Leadership Spotlight: Anu Partap, MD, MPH
Dr. Anu Partap has extensive experience in the clinical, behavioral and developmental health needs of at-risk children with special focus on children affected by violence. Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute frequently calls upon Dr. Partap as a knowledge resource and to participate in projects to assess needs and educate decision makers on the mental health needs of children, particularly those in foster care.
“I think what happens for our children in foster care is a true measure of what communities are doing or not doing well for children in general. If we can treat children who have already been abused or neglected and who have mental health and physical health issues, we can apply those treatment principles to other populations. It’s very rewarding to help children in foster care both because of the level of their need and for the potential of helping all children affected by adversity,” says Dr. Partap.
Dr. Partap is a Diplomat of the American Board of Pediatrics specializing in pediatrics and primary care at Children’s Health. She is also the Director of the Rees-Jones Center for Foster Care Excellence at Children’s Medical Center. A collaboration between Children’s Heath and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, the Rees-Jones Center brings together foster care experts in pediatrics, research and child welfare to address the primary care as well as the special behavioral and developmental needs of children from birth to 18 years of age who live with relatives, foster parents or in a group home.
Additionally, Dr. Partap is an Assistant Professor at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Department of Pediatrics, and involved in the regional and statewide improvement of health care for children through her professional memberships and committee work. She is a former appointed member of the Texas CASA Mental Health Task Force. Currently, she is co-chair of the Foster Care Committee and co-chair of the Mental Health Committee for the Texas Pediatric Society, and a member of the Foster Care Child Fatality Review team for the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services in Dallas County.
Dr. Partap came to the attention of the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute during the opening of the Rees-Jones Center in 2014.
“The Institute reached out to me and we had a lot of shared passion and interest right away. I was already involved in trying to serve higher risk populations of children, and half my work overlaps with what is needed for mental health. Since then, whenever the Institute has an opportunity to advance the message for children’s mental health, I’ve been lucky to be asked to participate in talking on integrated care and the mental health needs of children. We’ve also worked on ways the Institute’s expertise could be applied to promote our new model of care at The Rees-Jones Center, and to help meet the needs of children in foster care in regards to mental health.”
Her dedication to improving clinical and mental health services for children has been recognized with several honors and awards including the Arizona Coalition Against Domestic Violence “Community Partner Award” and the America Academy of Pediatrics “Local Hero Award.” In 2014, Superior HealthPlan named her one of its “Community Champions for Children.”
Dr. Partap received her bachelors and medical degree in a six-year combined program at University of Missouri, Kansas City School of Medicine, and completed a Masters in Public Health at the University of Arizona. Her Fellowship in pediatrics was completed at Maricopa Medical Center in Phoenix, Arizona. Her professional affiliations include the American Academy of Pediatrics, Texas Pediatric Society, and the Texas Medical Association.