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Chair of Department of Emergency Medicine: Jill Baren

October 25, 2011, Volume 58, No. 09


Jill M. Baren has been named chair of the department of emergency medicine at the Perelman School of Medicine, effective July 1, 2011. A member of Penn’s medical faculty since 1997, she is a professor of emergency medicine and holds a secondary appointment as professor of pediatrics, seeing patients at both the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Dr. Baren succeeds Dr. William G. Baxt, who established the department in 1994 and has served as its chair since. During that time, the department of emergency medicine has become one of the nation’s leaders in emergency care and research, and one of the top NIH-funded emergency medicine research programs.

Dr. Baren is an expert in pediatric emergency medicine and was one of the first physicians to hold this subspecialty certification. She has held major leadership positions in professional organizations of both adult and pediatric emergency care, including serving as a recent past president of the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine. She also holds a master’s degree in bioethics from Penn, and has served as a faculty member at the Center for Bioethics, developing and teaching Clinical Ethics courses. She has special expertise in the areas of informed consent issues in emergency medicine research, bioethical issues in resuscitation, and end-of-life issues in the emergency department. In particular, she is nationally recognized for her work relating to federal regulations governing emergency research under circumstances where informed consent cannot be obtained due to life-threatening circumstances. She has led clinical trials in pediatric and adult patients to investigate new therapies for neurological emergencies, and has conducted numerous secondary investigations focusing on the ethical aspects of these trials.

At Penn, Dr. Baren has built a multidisciplinary research consortium, involving six different clinical departments and 11 regional hospitals. This collaboration, known as the Greater Philadelphia-Southern New Jersey Neurological Emergencies Treatment Trials Network, is funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, and has now been extended to include sites in two additional states.

Widely published, Dr. Baren is senior editor of Pediatric Emergency Medicine, a leading textbook in the specialty, and holds editing posts with several emergency medicine-related journals.

She earned her medical degree from the University of Pittsburgh in 1989, and completed an internship and a residency in emergency medicine and a fellowship in pediatric emergency medicine at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, California. She served as a clinical instructor of pediatrics and medicine (emergency medicine) at the UCLA School of Medicine, and has also served as an assistant professor of pediatrics and surgery (emergency medicine) at Yale University School of Medicine.

Almanac - October 25, 2011, Volume 58, No. 09