Commitment to Patient-Centered Care

“My clinical practice is grounded in frameworks of positive youth development and trauma-informed practice, with the primary goal of promoting health equity for adolescents and young adults. I am committed to a youth- and family-centered, strengths-based, body-positive and holistic approach to wellness. I see myself as a coach for youth and families – my job is to support them in meeting their personal health and life goals, so that they can thrive and flourish.”

Clinical Expertise

Dr. Gewirtz O’Brien is a board-certified pediatrician and an adolescent medicine physician. She is also a clinician researcher and physician advocate. After completing a fellowship in Adolescent Medicine at the University of Minnesota, she joined the Department of Pediatrics at Hennepin Healthcare and helped launch the Adolescent and Young Adult Health Program in Pediatrics. She provides subspecialty adolescent medicine care to youth ages 12 to 24 within the Pediatrics Clinic at the Clinic & Specialty Center and provides inpatient consultation and e-consultation for adolescent and young adult patients across Hennepin Healthcare. Her clinical interests include adolescent sexual and reproductive health, adolescent pregnancy and parenthood, adolescent mental health and substance use, and eating disorders among diverse populations, with a focus on promoting equity and addressing social drivers of health in primary care and community-based clinical settings. She also is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Minnesota and directs the resident rotation in Adolescent Medicine.


  • Gewirtz O’Brien JR, Auerswald C, English A, Ammerman S, Beharry M, Heerde JA, Kang M, Naous J, Pham DQ, Santa Maria D, Elliott A. Youth Experiencing Homelessness during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Unique Needs and Practical Strategies from International Perspectives. Journal of Adolescent Health. 2021 Feb;68(2):236-240. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2020.11.005. PubMed PMID: 33541600.
  • Gewirtz O’Brien JR, Gower AL, McRee AL. Variation in Health Among Unstably Housed Youth From Cities, Suburbs, Towns, and Rural Areas. Journal of Adolescent Health. 2020 Dec 17;. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2020.11.013. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 33342720.
  • Gewirtz O’Brien JR, Barnes AJ, Scal PB, McRee AL. Preventive Healthcare Utilization among Youths Who Have Run Away, Experienced Homelessness, or Been Stably Housed [published online ahead of print, 2020 July 7]. JAMA Pediatrics, 2020;10.1001/doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2020.1858.
  • Gambon TB, Gewirtz O’Brien JR; Committee on Psychosocial Aspects of Child And Family Health, Council on Community Pediatrics. Runaway Youth: Caring for the Nation’s Largest Segment of Missing Children [American Academy of Pediatrics Clinical Report]. Pediatrics. 2020;145(2):e20193752. doi:10.1542/peds.2019-3752.
  • Gewirtz O’Brien JR, Edinburgh LD, Barnes AJ, McRee AL. Mental Health Outcomes Among Homeless, Runaway, and Stably Housed Youth. Pediatrics. 2020;e20192674. doi:10.1542/peds.2019-2674

Medical School

  • University of Rochester, Rochester, NY, USA


  • Pediatrics, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA

Professional Affiliations

  • American Academy of Pediatrics, Fellow and Minnesota Chapter Executive Board
  • Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine
  • Minnesota School-based Health Alliance
  • Minnesota Doctors for Health Equity
  • Minnesota Medical Association


  • Clinical and Translation Science Institute Poster Session Award
  • University of Minnesota School of Public Health Alumni Scholarship
  • Daniel D. Broughton Award for Outstanding Commitment to Child Advocacy, 2016


“Outside of work, she enjoys running with her puppy, kayaking with her daughter, going on adventures with her family, and visiting family all over the country.”