Kelly Kelleher, MD, MPH, director of the Center for Innovation in Pediatric Practice in The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, was recently appointed to be part of an Institute of Medicine committee. The 15 nationally recognized pediatric health experts on the committee will evaluate the Social Security Administration’s Supplemental Security Income disability program. The committee will help improve the program’s effectiveness in determining disability in children with mental disorders.
The committee will evaluate how to diagnoses and determine the severity of impairment that results from mental disorders, which can be especially complex in children. For example, how does a parent demonstrate and document impairment from obsessive compulsive disorder in his 10-year-old daughter so that he may secure disability benefits?
The Social Security Administration’s list of mental disorders applicable to children identifies 11 categories of impairment, including psychotic, developmental and substance dependence disorders. Four of these categories are identified as not commonly found in children, such as schizophrenic and anxiety disorders. Were a child found to suffer from one of these disorders, he or she would be evaluated by the same criteria used to evaluate adults. The new committee will address how well this translates to children under the age of 18 and school performance, to determine criteria that better applies to children.
Dr. Kelleher is director of the Center for Innovation in Pediatric Practice in The Research Institute, vice president of Health Services Research at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, ADS/Chlapaty Endowed Chair and professor of pediatrics and public health at The Ohio State University colleges of Medicine and Public Health. He earned his MD in 1984 from The Ohio State University, completed his pediatric residency at Northwestern University in 1987, and obtained an MPH in epidemiology from the Johns Hopkins University in 1988.
Dr. Kelleher's research interests focus on accessibility, effectiveness and quality of health care services for children and their families, especially those affected by mental disorders, substance abuse or violence. He has a longstanding interest in formal outcomes research for mental health and substance abuse services. This is the second time Kelleher has been appointed to an Institute of Medicine Committee to weigh in on matters affecting the nation’s health.
About The Institute of Medicine
The IOM is an independent, nonprofit organization that works outside of government to provide unbiased and authoritative advice to decision makers and the public. Established in 1970, the IOM is the health arm of the National Academy of Sciences, which was chartered under President Abraham Lincoln in 1863. The IOM advises Congress on important health questions, from the quality of medical care to conflicts of interest in medical research, from malaria treatment to environmental hazards, and from vaccine safety to childhood obesity.
Note to Editor: Dr. Kelleher is a resident of Upper Arlington, Ohio, 43220.
Dr. Kelly J. Kelleher, director of the Center for Innovation in Pediatric Practice in The Research Institute and vice president of Health Services Research at Nationwide Children’s Hospital