David Rubin MD, MSCE


As director of PolicyLab at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and a professor of pediatrics at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Rubin is responsible for a center of emphasis that includes 35 faculty and instructors and more than 60 staff conducting population health and community-partnered research. With a content focus on developing health system and public program innovation to meet the needs of high-risk children, he also serves as director of Population Health Innovation at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, supervising a team that develops and implements integrated solutions using clinical care and technology to more proactively identify and provide needed services to at-risk patients across primary and subspecialty care settings. His team is also developing novel solutions to better assess psychosocial risk in order to refer patients and their families more effectively to community organizations that can address their needs. To date, he has authored more than 80 manuscripts spanning peer-reviewed research, policy analyses, and edited chapters in prominent pediatric texts, including seminal manuscripts in JAMA, Health Affairs and Pediatrics on the diagnosis of abuse-related injuries, trends in psychotropic medication use for Medicaid enrolled children, program design and outcomes for children in foster care, the effectiveness following replication of infant-home visitation services to high risk families, and emerging issues of access and healthcare coverage for low-income families. He is particularly drawn to the challenges of meeting the needs of some of our nation’s highest risk children in the national Medicaid and CHIP programs.

  • We realize you can’t ask an important research question unless you’ve asked yourself who are the people you're trying to help and how is that question defined in their lens. Only then can your research produce important policy outcomes.

  • The value of our work is measured not only by its research quality, but by our external partners increasingly looking to us for guidance on how to evaluate their programs.

  • The epidemic of prescription medications for children in the behavioral health system is most reflective of our failure to provide access to the right types of services for children with a history of trauma.

  • Even as we provide oversight on the use of medication for children with behavioral health issues, we must not forget that nearly half the children that need services don’t receive them.

At Penn, Dr. Rubin is a senior fellow at the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics and a former associate program director of the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program at the University of Pennsylvania. Externally, he is a past member of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Task Force on Foster Care and their Committee for Early Education, Adoption & Dependent Care. Based on the large body of this work, he was appointed in 2013 by the President to the White House Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse & Neglect Fatalities, which was tasked for recommending a national strategy to prevent child abuse fatalities. More recently, he was appointed by the Pentagon to their Military Family Readiness Council, which is tasked with strengthening programs for families across the armed services.​