Navigate Up

UPMC/University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
For Journalists
Telephone: 412-692-6254
Telephone: 412-877-1656

Want to Make an Appointment or Need Patient Information?

Contact UPMC at
1-800-533-UPMC (8762).

Go to Find a Doctor to search for a UPMC doctor.​

Child Abuse Expert at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC Appointed to Task Force on Child Protection  

PITTSBURGH, Jan. 19, 2012 Rachel Berger, M.D. M.P.H., a member of the Child Protection Team at the Child Advocacy Center of Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC has been appointed to the Pennsylvania Task Force on Child Protection by Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati.

The task force is a panel created by the General Assembly to thoroughly review state laws and procedures governing child protection and the reporting of child abuse. Governor Tom Corbett and House Speaker Sam Smith also named members to the task force.

“We applaud Pennsylvania’s leaders for recognizing that the state’s child protection laws must be reviewed and that we must take proactive steps to ensure that we’re doing everything in our power to protect vulnerable children,” said Janet Squires, M.D., physician director of Children’s Hospital’s Child Advocacy Center. “We’re also proud Dr. Berger was selected to participate on the task force as she is a leading child abuse researcher and Children’s has one of the state’s leading child protection teams.”

The 11-member task force will begin to examine and analyze the practices, processes and procedures relating to the response to child abuse; review and analyze law, procedures, practices and rules relating to the reporting of child abuse; hold public hearings, accept and review written comments from individuals and organizations; submit reports that will include recommendations to improve the reporting of child abuse; implement any necessary changes in state laws and practices, policies and procedures relating to child abuse, as well as train appropriate individuals in the reporting of child abuse.

Dr. Berger is one of the leading child abuse experts in the nation. Her clinical research involves the development of the nation's first blood test to help physicians screen infants who may be victims of abusive head trauma, sometimes also referred to as shaken baby syndrome. Abusive head trauma (AHT) is the leading cause of death from child abuse and the most common cause of severe traumatic brain injury in infants. In 2009, Dr. Berger received a prestigious five-year grant from the National Institutes of Health to conduct a multi-center national study to conduct this research.

In 2011, Dr. Berger was the lead author on a multi-center study which evaluated whether there was a relationship between the economy and the rate of AHT. The study demonstrated that the rate of AHT increased significantly during the 17 months of the recent economic recession compared with the 47 months before the recession in all three regions of the country that were studied.

For more information on Dr. Berger and the Child Advocacy Center, please visit

UPMC | Affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences Supplemental content provided by Healthwise, Incorporated. To learn more, visit

For help in finding a doctor or health service that suits your needs, call the UPMC Referral Service at 412-647-UPMC (8762) or 1-800-533-UPMC (8762). Select option 1.

UPMC is an equal opportunity employer. UPMC policy prohibits discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, sex, genetics, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, familial status, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected group status. Further, UPMC will continue to support and promote equal employment opportunity, human dignity, and racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity. This policy applies to admissions, employment, and access to and treatment in UPMC programs and activities. This commitment is made by UPMC in accordance with federal, state, and/or local laws and regulations.

Medical information made available on is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely entirely on this information for your health care needs. Ask your own doctor or health care provider any specific medical questions that you have. Further, is not a tool to be used in the case of an emergency. If an emergency arises, you should seek appropriate emergency medical services.

Pittsburgh, PA, USA |