At the UW Department of Pediatrics, advocating for children’s health and well-being goes beyond traditional clinical care, research, and education.
From local health fairs to national advisory committees, our faculty and residents engage in an array of outreach and service activities.
Through this work, they touch families in the community, educate peers worldwide, influence lawmakers, and advance the profession of pediatrics. Below is a sampling of their activities.
Department of Pediatrics faculty and residents regularly volunteer their clinical expertise to help children throughout the community—especially those who would otherwise not have access to healthcare.
Department of Pediatrics Professor Emeritus Peter S. Karofsky, MD, founded the Middleton Teen Clinic.
For example, they collaborate with the Madison Metropolitan School District and community health centers to provide asthma care, sports physicals, and other clinical services for underserved children.
They also provide free health care for underserved children and adults through the UW School of Medicine and Public Health’s MEDiC clinics and the Salvation Army’s Homeless Shelter Clinic (under the medical direction of Murray Katcher, MD).
Faculty and residents participate in fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) diagnostic clinics through the Wisconsin Treatment Outreach Project, and volunteer as medical staff at summer camps for children with cancer, asthma, and other diseases.
In addition, they help support young athletes by volunteering as physicians for state sports tournaments. Professor David Bernhardt, MD, serves as the medical director for the Madison Marathon and the US Transplant Games.
And, by providing international volunteer health services, our faculty and residents even reach children around the world. Sabrina Butteris, MD, volunteered in Tanzania; Stephen Koslov, MD, volunteered in Nicaragua; James Conway, MD, volunteered in Thailand and Kenya; and former resident Lisa Umphrey, MD, volunteered in Uganda.
Department of Pediatrics faculty Sabrina Butteris, MD; Scott Hagen, MD; and Joshua Ross, MD, recently led a pediatric emergency medical services workshop for four visiting clinicians from Ethiopia.
The workshop was part of an American International Health Alliance-funded initiative that aims to improve emergency service in Ethiopia.
By providing international volunteer health services, our faculty and residents reach children around the world.
Over the past seven years, James Conway, MD, has partnered with colleagues from Indiana University, Moi University, and the Kenyan Ministry of Health to train mid-level immunization program managers. He also served as an advisor to Susan Gold, RN, a UW nurse who created a Fulbright Scholarship-funded nurse-implemented adolescent HIV education program in Kenya.
Dr. Conway also leads a semester-long course for health science students, “Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Global Health & Disease,” and travels to Thailand for three weeks each year to co-lead the field portion of the course.
Sabrina Butteris, MD, is the department’s Global Health Education Director. In addition to creating and leading a formal pediatric global health track in our residency program, Dr. Butteris leads UW’s Graduate Medical Education global health effort, in which she works to strengthen global health education across all residency programs and specialties.
Dr. Butteris is also active locally, regionally, and nationally with members of the pediatric global health education community. Together, they strive to advance global health education and ethical partnerships with colleagues abroad.
In addition, Dr. Butteris leads the department's partnership with Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia. Through this partnership, faculty, nurses, and administrators from both institutions work collaboratively to strengthen pediatric care—especially pediatric emergency and trauma care—in Ethiopia.
Assistant Professor Dipesh Navsaria, MD, MPH, MSLIS, directs the Reach Out and Read (ROR) programs at UW Health.
A national organization dedicated to promoting early literacy, ROR partners with doctors to encourage familes to read together.
Our faculty provide the public with expert guidance on a variety of issues related to children’s health. Their efforts help teach children—and the families, teachers, and communities that care for them—how to stay healthy and manage disease.
For example, our faculty regularly serve as guest lecturers at local schools, libraries, and community venues. There, they talk directly with children and families about general health or specific problems, such as cancer or fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.
In addition, our faculty frequently speak on behalf of regional and national coalitions, and demonstrate their expertise through media interviews, letters, and articles.
Their work helps raise awareness of asthma, food allergies, immunization, obesity, dyslexia, language development and literacy, and many other issues that affect children.
Barbara L. Knox, MD
Barbara Knox, MD, developed a performance improvement training module to help physicians throughout the region better recognize, diagnose, and treat child abuse.
