Christina Luz L. Cifra, MD, MS

Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics - Critical Care

Contact Information

200 Hawkins Drive
Iowa City, IA 52242


BS, Basic Medical Science, Integrated Liberal Arts Medicine (INTARMED) Program, University of the Philippines, Manila, Philippines
MD, University of the Philippines, Manila, Philippines
MS, Translational Biomedicine, University of Iowa

Resident, Pediatrics, University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital, Manila, Philippines
Resident, Pediatrics, University of Maryland, Balitmore, Maryland
Fellow, Pediatric Critical Care, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, Maryland
Fellow, Resident Scholars Program, Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality, Johns Hopkins Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland

Licensure and Certifications

Pediatric Critical Care Medicine
Iowa Medical License
Pediatrics - American Board of Pediatrics

Research Summary

Dr. Cifra is a health services researcher focusing on patient safety in pediatric critical care. She has performed work on improving the Morbidity and Mortality conference as a vehicle to improve quality of care in the PICU. Her current work centers on diagnostic safety and team diagnosis in the pediatric intensive care environment.


Cifra, C. L., Riley, C. (In Press). A call to action in career development. AAP News.

Cifra, C. L., Balikai, S., Murtha, T., Hsu, B. & Riley, C. (2017). Career development support in Pediatric Critical Care Medicine: A national survey of fellows and junior faculty. Pediatric Critical Care Medicine, 18(4), e176-e181.

Cifra, C. L., Houston, A., Otto, A. & Kamath, S. (In Press). A dedicated quality champion prompting rounding teams to address a daily best practice checklist in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. Poster accepted for presentation at: Joint American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Critical Care and Pediatric Critical Care Colloquium.

Dlouhy, B. J., Ciliberto, M., Cifra, C. L., Kirby, P., Shrock, D., Nashelsky, M. & Richerson, G. (2017). Unexpected death of a child with complex febrile seizures –pathophysiology similar to sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP)?. Frontiers in Neurology, 1(8), 21.

Leung, J., Cifra, C. L., Agthe, A. & Viscardi, R. M. (2016). Antenatal factors modulate hearing screen failure risk in preterm infants. Arch Dis Child Fetal Neonatal Ed, 101(1), 56-61. DOI: 10.1136/archdischild-2014-307843.

Cifra, C. L., Jones, K. L., Bhalala, U. S., Bembea, M. M., Fackler, J. C. & Miller, M. R. (2016). Morbidity and mortality conferences in pediatric critical care: the authors reply. Pediatric Critical Care Medicine.

Cifra, C. L., Bembea, M. M., Fackler, J. C. & Miller, M. R. (2016). Transforming the morbidity and mortality conference to promote safety and quality in a Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. Pediatric Critical Care Medicine, 17(1), 58-66.

Cifra, C. L., Miller, M. R. (2016). Envisioning the future morbidity and mortality conference in pediatrics: A vehicle for systems change. Pediatric Quality and Safety,(1), e003.

Cifra, C. L. (2016). Commentary on “Bernstein J. Not the Last Word: Morbidity and Mortality Conference: Theater of Education". Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research, 474(4), 882-886.

Cifra, C. L., Jones, K. L., Bhalala, U. S., Bembea, M. M., Newman-Toker, D. E., Fackler, J. C. & Miller, M. R. (2015). The authors reply. Pediatric Critical Care Medicine: A Journal of the Society of Critical Care Medicine and the World Federation of Pediatric Intensive and Critical Care Societies, 16(9), 896–897. PMID: 26536561.

Cifra, C., Jones, K., Ascenzi, J., Bhalala, U., Bembea, M., Newman-Toker, D., Fackler, J. & Miller, M. (2015). Diagnostic Errors in a PICU: Insights from the Morbidity and Mortality Conference. Pediatric Critical Care Medicine, 16(5), 468-476. DOI: 10.1097/PCC.0000000000000398.

Cifra, C. L., Bembea, M. M. & Miller, M. R. (2014). The morbidity and mortality conference in Pediatric Intensive Care Units in the United States: A National Survey. Critical Care Medicine, 42(10), 2252-7.