A Message from Our 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 2011 Annual Report. Our department continued to thrive last year with many new accomplishments in patient care, education, and research.

I’m proud to share these accomplishments with you in this letter and throughout this online report.

Patient Care Exceeds Projections, New Services Launched

We cared for even more children at American Family Children’s Hospital (AFCH) last year, with overall volumes regularly exceeding budgeted projections.

We’re also proud that U.S. News and World Report ranked AFCH in the top 50 children’s hospitals nationwide in seven specialties: cancer, diabetes/endocrinology, gastroenterology, nephrology, neurology/neurosurgery, pulmonology, and urology. We are the smallest children’s hospital to be ranked in that report.

We also launched or reinvigorated several patient care services:

  • A new pediatric preventive cardiology clinic;
  • A parenteral nutrition support team and a failure to thrive clinic;
  • The American Family Children’s Hospital Emergency Transport Ambulance (CHETA); and 
  • A Brain Injury clinic, a Down’s Syndrome clinic, and a NICU follow-up clinic at the Waisman Center.

In addition, our successful partnership with St. Mary’s Hospital is thriving, and we are working to establish pediatric rheumatology, nephrology, diabetes, and sleep subspecialty clinics at Dean Clinic.

Pediatrics in 2011: A Snapshot

144 faculty & 184 staff
40 residents & 11 fellows
140,174 outpatient visits
7,861 hospital admissions
11,284 emergency department visits
$17M in research funding
3 new NIH R01s totaling $7.2M over 5 years
157 active grants, including 37 clinical trials
185 published journal articles
$62M in total revenue

Educational Initiatives Target Simulation Training, Global Health

Simulation learning took off last year, as residents began participating in training sessions at the new UW Health Clinical Simulation Center. We also joined Patient Outcomes in Simulation Education (POISE), a multi-institution network that evaluates how simulation learning improves procedural competence and patient outcomes.

Our new global health rotation continued to evolve: last year, family medicine residents were included in our two-week immersion course, Fundamentals of Global Child Health. What’s more, our global health residents received a $3,000 grant from the American Academy of Pediatrics (Community Access to Child Health CATCH) program to improve health literacy and preventive health care among Bhutanese refugees in Madison.

Our innovative Pediatric Education and Active Resident Learning (PEARL) Conferences, which teach clinical approaches in an engaging, non-didactic manner, entered their second year with continued positive feedback from residents and faculty.

We also incorporated residents into our Spring Research Day, an annual event consisting of a keynote address, oral presentations, and an all-day poster session.

We’re also pleased to announce that our Division of Infectious Diseases successfully completed an application for a new fellowship program. It will begin recruiting in 2012 for its first class to begin in 2013.

Laboratory, Clinical Research Prospers

Our department maintained its outstanding research presence last year. Despite increased competition, we had $17 million in research funding in FY11. Faculty submitted 105 proposals, 40% of which were funded. Newly funded projects included three National Institute of Health R01s, which total $7.2 million over five years.

A total of 45 faculty (31%) in 12 divisions had extramural grant support last year, including two younger investigators who were awarded their first KL2s. In addition, 11 residents and three fellows received research-related recognition or funding; two PhD scientists and two PhD research associates also procured independent funding.

Our clinical research efforts also continued to grow. We launched 20 new clinical studies, bringing the total number of active clinical studies to 37—a 48% increase from last year.

Finally, we were proud to host more than 120 academic pediatricians, who came to Madison for the 52nd Annual Scientific Meeting of the Midwest Society for Pediatric Research (MWSPR).

Faculty Leadership Shines

Our faculty continued to be tapped for leadership roles outside the department. James Conway, MD, was named the associate director of UW’s Global Health Institute; Chris Green, MD, was named the interim senior vice president for medical affairs at UW Hospital and Clinics; Anna Huttenlocher, MD, PhD, became the director of the MD/PhD program at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health (SMPH); and Gwen McIntosh, MD, was named director of third- and fourth-year clerkships at the SMPH.

In addition, Jesse Roach, MD, was selected as an SMPH Centennial Scholar. This honor supports faculty whose diversity enhances the quality of education and research at the SMPH, and who serve as role models for trainees, especially those from underrepresented minority backgrounds.

Finally, two faculty received American Academy of Pediatrics’ Special Achievement Awards in 2011: David Bernhardt, MD, for his work as a champion of adolescent health and sports medicine, and Barbara Knox, MD, for her work as an advocate against child maltreatment.

Through all of these accomplishments, we continued to demonstrate our deep commitment to providing the best care for children, to training outstanding physicians and clinical leaders, and to leading the nation in scholarly research and service.