As academic physicians, Department of Pediatrics faculty are a vital component to the medical students, residents, and fellows training programs. But many also help teach clinicians throughout the state, nation, and even the world.
For example, our faculty teach at several clinical science academic programs, including the physician assistant programs at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Marquette University.
They also provide outreach education on genetics counseling, obesity management, emergency care, and other topics to community physicians and EMS staff throughout the region.
At the national level, they present at continuing medical education programs, meetings of the national pediatric societies and help organize professional education conferences.
They also host health professionals from developing nations. These partnerships, and other collaborations with the UW School of Medicine and Public Health’s Center for Global Health allow visiting clinicians to learn new skills that they can use to improve health care for children in their home countries.
Theresa W. Guilbert, MD
In 2008, Assistant Professor Theresa Guilbert, MD, formed Breathe Free Monona to foster support for a smoke-free ordinance in that city. Monona became smoke-free the following year, and Dr. Guilbert received a Champions in Women's Health Award from the Wisconsin Women's Health Foundation for her work.
Department of Pediatrics faculty work closely with legislators and public authorities to influence policy changes. Their efforts can ultimately help improve the health of children nationwide.
For example, Associate Professor Ellen Connor, MD, testified at a Wisconsin Senate hearing on the health effects of Bisphenol A (BPA), an estrogen-mimicking chemical often found in children's bottles and sippy cups. Her efforts contributed to the state’s ban on the manufacture and sale of baby products containing BPA.
Dr. Connor was also invited to appear before the Madison water utility board to answer scientific questions regarding endocrine disruptors in water.
At the national level, our faculty have participated in authoring American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) policy statements and guidelines. Patricia Kokotailo, MD, MPH, was the lead author of the AAP's policy statement on adolescent alcohol abuse, Frank Greer, MD, co-authored several AAP statements on pediatric nutrition and Ellen Wald, MD, participated in the AAP's guidelines on the management of urinary tract infections in children.
Patricia K. Kokotailo, MD, MPH
Chair, AAP Committee on Substance Abuse
Norman C. Fost, MD, MPH
Chair, FDA Pediatrics Ethics Subcommittee
David B. Allen, MD
President, Pediatric Endocrine Society
Many Department of Pediatrics faculty have leadership roles in professional societies and national organizations. Their work advances the discipline of pediatrics regionally, nationally, and internationally.
Our faculty serve on the American Academy of Pediatrics’ (AAP) national committees and councils and chair national section programs.
Patricia Kokotailo, MD, MPH, chairs the AAP's Committee on Substance Abuse, Frank Greer, MD, is the immediate past president of its Committee on Nutrition, and Department chair Ellen Wald, MD, is past chair of its Section of Infectious Diseases.
They have also have leadership roles at government agencies. For example, Norman Fost, MD, MPH, is chair of the Food and Drug Administration's Pediatric Ethics Subcommittee, and sits on two National Institutes of Health (NIH) advisory committees.
Three of our faculty — Paul Sondel, MD, PhD, Robert Lemanske, MD, and Bruce Klein, MD — sit on NIH study sections. Department chair Ellen Wald, MD, chairs the American Board of Pediatrics (ABP) Pediatric Infectious Diseases Sub-board. David Allen, MD, is the current president of the Pediatric Endocrine Society.
At the regional level, Carter Ralphe, MD, is president of the Midwest Pediatric Society, and De-Ann Pillers, MD, PhD, is immediate past president of the Western Society for Pediatric Research.
David Bernhart, MD, and James Conway, MD, are on the board of directors of the Wisconsin chapter of the AAP. They, along with Barbara Knox, MD, Michael Kim, MD, and Patricia Kokotailo, MD, also chair Wisconsin AAP specialty committees. Dipesh Navsaria, MD, MPH, MSLIS, is the chapter’s Community Access to Child Health (CATCH) co-facilitator and is on the board of the WIAAP Foundation.
Our faculty also lead such state groups as the Wisconsin Newborn Screening Advisory Council and the Wisconsin Asthma Coalition, among others.