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Photo of Voorhees, MD, MPH, Benjamin Van

Benjamin Van Voorhees, MD, MPH

George R. Honig, MD, PhD, Endowed Professor in Pediatrics and Head, Department of Pediatrics

Professor of Medicine
Physician-in-Chief, Childrens Hospital University of Illinois

Department of Pediatrics, University of Illinois at Chicago


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Benjamin Van Voorhees, MD, MPH, is the George R. Honig, MD, Endowed Professor in Pediatrics and a Professor in Medicine. He is Head of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Medicine; he also serves as the Physician-in-Chief of the Children’s Hospital University of Illinois.

Areas of his research focus include information and communication technology, system re-design and clinical epidemiology to prevent onset of chronic disease in childhood and adolescence. Dr. Van Voorhees developed a “technology-based behavioral vaccine” model to prevent mental disorders in children and adolescents called CATCH-IT, “Competent Adulthood Transition with Cognitive, Humanistic, and Interpersonal Training” in 2002 and subsequently developed and deployed five technology models. He recently completed a multi-center NIMH-funded clinical trial of CATCH-IT that involved nearly 1,600 participants. His other projects have included CURB, “Chicago Urban Resiliency Building,” for African American and Latino youth; “Vets Prevail,” for returning war veterans; “Grasp the Opportunity,” for Chinese youth; a new program, focused on Arab youth; and CHECK (Coordinated Healthcare for Complex Kids), which was originally funded by a $19.5 million Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Healthcare Innovation Award (CMSHCIA) in 2014-18 and has recently been accepted as an Illinois Integrated Health Home. He completed National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) K-08 and NIMH RO-1 funded phase 2 (2007-11) and 3 (2011-18) clinical trials of CATCH-IT. In March 2019, Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) announced the funding of $7.6 million comparable effectiveness of CATCH-IT. A revised CATCH-IT “4” has been developed for the PCORI-funded study, as well as “virtualized” group prevention model (the comparator) and is now in the field. Outcome studies from the CMSHCIA and NIMH studies have recently been published in JAMAOpen.

Dr. Van Voorhees received his BA from Dartmouth College, his MD from Vanderbilt University, and his MPH from Johns Hopkins University. He completed a combined internal medicine-pediatric residency at Vanderbilt University Hospital. After completion of his fellowship, Dr. Van Voorhees was appointed Assistant Professor of Medicine in Pediatrics and Psychiatry at the University of Chicago’s Pritzker School of Medicine. Between college and medical school, Dr. Van Voorhees served as an officer in the US Navy. Following residency training, he founded and managed a community primary care practice in Brentwood, Tennessee.

Dr. Van Voorhees has a lifetime funding history of over $28 million in research funding, as well as more than 75 scientific publications and more than 100 scientific conference presentations. As a clinician, researcher, administrator, and educator, he works each day to uphold the UI Health Pediatrics commitment to providing high-quality healthcare to a diverse population.