Message from the Chair

Ellen R. Wald, MD

Ellen R. Wald, MD
Professor and Chair
Alfred Dorrance Daniels Professor on Diseases of Children

Welcome to the UW Department of Pediatrics 2009 Annual Report. I’m pleased to share the many ways 2009 was such an exciting year for our department.

Expanded Patient Care

Our American Family Children’s Hospital (AFCH) continues to be spectacularly successful and busier than even our most optimistic projections. Patients have come to AFCH from every county in Wisconsin and 49 of the 50 states.

Our pediatric cardiology services-specifically electrophysiology, echocardiography, and interventional cardiology, also expanded in 2009.

Also in late 2009, we began providing hospitalist services at St. Mary’s Hospital, our community partner, and expanded our hospitalist team to eight faculty. In September 2010, we will increase our coverage at St. Mary’s to 24/7.

Increased Research Activity

On the research front, our faculty were exceptionally active, which is reflected in the numbers of grants submitted and awarded. Even in this tight funding climate, the department increased its submissions by 21% over the previous year and its grants awarded by 7%.

In 2009, 10 of the department’s 16 divisions (62.5%) submitted or received new grants, and 12 (75%) had active extramural funding.

Innovative Educational Offerings

As teachers, our faculty regularly interact with medical students, residents and fellows. But we also teach other audiences, as demonstrated by two innovative educational offerings developed last year:

  1. The Child Abuse Recognition and Documentation (CARD) Performance Improvement initiative. This project assists physicians and other health care providers in recognizing and documenting indicators of child abuse in order to efficiently triage and refer those cases.
  2. A Fetal Heart Screening for Congenital Heart Disease (CHD) course. This course, designed to train local sonographers and physicians, uses high-resolution ultrasound and fetal echocardiograms to reliably detect several forms of CHD.

Cultivating an Environment of Discovery

With the help of junior and senior faculty, we are creating an environment in which inquiry, curiosity, and discovery are the driving forces for our students, residents, fellows, and faculty.

In each of our mission areas—patient care, research, and education—we are all engaged in asking questions, and are trying hard to answer those questions. And through improved infrastructure, incentives and recognition of achievements, our momentum and enthusiasm increase every day.