Kathleen Nelson, MD, clinical professor of pediatrics at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, has been appointed associate dean for leadership and wellness, according to Keck School Dean Laura Mosqueda, MD, professor of family medicine and geriatrics and May S. and John H. Hooval Dean’s Chair in Medicine. Nelson stepped into the new role Aug. 1.

Nelson will coordinate, oversee and develop efforts in the areas of wellness and leadership for trainees, faculty and staff. She will coordinate her work with other leaders at the Keck School, Keck Medical Center of USC and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, on programs and initiatives that affect the lives and professional development of the community of individuals that compose the Keck School.

“Dr. Nelson brings a wealth of experience and enthusiasm to her new role,” Mosqueda wrote in the July 25 announcement. “Please join me in welcoming Dr. Nelson to her new role as Associate Dean for Leadership and Wellness. We know that she will do a superb job.”

Nelson has been a guiding force in the Healthcare Leadership Academy, a joint venture developed in 2013 between CHLA and Keck Medical Center to train academic health center leaders for the 21st century. For the past 6 years, Nelson has been the associate chair for faculty development in the Department of Pediatrics at CHLA. Prior to that, she spent seven years as the senior associate dean for faculty development at the University of Alabama, Birmingham, School of Medicine, and a decade leading medical students as the associate and senior associate dean for students.

Nelson also has a long history of service at the national level, particularly in her committee and leadership activities at the American Association for Medical Colleges, the Academic Pediatric Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

A well-established clinical investigator, Nelson has performed research that has resulted in more than 100 peer-reviewed publications focused on long-term outcomes of infants who have received neonatal intensive care, especially for those with low birth weight, or those who required treatment with extra-corporeal membrane oxygenation therapy (ECMO). She also has published on the effects of media on children. Most recently, she has avidly pursued her interests by publishing on medical education and career planning for medical students, residents and academic faculty.