Keck School Faculty

Tamara Simon

Tamara Simon

Professor of Pediatrics (Clinical Scholar)
Pediatrics
4640 West Sunset Blvd Off Campus Los Angeles

: American Pediatric Society, 2019

: National Mentor for APA Research Scholar Program, 2012-now

: Society for Pediatric Research, 2009

: Society for Pediatric Research , 2009

UUSOM : Pediatric Clinical and Translational Research Scholar, 2007-2009

: Primary Children’s Medical Foundation Scholar , 2006-2008

: Primary Children’s Medical Foundation Scholar, 2006-2008

: Pediatric Academic Societies’ Young Investigator Travel Award, 2006

: Pediatric Academic Societies’ Young Investigator Travel Award, 2006

: Ambulatory Pediatric Association Young Investigator Award, 2005

: Joseph W. St. Geme, Jr., M.D. award for outstanding research by a resident, 2004

: American Academy of Pediatrics Resident Research Grant, 2003

UNC-CH SOM: Election to Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society, 1999

Lineberger Cancer Center, UNC-CH SOM: Research Fellowship, 1998

Colgate University: Avery Prize in Molecular Biology, 1994

Colgate University: Election to Phi Beta Kappa Senior Honor Society, 1994

Endoscopic third ventriculostomy in previously shunt-treated patients J Neurosurg Pediatr. 2022 Jul 29; 1-9. . View in PubMed

Endoscopic third ventriculostomy revision after failure of initial endoscopic third ventriculostomy and choroid plexus cauterization J Neurosurg Pediatr. 2022 Apr 22; 1-10. . View in PubMed

The Hydrocephalus Clinical Research Network quality improvement initiative: the role of antibiotic-impregnated catheters and vancomycin wound irrigation J Neurosurg Pediatr. 2022 Mar 18; 1-8. . View in PubMed

Assessing the Relationship Between Well-Care Visit and Emergency Department Utilization Among Adolescents and Young Adults J Adolesc Health. 2022 01; 70(1):64-69. . View in PubMed

Vaccine Administration in Children's Hospitals Pediatrics. 2022 02 01; 149(2). . View in PubMed

Prevalence of Children With Medical Complexity and Associations With Health Care Utilization and In-Hospital Mortality JAMA Pediatr. 2022 06 01; 176(6):e220687. . View in PubMed

Anterior versus posterior entry site for ventriculoperitoneal shunt insertion: a randomized controlled trial by the Hydrocephalus Clinical Research Network J Neurosurg Pediatr. 2021 Nov 19; 1-11. . View in PubMed

Impact of ventricle size on neuropsychological outcomes in treated pediatric hydrocephalus: an HCRN prospective cohort study J Neurosurg Pediatr. 2021 Nov 12; 1-12. . View in PubMed

Molecular Characterization of Microbiota in Cerebrospinal Fluid From Patients With CSF Shunt Infections Using Whole Genome Amplification Followed by Shotgun Sequencing Front Cell Infect Microbiol. 2021; 11:699506. . View in PubMed

Caregiver and provider experiences of physical, occupational, and speech therapy for children with medical complexity J Pediatr Rehabil Med. 2021; 14(3):505-516. . View in PubMed

Characterization of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) microbiota from patients with CSF shunt infection and reinfection using high throughput sequencing of 16S ribosomal RNAgenes PLoS One. 2021; 16(1):e0244643. . View in PubMed

Predictors of fast and ultrafast shunt failure in pediatric hydrocephalus: a Hydrocephalus Clinical Research Network study J Neurosurg Pediatr. 2020 Dec 18; 27(3):277-286. . View in PubMed

Temporal trends in surgical procedures for pediatric hydrocephalus: an analysis of the Hydrocephalus Clinical Research Network Core Data Project J Neurosurg Pediatr. 2020 Dec 18; 27(3):269-276. . View in PubMed

Surgical resource utilization after initial treatment of infant hydrocephalus: comparing ETV, early experience of ETV with choroid plexus cauterization, and shunt insertion in the Hydrocephalus Clinical Research Network J Neurosurg Pediatr. 2020 Jun 19; 26(4):337-345. . View in PubMed

