Dipesh Navsaria, MPH, MSLIS, MD (he/him) is a pediatrician working in the public interest. He blends the roles of physician, occasional children’s librarian, educator, public health professional and child health advocate. With graduate degrees in public health, children’s librarianship, physician assistant studies, and medicine, he brings a unique combination of interests and experience together.
He is an associate professor of pediatrics at the School of Medicine and Public Health, and a clinical associate professor of Human Development and Family Studies at the School of Human Ecology, both at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He has practiced primary care pediatrics in a variety of settings with special interest in underserved populations, and continues to practice in outpatient settings.
With a graduate degree in children’s librarianship, he has the right skill set to be the founding medical director of Reach Out and Read Wisconsin, and is currently the chair of the board of directors for Reach Out and Read National. He recognizes that shared book reading using high-quality books is a vehicle to unlocking the potential present in all children.
With respect to education, Dr Navsaria trains a wide variety of students and professionals around thinking about how children are shaped by their environments and how we can advocate for change at different levels. This includes working with medical students, residents, physician assistant students, public health students, human ecology students, and many others, including early childhood professionals and educators from many fields. He serves as the medical director of the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s physician assistant program, and works closely with dual-degree students doing clinical and public health training. Increasingly, he does more classroom teaching and guest lecturing to help others frame how they think about the world of children and families.
Dr Navsaria works with the American Academy of Pediatrics on a state level, and is the current immediate past president of the Wisconsin Chapter. He also has served nationally on a number of committees, including being the founding co-chair of the Early Literacy Subcommittee of the Council on Early Childhood, and is now chair of the Council. He regularly writes op-eds on health-related topics, does radio and television interviews, and frequently speaks locally, regionally and nationally on early brain and child development, early literacy, and advocacy to a broad variety of audiences. He is also the host of the Reach Out and Read Podcast and has a modest professional presence on social media. He is on numerous boards and committees, probably because he has a hard time saying “no” when asked. In 2022, he was appointed by the White House to the National Museum and Library Services Board.
Born in London, England and raised in New York City, Dr Navsaria attended the Bronx High School of Science. His undergraduate education was at Boston University, majoring in Biology and English Literature. He completed a Master’s in Public Health at Boston University and Physician Assistant training at The George Washington University in the District of Columbia. He practiced as a pediatric physician assistant in East Central Illinois before attending medical school at the University of Illinois in Urbana. During his time there, he also completed a master’s degree in library and information science at the University of Illinois, focusing on children’s librarianship. He then completed his residency in pediatrics at the University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics.
Dr Navsaria also does some work in the common-sense, intelligent application of technology to practical projects and situations. He cares deeply about visual presentation and typography — information should be clear and beautiful in how it is passed on.
He lives in Madison, Wisconsin with his family. He has a lovely, supportive wife and two children. They not only put up with his sense of humor, they encourage it! Well, at least his wife does — his college-aged children now just roll their eyes. (The two cats, dog, fish, and backyard chickens do not.)
Committed to understanding how basic science can translate into busy primary-care settings via population health concepts and policy initiatives — and also be incorporated into transdisciplinary approaches across multiple sectors and schools of thought — Dr Navsaria aims to educate the next generation of those who work with children and families in realizing how their professional roles include being involved in larger concepts of social policy and how they may affect the cognitive and socioemotional development of children for their future benefit. The various ways in which we can influence the environment around children and families — from the very micro to the most macro — to ensure they can flourish and thrive is at the heart of what he does.
A full curriculum vitæ (CV) is available upon request.
Institutions, Projects and Programs
that Dr Navsaria is affiliated with.
Outreach, Service & Professional Organizations
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