Rachel Berger, MD

The Ray E. Helfer Society Awards Dr. Rachel Berger Its Highest Honor

Rachel BergerNomination Letter for Rachel Berger, MD

We would like to nominate Dr. Rachel Pardes Berger for the 2021 Ray E. Helfer Award. We believe that most members of the Ray E. Helfer Society will immediately recognize Rachel’s name and endorse the award, but a review of her C.V. makes it plain that she has made significant contributions to the field of Child Abuse Pediatrics and can stand shoulder to shoulder with the honor roll of past awardees.

For 21 years, Rachel has been a willing servant of abused children, a beacon to her community, a driving force in her institution, a mentor to her colleagues, a restless investigator of basic and clinical science, an innovator in interdisciplinary systems, and a leader in state and national policy. The quality and breadth of Rachel’s oeuvre is simply astounding. She has published on bench science, clinical decision rules, educational methods, diagnostic findings in child physical abuse, economic impact of abuse, social determinants of abuse, systems of care, medical informatics, epidemiologic methods, abuse assessment disparities, missed abuse, sibling abuse and more. She has generously shared her erudition as mentor to numerous residents, fellows and junior physicians; grand rounds presenter for hospitals across the country; and speaker at professional conferences around the world. Rachel has not stayed within the comfortable confines of academic medicine. She has collaborated and significantly impacted the system of care, collaborating on decision making algorithms for her county CPS, advising her state taskforce on child protection, advising counties in other states, working with the Casey Family Programs on reviewing child welfare agencies, and serving on the National Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities. Her work on EMR based clinical decision support is a good example of her modus operandi. Rachel worked with her IT department to create computer assisted case recognition and clinical decision support algorithms within the EMR of her institution, studied the impact of that innovation, published the results, worked with multiple external institutions to replicate the effort, studied and published the results of that, and then hosted a national online conference to both educate others and to develop consensus on critical questions implicit in the work. The effort is, of course, ongoing, with much more to come.

Stephen C. Boos, MD
Jennifer Clarke, MD
Adelaide Eichman, MD