Caregiver and Provider Experiences of Home Healthcare Quality for Children With Medical Complexity Home Healthc Now. 2020 May-Jun; 38(3):138-146. . View in PubMed

Associations Between Quality Measures and Outcomes for Children Hospitalized With Bronchiolitis Hosp Pediatr. 2020 11; 10(11):932-940. . View in PubMed

Complex Care Has Arrived Hosp Pediatr. 2020 08; 10(8):631-632. . View in PubMed

Social Determinants of Health and Emergency and Hospital Use by Children With Chronic Disease Hosp Pediatr. 2020 06; 10(6):471-480. . View in PubMed

Vaccination Status and Adherence to Quality Measures for Acute Respiratory Tract Illnesses Hosp Pediatr. 2020 03; 10(3):199-205. . View in PubMed

Validation of a Parent-Reported Hospital-to-Home Transition Experience Measure Pediatrics. 2020 02; 145(2). . View in PubMed

Patient and Treatment Characteristics by Infecting Organism in Cerebrospinal Fluid Shunt Infection J Pediatric Infect Dis Soc. 2019 Jul 01; 8(3):235-243. . View in PubMed

Predictors of success for combined endoscopic third ventriculostomy and choroid plexus cauterization in a North American setting: a Hydrocephalus Clinical Research Network study J Neurosurg Pediatr. 2019 May 31; 24(2):128-138. . View in PubMed

Reinfection rates following adherence to Infectious Diseases Society of America guideline recommendations in first cerebrospinal fluid shunt infection treatment J Neurosurg Pediatr. 2019 Feb 15; 1-9. . View in PubMed

Development of Chronic Pseudomonas aeruginosa-Positive Respiratory Cultures in Children with Tracheostomy Lung. 2019 12; 197(6):811-817. . View in PubMed

Vaccination Status and Resource Use During Hospital Visits for Respiratory Illnesses Pediatrics. 2019 11; 144(5). . View in PubMed

Pediatric Respiratory Illness Measurement System (PRIMES) Scores and Outcomes Pediatrics. 2019 08; 144(2). . View in PubMed

Creating synthetic patient data to support the design and evaluation of novel health information technology J Biomed Inform. 2019 07; 95:103201. . View in PubMed

Cerebrospinal Fluid Shunt Infection: Emerging Paradigms in Pathogenesis that Affect Prevention and Treatment J Pediatr. 2019 03; 206:13-19. . View in PubMed

Relationship of causative organism and time to infection among children with cerebrospinal fluid shunt infection J Neurosurg Pediatr. 2019 05 03; 24(1):22-28. . View in PubMed

Utilizing Family-Centered Process and Outcome Measures to Assess Hospital-to-Home Transition Quality Acad Pediatr. 2018 Nov - Dec; 18(8):843-846. . View in PubMed

Parental Vaccine Hesitancy and Declination of Influenza Vaccination Among Hospitalized Children Hosp Pediatr. 2018 10; 8(10):628-635. . View in PubMed

The Future of Measuring Health Outcomes for Children With Medical Complexity Pediatrics. 2018 09; 142(3). . View in PubMed

Development and Validation of the Pediatric Medical Complexity Algorithm (PMCA) Version 30. Acad Pediatr. 2018 07; 18(5):577-580. . View in PubMed

Reinfection after treatment of first cerebrospinal fluid shunt infection: a prospective observational cohort study J Neurosurg Pediatr. 2018 04; 21(4):346-358. . View in PubMed

Risk factors for hospitalizations due to bacterial respiratory tract infections after tracheotomy Pediatr Pulmonol. 2018 03; 53(3):349-357. . View in PubMed

Endoscopic third ventriculostomy and choroid plexus cauterization in infant hydrocephalus: a prospective study by the Hydrocephalus Clinical Research Network J Neurosurg Pediatr. 2018 03; 21(3):214-223. . View in PubMed

Effectiveness of a Comprehensive Case Management Service for Children With Medical Complexity Pediatrics. 2017 Dec; 140(6). . View in PubMed

