About Us

“The greatest predictor of a child’s health should not be his or her zip code.”
Statistics about 3 social programs at BMC

BMC Pediatrics in particular is home to some of the world's most important and widely disseminated care innovations including Reach Out and Read, Medical-Legal Partnership and Health Leads. That is why BMC is uniquely positioned to be on the forefront of designing and implementing new models of care that meet the complex health and social needs of urban children and their families. Boston Medical Center (BMC) has a long and successful history of caring for the city’s most vulnerable patients. In a city that is the epicenter for training and delivery of world-class innovative health care, BMC is the largest safety net hospital in New England.  As such, BMC has long recognized that an individual’s economic status, education level, access to good schools, secure housing, food, and so much more can impact health.  That's why for more than 100 years, whether caring for newborns, children, or adults, the hospital’s clinical teams have focused not only on the medical needs of each patient, but also on the social needs.  

In 2016, BMC Pediatrics launched the Center for the Urban Child and Healthy Family, to revolutionize the model of care for pediatric patients and their families, standing at the epicenter of clinical care, research, and the community.

Contact Us

Megan Bair-Merritt, MD, MSCE
Executive Director, Center for the Urban Child and Healthy Family
[email protected]

Melissa Gillooly
Administrative Director, Center for the Urban Child and Healthy Family
[email protected]

Programs and Services

Our Team

Center For The Urban Child and Healthy Family Team

Megan H Bair-Merritt, MD

Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Boston University School of Medicine

Special Interests

General Pediatrics

Robert J Vinci, MD

Chairman, Department of Pediatrics and The Joel and Barbara Alpert Professor of Pediatrics, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston MA

Special Interests

Pediatric Emergency Medicine, Injury Prevention, Fever, Trauma, Medical Education

Ivys Fernandez-Pastrana, JD
Program Manager, Pediatric Family Navigation Program

Melissa Gillooly, MPP
Administrative Director

Charlie Homer, MD, MPH
Senior Director of Policy and Evaluation

Carey Howard, MPH
Center Program Manager

Executive Advisory Board

Eileen Costello, MD
Chief, Ambulatory Pediatrics

Stephanie Curenten-Jolly, PhD
Associate Professor, Education

Tracey Dechert, MD, FACS
Assistant Professor, Surgery

Thea James, MD
Vice-Chair of Mission, BMC

Aviva Lee-Parritz, MD
Chair, OB/GYN

Christine Pace, MD
Assistant Professor of Medicine

Chris Sheldrick, PhD
Associate Professor, Public Health

Michael Silverstein, MD, MPH
Professor, Pediatrics, BMC Associate Chief Medical Officer

Family Advisory Board

Shay Simmons, Parent Liaison

April Alston

Jennifer Cotard

Maisha Harley

Soraya Harley

Afeisha Henry-Renne

Chatoya Lawson

Evelyn Lilly

National Advisory Board

Tina Cheng, MD, MPH
Chair, Department of Pediatrics
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Andrew Garner, MD, PhD, FAAP
Associate Clinical Professor of Pediatrics
Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
Chair, Leadership Workgroup on Early Brain and Child Development
American Academy of Pediatrics

Angelo Peter Giardino, MD, PhD
Senior Vice President/Chief Quality Officer
Texas Children's Hospital

Joyce M. Lee, MD, MPH
Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics and Communicable Diseases
Division of Pediatric Endocrinology
Child Health Evaluation and Research (CHEAR) Center

Joshua Sharfstein, MD
Associate Dean, Public Health Practice and Training
Bloomberg School of Public Health
Johns Hopkins University

Benjamin Siegel, MD
Professor of Pediatrics and Psychiatry
Boston University School of Medicine

Jason Wang, MD, PhD
Associate Professor of Pediatrics
Stanford University

Barry Zuckerman, MD
Joel and Barbara Professor of Pediatrics
Boston University School of Medicine

Patient Resources

Provider Resources

Advisory Boards

The Executive and Family Advisory Board for the Center For The Urban Child and Healthy Family.


Implementing evidence-based programs into our clinical care and developing and evaluating new programs is central to our mission, vision and guiding principles. All Center projects will use data to assess and improve the interventions and to ensure sustainability.

Additional Information

Pediatric Practice of the Future

“The greatest predictor of a child’s health should not be his or her zip code.”

Pediatric care represents a tremendous opportunity to improve children’s health and well-being—infants come to primary care 6 times in the first year of life alone, and pediatric providers develop longitudinal relationships with families. But to best care for children and families, we must re-design our care delivery to actively partner both other health care providers (like adult medicine, obstetrics-gynecology and psychiatry), educators and community organizations; develop novel programs; and bring the best of existing evidence into our daily practice.

The Center, in collaboration with BMC Pediatrics Primary Care is creating the Pediatric Practice of the Future that:

  • Empowers families to define their health priorities and design their own care
  • Provides care to the family
  • Provides new opportunities to promote social and emotional child health
  • Develops deeper community partnerships
  • Leverages technology to provide flexible care options and facilitate communication
  • Re-thinks the composition and roles of care team members

Healthy and Ready to Learn by 5

The Center has set a goal that by 2028, all children seen in BMC Pediatrics will be healthy, ready to learn, with adequate support to thrive by age five. Focus on this age group enables:

  • Emphasis on bi-generational wellness
  • Connection with other child serving agencies
  • Focus on formational time for life course health
  • National momentum within Medicaid around early childhood and school readiness
  • Sector with most reach during this time period
  • Investment in early childhood promotes health across the life course