Mary Ann Abrams, MD, MPH

Nationwide Children's Hospital Medical Professional

Contact Information


Mary Ann Abrams, MD, MPH, is a member of the Section of Primary Care Pediatrics, GME Quality Improvement Medical Director, and Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Portfolio Manager at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, and Clinical Assistant Professor and Longitudinal Group Associate Program Director at the Ohio State University College of Medicine. She oversees trainee engagement in quality improvement and MOC, and works in health equity and health literacy.

Prior to joining Nationwide Children's Hospital, Dr. Abrams led Iowa Health System’s (now UnityPoint Health) health literacy quality initiative and development of Health Literacy Iowa, a statewide center for health literacy. She has focused on implementing and sustaining health literacy-related interventions in real-world clinical settings, including development of a reader-friendly consent for surgery/procedures, and various health literacy tools, trainings, and on-line resources. She co-chaired the American Academy of Pediatrics Health Literacy Project Advisory Committee, served on the American College of Physicians Foundation Health Literacy Programs Committee, and was a Pfizer Visiting Professor in Health Literacy. She is co-editor and contributing author to the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Plain Language Pediatrics guidebook, and has published and presented on implementing health literacy-based interventions, pediatric health literacy, and partnering with patients and adult learners.

Dr. Abrams served as Chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Council on Community Pediatrics, Iowa AAP CATCH Facilitator, and Reach Out and Read Iowa Medical Director and Coalition Leader. Her interests and work continue to focus on health literacy, the clinical/public health interface, promoting health equity, and addressing social determinants of health.

Academic and Clinical Areas
Awards, Honors & Organizations
  • Special Achievement Award, American Academy of Pediatrics, 2009
  • Hospital Recognition for Innovative Approaches to Patient- Centered Communication (Iowa Health System), American Medical Association and Ethical Force Program, 2005
  • Sagamore of the Wabash, State of Indiana, 1994
  • Section on Obesity, American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), 2016 - Present
  • Member, Central Ohio Pediatric Society, 2015 - Present
  • Member, Ohio State Medical Association, 2015 - Present
  • Member, Ohio Chapter American Academy of Pediatrics, 2013 - Present
  • Expert and Stakeholder Panel for Improving Hospital Consent with an Informed Consent Toolkit, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), 2013 - 2016
  • Steering Committee, AAP SOCP Prevention and Public Health Special Interest Group, 2007 - 2010
  • AMA Patient Safety and Health Literacy Advisory Committee, American Medical Association (AMA), 2005 - 2007
  • Health Literacy Project Advisory Committee Co-Chair, American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), 2005 - 2010
  • Board Member, Iowa State Board of Health, 2004 - 2007
  • Chair, AAP Council on Community Pediatrics, AAP Section on Community Pediatrics (SOCP), 2002 - 2006
  • Member, AAP SOCP Prevention and Public Health Special Interest Group, 2001 - Present
  • Co-Chair, AAP SOCP Prevention and Public Health Special Interest Group, 2001 - 2003
  • Executive Committee, AAP Council on Community Pediatrics, AAP Section on Community Pediatrics (SOCP), 2000 - 2006
  • Committee on Public Health, Iowa Medical Society (IMS), 1999 - 2013
  • Member, Iowa Medical Society (IMS), 1997 - 2013
  • Fellow, American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), 1988 - Present

Date of Appointment at Nationwide Children’s Hospital: 09/26/2014

Board Certifications
  • Pediatrics
  • Public Health General Preventive Medicine
Residency Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Date Completed: 06/30/1991
Residency Nationwide Children's Hospital Date Completed: 06/30/1985
Medical School Ohio State University College of Medicine and Publ Date Completed: 06/30/1982
Undergraduate School University of Dayton Date Completed: 04/29/1979
Graduate School Harvard University Date Completed:
Professional Experience

2003 - 2014 Iowa Health System (now UnityPoint Health), Health Literacy

2006 - 2009 Blank Children’s Hospital, Iowa Health System, Quality

Contact Information