Shunting outcomes in posthemorrhagic hydrocephalus: results of a Hydrocephalus Clinical Research Network prospective cohort study J Neurosurg Pediatr. 2017 Jul; 20(1):19-29. . View in PubMed

Development and Validation of the Pediatric Medical Complexity Algorithm (PMCA) Version 20. Hosp Pediatr. 2017 Jul; 7(7):373-377. . View in PubMed

Validation of New Quality Measures for Transitions Between Sites of Care Pediatrics. 2017 May; 139(5). . View in PubMed

Ventricular catheter entry site and not catheter tip location predicts shunt survival: a secondary analysis of 3 large pediatric hydrocephalus studies J Neurosurg Pediatr. 2017 Feb; 19(2):157-167. . View in PubMed

Pseudomonas aeruginosa and post-tracheotomy bacterial respiratory tract infection readmissions Pediatr Pulmonol. 2017 09; 52(9):1212-1218. . View in PubMed

Caring for Children with Medical Complexity: Perspectives of Primary Care ProvidersJ Pediatr. 2017 03; 182:275-282. e4. . View in PubMed

Development and Pilot Testing of Caregiver-Reported Pediatric Quality Measures for Transitions Between Sites of Care Acad Pediatr. 2016 Nov - Dec; 16(8):760-769. . View in PubMed

Endoscopic third ventriculostomy in children: prospective, multicenter results from the Hydrocephalus Clinical Research Network J Neurosurg Pediatr. 2016 Oct; 18(4):423-429. . View in PubMed

Risk factors for shunt malfunction in pediatric hydrocephalus: a multicenter prospective cohort study J Neurosurg Pediatr. 2016 Apr; 17(4):382-90. . View in PubMed

A new Hydrocephalus Clinical Research Network protocol to reduce cerebrospinal fluid shunt infection J Neurosurg Pediatr. 2016 Apr; 17(4):391-6. . View in PubMed

Variability in Management of First Cerebrospinal Fluid Shunt Infection: A Prospective Multi-Institutional Observational Cohort StudyJ Pediatr. 2016 12; 179:185-191. e2. . View in PubMed

Pediatric Critical Care Resource Use by Children with Medical ComplexityJ Pediatr. 2016 10; 177:197-203. e1. . View in PubMed

Quality Measures to Assess Care Transitions for Hospitalized Children Pediatrics. 2016 08; 138(2). . View in PubMed

The effectiveness of family-centered transition processes from hospital settings to home: a review of the literature Hosp Pediatr. 2015 Apr; 5(4):219-31. . View in PubMed

Variation in the use of procedural sedation for incision and drainage of skin and soft tissue infection in pediatric emergency departments Hosp Pediatr. 2015 Apr; 5(4):185-92. . View in PubMed

Summary of STARNet: Seamless Transitions and (Re)admissions Network Pediatrics. 2015 Jan; 135(1):164-75. . View in PubMed

Endoscopic third ventriculostomy and choroid plexus cauterization in infants with hydrocephalus: a retrospective Hydrocephalus Clinical Research Network study J Neurosurg Pediatr. 2014 Sep; 14(3):224-9. . View in PubMed

Factors associated with ventricular catheter movement and inaccurate catheter location: post hoc analysis of the hydrocephalus clinical research network ultrasound-guided shunt placement study J Neurosurg Pediatr. 2014 Aug; 14(2):173-8. . View in PubMed

Pediatric hospital medicine role in the comanagement of the hospitalized surgical patient Pediatr Clin North Am. 2014 Aug; 61(4):653-61. . View in PubMed

Care of children with medical complexity in the hospital setting Pediatr Ann. 2014 Jul; 43(7):e157-62. . View in PubMed

Pediatric medical complexity algorithm: a new method to stratify children by medical complexity Pediatrics. 2014 Jun; 133(6):e1647-54. . View in PubMed

Risk factors for first cerebrospinal fluid shunt infection: findings from a multi-center prospective cohort studyJ Pediatr. 2014 Jun; 164(6):1462-8. e2. . View in PubMed

