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 2010 Annual Report. Last year was a busy and productive year for our department, and I’m proud to bring you up to date on our many accomplishments.

Extramural Funding, Clinical Research Grows

We engaged more faculty in research and grew our extramural support in 2010, as demonstrated by a 2% increase in grant submissions and a 13% increase in grant funding.

In addition, we initiated 16 new clinical studies in 2010, with active participation from 7 of our primary care sites and 2 community partners. We now have a wonderful core of research coordinators who are helping 24 investigators with 41 studies.

This growth in clinical research complements other research in the department; in 2010, we had 45 investigators—a full third of our faculty—with competitive extramural funding.

New Global Health Education Opportunities

I’m also excited to describe several new teaching endeavors. First, our Global Health Initiative expanded to include a global health track in our residency program.

Last year was the track’s inaugural year, and it centered on a two-week immersion experience in which faculty from many different sections of the University came to discuss global health issues with our residents.

There are currently seven residents on the track. Many of this year’s applicants found the program particularly exciting.

In addition, we now have funding from the American International Health Alliance for three faculty members to participate in a partnership with Ethiopian healthcare providers.

This joint effort provides multidisciplinary training in the care of pediatric patients who come to the emergency department. Ethiopian clinicians have come to the US for education, and our faculty have traveled to Ethiopia.

Enhanced Pediatric Simulation Program

We are also partnering with other clinical departments at the School of Medicine and Public Health to create an enhanced pediatric emergency medicine simulation program.

This program provides medical students and residents with regular in situ opportunities—including immediate debriefing sessions—to learn and practice skills needed in emergency situations, such as communication, leadership, and technical expertise.

Pediatric simulations are offered at both American Family Children’s Hospital (AFCH) and our community partner, Meriter Hospital, where neonatal simulation is performed. Both of these training opportunities increase the appeal and depth of our residency program, thereby enhancing the number and quality of potential recruits.

A Unique Therapy for Neuroblastoma

Our clinical services continue to expand in both breadth and depth. In 2010, we treated our first four patients in the AFCH MIBG (I-131 Metaiodobenzylguanidine) room, specifically constructed to treat patients with neuroblastoma who have not responded to conventional therapies.

This unique treatment strategy, which is currently used as rescue therapy, is available in only eight hospitals in the US. In the near future, we expect treatment with MIBG to become part of initial management of patients with neuroblastoma.

Clinical Partnerships in the Community

In fall 2010, our collaboration with community partner St. Mary’s Hospital expanded to full-time, 24/7 coverage of its pediatric hospitalist service.

Also last year, we were approached by Dean Health Plan pediatricians to help develop a program on managing obesity in the primary care setting.

Two of our endocrinology faculty, one cardiologist, and one general pediatrician donated their time on a weekend day to provide a free symposium to community pediatricians outside of our network about obesity management and research. The symposium was extremely well received.

Keeping an Eye on Quality

Today’s healthcare environment is increasingly focused on quality of care and overall patient satisfaction. We are involved in numerous projects to maintain and enhance our capabilities in those areas.

One of our faculty is leading a fascinating study to identify the most effective techniques for conducting patient- and family-centered rounds. In addition, each of our divisions has a targeted quality improvement project underway, defined with specific, measureable outcomes. We also actively participate in “pay for performance” exercises with our regional health maintenance organizations.

Together, all of these efforts ensure that we provide outstanding care that meets the highest quality and patient satisfaction standards.