April 7, 2020 Department of Pediatrics Newsletter
COVID-19 Heroes Special EditionDepartment of Pediatrics Apr 7, 2020
Dear Faculty and Friends,
During this unprecedented time, it is important that we recognize the amazing efforts of so many of our faculty, trainees and staff. As we’ve confronted this pandemic, all of you have made countless acts of volunteerism and sacrifice – THANK YOU. I am proud of the way our Department and our colleagues at Children’s Colorado Hospitals and across the Anschutz Medical campus have rallied to support each other.
Here are the people, as recognized by their peers, who are going above and beyond in their efforts to combat the pandemic and continue to foster our unrivaled culture of collaboration. Here are this week’s “Coronavirus Heroes.”
Chris Nyquist, MD, MPH,(Professor, Section of Infectious Diseases)
Nominated by just about everyone!
Chris and the entire Epidemiology Department have been working tirelessly to ensure a safe working and patient care environment for everyone during this pandemic in the face of constantly changing information.
Pediatric Chief Residents - Alex Cheetham, Sheridan Jost, and Jay Watson
Nominated by Kathy Urban, Bonnie Caywood, Taylor Procop, and Gemma Smith.
Why Alex, Sheridan and Jay?
Our chief residents have stepped up during this crisis by continually keeping abreast of the ever-changing conditions and communicating daily with all residents via email with up-to-date information. With resident education sessions cancelled and residents sent home from electives, the chiefs have created online sessions and educational objectives for residents at home to continue to be engaged with their pediatric training and share it with their peers. They have also worked around the clock to ensure that coverage is being maintained, have immediately filled in gaps in coverage when issues arise, and are proactively planning for back-up coverage as the COVID situation escalates. They also initiated a town hall meeting with program and hospital leadership to address resident concerns and questions, and plan to continue this format weekly. Through it all, they have remained steadfast, calm, collected, and innovative during this uncertain time. Thank you, chiefs, for your tenacious dedication to our program and to the health and well-being of our residents!
Kelly Maloney, MD (Professor, Section of Hematology, Oncology & Bone Marrow Transplantation)
Nominated by Lia Gore.
Kelly has been available and present 24/7 for all aspects of response to COVID-19 from the very beginning. She has brought care, thought, and balance in how we can best care for immunocompromised patients across the entire CHCO enterprise, while maintaining critical therapy. She has been available, attentive, compassionate, and has managed some of the most challenging patient/family situations while always seeking the best information from the sources of truth that the CHCO team is providing tirelessly.
Vijaya Knight, MD, PhD (Associate Professor, Section of Allergy & Immunology)
Nominated by David Fleischer.
The Translational and Diagnostic Immunology Laboratory team (Trish Merkel, Leah Huey, and Gillian Andersen) are all assisting with accessioning and processing of nasal swabs sent in for PCR analysis of SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA. Dr. Knight and her team are also working on validating anti-COVID-19 IgA, IgM and IgG assays for future patient and employee use. The assay development and validation are being fast-tracked and expected to be available very soon.
Todd Carpenter, MD (Professor) and Cameron Gunville, DO (Associate Professor) Section of Critical Care Medicine
Nominated by Kurt Stenmark.
Why Todd and Cam?
In their roles as Medical Director and Associate Medical Director of the PICU, Todd and Cam have gone above and beyond establishing protocols, preparing the entire staff and providing information to ensure the PICU can safely assess and manage critically ill patients who are potential or confirmed COVD-19 positive patients. They are participating in an international bi-weekly conference call with PICU across multiple countries and cities to bring back updates to the group. They have worked with the fully engaged ICU faculty, fellows and staff to open lines of communication, coordinate diverse efforts and provide some humor and support, including our first Zoom happy hour.
Elena Hsieh, MD (Assistant Professor, Section of Allergy & Immunology)
Nominated David Fleischer.
Elena was instrumental in developing a research protocol for the investigation of COVID-19 immunological responses in children. Working with others here at CHCO and at the University adult side, Elena's research in immune dysregulation, e.g., her work with SLE patients, might provide valuable information as to why children seem to be protected from severe COVID-19, while adults have increased morbidity and mortality from a different immune response to this disease.
Tim Givens, MD (Professor of Clinical Practice, Section of Emergency Medicine)
Nominated by Liz Jackson and Mike Jonen.
As Vice Chair of Clinical Operations, Dr. Givens has been at the forefront of the COVID-19 preparedness effort, serving countless hours as a member of the CHCO command center team and providing regular updates on a myriad of challenging and changing issues.
The Microbiology Team
Nominated by Allie Characky.
Why the Micro Team?
The entire microbiology staff has gone more than a mile above by risking their health handling specimens from all over the community and providing results that make a difference and change the course of patient treatment while we learn how to fight this current pandemic. We are one of the only facilities to perform COVID-19 testing, and I think that is really special and meaningful. Thank you Micro for truly being on the front lines.
Gabrielle Pearl (Microbiology Laboratory Manager)
Nominated by Allie Characky.
Gabrielle fought to get COVID-19 testing available through our hospital, and without her hard work, we likely wouldn't be providing the testing that is so desperately needed during these trying times. Thank you, Gabrielle, for not being afraid to dive headfirst into the unknown, and for helping our team traverse through this uncharted territory.
Congratulations to all these individuals for their outstanding contributions. Thanks as well to the nominators for sharing these stories and for your important role in helping recognize and support this work. Please continue to share your recommendations for next week’s “Coronavirus Heroes” by submitting a web-based nomination form.