Few Patient, Treatment, and Diagnostic or Microbiological Factors, Except Complications and Intermittent Negative Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF) Cultures During First CSF Shunt Infection, Are Associated With Reinfection J Pediatric Infect Dis Soc. 2014 Mar; 3(1):15-22. . View in PubMed

Use of quantitative 16S rRNA PCR to determine bacterial load does not augment conventional cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) cultures among children undergoing treatment for CSF shunt infection Diagn Microbiol Infect Dis. 2014 Feb; 78(2):188-95. . View in PubMed

Evaluation of microbial bacterial and fungal diversity in cerebrospinal fluid shunt infection PLoS One. 2014; 9(1):e83229. . View in PubMed

Quality improvement research in pediatric hospital medicine and the role of the Pediatric Research in Inpatient Settings (PRIS) network Acad Pediatr. 2013 Nov-Dec; 13(6 Suppl):S54-60. . View in PubMed

Outcomes of CSF shunting in children: comparison of Hydrocephalus Clinical Research Network cohort with historical controls: clinical article J Neurosurg Pediatr. 2013 Oct; 12(4):334-8. . View in PubMed

How best to design surgical comanagement services for pediatric surgical patients? Hosp Pediatr. 2013 Jul; 3(3):242-3.. View in PubMed

Medical complexity and pediatric emergency department and inpatient utilization Pediatrics. 2013 Feb; 131(2):e559-65. . View in PubMed

The Strategic Planning Committee report: the first step in a journey to recognize pediatric hospital medicine as a distinct discipline Hosp Pediatr. 2012 Oct; 2(4):187-90. . View in PubMed

The Joint Commission Children's Asthma Care quality measures and asthma readmissions Pediatrics. 2012 Sep; 130(3):482-91. . View in PubMed

Revision surgeries are associated with significant increased risk of subsequent cerebrospinal fluid shunt infection Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2012 Jun; 31(6):551-6. . View in PubMed

Hyponatremia with intracranial malignant tumor resection in children J Neurosurg Pediatr. 2012 May; 9(5):524-9. . View in PubMed

Pediatric hospital medicine and children with medical complexity: past, present, and future Curr Probl Pediatr Adolesc Health Care. 2012 May; 42(5):113-9. . View in PubMed

Center effect and other factors influencing temporization and shunting of cerebrospinal fluid in preterm infants with intraventricular hemorrhage J Neurosurg Pediatr. 2012 May; 9(5):473-81. . View in PubMed

The challenge of pediatric hospital medicine research Hosp Pediatr. 2012 Jan; 2(1):8-9. . View in PubMed

Association of intraventricular hemorrhage secondary to prematurity with cerebrospinal fluid shunt surgery in the first year following initial shunt placement J Neurosurg Pediatr. 2012 Jan; 9(1):54-63. . View in PubMed

The economic impact of ventriculoperitoneal shunt failure J Neurosurg Pediatr. 2011 Dec; 8(6):593-9. . View in PubMed

Treatment and microbiology of repeated cerebrospinal fluid shunt infections in children Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2011 Sep; 30(9):731-5. . View in PubMed

A standardized protocol to reduce cerebrospinal fluid shunt infection: the Hydrocephalus Clinical Research Network Quality Improvement Initiative J Neurosurg Pediatr. 2011 Jul; 8(1):22-9. . View in PubMed

Children with medical complexity: an emerging population for clinical and research initiatives Pediatrics. 2011 Mar; 127(3):529-38. . View in PubMed

Children with complex chronic conditions in inpatient hospital settings in the United States Pediatrics. 2010 Oct; 126(4):647-55. . View in PubMed

Reinfection following initial cerebrospinal fluid shunt infection J Neurosurg Pediatr. 2010 Sep; 6(3):277-85. . View in PubMed

Pediatrics. 2009 Nov; 124(5):1431-7. . View in PubMed

Infection rates following initial cerebrospinal fluid shunt placement across pediatric hospitals in the United StatesClinical article. J Neurosurg Pediatr. 2009 Aug; 4(2):156-65. . View in PubMed

