May 5, 2020 Department of Pediatrics Newsletter
COVID-19 Heroes Special EditionMay 5, 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.”
Jenny Englund, BS (Regulatory Specialist); Carrie Knowlton, MPH, MS (Research RN); DaMarcus McGill, BA, BS (PRA), CHCO Immunodeficiency Program
Nominated by Dan Reirden, MD
Why Jenny, Carrie, and DaMarcus?
The Children's Hospital Immunodeficiency Program (CHIP) has a long history of conducting research and providing treatment for the care of those living with HIV and for the prevention of those at-risk of acquiring HIV. Our site is one of the three sites focused on adolescents and young adults around the world involved in a larger research study examining the use of a long-acting, injectable medication to prevent HIV infection. The participants are at higher risk of acquiring HIV, the research is considered essential, and interruption in study visits could have posed a safety risk.
Carrie and DaMarcus worked diligently to ensure the safety of our participants and staff. They worked with the protocol team to identify ways to combine visits to maintain access to study drugs while not compromising participants' safety. They ensured that those who could not make it in for study visits had access to open-label HIV prevention medications during this time. Jenny is the regulatory genius that made it all happen in record time. Their dedication to patient and staff safety while working to maintain the integrity of the study is deserving of recognition as Coronavirus Heroes.
Daniel Reirden, MD (Associate Professor, Adolescent Medicine)
Nominated by Natalie Nokoff, MD
He has done an incredible job leading our ever-growing TRUE Center for Gender Diversity through this pandemic to serve transgender and gender-diverse youth. We quickly shifted to telehealth without needing to cancel visits. Despite the current circumstances, we had more visits this month than we ever had and were named a 4-star, award-winning clinic. Dan is an incredible leader and clinician and is tirelessly dedicated to the patients he serves.
Endocrine Leadership/Telemedicine Team: Sarah Bartz, MD (Assistant Professor); Christina Chambers, MD (Instructor); Maggie Chan, MD (Assistant Professor); Megan Kelsey, MD (Associate Professor), and Phil Zeitler, MD, PhD (Professor), Section of Endocrinology
Nominated by Melanie Cree-Green, MD, PhD
Why the Endocrine Leadership/Telemedicine Team?
Our leadership/telemedicine team has done a phenomenal job getting our entire division and multidisciplinary clinics trained and running with telemedicine visits. They have maintained excellent communication with our team, updated note templates to include required language, built dotphrases, and incorporated our MA’s and providers from other specialties. They are now applying the same degree of diligence to cautiously transition us back to clinic while incorporating social distancing.
Gerard Frunzi; Chelsea Gilmour; Patrick Guffey; Ellen Higgerson; Leslie Hortel; Gwen Kerby, MD (Professor, Pulmonary Medicine); Christina Olson, MD (Assistant Professor, Hospital Medicine); DeMyla Patterson; Michelle Rittenhouse; John (Fred) Thomas, MD (General Pediatrics);and Adel Younoszai, MD (Professor, Cardiology)
Nominated by Michael Narkewicz, MD
Why Gerard, Chelsea, Patrick, Ellen, Leslie, Gwen, Christina, DeMayla, Michelle, Fred, and Adel?
The Telehealth Leadership Team (Gerard, Fred, Christina, Gwen, and Patrick) and the project managers (Chelsea, DeMyla, Ellen, and Michelle), ambulatory leadership (Adel), and strategy (Leslie) have worked tirelessly behind the scenes to facilitate the fabulous work by the DOP and all other Departments' efforts to pivot to telehealth and serve the patients and families who rely on the expertise of the teams in the SOM and CHCO. They lead three teams that focus on infrastructure, IP/ED/NOC, and ambulatory operations that are focusing on all the operational aspects of the explosion of telemedicine. Adel, Gwen, and Patrick stepped in to take up much of the work when Christina was deployed to further serve her military mission – many thanks for her service. We would not be where we are today without the work of this team and many others who have contributed to this effort.
Megan “Meg” Kirkley, MD (Assistant Professor, Neonatology)
Meg has been on the front lines caring for both COVID+ neonates as well as attending deliveries of COVID+ moms – a very high-risk situation. During the pandemic, she has spearheaded the development of NEOCLEAR (Neonatal COVID-19 Literature Evaluated and Aggregated in Real-Time) within the Section of Neonatology. This section-based workgroup developed an approach to help clinicians stay current with the rapidly emerging evidence surrounding COVID-19 with the goal of caring for patients as safely and effectively as possible. This effort culminates in a freely available, continuously updated web page that now has over 250 manuscripts related to neonatology and COVID-19. This web page has been accessed by hundreds of clinicians worldwide.
In addition, Meg arranges a Friday Zoom meeting within the Section where weekly research highlights are shared within the context of emerging and evolving clinical practice. Her efforts are very much appreciated and have contributed to improving patient care and provider safety.
Nicole Penwill, MD MPH (Resident, Graduate Medical Education)
Nominated by Alexandra Cheetham, MD
Nicole recognized that Colorado food bank stores were running dangerously low during this time of high unemployment. She organized a fundraiser amongst the pediatric residents to do something positive for the community. Together, they donated $860 to the Food Bank of the Rockies! With the food bank explaining that $1 buys four meals, that's 3,460 meals donated!
Thank you for your thoughtfulness, leadership, and generosity during this time.