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.
To date, he has authored more than 120 manuscripts spanning peer-reviewed research, policy analyses, and edited chapters in prominent pediatric texts, including seminal manuscripts in JAMA, Health Affairs and Pediatrics on quality of health care coverage and access for children in low-income families and the delivery system interventions that can return value for public health programs. He is particularly drawn to the challenges of meeting the needs of patients receiving publicly funded health insurance through programs like Medicaid and CHIP. He has made numerous presentations to the medical profession and to city, state, and national leaders, including the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, to guide evidence-informed health policy decisions on behalf of children across the country.
Dr. Rubin is one of the lead investigators on PolicyLab’s COVID-19 forecasting model, known as “COVID-Lab: Mapping COVID-19 In Your Community,” which tracked coronavirus transmission and test positivity rates across all U.S. counties, and provided four-week case incidence forecasts for more than 800 counties with active outbreaks between April 2020 and February 2022. Dr. Rubin and his collaborators received national attention for this unique project, which they used to advise the White House Coronavirus Task Force, governors, state public health officials and Philadelphia leaders on emerging hotspots and local strategies for reducing the spread of the virus. The modeling project also informed PolicyLab’s guidance for in-person education in K-12 educational settings for which Dr. Rubin is a lead author, and that leaders from school districts throughout the country have cited as informing their COVID-19 safety plans. Additionally, Dr. Rubin helps lead “Project ACE-IT,” a public health intervention aimed at reducing the risk of spread of COVID-19 in southeastern Pennsylvania schools.
Our model of pairing researchers with policy and communications experts allows us to nimbly pivot to meet child health needs of the moment, making us a meaningful partner for policymakers and program developers.
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 the University of Pennsylvania, 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. 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. He is also a past member of the Pentagon's Military Family Readiness Council, which is tasked with strengthening programs for families across the armed services.
Dr. Rubin is a practicing primary care pediatrician at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. He holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Pennsylvania, a MD from the University of California, San Francisco, and a master’s degree in clinical epidemiology and biostatistics from the University of Pennsylvania. He also completed a residency in pediatrics and a fellowship in child maltreatment at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.