Dedication, Hard Work, and Achievement: Honoring John B. Moeschler, MD, MS
This month’s Spotlight honors the undeniable contributions of John B. Moeschler, MD, MS. John is retiring from his role as Program Director for the New Hampshire-Maine Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities Program after 27 years of service from 1992-2019. As a developmental behavioral pediatrician and geneticist in NH, he served thousands of children and families with, or at risk for, intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) and trained hundreds of interprofessional leaders in high quality, innovative clinical care. In recognition of his many accomplishments, John was awarded Pediatrician of the Year by the NH Pediatric Society in 2012.
Throughout his career, John’s research and practice focused on the study and development of quality supports and health care for children with IDD, the genetics of IDD and ethics of genetic testing, and child health care improvement. He has been dedicated to translating research into meaningful practice and mentoring others to do the same through teaching and continuing education. Here are few highlights from his distinguished career:
- He led the establishment of the NH LEND program in 1992 through a partnership with Dartmouth College and the Institute on Disability at the University of New Hampshire. Under his leadership the program was expanded through a partnership with the Center for Community Inclusion and Disability Studies at the University of Maine in 2011.
- He improved the system of care by serving on state, regional, and national committees that guided policy and practice, including writing diagnostic guidelines for those with intellectual disabilities for the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Child Neurology Society.
- He influenced newborn screening clinical and educational practices statewide, serving on NH’s Advisory Committee for Newborn Screening since 2000.
- He led improvements in health equity and health outcomes for individuals with genetic conditions and the quality of coordinated genetic services to children and their families as the Program Director of the New England Regional Genetics Network program since 2007.
- He helped refine terminology within the field, including a 2011 invited commentary on “Mental Retardation or Intellectual Disability? Time for a Change.”
- He contributed to the knowledge base of the field, authoring more than 75 original publications in the field of genetics and developmental disabilities and serving as a reviewer for numerous journals including Pediatrics, Annals of Neurology, and The American Journal of Medical Genetics.
Those of us who have been fortunate to work with John appreciate his gentle, supportive way with families, his commitment to challenge us to think deeply about our work, and his high expectations for what is possible within the system of care. It is with heartfelt gratitude we congratulate John on his retirement. On behalf of the NH-ME LEND Network, “be well, do good work, and keep in touch.”