Newswise — CINCINNATI – Tina L. Cheng, MD, MPH, will be the new chair of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, the new chief medical officer at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, and director of the Cincinnati Children’s Research Foundation.
The appointment is scheduled to be voted on by the boards of the University of Cincinnati (UC) and Cincinnati Children’s in June. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Cheng’s transition to her new role will take place this fall. She is set to begin her duties no later than December 1.
Selected as part of an international search that included a broad field of high-caliber candidates in pediatric medicine, Cheng comes from Johns Hopkins Hospital and the Johns Hopkins College of Medicine. Cheng is currently the Given Foundation Professor of Pediatrics and director of the Department of Pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She also serves as the Pediatrician-in-Chief of the Johns Hopkins Hospital, Charlotte Bloomberg Children’s Center, and director of Pediatrics for Johns Hopkins Medicine.
She will succeed the retiring Margaret Hostetter, MD, and become the ninth B.K. Rachford Memorial Chair in Pediatrics at Cincinnati Children’s.
Cheng is an elected member of the prestigious National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine), past chair of the Committee on Pediatric Research of the American Academy of Pediatrics and past president of the Academic Pediatric Association. She serves on the National Advisory Panel of the NIH All of Us Research Program, a historic effort to gather data from 1 million Americans to accelerate research and improve health through precision medicine
The search committee that selected Cheng looked for candidates with broad and deep experience in pediatrics and child health. It was important to find someone who could be an innovative and inclusive leader at one of the world’s most complex pediatric programs, according to Michael Fisher, president and CEO at Cincinnati Children’s.
“Dr. Cheng has built a distinguished career filled with outstanding accomplishments as a pediatrician, researcher, educator and executive. More importantly, she is a caring human being, a champion for children and families, an advocate for faculty, and a visionary in her field,” said Fisher. “We are beyond excited to add her talent and passion to our team. Together, we have the opportunity of a lifetime to make an enormous difference in the health and wellbeing of the children of Cincinnati and the world.”
Andrew Filak Jr., dean of the UC College of Medicine, added, “I look forward to working with Dr. Cheng and am convinced she will continue to build upon and strengthen the partnership between the College of Medicine and Cincinnati Children’s. She will be a welcome addition to the College of Medicine as chair of the Department of Pediatrics.”
As chair, Cheng will help drive innovations that accelerate excellence in clinical care, scientific research, educational programs and community impact. She will have a dynamic healthcare and biomedical environment in which to do this. Cincinnati Children’s includes more than 970 faculty, 42 divisions, it is one of the top two recipients of NIH grants, and is consistently ranked among the top three Children’s Hospitals nationally.
Born in Toledo, Ohio, Cheng grew up in Coralville, Iowa, the middle daughter of a kindergarten teacher and a biochemist. “I knew from an early age that I wanted to go into medicine,” she said.
Cheng did her undergraduate work at Brown University and earned her MD. She completed her pediatric residency at the University of California, San Francisco, including a year as Chief Resident at San Francisco General Hospital. She went on to get her master’s in public health(Epidemiology) and do a preventive medicine residency at the University of California, Berkeley, as well as a fellowship in general academic pediatrics at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center.
Cheng said she is committed to high-impact clinical and basic research and strengthening the pediatric research pipeline and infrastructure. She is passionate about teaching the next generation of clinicians,educators and investigators; stimulating innovation to meet the needs of patients through digital healthstrategies, and developing high-reliability systems for patient-, family- and community-centered care.
For 15 years, she has been a principal investigator of the NIH-funded P20 DC Baltimore Research Center on Child Health Disparities, where she has developed award-winning, community-integrated models of care to address the needs of vulnerable families.