Rachel C. Orscheln, MD
DEPARTMENT OF PEDIATRICS
Associate Professor of Pediatrics
2023 Dean’s Impact Award Recipient
Rachel C. Orscheln, MD, has served key roles that have enabled the St. Louis community and its children to weather the COVID-19 pandemic. As the clinical director within the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases and an attending on the immunocompromised infectious disease service, Orscheln became the go-to resource for oncology, stem cell and solid-organ transplant services. She developed guidelines for managing COVID-19 infection and exposure in these vulnerable patient populations, working with physicians and nurse practitioners to constantly update approaches as new virologic data, diagnostics and therapeutic options became available. Alongside Jason G. Newland, MD, MEd, and David A. Rosen, MD, PhD, she developed guidance for K-12 schools to manage infections, isolation, quarantine and a safe return to in-person learning. She gave regular updates to school administrators, held dozens of educational sessions with school nurses, and staffed town halls and parent Q&A sessions at local school districts. Her work extended statewide, as she served as the pediatric infectious disease expert for the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), participating in webinars and attending meetings and press events with the governor and state officials regarding COVID-19 management in schools and day care facilities. For her distinguished work, Orscheln received the Friends of Education Award from Missouri DESE in 2022. Beyond these duties, Orscheln published 10 papers regarding COVID-19 management in schools and transplant populations and made media appearances with all the local TV stations, NBC’s Today Show, BBC News, the New York Times and more.