Bob Vinci, MD, to Step Down as Chair, Chief of Pediatrics

Headshot of Dr. VinciBob Vinci, MD, after more than 40 years as part of the BUSM/BMC community, has decided to step down from his position as Chair and Chief of Pediatrics, effective June 30, 2023.

Vinci began his career as a pediatric resident at Boston City Hospital in 1980. He went on to hold various leadership positions at BMC and BUSM before being named as the Chair and Chief of Pediatrics and the Joel and Barbara Alpert Professor of Pediatrics in 2013. From his earliest days on the Medical Campus, Vinci has been known as a partner to his clinical colleagues, students and patients. His unassuming style brought people together to solve the complex issues facing the youngest among us, and he never failed to remind us of the importance of listening to patients and putting them at the center of all we do.

Early in his career,  was responsible for the development of Pediatric Emergency Medicine and transformed what was known as a “Walk-In Clinic” to an academically oriented Division of Pediatric Emergency Medicine. Vinci served as Director of both the Pediatric Emergency Department and its associated fellowship program, and was one of the leaders who developed Emergency Medical Services for children in Massachusetts. Vinci also helped establish, in partnership with Boston Mayor Tom Menino and colleagues at what is now known as the Boston Public Health Commission, the highly successful window falls prevention campaign “Kids Can’t Fly.”

Among Vinci’s many accomplishments in medical education was the establishment of the Boston Combined Residency Program in 1996 that brought together the pediatric training programs at BMC and Boston Children’s Hospital. As part of the program, Bob created and promoted approaches and flexible training options for residents seeking non-standard pathways, to support residents with families who desired flexible training schedules, and to allow residents to pursue outside interests such as global health training.

Vinci’s leadership style is rooted in his fierce commitment to pediatric providers being part of the solutions that will improve patients’ lives. In his role as Chair and Chief, Bob has been a passionate and proud supporter of the many innovative programs and initiatives that his faculty developed. He was instrumental in the creation of the Center for the Urban Child and Healthy Family, a national leader in testing unique models of care and partnering with the broader community and like-minded organizations to support children and families.

During his tenure as Chair, the Department of Pediatrics has continued its tradition of supporting vulnerable families by creating programs like the SOFAR and Catalyst Programs for families affected by substance use disorders, StreetCred and the EASE Clinic. During the COVID pandemic, Vinci and his team quickly came together to build unique programs, introducing dyadic care models, mobile vaccinations and Project REACH. Under his leadership, the department also has increased its grant portfolio to over $60M in total grants each year, seen a dramatic increase in clinical services, and in 2020 established the Pediatric Council on Social Justice, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

A natural mentor, often cited by some of the most notable names in pediatrics as a person instrumental to their careers, Vinci has been recognized nationally as an outstanding teacher and leader in medical education. His many honors include receiving the Jerome O. Klein Teaching Award here at BMC/BUSM twice, the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award from BUSM, and the Walter W. Tunnessen, Jr. MD Award from the Association of Pediatric Program Directors, given to those who have made “extraordinary or innovative contributions in pediatric medical education.” He also received that Association’s Robert S. Holm Leadership Award and is the only person in the history of the organization to receive both awards. Vinci has also been actively engaged in creating a dynamic pediatric clerkship for BUSM medical students, has mentored and advised hundreds of medical students pursuing careers in pediatrics, and for the past four and a half years has chaired BUSM’s Appropriate Treatment in Medicine Committee.

Vinci will continue to be actively engaged in nationwide efforts to advance pediatric care and training and improve child health. He serves on the Board of Directors for the Association of Medical School Pediatric Department Chairs and is a co-lead for Pediatrics 2025, a workforce initiative the Association has sponsored to increase the number and diversity of high-quality students entering Pediatrics, Medicine-Pediatric, and Combined Pediatric Subspecialty training programs. Vinci will continue to lead that work after stepping down as chair at BMC/BUSM. A former associate editor for the journal Academic Pediatrics and lead editor for the section on View from the APPD Pages from 2014-2017, Vinci has written extensively on his research and clinical expertise in the areas of pediatric emergency medicine, medical education, and the future of the pediatric workforce.

As Vinci moves on to this next chapter of his life and career, he leaves a lasting legacy as a champion for the children of Boston to have the best possible start to their lives and as a leader in empowering physicians to follow their hearts and minds in service to the children and families they serve. Another legacy that he will now have the time to further nurture is as a loving husband to Debra, his wife of 41 years, proud father to Allyson, Laura and Sam, and doting grandfather to his three grandchildren.

“Please join us in thanking Bob for his leadership and his many contributions to our hospital, medical school, and broader community over his almost 43 years at Boston Medical Center and Boston University School of Medicine,” said Karen Antman, MD, BUMC Provost and BUSM Dean and Kate Walsh, BMC President and CEO.