Niraj Sharma, M.D., M.P.H.
My Area of Excellence is in Clinical Expertise and Innovation with a focus on the transition of youth with special health care needs from pediatric to adult-centered medical care. In my outpatient clinic and on the inpatient services at BWH and BCH, I care for many young adults with diseases originating in childhood who present as complicated cases. I am often asked to assist in the transition process to find adult medical homes for these patients.
My work in transition has led to several successful grant awards including one to investigate the transition of patients with perinatally-acquired HIV that was ultimately published. I founded the BWH/BCH Transition Working Group where physicians and other caregivers meet monthly to share works in progress, research, and clinical programs related to transition care. I also developed the BWH/BCH Crossover Curriculum, where faculty members from each institution lead conferences at the other hospital on internal medicine and pediatric topics relevant to transition care. I served as the Co-Site Director and Cabinet Member of the “Got Transition” National Learning Collaborative, funded by HRSA/MCHB to develop and test transition protocols for patients and practices.
On the innovation side, I helped found Brigham and Women’s Family Care Associates, a new primary care practice that serves as the teaching site for residents and faculty in the BWH/BCH Internal Medicine-Pediatrics (Med-Peds) Residency Program. A major focus is providing transition services to young adults.
I serve as the Associate Director of the Weitzman Family Bridges Adult Transition Program at BCH. I co-direct an effort to establish a young adult unit and consult service. These clinical services provide age-appropriate care and transition services for adult patients. This program has already been presented at one national conference and we are measuring the long-term impact of the program.
Finally, I am leading an effort with the Partners Healthcare Integrated Care Management Program to develop transition processes across the Partners System. This innovative pilot program will provide pediatric practices with tools and care coordination support to improve transition and transfer to adult care.
My work has garnered national attention. I have given regional, national, and international lectures on the subject. Our group has also published several manuscripts. One published in Academic Pediatrics made recommendations for future work in transition care in the areas of education, health policy, and outcomes research.
I have a significant supporting activity in medical education. I have been a Program Director of Med-Peds Residency Programs since 2001, most recently at Harvard BWH/BCH since 2007. In this position, I have developed novel curricula that have been presented nationally, mentored many residents, and received teaching awards. I have also held leadership positions in MPPDA, APDIM, and AAIM. In these roles, I have been able to work with the ACGME to assist Med-Peds Programs to be accredited for the first time. I have also spent considerable time on influencing Graduate Medical Education Policy at the federal level, including leading the successful effort to include Med-Peds Programs in the definition of Primary Care for HRSA Title VII Funding Grants.