Dr. Schonfeld is a developmental-behavioral pediatrician and the Pediatrician-in-Chief and Director of the National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children and Chair of the Department of Pediatrics at Drexel University College of Medicine. He is a member the American Academy of Pediatrics Disaster Preparedness Advisory Council and the Sandy Hook Commission in CT, and served as a Commissioner for the National Commission on Children and Disasters.
In 2005, Dr. Schonfeld was awarded funding by the September 11th Children's Fund and the National Philanthropic Trust to establish a National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement; additional funding from the New York Life Foundation provides partial support for ongoing services. The goal of the NCSCB is to promote an appreciation of the role schools can serve to support students, staff, and families at times of crisis and loss; to collaborate with organizations and agencies to further this goal; and to serve as a resource for information, training materials, consultation, and technical assistance. Dr. Schonfeld has provided consultation and training on school crisis and pediatric bereavement in the aftermath of a number of school crisis events and disasters within the United States and abroad, including school and community shootings in Newtown, CT, Aurora, CO and Chardon, OH; flooding from Hurricanes Sandy in NYC and NJ, Katrina in New Orleans and Ike in Galveston; tornadoes in Joplin, MO and Alabama; and the 2008 earthquake in Sichuan, China. He consulted to the NYC Department of Education to help optimize the infrastructure within the system for crisis preparedness and response and to provide training to and technical assistance in the aftermath of the events of September 11, 2001, which included the training of approximately 1,000 district and school-level crisis teams. Dr. Schonfeld has authored articles, book chapters, and a handbook on school crisis preparedness and a book for teachers on supporting the grieving student (The Grieving Student: A Teacher's Guide; published by Brookes Publishing; released September 1, 2010) and has provided presentations and consultations throughout the United States and abroad on the topic of pediatric bereavement and the mental health needs of children in crisis situations.