Dr. Mark Kline selected as chair of pediatrics at Baylor, physician-in-chief at Texas Children's Hospital

HOUSTON - (June 16, 2009) - Dr. Mark Kline, internationally recognized leader in pediatric HIV/AIDS, has been named chair of pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine and physician-in-chief at Texas Children's Hospital.

A member of the BCM faculty and on staff at Texas Children's since 1990, Kline's appointment to succeed the late Dr. Ralph D. Feigin was made by the boards of trustees of both institutions today. The appointment is effective July 1.

In a joint statement to the hospital and medical school communities, Mark A. Wallace, Texas Children's president and CEO, and Dr. William T. Butler, Baylor's interim president and CEO, said the appointment marks the culmination of an extensive national search.
"It signals an exciting new era of growth and vitality for the hospital and the department under Kline's leadership," they said in the joint letter.

Describing the yearlong review of top-tier candidates, Butler and Wallace said the rigorous selection criteria encompassed experience, reputation, leadership and commitment to excellence in patient care, education and research. "Like his predecessor and mentor, the late Dr. Ralph D. Feigin, Dr. Kline exemplifies these characteristics and possesses a clear and dynamic vision for the hospital and the department - one that will further secure our positions as leaders in pediatric health care, research and academics," they said.

An infectious diseases expert, Kline has been serving as a professor of pediatrics and head of the retrovirology section in the pediatrics department at BCM and chief of the Texas Children's Retrovirology Service since 1997. He founded the Baylor International Pediatric AIDS Initiative (BIPAI) at Texas Children's Hospital in 1996, and has led the organization in establishing programs in 14 countries. He will continue to be involved with BIPAI, but will announce a new leadership structure for the organization in the next several weeks.

In the joint letter, Wallace and Butler noted Kline's long history at the two organizations and his prominence in the global medical community, giving him a "unique perspective to the opportunities and challenges facing health care today."

Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children's Hospital are primary affiliates in providing pediatric care. The institutions long have been seen as among the top national leaders in children's healthcare. Feigin served as physician-in-chief and chair of pediatrics from 1977 until his death in August of last year.

"Being asked to lead pediatrics at Texas Children's Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine at this point in time is an incredible privilege and opportunity," Kline said. "The two institutions are poised for preeminence in pediatric medicine, driving innovation that will enhance the health care of millions of children locally, nationally and internationally over the coming years."

Kline, 52, a native of San Antonio, graduated summa cum laude from Trinity University, graduated with honors from BCM in 1981 and completed residency training at BCM and Texas Children's in 1984. He served as the chief resident in pediatrics and was a postdoctoral fellow in pediatric infectious diseases. After serving as an assistant professor of pediatrics at St. Louis University School of Medicine for two years, he returned to BCM and Texas Children's, serving as an infectious diseases specialist and building the international pediatric HIV/AIDS program.

He has authored more than 250 scientific articles and textbook chapters and has presented throughout the world on child health issues. He has earned many honors and awards, including the Association of American Medial Colleges Humanism in Medicine Award in 2002, the Medical Award of Excellence from Ronald McDonald House Charities in 2007 and the Distinguished Faculty Award of Baylor College of Medicine in 2007.
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About Texas Children’s Hospital

Texas Children’s Hospital, a not-for-profit health care organization, is committed to creating a healthier future for children and women throughout the global community by leading in patient care, education and research. Consistently ranked as the best children’s hospital in Texas, and among the top in the nation, Texas Children’s has garnered widespread recognition for its expertise and breakthroughs in pediatric and women’s health. The hospital includes the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute; the Feigin Center for pediatric research; Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women, a comprehensive obstetrics/gynecology facility focusing on high-risk births; Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus, a community hospital in suburban West Houston; and Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands, a second community hospital planned to open in 2017. The organization also created the nation’s first HMO for children, has the largest pediatric primary care network in the country and a global health program that’s channeling care to children and women all over the world. Texas Children’s Hospital is affiliated with Baylor College of Medicine. For more information, go to www.texaschildrens.org. Get the latest news by visiting the online newsroom and Twitter at twitter.com/texaschildrens.