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Meet Dr. Moira

Primary Care Pediatrician, Advocate, Educator, and Professor of Pediatrics

Dr. Szilagyi is a primary care pediatrician, advocate, educator, and Professor of Pediatrics at UCLA (since 2014) where she is Interim Division Chief of General Pediatrics and Chief of Developmental/Behavioral Pediatrics.  She completed her MD, PhD, and pediatric residency at the University of Rochester. During her 30 years in Rochester, she developed a community-based, integrated-care medical home for children in foster care, worked in a suburban private practice, created and led a regional child abuse program, conducted research highlighting vulnerable children, and mentored trainees in Continuity Clinic.


Dr. Szilagyi led the development of the first health care standards for children in foster care in NYS- Fostering Health (now the national standards). She has had leadership roles in the Section, Task Force and Council on Foster Care, Adoption and Kinship Care.  She speaks widely on foster care and childhood trauma and has authored several AAP policy statements, clinical and technical reports.   


Dr. Szilagyi works closely with the AAP’s Washington Office on legislation related to equity, diversity and the care of vulnerable children, collaborates with mental health and child welfare to integrate evidence-based interventions into pediatric care, and currently leads a federally funded, multi-site project with the AAP and UMASS to educate pediatricians about trauma-informed care. She is a nationally renowned expert in childhood trauma and trauma-informed care.  Dr. Szilagyi is also an active member of the Academic Pediatric Association.  


Dr. Szilagyi is regarded as one of the leading experts on the health of children in foster and kinship care and has served as chair of multiple AAP groups over the last 25 years leading the development of health care standards for children and teens in out of home care.  She continues to work closely with the AAP Washington Office on federal child welfare legislation and regulation. In addition to being a devoted mother, wife, and grandmother, Dr. Szilagyi has had wide-ranging experiences during her career, including:

  • Experience as a primary care pediatrician in foster and kinship care, a suburban private pediatrics, juvenile justice setting, and two Academic Medical Center Primary Care Clinics;

  • Leading cross-systems collaboration among pediatrics, mental health, public health and child welfare to create an integrated care medical home for children involved with child welfare; 

  • Clinical research on integrating evidence-based interventions into practice; 

  • Educating residents in pediatric continuity clinic; 

  • Principal investigator on several national education and training grants:

  1. with the AAP and UMASS on Trauma and Resilience Informed Care (funded by SAMHSA; Pediatric Approach to Trauma, Treatment and Resilience); 

  2. on evidence-based parenting education (funded by the CDC), and 

  3. the early detection of Cerebral Palsy (funded by the CP Foundation).  


Equity, justice, and inclusion have been and are inextricably woven into all the work Dr. Szilagyi does on behalf of children and families.

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