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JoAnna K Leyenaar, MD, MPH, PhD

Associate Professor of Pediatrics
Associate Professor of The Dartmouth Institute

Additional Titles/Positions/Affiliations
Vice Chair of Research, Department of Pediatrics

The Dartmouth Institute


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Contact Information

Professional Interests

Healthcare quality for hospitalized children
Urban-rural disparities in pediatric healthcare quality
Healthcare delivery for pediatric mental health conditions
Hospital-to-home transitional care

Grant Information

Comparative Effectiveness of Direct Admission & Admission through Emergency Departments for Children (PCORI)

Urban-Rural Disparities in Children with Chronic Illness (NIH - NIMHD)


A pediatrician and health services researcher, Dr. JoAnna Leyenaar's work is focused on improving the quality of healthcare provided to children, particularly those who are vulnerable and underserved. In her clinical role, Dr. Leyenaar works as a pediatric hospitalist and Vice Chair of Research for the Department of Pediatrics at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. Dr. Leyenaar's main areas of research interest include: care coordination for children with chronic illnesses, urban-rural disparities in healthcare quality, hospital-to-home transitions, integration of mental and behavioral healthcare in pediatrics, and care of opioid-exposed infants. She is currently receiving funding from the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of direct admission to hospital as an alternative to admission through emergency departments. In addition, she is funded by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities to examine urban-rural disparities in healthcare access and outcomes for children with medical complexity. Dr. Leyenaar received her MD from McMaster University (Canada), her MPH from Harvard University, and her PhD from Tufts University.

Selected Publications


Characterization of Birth Hospitalizations in the United States.
Ding L, Rodean J, Leyenaar JK, Coon ER, Mahant S, Gill PJ, Cabana MD, Kaiser SV
Hosp Pediatr. 2023 May 1;13(5):426-439. doi: 10.1542/hpeds.2022-006931.
PMID: 37013702

Pediatric Mental Health Hospitalizations at Acute Care Hospitals in the US, 2009-2019.
Arakelyan M, Freyleue S, Avula D, McLaren JL, O'Malley AJ, Leyenaar JK
JAMA. 2023 Mar 28;329(12):1000-1011. doi: 10.1001/jama.2023.1992.
PMID: 36976279

I-CARE: Feasibility, Acceptability, and Appropriateness of a Digital Health Intervention for Youth Experiencing Mental Health Boarding.
Leyenaar JK, Arakelyan M, Acquilano SC, Gilbert TL, Craig JT, Lee CN, Kodak SG, Ignatova E, Mudge LA, House SA, Brady RE
J Adolesc Health. 2023 Jun;72(6):923-932. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2023.01.015. Epub 2023 Mar 3.
PMID: 36870901

Direct Admission to Hospital for Children in the United States.
Leyenaar JK, Hill V, Lam V, Stern R, Vaughan KW, COMMITTEE ON HOSPITAL CARE
Pediatrics. 2023 Mar 1;151(3) pii: e2022060973. doi: 10.1542/peds.2022-060973.
PMID: 36843482

The association of regional perinatal risk factors and neonatal intensive care capacity for Military Health System-insured newborns.
Goodman DC, Romano CJ, Hall C, Bukowinski AT, Mu TS, Gumbs GR, Conlin AMS, Vereen RJ, Leyenaar JK
J Perinatol. 2023 Feb 15; doi: 10.1038/s41372-023-01633-4. Epub 2023 Feb 15.
PMID: 36792685

Hospitalists' Perceptions of Pediatric Mental Health Boarding: Quality of Care and Moral Distress.
Penwill NY, Wong CT, Taylor DB, Freyleue SD, Bordogna AL, Bode RS, Leyenaar JK
Hosp Pediatr. 2023 Mar 1;13(3):233-245. doi: 10.1542/hpeds.2022-006913.
PMID: 36789538

Urban-rural disparities in interfacility transfers for children during COVID-19.
McDaniel CE, Leyenaar JK, Bryan MA, Test M, Sullivan E
J Rural Health. 2023 Jan 29; doi: 10.1111/jrh.12746. Epub 2023 Jan 29.
PMID: 36710077

Collaborative to Increase Lethal Means Counseling for Caregivers of Youth With Suicidality.
Leyenaar JK, Tolpadi A, Parast L, Esporas M, Britto MT, Gidengil C, Wilson KM, Bardach NS, Basco WT, Brittan MS, Williams DJ, Wood KE, Yung S, Dawley E, Elliott A, Manges KA, Plemmons G, Rice T, Wiener B, Mangione-Smith R
Pediatrics. 2022 Dec 1;150(6) pii: e2021055271. doi: 10.1542/peds.2021-055271.
PMID: 36321386

Multistakeholder Perspectives on Interventions to Support Youth During Mental Health Boarding.
Brady RE, St Ivany A, Nagarajan MK, Acquilano SC, Craig JT, House SA, Mudge L, Leyenaar JK
J Pediatr. 2023 Feb;253:286-291.e4. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2022.10.004. Epub 2022 Oct 8.
PMID: 36220349

Preparedness of Pediatric Subspecialty Fellows to Address Emotional and Mental Health Needs Among Children With Chronic Medical Conditions.
Green CM, Leyenaar JK, Tucker A, Leslie LK
JAMA Pediatr. 2022 Oct 3;176(12):1266-8. doi: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2022.3451. Epub 2022 Oct 3.
PMID: 36190709

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