April 2021 Department of Pediatrics NewsletterApr 28, 2021
Dear Faculty and Friends,
Welcome to the April edition of the Department of Pediatrics Newsletter. Here you will find a sampling of all the amazing activity happening within the Department of Pediatrics and at Children’s Hospital Colorado. Thanks to all our talented faculty, trainees, and staff who make this the best Pediatrics Department in the country!
Last month we highlighted several Department faculty who received CCTSI Pilot Awards. Unintentionally omitted from that listing was the Junior Faculty Award received by Katharine Hamlington Smith, PhD (Assistant Professor, Section of Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine) for her project titled, “Using Oscillometry in Toddler Aerodigestive Patients to Monitor Lung Function Response to Treatment.” Dr. Hamlington Smith aims to study airwave oscillometry as a low burden method to obtain non-invasive quantitative assessments of lung function in toddlers aged 1-3 years old. She expects to show that airwave oscillometry will provide an easily obtainable metric to assess responses to treatment with respiratory medication. Congratulation to Dr. Hamlington Smith and the other DOP faculty who successfully competed for the CCTSI Pilot Awards.
Rotbart Pens New Book
Harley Rotbart, MD (Professor and Vice Chair Emeritus, Department of Pediatrics) has announced the publication of his new book, “No Regrets Living.” The book offers seven keys to help us better appreciate what we have in our lives, and that we should take greater pride in what we’ve done with our lives, without spending precious time and energy wishing things had turned out differently. Woven into the message of the book are especially timely observations on the COVID-19 pandemic from Dr. Rotbart’s expert perspective as an infectious diseases physician, including coping mechanisms and paths for going forward as individuals and as a society. Portions of the royalties from the sales of Dr. Rotbart’s new book will be donated to the Children’s Hospital Colorado Foundation.
New R01 to Miyamoto for Single Ventricle Research
Shelley Miyamoto, MD (Professor, Section of Cardiology) has been awarded a new 5-year, $3.6 million research project award (R01-HL156670) from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) for her project titled, “Targeting Mitochondria in Single Ventricle Heart Disease.” Currently, there are no proven therapies for single ventricle heart failure, and the mechanisms involved in the transition to heart failure in this patient population are unknown. Despite the lack of mechanistic studies, phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors (PDE5i) are widely used in this patient population. The results of Dr. Miyamoto’s study are expected to provide novel information regarding the transition to heart failure in the single ventricle patient and investigate the mechanisms through which PDE5i improves mitochondrial function in the failing single ventricle heart.
Davizon-Castillo Awarded Pathway to Independence Award
Pavel Davizon-Castillo, MD (Assistant Professor, Section of Hematology, Oncology and Bone Marrow Transplantation) has been awarded a 2-year, $430,000 Pathway to Independence Award (K99-HL156058) from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) for his project titled, “Inflammation-mediated platelet hyperreactivity and thrombosis.” The Pathway to Independence Award is a highly competitive grant that helps outstanding postdoctoral researchers complete needed mentored training and transition in a timely manner to independent, tenure-track faculty positions. Dr. Davizon-Castillo’s project aims to study the mechanisms that underlay inflammation-associated platelet hyperreactivity. The findings from this research have the potential to improve the care and outcomes not only for older individuals and patients with rheumatoid arthritis but also children with chronic inflammatory conditions such as Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA) and sickle cell disease.
Pediatric Research Virtual Poster Session
Register now for the upcoming Pediatric Research Virtual Poster Session. Faculty, fellows, residents, and all Children's Hospital staff are encouraged to submit posters and virtually attend. The Pediatric Committee on Fellowship Education will be awarding most outstanding posters in the categories of first-, second- and third-year fellow. The virtual session will occur on Friday, May 21 from noon to 2 p.m. Visit the CCTSI event page to register to attend or present.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Corner
Celebrating Difference Week is organized by the DOP Diversity & Inclusion Committee and was held in a virtual format April 19-23, 2021. Events during the week included:
- Celebrating Difference Through Art
This session focused on how we represent ourselves. The hour was spent with Katherine Reed, LPC, Manager of the Creative Arts Therapy Program and Art Therapist, who helped participants explore identity, both individually and collectively, using basic art supplies on paper.
- Celebrating Difference Through Action
This session focused on helping participants understand how they could get involved in the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion through the Department of Pediatrics and Children’s Hospital Colorado. Featured speakers included Marcela Mendenhall (Emergency Medicine), Melanie Gleason (Breathing Institute) and Brandi Freeman (DOP).
