Richard L. Schreiner, MD: 1987 - 2009

Richard Schreiner, fourth chair of pediatricsDr. Richard L. Schreiner followed Dr. Green in 1987 and served as Chair of the Department and Physician-in-Chief until his retirement in 2009. He was named the Edwin L. Gresham Professor of Pediatrics of Indiana University School of Medicine.

Dr. Schreiner’s accomplishments during his tenure as chair are highlighted in a Tribute to Dr. Schreiner by Dr. James Lemons found in ancillary materials for the Department of Pediatrics Brief History on the IUPUI University eArchives. The 2008 Status Update Report of the Department of Pediatrics, also available in ancillary materials for the Department of Pediatrics Brief History, details key milestones under his leadership, some of which are overviewed here.

The department grew from 45 faculty to 250. Extramural NIH funding grew from 60th to 17th, from 0 endowed chairs to 22, from 54 pediatric residents and fellows to 150. The department created a $2.5 million endowment for the Physician Scientist Training Program, a $2.5 million endowment for the Pediatric Residency Program, a $9 million endowment for the Pediatric Education Program, a $12 million diabetes Research Program, and a $6 million investment in clinical and translational research.

The Herman B Wells Center for Pediatric Research opened in 1991, expanding in 1997, 2003, and 2009 to a total of 180,000 square feet. All subspecialty outpatient programs at Riley Hospital were consolidated in the new Riley Outpatient Center (ROC) in 2000. At the time of the opening, the Center was considered the largest, most modern pediatric outpatient building in the country. The department faculty expanded clinical services in primary care throughout the Indianapolis area and in subspecialty services throughout the state.

The department administrative structure expanded to include Dr. Mervin Yoder as Associate Chair for Basic Research, Dr. Scott Denne as Associate Chair for Clinical Research, Dr. Mary Ciccarelli as Associate Chair for Education and Dr. Howard Eigen as Associate Chair for Clinical Affairs.

A new Children’s Health Service Research (CHSR) program was developed under the direction of Dr. Stephen Downs and quickly became one of the largest in the country. A new pediatric hospitalist program grew to 15 faculty. Pediatric faculty provided leadership roles in the rapidly expanding international health programs in Kenya, China, and Central America.

Dr. Schreiner attended St. Louis University (1963-67) and Washington University School of Medicine (1967-71) and completed his residency in pediatrics at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. After a fellowship in neonatology/perinatology at Riley Hospital and at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, Dr. Richard Schreiner joined the faculty of the Indiana University School of Medicine in 1975. Dr. Schreiner’s positions prior to being named chair included Director of the Section of Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine, Director of the Section of General Pediatrics, Chief of Pediatrics at Wishard Memorial Hospital and Associate Chair of the Department of Pediatrics.

He devoted a significant portion of his efforts as chair to the development of better health care delivery systems and state-of-the-art pediatric educational programs for medical students, residents and practitioners to meet the ever-changing technology and modes of treatment for all children. At the time of his retirement, the Department of Pediatrics had a statue made in Dr. Schreiner's honor. This life-size statue greats patients of Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health in the Simon Family Tower lobby.