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Joel Fein, MD, MPH
Joel Fein Headshot
Co-Director, Center for Violence Prevention; Co-Leader, Health and Behavior Research Affinity Group

Dr. Fein conducts youth violence prevention research and has been the principal investigator (PI) or co-investigator of numerous federally funded projects addressing the youth violence epidemic through mixed-methods research, particularly community-based, participatory research (CBPR). He is currently the PI for a NICHD-funded study looking at the impact of a post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) prevention program on assault-injured youth and their families.



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Dr. Fein's research evaluates how to best reduce the incidence and impact of violence in the lives of children and families, with a focus on adolescent mental health and traumatic stress. He previously led the CDC-funded Urban Partnership Academic Center of Excellence, a multi-institutional effort grounded in community-based participatory research to prevent violence exposure for youth in Philadelphia.

Dr. Fein is the co-director of the Center for Violence Prevention, and also directs the CHOP Violence Intervention Program, an intensive case management service for assault-injured youth recruited from the ED. In addition he works with the STOP IPV team to develop and test innovative methods within the pediatric care setting to screen families for IPV, and promotes safe gun storage using educational materials and safety devices provided to CHOP families. Dr. Fein, with colleagues at CHOP and Drexel University, also developed a computerized screening process for adolescents to sensitively endorse depression, suicide and other behavioral health concerns.

Regionally and nationally he is the co-director of the research workgroups for the The Health Alliance for Violence Intervention and the Philadelphia ACE Task Force research committee, which helped to develop the literature on "expanded ACEs" related to community and neighborhood exposures. Dr. Fein also serves on the core leadership team for the Center for Pediatric Traumatic Stress, a SAMHSA-funded Center that is part of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, with a focus on dissemination to healthcare providers, and has investigated PTSD in children who come to the ED.

Notable career achievements include:

  • Founding and directing the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Center for Violence Prevention
  • Serving as a national leader in applying trauma-informed care to pediatric medical settings
  • Pioneering hospital-based violence prevention research
  • Applying research to create sustainable, fully implemented psychosocial interventions for vulnerable youth and families

Education and Training

BA, Wesleyan University (Biology and Psychology), 1984

MD, New York University School of Medicine, 1988

Residency, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (Pediatrics), 1991

Fellowship, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (Emergency Medicine), 1993

MPH, University of Pennsylvania, 2005

Titles and Academic Titles

Co-Leader, Health and Behavior Research Affinity Group

Co-director, Center for Violence Prevention

Director of Advocacy and Health Policy, Division of Emergency Medicine

Professor of Pediatrics

Professional Memberships

The American Academy of Pediatrics, Emergency Medicine Section, Member, 1991

The Ambulatory Pediatric Association, Member, 1991

The American Academy of Pediatrics, Fellow, 1993

Society for Pediatric Research, Member, 2002

American Public Health Association, Member, 2002

American Pediatric Society, Member, 2012

Professional Awards

University of Pennsylvania Martin Luther King Community Involvement Award (The Philadelphia Collaborative Violence Prevention Center), 2010

Elected member, College of Physicians in Philadelphia, 2011

Elected member, The American Pediatric Society, 2012

Elected member, the Gold Humanism Honor Society. “In recognition of exemplary service, integrity, clinical excellence and compassion.”, 2014

Scott Mackler Award for Excellence in Substance Abuse Teaching, Perelman School of Medicine at The University of Pennsylvania, 2019

Male Ally, Women of Courage Award, Lutheran Settlement House: “To recognize the work of male-identified community partners in combatting Intimate Partner Violence.”, 2019

Publication Highlights

Links of Interest

Media Mentions

Working Toward a Trauma-Informed City: Challenges and Opportunities in Philadelphia
May 25, 2016
Working Toward a Trauma-Informed City: Challenges and Opportunities in Philadelphia

Philly Inquirer
April 17, 2016
Are Doctors the Key to Ending Philly Gun Violence?

June 21, 2017
Child safety campaign urges parents to ask about unlocked guns

December 17, 2018
CHOP and Philly launch home repair program to prevent asthma

Vice Magazine Feature Story
December 17, 2018
Doctors and Emergency Workers Tell Us About the Toll of Treating Gunshot Victims

January 28, 2019
Hospitals could play bigger role in preventing gun violence

Juvenile Justice Information Exchange
December 9, 2019
How Hospitals Are Helping to Reduce Gun Violence

Youth Today Magazine
December 9, 2019
How Hospitals Are Helping to Reduce Gun Violence