Sheila Gahagan, MD, MPH, was chosen among nearly 170 nominees to receive The San Diego Business Journal’s “Women Who Mean Business” award. Gahagan received the award among 27 other women who have contributed significantly to San Diego’s businesses. The Award Program, now in its nineteenth year, showcases the region’s dynamic women leaders in business, civic and cultural organizations.
Gahagan was recognized for her pivotal accomplishments as Chief of the UC San Diego Pediatrics Division of Academic General Pediatrics, Child Development and Community Health. In 2011, her success in turning around a struggling academic unit lead to her appointment as chief of a new Division merging the divisions of Child Development and Community Health and Academic General Pediatrics.
She now heads the largest Division in Pediatrics.
Her leadership lead to great gains at UC San Diego, the San Diego community, and to her field. In 2010 she established UC San Diego’s first accredited fellowship for Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics, a collaborative effort between academic, private and military medicine. Gahagan sought out and established important relationships within UC San Diego, Kaiser, and the US Navy. Through this fellowship, Gahagan trains future leaders in the field through rich experiences in research, education, and community work.
Gahagan has devoted her career to serving underserved populations through clinical work, medical education and research related to health disparities. She is a leader in her pediatric Developmental Behavior specialty, and as a researcher on the developmental origins of pediatric obesity. Gahagan’s clinical expertise is in infant and toddler development and behavior problems, some related to prematurity, genetic or teratological conditions.