Merrian Jacqueline Brooks, DO, is an adolescent medicine specialist and pediatric global health expert. Currently, she is an attending physician and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at CHOP. Dr. Brooks also holds a joint affiliation with the Penn Center for Global Health, where she is the Director of Pediatrics and Research for the Botswana-UPenn Partnership. Her research time is spent primarily in Botswana, where she focuses on improving access to evidence-based behavioral interventions for youth in low- and middle-income countries. Specifically, her short-term goal is to develop and evaluate the Friendship Bench intervention. A theory-based, problem-solving therapy (PST) model that uses physical benches staffed by trained community health workers (lay counselors) to provide counseling sessions for patients with common mental illnesses. She is adapting and evaluating the Friendship Bench for adolescents at risk for HIV. She is also working to integrate mental health services into various community and clinical spaces using implementation science.

Education and Training

Medical School

DO - Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine and MS, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA


Pediatric Residency, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University, Camden, NJ


Adolescent Medicine Fellowship, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA

Pediatric Global Health Fellowship, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Gaborone, Botswana, Philadelphia, PA

Board Certification

Adolescent Medicine – American Board of Pediatrics
Pediatrics – American Board of Pediatrics

Titles and Academic Titles

Attending Physician

Departments and Services

Leadership and Memberships

National Medical Association, 2015-Present

National Physician’s Alliance, 2014-Present

American Academy of Pediatrics, 2009-Present

American Public Health Association, 2007-Present