A multicenter retrospective comparison of conversion from temporary to permanent cerebrospinal fluid diversion in very low birth weight infants with posthemorrhagic hydrocephalus J Neurosurg Pediatr. 2009 Jul; 4(1):50-5. . View in PubMed

Quality of care for children hospitalized with asthma Pediatrics. 2008 Nov; 122(5):1055-63. . View in PubMed

Latino families report lower child injury rates than white families Int J Inj Contr Saf Promot. 2008 Sep; 15(3):141-50. . View in PubMed

Hospital care for children with hydrocephalus in the United States: utilization, charges, comorbidities, and deaths J Neurosurg Pediatr. 2008 Feb; 1(2):131-7. . View in PubMed

Pediatric hospitalist comanagement of spinal fusion surgery patients J Hosp Med. 2007 Jan; 2(1):23-30. . View in PubMed

Less anticipatory guidance is associated with more subsequent injury visits among infants Ambul Pediatr. 2006 Nov-Dec; 6(6):318-25. . View in PubMed

Emergency department visits among pediatric patients for sports-related injury: basic epidemiology and impact of race/ethnicity and insurance status Pediatr Emerg Care. 2006 May; 22(5):309-15. . View in PubMed

Pernio in pediatrics Pediatrics. 2005 Sep; 116(3):e472-5. . View in PubMed

External causes of pediatric injury-related emergency department visits in the United States Acad Emerg Med. 2004 Oct; 11(10):1042-8. . View in PubMed

Tamara D. Simon, MD, MSPH, is a pediatric hospitalist with a research focus on improving the quality of evidence in inpatient health care provided to children with medical complexity. Since April 2020, Dr. Simon has held numerous leadership positions including faculty in the Division of Hospital Medicine in the Department of Pediatrics at the Keck School of Medicine of USC; member of the hospital medicine team at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles; principal investigator at The Saban Research Institute of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (TSRI); faculty lead for the Office of Training, Education, Career Planning and Development (TECPAD) at TSRI; and Lead within the Workforce Development group at the Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute.

After graduating magna cum laude from Colgate University, Dr. Simon spent two years in Ghana while serving in the Peace Corps. In 2001, she graduated with honors from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine, followed by a pediatrics residency, master’s degree and research fellowship at the University of Colorado / Children’s Hospital Denver. Prior to joining CHLA, Dr. Simon served as faculty in the Division of Inpatient Medicine at the University of Utah and Primary Children’s Medical Center and the Division of Hospital Medicine at the University of Washington and Seattle Children’s Hospital, as well as a principal investigator at Seattle Children’s Research Institute.

Dr. Simon’s main clinical research focus is on cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) shunt infections and re-infections in children with hydrocephalus. She has been an active investigator in the Hydrocephalus Clinical Research Network (HCRN) since 2007. In 2009 she obtained a 5 ½-year K23 career development award from the National Institutes of Neurological Disorders and Stroke to focus on conduct of multi-center studies to determine risk factors for CSF shunt infections. Funding from her career development award has allowed Dr. Simon to conduct rigorous observational multicenter studies through the HCRN, expanding upon similar work conducted using single center data and multicenter administrative databases.

Despite finding relatively few factors associated with risk for a first CSF shunt infection, HCRN has observed that implementation of a standardized surgical protocol reduces CSF shunt infection rates. One of Dr. Simon’s subsequent lines of inquiry has focused on surgical decision making in the prevention of CSF shunt infection, specifically looking at the effectiveness of intrathecal antibiotics and antibiotic-impregnated shunt catheters in the prevention of post-surgical CSF shunt infection. Dr. Simon’s investigation of this question using the PHIS+ database (PHIS+ Shunt Infection Prevention) is currently supported through a 3 ½-year R01 grant from the National Institutes of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.
Another of Dr. Simon’s subsequent translational lines of inquiry has focused on the microbial environment of CSF shunt infections. With new collaborators, her lab has described wide bacterial and fungal diversity in the CSF of children with CSF shunt infections and is actively investigating the presence of biofilms on shunt apparatus. A grant to characterize the microbiota across the time course of shunted hydrocephalus (Cerebrospinal FLuId MicroBiota in Shunts Study or CLIMB) is currently being supported through a 5-year R01 grant from the National Institutes of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

