Danielle Laraque-Arena, MD, FAAP

Past Chair

Danielle Laraque-Arena, MD, FAAP joined The New York Academy of Medicine (NYAM) as a Senior Scholar-in-Residence in 2019. She is President and Professor Emerita of SUNY Upstate Medical University (UMU), Adjunct Professor of Epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University and Associate Director of the Injury Free Coalition for Kids, a national program modelled after the Nova award winning program, the Harlem Hospital Injury Prevention program.  Dr. Danielle Laraque-Arena, a board-certified pediatrician and child abuse subspecialist, has advanced maternal-child health in underserved and disenfranchised communities, holding multiple leadership positions regionally and nationally.  Her current portfolio includes child rights, health disparities and health equity.

Dr. Laraque-Arena earned a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry at the University of California at Los Angeles where she also completed her medical studies with academic support as the Roy Markus Scholar (1977-1981). Her internship and residency were completed at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania where she was also a Robert Wood Johnson Fellow in General Academic Pediatrics (1984-86). Her fellowship research focused on lead poisoning and calcium status in black pre-schoolers. Driven to address the health needs of disadvantaged communities, she accepted her first academic position at the College of Physicians & Surgeons, Columbia University and Harlem Hospital Center where she rose to the rank of Associate Professor (1986-2000). She then accepted a position as Chief of the Division of General Pediatrics at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. During that period (2000-2010) she was promoted to the position of tenured Professor of Pediatrics and received the endowed chair as the Debra & Leon Black Professor of Pediatrics and became Vice-Chair for Public Policy and Advocacy. Subsequently, she accepted the position of Chair and Vice President of the Maimonides Children’s Hospital of Brooklyn—the first woman and first African-American to hold that position in the 100 year history of the hospital, and was Professor of Pediatrics (Investigator Track, 2010-2015) at Yeshiva University, Bronx, NY. She was appointed the seventh President of SUNY Upstate Medical University on September 10, 2015 and began her tenure in January 2016 and held the positions of tenured Professor of Pediatrics with additional appointments in Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences and Public Health & Preventive Medicine.  She completed her tenure at the university in 2019.  She was the first woman and first African-American to hold the position of President at SUNY, UMU.

Over the past 3 decades, Dr. Laraque-Arena’s scholarly work has focused on adolescent health behaviors, injury prevention, especially related to penetrating trauma, mental health integration in primary care settings, global child health, and medical education resulting in over 100 peer-reviewed manuscripts, multiple chapters and media resource and educational materials. She was continuously funded for 30 years through foundation, state and federal grants.  Most recently she has edited the book Principles of Global Child Health: Education and Research (2019) and is senior editor of the book, Leadership, Gender & Race in Healthcare and Medicine: A Case Study Approach (2021).  She has mentored hundreds of students and faculty and trained dozens of fellows in general academic pediatrics and child abuse pediatrics.  She is the Past President of Academic Pediatric Association (2009-2010), former member of the American Academy of Pediatrics Board of Directors (2012-2016).  She was elected as a Fellow of NYAM (2000) and the American Pediatric Society (2005), served on the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies Committee on Integrating Primary Care and Public Health (2011) and Co-Chaired the NYS Governor’s Task Force on Maternal Mortality and Disparate Racial Outcomes (2018-2019).  She currently serves on the board of Directors of Prevent Child Abuse America and the Women in Medicine Legacy Foundation.

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