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JoAnna K Leyenaar, MD, MPH, PhD

Professor of Pediatrics
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


Comparing Outcomes Between Direct and ED Admissions for Neonatal Hyperbilirubinemia.
Slemmer A, Klamer B, Schmerge C, Lauden S, Texler C, Fennell M, Lowing D, Leyenaar JK, Bode RS
Hosp Pediatr. 2024 Jun 1;14(6):421-429. doi: 10.1542/hpeds.2023-007527.
PMID: 38766712

Prioritization of Randomized Clinical Trial Questions for Children Hospitalized With Common Conditions: A Consensus Statement.
Coon ER, McDaniel CE, Paciorkowski N, Grimshaw M, Frakes E, Ambroggio L, Auger KA, Cohen E, Garber M, Gill PJ, Jennings R, Joshi NS, Leyenaar JK, McCulloh R, Pantell MS, Sauers-Ford HS, Schroeder AR, Srivastava R, Wang ME, Wilson KM, Kaiser SV, RCT conference series group
JAMA Netw Open. 2024 May 1;7(5):e2411259. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2024.11259. Epub 2024 May 1.
PMID: 38748429

Human-Centered Design to Improve Care for Youths Experiencing Psychiatric Boarding.
House SA, Arakelyan M, Acquilano SC, Roche L, Leyenaar JK
Hosp Pediatr. 2024 May 1;14(5):394-402. doi: 10.1542/hpeds.2023-007688.
PMID: 38577744

Direct Admission Program Implementation: A Qualitative Analysis of Variation Across Health Systems.
Taylor JA, McDaniel CE, Stevens CA, Jacob-Files E, Acquilano SC, Freyleue SD, Bode R, Erdem G, Felman K, Lauden S, Bruce ML, Leyenaar JK
Pediatrics. 2024 Apr 1;153(4) pii: e2023063569. doi: 10.1542/peds.2023-063569.
PMID: 38533563

Clinician-Spoken Plain Language in Health Care Encounters: A Qualitative Analysis to Assess Measurable Elements.
Yen RW, Hagedorn R, Durand MA, Leyenaar JK, O'Malley AJ, Saunders CH, Isaacs T, Elwyn G
Acad Med. 2024 Jun 1;99(6):663-672. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0000000000005666. Epub 2024 Feb 27.
PMID: 38412476

Rural-urban disparities in health care delivery for children with medical complexity and moderating effects of payer, disability, and community poverty.
Arakelyan M, Freyleue SD, Schaefer AP, Austin AM, Moen EL, O'Malley AJ, Goodman DC, Leyenaar JK
J Rural Health. 2024 Mar;40(2):326-337. doi: 10.1111/jrh.12827. Epub 2024 Feb 20.
PMID: 38379187

Hospital-Level NICU Capacity, Utilization, and 30-Day Outcomes in Texas.
Goodman DC, Stuchlik P, Ganduglia-Cazaban C, Tyson JE, Leyenaar J, Avritscher EBC, Rysavy M, Gautham KS, Lynch D, Stukel TA, Texas Neonatal Care Research Collaborative
JAMA Netw Open. 2024 Feb 5;7(2):e2355982. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2023.55982. Epub 2024 Feb 5.
PMID: 38353952

Child Health Needs and the Pediatric Hospital Medicine Workforce: 2020-2040.
Harrison WN, Mittal VS, O'Toole JK, Quinonez RA, Mink R, Leyenaar JK
Pediatrics. 2024 Feb 1;153(Suppl 2) pii: e2023063678M. doi: 10.1542/peds.2023-063678M.
PMID: 38300016

Reverse triage and the pediatric mental health boarding crisis.
Leyenaar JK
J Hosp Med. 2023 Dec;18(12):1158-1159. doi: 10.1002/jhm.13244. Epub 2023 Nov 27.
PMID: 38010297

Pediatric Hospitalization Trends at Children's and General Hospitals, 2000-2019.
Steiner MJ, Hall M, Sutton AG, Stephens JR, Leyenaar JK, Chase L, McDaniel CE
JAMA. 2023 Nov 21;330(19):1906-1908. doi: 10.1001/jama.2023.19268.
PMID: 37902774

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