Rizwan Shah

Rizwan Shah, MD, is the retired Child Abuse Program Director and Emeritus Faculty at Blank Children's Hospital. Dr. Shah is a former Board Member of ZERO TO THREE.

Rizwan Shah

Former Director, Child Abuse Program at Blank Children's Hospital

Contributions to the Field

Dr. Shah established the first clinic for developmental follow up of methamphetamine-affected infants. She has taught widely on the linkage between child abuse and drug abuse. In 1999, she was one of a group of physicians to receive the Award of Merit from the Iowa Medical Society for helping to facilitate the establishment of children’s health programs in Iowa. Dr. Shah has provided professional and public training in child abuse and drugs-affected children, as well as clinical teaching in medical schools and hospitals in Iowa and nationally. Her work with drugs-exposed infants has been featured in news media and in professional publications.

Dr. Shah was awarded the Sole Source NIH grant for her work in meth-exposed infants in 1998. She participated in the multicenter prospective study “IDEAL” for developmental outcome of prenatal meth exposure. Dr Shah was the site principal investigator for National Children’s Study in Polk County, Iowa.


  • Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics
  • Chair, Advisory Board, Child and Family Policy Center of Iowa
  • Chair, Advisory Board Reach Out and Read Iowa
  • Board member, Prevent Child Abuse, Iowa
  • Member, Polk County Safe Babies Court Team
  • Honorary Member, Iowa Chapter of Infant Mental Health Association

Recent Honors/Awards/Recognition/Books Published

Among her many awards, she received: American Academy of Pediatrics Distinguished Service Award from the Committee on Substance Abuse; Des Moines Women of Achievement Award; Blank Hospital’s Award for Excellence in Teaching; Iowa’s Local Legend Award from American Women’s Medical Association; and was honored as a “Des Moines Top Docs” by Des Moines Business Magazine. Senator Tom Harkin mentioned Dr. Shah’s work in the Congressional Record in October 2001.