis media after publication of the 2004 AAP and AAFP clinical practice guideline. Pediatrics. 2010 Feb; 125(2):214-20. View abstract
  35. Medication use among children <12 years of age in the United States: results from the Slone Survey. Pediatrics. 2009 Aug; 124(2):446-54. View abstract
  36. Pseudoephedrine use among US children, 1999-2006: results from the Slone survey. Pediatrics. 2008 Dec; 122(6):1299-304. View abstract
  37. Cough and cold medication use by US children, 1999-2006: results from the slone survey. Pediatrics. 2008 Aug; 122(2):e323-9. View abstract
  38. Xylitol to prevent acute otitis media. Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2007 Sep; 26(9):863-4; author reply 864. View abstract
  39. Management of acute otitis media by primary care physicians: trends since the release of the 2004 American Academy of Pediatrics/American Academy of Family Physicians clinical practice guideline. Pediatrics. 2007 Aug; 120(2):281-7. View abstract
  40. Validity of parental reporting of recent episodes of acute otitis media: a Slone Center Office-Based Research (SCOR) Network study. J Am Board Fam Med. 2007 Mar-Apr; 20(2):160-3. View abstract
  41. Tolerability of oral xylitol solution in young children: implications for otitis media prophylaxis. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2007 Jan; 71(1):89-94. View abstract
  42. Characteristics of persistent diarrhea in a community-based cohort of young US children. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2006 Jul; 43(1):52-8. View abstract
  43. Knowledge and practices relating to the 2004 acute otitis media clinical practice guideline: a survey of practicing physicians. Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2006 May; 25(5):385-9. View abstract
  44. Diarrhea in American infants and young children in the community setting: incidence, clinical presentation and microbiology. Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2006 Jan; 25(1):2-7. View abstract
  45. Oral dexamethasone for mild croup. N Engl J Med. 2004 Dec 23; 351(26):2768-9; author reply 2768-9. View abstract
  46. Racial/ethnic disparities in the diagnosis of otitis media in infancy. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2004 Jun; 68(6):795-804. View abstract
  47. Sleep position of low birth weight infants. Pediatrics. 2003 Mar; 111(3):633-40. View abstract
  48. Effect of monophosphoryl lipid A (MPL) on T-helper cells when administered as an adjuvant with pneumocococcal-CRM197 conjugate vaccine in healthy toddlers. Vaccine. 2002 Nov 01; 20(31-32):3658-67. View abstract
  49. Comparison of an opsonophagocytic assay and IgG ELISA to assess responses to pneumococcal polysaccharide and pneumococcal conjugate vaccines in children and young adults with sickle cell disease. J Infect Dis. 2000 Mar; 181(3):1162-6. View abstract
  50. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay to assess respiratory syncytial virus concentration and correlate results with inflammatory mediators in tracheal secretions. Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2000 Jan; 19(1):1-7. View abstract
  51. Reduction of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) in tracheal aspirates in intubated infants by use of humanized monoclonal antibody to RSV F protein. J Infect Dis. 1998 Dec; 178(6):1555-61. View abstract
  52. Combined schedule of 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine followed by 23-valent pneumococcal vaccine in children and young adults with sickle cell disease. J Pediatr. 1998 Aug; 133(2):275-8. View abstract
  53. A 6-week-old girl with persistent apnea and worsening pulmonary disease. Curr Opin Pediatr. 1996 Oct; 8(5):459-66. View abstract
  54. Physician-assisted suicide: reflections of a young doctor. America (NY). 1996 Aug 31-Sep 7; 175(5):13-6. View abstract
  55. Neonatal tetanus in Peru: risk assessment with modified enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and toxoid skin test. Am J Public Health. 1993 Dec; 83(12):1754-6. View abstract