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About Dr. St. Geme

The death of Joseph W. St. Geme, Jr., MD, in 1986, removed from American pediatrics a leader with vision and selfless dedication to the ideal of excellence.  His concern for the patient and the future of health care was well known.  Certainly he was a leader in the forums addressing issues concerning the future of pediatric education and research.  It seemed appropriate, therefore, to honor his memory in a manner that would remind present and future generations of pediatricians that one individual can make a difference, and all should try, when the health care of children is at stake.

The member societies of the FOPO established an endowment fund for what is now the Joseph W. St. Geme, Jr. Leadership Award. Dr. St. Geme’s stature in pediatrics was reflected by his meaningful participation in all facets of pediatrics as demonstrated by the sponsorship of this award by the FOPO member organizations.

2021 St. Geme Awardee

Frederick P. Rivara, MD, MPH

Washington, DC – Pediatrician Frederick P. Rivara, MD, MPH, a worldwide leader in injury prevention, is named the 2021 recipient of the Joseph W. St. Geme, Jr. Leadership Award by the Federation of Pediatric Organizations (FOPO).

The Federation is comprised of seven pediatric organizations, representing every pediatrician in the country and the recipient is honored at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) Meeting’s Opening General Session scheduled for April 30, 2021.

The award was created in 1988 to honor the life, work, and memory of Dr. Joseph W. St. Geme, Jr. and to memorialize his many contributions to and his aspirations for pediatrics. The recipient is recognized as being a pediatrician who is perceived as a role model for others to emulate as a clinician, an educator and/or an investigator. The recipient is a distinguished leader who has “created a future” for pediatrics and for children.

“Fred is an amazing person, both as a person and a scientist,” said Dr. Bruder Stapleton, former chair of pediatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine. He said Rivara is being recognized for his groundbreaking work in injury prevention, research, and advocacy.

Rivara, a practicing pediatrician at Harborview Medical Center and Seattle Children’s is the founding leader of the Harborview Injury and Prevention Center at UW in Seattle. He conducted seminal research that led to the development of community-based bicycle helmet campaigns throughout the world, saving many lives from preventable head injuries. He contributed significantly to firearm safety through showing the risks of firearms in the home and developing the science to support evidence-based solutions, including safe storage of firearms, and legislation to prevent firearm access to those who are at highest risk of harm to self or others.

He was a leader in the report commissioned by the World Health Organization to study the toll of injuries to children worldwide and to create strategies to address those. He is now looking at interventions to reduce the effects of concussion in youth and is a leader in developing biomarkers to identify those at greatest risk of developing persistent post-concussive symptoms.

Rivara is the Seattle Children’s Guild Association endowed chair in pediatric research, vice chair and professor in the Department of Pediatrics at UW School of Medicine, and an adjunct professor in the Department of Epidemiology.

He was editor of JAMA Pediatrics from 2000 to 2017, raising it to be the highest impact pediatric publication in the world, and in 2018 was selected to be the founding editor of JAMA Network Open, the JAMA Network’s open access, general medical journal. Rivara was elected to the Institute of Medicine (now the National Academy of Medicine) in 2005.

Those who know Rivara know him to be an incredibly generous person and is credited for mentoring hundreds of trainees and junior faculty.  Rivara won a national mentorship award by the Academic Pediatric Association in 2012, and the UW Minority Faculty Mentoring Award in 2015. In 1999, the pediatric residents at the University of Washington School of Medicine chose Rivara as the faculty person who is the best role model as a pediatrician.


Immediate Past Winner

Joseph St. Geme, III, MD (2020)

Click here for Dr. St. Geme’s press release.

Past Winners

Criteria for the selection of the Joseph W. St. Geme, Jr., MD Leadership Award recipient:

  1. The individual must be a pediatrician who is perceived as a role model for others to emulate, as a clinician, an educator, and/or an investigator.
  2. The individual must be a leader who has “created a future” for pediatrics and for children and has played an active role in one or more organizations sponsoring this award.
  3. The individual should preferably have a record of broad sustained contributions to pediatrics that have had or will have a major impact on child health.
  4. The individual must be currently active in pediatrics.
  5. The individual can be retired member of any of the pediatric organizations sponsoring this award.
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