Visiting Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
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Secondary Specialty:

Adolescent Medicine

Board Certifications:

Internal Medicine


MD, Northwestern University - Feinberg Chicago, IL MPH, Boston University School of Public Health Boston, MA


Boston City Hospital
Boston, MA


Childrens Hospital of Los Angeles
Los Angeles, CA



Karen Hacker, MD, MPH


Visiting Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine


Research Interests

  • Exploring the Impact of Pediatric Behavioral Health Screening on Health Care Use
  • Integration of mental health and pediatrics
  • Examination of the impact of Behavioral Health screening on utilization
  • Obesity prevention in communities
  • Adolescent risk behaviors
  • Public health infrastructure
  • Population health/health services research
View Dr. Hacker's full list of publications from PubMed.

Biography Summary

Dr. Karen Hacker is the Director of the Allegheny County Health Department.

Prior to her appointment here, Dr. Hacker was Executive Director of the Institute for Community Health, a community research organization within the Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA). She also served as an Associate Professor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School and School of Public Health, and was the Senior Medical Director for Public and Community Health at CHA. She is now an adjunct professor at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health and a Visiting Clinical Professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

Dr. Hacker received her undergraduate degree from Yale University, her MD from Northwestern University and her MPH from Boston University. She has extensive experience working with diverse populations as a public health leader, health care administrator, primary care physician and community based participatory researcher.

Throughout her career, Dr. Hacker has worked with community partners to catalyze change in both practice and research environments. She previously served as interim Chief Public Officer for the City of Cambridge and the Division Director for Child and Adolescent Health at the Boston Public Health Commission.

Dr Hacker's research has been responsive to community needs, with interests focused on adolescent risk and resiliency, child mental health and the social determinants of immigrant health. She has led efforts to incorporate behavioral health screening into pediatric primary care and worked with communities on issues of substance abuse and overdose prevention and youth suicide. More recently, she has been involved in the evaluation of the transformation of safety net institutions into accountable care organizations.

As Director, Dr. Hacker is the highest ranking official in the Health Department and is responsible for overseeing its programs and activities. She also serves as Secretary to the Allegheny County Board of Health.

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