- Virtual Dinner with Docs
This event partnered with the Medical Career Collaborative (MC2) and allowed high school students from underrepresented backgrounds the opportunity to meet and get to know a group of providers who shared their career and education journeys. Providers participating in this event included: Lalit Bajaj, MD; Rashaan Ford, MD; Brandi Freeman, MD; Wesley Gallegos, PA; Victor Grazette, PhD; Rita Lee, MD; Kingsley Okafor, MD; Yaira Oquendo Figuero, PhD; Mauricio Palau, MD; Marcela Mendenhall, MD; Kamleh Shaban, MD; Arletta Swain-Cockrell, NP; and Carrie Thoms, MD.
- Health Careers Day
Students from 10 School Districts across the Denver Metro area participated in this event. Students were exposed to various careers in the health professions and STEM fields through didactic and interactive virtual sessions with University of Colorado faculty and CHCO team members. Health careers represented during this day were: child life (Cory Keffer); research (Sean O’Leary), nursing and psychiatry (Arletta Swain-Cockrell), medical assistant (Maricsa Cervantes Rodriguez), genetic counselor (Kami Schneider), CHCO (Robert Franklin), physician assistant (Wesley Gallegos), emergency medicine (Marcela Mendenhall), and pediatrician (Brandi Freeman).
- Diversity Grand Rounds
Dr. Lolita McDavid, a general pediatrics pediatrician from UH Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland, presented on Advocacy 101: What it is and Why you are important!
Thank you to all who attended and participated in our Celebrating Difference Events!
“Stepping Up and Leading in Pursuit of Racial Equity”
The Career Physician Child Health Advisory Council is conducting a two-part webinar series designed to promote meaningful change for leading in pursuit of racial equity. Session 1: Clinical Practice will be on May 13 at 2:00 p.m. Session 2: Research will be on June 10 at 2:00 p.m. Registration is free.
The Muslim holiday of Ramadan began April 13 and lasts until May 12. It is considered one of the holiest Islamic months. In observance of Ramadan, Muslims fast between dawn and dusk. Fasting means no food and no water. Learn more about this important Islamic holy month from the perspective of providing culturally sensitive care to patients and families from the Dimensions of Culture website.
Faculty Working Group Updates
Faculty Working Groups Events Calendar
The Instructor Faculty Working Group will host a Zoom session titled, “The Science and Skills for Becoming an Effective Team Member: The Concept of Followership,” on Wednesday, May 12 from 12:00 to 1:30 p.m. Please join us for an engaging event about identifying followership in the workplace; building skills for effective team building, advocacy, or conflict resolution; and establishing a goal for using these skills and theories in the workplace. Please register for the event by May 7.
The PhD Faculty Working Group will host a Zoom session titled, “Diversity Search & Hiring: Best Practices to Conduct an Inclusive and Compliant Search,” on Tuesday, June 22 from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. Please join use for an engaging event that will identify strategies to ensure an inclusive search process; implement best practices to diversify the applicant pool; comply with federal and university policies; and utilize strategies to negate unconscious bias through the hiring process. Please register for the event by June 18.
SOM Junior Faculty Committee
Over the past year, members of our own DOP Early Career Faculty Working Group worked with leadership in the School of Medicine Faculty Affairs Office to create a SOM-wide Junior Faculty Committee dedicated to supporting the interests and career development of early career faculty, planning events, and serving as a communication channel to advocate directly to SOM leadership and the Faculty Senate. If you are interested in joining the committee or want more details, please see the call for member nominations emailed out by the SOM on March 23.
Well-Being and Resilience
If you are looking for ways to improve your individual resilience and well-being, consider taking the Flourish course. Flourish is a resilience curriculum designed around evidence-based interventions that have been proven to improve individual well-being, flourishing, and mindfulness. Modules cover the following topics:
- Module 1 – Introduction to Total Well-Being
- Module 2 – Pragmatic Mindfulness
- Module 3 – NOT Pollyanna: Positive and Negative Mood in Daily Life
- Module 4 – Finding Your Values Compass
For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
CHCO Peer Support Program
The purpose of the Peer Support program is to respond to team members affected by adverse events in a standardized way, modeled after successful programs at other institutions. For more details, please visit our webpage.
Christy Jones, PA (Senior Instructor, Section of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition) has been recognized by Dr. Christine Waasdorp Hurtado for being a valuable member of the Colorado Springs GI team for more than a decade. According to Dr. Waasdorp Hurtado, “Christy goes above and beyond to provide outstanding care for her patients, even responding to their calls on her days off. She has been identified many times for her amazing care with high patient-satisfaction scores. The Colorado Springs community and our team are lucky to have such a great, caring provider!”
If you would like to acknowledge a co-worker or group for their service, success and/or support, please access the new DOP “shout-out” page.
As always, for these and other exciting Department of Pediatrics news stories, please visit our Pediatrics News web page.
Stephen R. Daniels, MD, PhD
Professor and Chair
Department of Pediatrics | University of Colorado School of Medicine
Pediatrician-in-Chief | Children’s Hospital Colorado