Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC Chief Appointed President of the American Society of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology

June 14, 2012

PITTSBURGH, PA - June 14, 2012 - A. Kim Ritchey, M.D., chief, Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, has been named president of the American Society of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology (ASPHO).

Dr. Ritchey will focus the work of the society on its primary mission of promoting optimal care of children and adolescents with blood disorders and cancer by advancing research education, treatment and professional practice. He will be responsible for developing a robust mission-directed system of reporting and accountability that will decrease overlap of committee responsibilities, improve communication with the board and its members, and keep a targeted focus on the organization’s mission. In addition, he will develop a robust international outreach program to include pediatric hematologist/oncologists from around the world. He succeeds Jeffrey Lipton, M.D., Ph.D., chief, Hematology/Oncology at Cohen Children's Medical Center of New York.

“I am honored to be named the new president of the American Society of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology and look forward to leading this national organization and furthering its mission,” said Dr. Ritchey, also professor of pediatrics and vice chair for clinical affairs in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. “Treatment for childhood cancer and blood diseases has come a long way in the last 50 years and I am ready to take on the task to advance this crucial education and research.”

“I am both elated with the progress we have made during the past two years and even more pleased in the knowledge that Dr. Ritchey will undoubtedly far surpass anything that has already been accomplished,” said Dr. Lipton.

In addition, Dr. Ritchey is the principal investigator at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh for the Children's Oncology Group (COG), which is the only pediatric clinical trials organization funded by the National Cancer Institute. In his position, he is responsible for overseeing clinical research trials in different types of childhood malignancy. The COG currently has more than 75 active clinical research trials for children with cancer. Children's Hospital is one of only 20 select institutions within the COG that has approval to perform experimental studies with new drugs and treatments for children with cancer, also known as Phase I studies.

The ASPHO is the primary professional organization for pediatric hematologists/oncologists in North America. It is a multidisciplinary organization dedicated to promoting optimal care of children and adolescents with blood disorders and cancer by advancing research, education, treatment and professional practice, was begun in 1974 by those who had a commitment to pediatric hematology/oncology. There are approximately 1,700 members in the society.

For more information on Dr. Ritchey, please visit

Andrea Kunicky, 412-692-6254,
Marc Lukasiak, 412-692-7919,