Catherine Polak, MD, FAAP

  • Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
  • Co-Director, Advanced Practice Provider Pediatric Fellowship Program

Dr. Catherine Polak joined the Paul C. Gaffney Division of Pediatric Hospital Medicine in 2016 immediately following completion of her pediatric residency at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, including a year as chief resident. A clinician-educator, Dr. Polak practices full-time as a teaching attending for the evening hospitalist group.

Academic Activity

Quality Improvement

Dr. Polak is currently a member of a pilot program within the division aimed at familiarizing junior faculty with the process behind designing and performing quality improvement projects. The program's first project involves assessment of asthma education in hospitalized patients through collaboration with nursing staff as well as respiratory therapists.

Education and Curriculum Development

Dr. Polak is actively involved in the development of a general pediatric curriculum for advanced practice providers in clinical roles at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.  She also facilitates the curriculum for Quality and Safety for the pediatric residency program. She serves as an instructor for the Advanced Physical Examination course for medical students. 

Advisory Committee Appointments

  • Emergency Preparedness Leadership Committee
  • Intern Selection Committee

Professional Affiliations/Society Memberships

  • American Academy of Pediatrics
  • Alpha Omega Alpha

Education & Training

  • Doctor of Medicine, West Virginia University School of Medicine - 2012
  • Residency in Pediatrics, University of Pittsburgh / UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh - 2015
  • Pediatric Chief Resident, University of Pittsburgh / UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh - 2016

Representative Publications

McCormick A, Polak C, Fox M, Carlson M, Guthrie C, Decker M, Hupp D, Butler G, Urbach A. Condition Help: 10 years of Experience Enhancing our Culture of Family Engagement. Patient Experience Journal. 2018 July Vol 5: Iss 2. 

Szymusiak J, Fox MD, Polak C, et al. An inpatient patient safety curriculum for pediatric residents. MedEdPORTAL. 2018;14:10705. 

Tarchichi T, Szymusiak J, Fleischer A, Sensenig E, DiCicco LA, Garrison J, Hoyos C, Polak C, McCormick A. Group Learning to Teach Quality Improvement: A Step by Step Approach For Young Pediatric Hospitalist Faculty. Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh National Healthcare Quality Week and International Infection Prevention Week. October 17, 2017