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Rady Children’s Appoints Benjamin Maxwell, MD, as Division Chief of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry and Behavioral Health Chair

San Diego — April 13, 2023 – Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego, the largest children’s hospital on the West Coast and one of the nation’s top pediatric healthcare systems, and the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) are pleased to announce that Benjamin Maxwell, MD has been appointed as Division Chief of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry and The Una Davis Family Chair in Behavioral Health. Dr. Maxwell will oversee the clinical divisional structure and lead efforts to improve access to mental health care for children and families, especially those from underserved communities.

Benjamin Maxwell, MD

Dr. Maxwell has held various clinical and leadership roles at Rady Children’s and UCSD. Under his leadership, the psychiatry division has pioneered approaches to expand access to care and improve clinical outcomes, including the opening of the Copley Psychiatric Emergency Department at Rady Children’s, and partnering with primary care pediatricians on mental health integration.

“Dr. Maxwell’s appointment comes at a time when we are facing an unprecedented pediatric mental health crisis. An esteemed member of our community and a prolific psychiatry and neuroscience expert with a plan to revolutionize how we treat mental illness, Dr. Maxwell is the leader we need to drive pediatric mental health care forward not only in our region, but nationwide” said Patrick Frias, MD, chief executive officer at Rady Children’s. “His appointment is a testament to the significant strides Dr. Maxwell has made during his time at Rady Children’s, such as the advancement of our nation-leading Primary Care Behavioral Health Integration Program, which serves as a model for other healthcare systems looking to radically improve mental health care.”

In addition to his work in the United States, Dr. Maxwell has also implemented strategies to address the global mental health crisis affecting children. His contributions include work in Ethiopia on early recognition of behavioral health challenges, educational programs for primary care physicians in Jordan to improve their expertise in behavioral health, and mentoring psychiatrists in Saudi Arabia to integrate behavioral health services in primary care settings.

“It has been a longstanding goal of mine to turn the tide of the pediatric mental health crisis, which has only grown more dire in recent years,” said Maxwell, who is also an Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at UCSD. “Today, one in five adolescents suffer from depression. I’ve made it a personal mission to transform the way we help families overcome the intensifying challenges that come with being and raising a child in today’s tumultuous environment. What we are doing now simply isn’t enough — it is time for dramatic changes both within the healthcare system and at a societal level.”

Dr. Maxwell is board certified in both Psychiatry and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. After obtaining his medical degree from the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston, Dr. Maxwell completed his General Psychiatry residency at UC Irvine, followed by a fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at UC San Diego and Rady Children’s Hospital.

About Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego:

Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego is the largest children’s hospital on the West Coast and one of the nation’s top pediatric health care systems. Consistently ranked in all 10 pediatric specialties by U.S. News and World Report, Rady Children’s includes a 511-bed pediatric hospital that serves as the largest provider of comprehensive pediatric medical services in San Diego, southern Riverside and Imperial counties. With more than 40 locations, Rady Children’s is the only health system in the San Diego area dedicated exclusively to pediatric health care and is the region’s only designated pediatric trauma center. Rady Children’s is a nonprofit organization that relies on donations to support its mission. For more information, visit and find us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.