Another of Dr. Simon’s subsequent translational lines of inquiry has focused on the microbial environment of CSF shunt infections. With new collaborators, her lab has described wide bacterial and fungal diversity in the CSF of children with CSF shunt infections and is actively investigating the presence of biofilms on shunt apparatus. A grant to characterize the microbiota across the time course of shunted hydrocephalus (Cerebrospinal FLuId MicroBiota in Shunts Study or CLIMB) is currently being supported through a 5-year R01 grant from the National Institutes of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

Dr. Simon’s health service research focus is on improving the quality of care provided to children with medical complexity in the inpatient setting. It is critical to accurately identify this vulnerable population of children in order to study and better understand where evidence gaps exist in their care and to inform development of interventions to improve their care. Dr. Simon was the scientific lead of the AHRQ-funded Working Group on Identification of Medically Complex Children in Administrative Data, and a driving force for the development of a strategy to identify children with medical complexity in Medicaid administrative data. The resulting Pediatric Medical Complexity Algorithm (PMCA) identifies children with medical complexity with high sensitivity and specificity using hospital discharge or health plan administrative data. PMCA is now in use by institutions both nationally and internationally. With her move to CHLA, Dr. Simon is interested in potential multicenter investigations of service provision for children with medical complexity.

Dr. Simon’s contributions to research in the field of pediatric hospital medicine have garnered national recognition. In 2018, she was the recipient of the Outstanding Research Award in Pediatric Hospital Medicine. In 2019, she was elected to the Society for Pediatric Research as an at-large member of the Council for a 3-year term, and was recently named to the Executive Council as the Lead of Diversity & Inclusion. Dr. Simon was also inducted into the American Pediatric Society in 2019.

Dr. Simon is passionate about the mentorship she provides to residents, fellows and junior faculty with specific research interests in hospital medicine and other generalist fields, specifically those interested in the physician-scientist career path in this growing field. She was a mentor and helped develop the Clinical Research Scholar Program in the Center for Clinical and Translational Research at Seattle Children’s Research Institute, as well as serving as Associate Program Director for the Quality of Care Research fellowship from 2015-18. In Seattle, she also organized the Center for Clinical and Translational Research Pediatric Health Information System Working Group.

Dr. Simon is a mentor in the Academic Pediatric Association Research Scholar Program, and she will parlay her passion for mentorship into a leadership role as Faculty Director for Training, Education, Career Planning and Development (TECPAD) within The Saban Research Institute at CHLA. She hopes to refine existing programs and to develop new programs that promote the conduct of high-quality research. These goals will include nurturing and supporting the research passions of all learners. These activities will be leveraged through Dr. Simon’s participation in promoting and supporting the Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute

Dr. Simon’s administrative responsibilities cohere with her research and teaching interests. Because multicenter investigations are critical to identifying which interventions to study in order to eventually improve the evidence base of care for children, she served on the Pediatric Research in Inpatient Settings Executive Council from 2009-12.

In the national arena, Dr. Simon completed a 4-year term (2009-13) as the Academic Pediatric Association Hospital Medicine Special Interest Group co-chair. Dr. Simon co-chaired the Pediatric Hospital Medicine annual meeting in 2012 and co-chaired the 2015 Academic Pediatric Association Leadership Precourse planning committee. Dr. Simon served on the Pediatric Academic Society planning committee representing Pediatric Hospital Medicine from 2017-20. With her election to the Society for Pediatric Research as an at-large member of the Council for a 3-year term in 2017, Dr. Simon leads the Society for Pediatric Research Diversity taskforce and was recently named to the Executive Council as the Lead of Diversity & Inclusion.

In the regional arena, Dr. Simon served for several years as co-Chair of the Academic Pediatric Association Region X . A member of the editorial board of Hospital Pediatrics since 2010, Dr. Simon has been an Associate Editor since 2014. Dr. Simon also serves as a grant reviewer for the National Institutes of Health and various foundations.
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