The Helfer Society presented Dr. Berkowitz with its 2014 Ray E. Helfer Award during its annual meeting in April, an honor it presents annually to one of its members for their work on behalf of children.
“Congratulations to Dr. Berkowitz for this recognition of her many contributions to detecting abuse and neglect among her young patients and for her work on their behalf,” said David I. Meyer, PhD, LA BioMed president and CEO. “She has been a strong advocate for the health care system to protect children from abuse and neglect, and she is a leader in the field of pediatric medicine and emergency care. Her career exemplifies how our physician-researchers’ experiences of caring for patients make LA BioMed a leader in real-world healthcare solutions.”
At LA BioMed, Dr. Berkowitz’s research has focused on the maltreatment of children, pediatric emergency medicine, women in medicine and medical education. She has been the director of the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center’s and LA BioMed’s “Failure to Thrive” program and clinic for more than 30 years. “Failure to Thrive” (FTT) is a term commonly used to refer to children who are unable to gain weight and grow (within normal range) as expected, and who have a weight that is below the normal growth chart (the 5th percentile) for their age.
In the early 1980s, Dr. Berkowitz came across a large number of children who were malnourished, some of whom were also victims of child abuse and/or neglect. These encounters were the catalyst for the “Failure to Thrive” program and clinic, where Dr. Berkowitz has assembled a multi-disciplinary team of doctors, pediatric nurse practitioners, nutritionists and occupational/physical therapists to help evaluate and treat these children with the highest level of quality care. The clinic treats approximately 400 children annually.
In addition to her work at LA BioMed, Dr. Berkowitz is the executive vice chair in the Department of Pediatrics at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center and distinguished professor of pediatrics at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.
Dr. Berkowitz has received numerous accolades, including the Joseph W. St. Geme Jr. Leadership Award and the Abraham Jacobi Memorial Award, an acknowledgement by both the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Medical Association of her many contributions to the health and well-being of children and to the pediatric community. She also is the author of several hundred articles and book chapters and is the editor of Berkowitz’s Pediatrics: A Primary Care Approach, a textbook now in press in its fifth edition.
Provided by Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor