News & Events

  • Sondel Lab Student Researcher Awarded 2016 John Emory Morris UWCCC Undergraduate Summer Research Award

    Posted: June 2016
    Alexander L. Rakhmilevich, MD, PhD
    Alexander L.
    Rakhmilevich, MD, PhD

    Congratulations to Kayla Rasmussen, an undergraduate student majoring in genetics, who was recently awarded a 2016 John Emory Morris UWCCC Undergraduate Summer Research Award. She has been working in the research lab of Paul Sondel, MD, PhD, for the past year, and this award supports a full-time summer research experience for her in a laboratory of a member of the faculty of the UW Carbone Cancer Center (UWCCC). The award is given annually to an undergraduate student who shows academic promise, and whose career goal is research and/or medical practice in cancer or other disease processes. The Donor's goals are to provide this opportunity for undergraduates, and also to develop new generations of investigators focused on the prevention and cure of cancers or other disease processes. This $5,000 award will be under the mentorship of Alexander Rakhmelivich, MD, PhD in the Sondel Lab.

     
  • Christina Barreda, MD Awarded Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Fellowship

    Posted: June 2016
    Christina Barreda, MD
    Christina Barreda, MD

    Christina Barreda, MD, Pediatric resident, was recently awarded a Fellowship from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF). This two-year award, in the amount of $127,500 in direct costs, will support her comprehensive pulmonary fellowship training in the areas of inpatient and outpatient care and research with Michael Rock, MD and the Pediatric Pulmonary Team. Congratulations, Christina!

     
  • Mario Otto, MD, PhD awarded AAI Fellowship to support Kyle Kloepping, PhD

    Posted: June 2016
    Kyle C. Kloepping, PhD
    Kyle C. Kloepping, PhD
    Mario Otto, MD, PhD
    Mario Otto, MD, PhD

    Congratulations to Mario Otto, MD, PhD, who recently won a 2016 American Association of Immunologists (AAI) fellowship. The AAI Careers in Immunology Fellowship Program supports the career development of young scientists by providing eligible Principal Investigators with one year of salary support for a trainee in their labs. This year, Dr. Otto was one of 48 members selected to receive AAI Careers in Immunology Fellowships, which provides independent research scientists with fellowships supporting one year of salary for a trainee (pre-doctoral or postdoctoral) in their labs. Consideration for award is based on the merit of the PI's proposed project, potential of the trainee, and the quality of the training environment. The award to Dr. Otto will support Kyle Kloepping, PhD, for the project entitled, "A Novel Phospholipid Ether Analog to Combine Targeted Molecular Radiotherapy and Immunotherapy in Pediatric Solid Tumors."

     
  • U.S. News Ranks AFCH Among Top 50 Children's Hospitals

    Posted: June 2016

    American Family Children's Hospital (AFCH) was ranked among the top 50 children's hospitals in six medical and surgical specialties in the annual U.S. News and World Report Best Children's Hospital rankings for 2016-2017.

    The following specialties were ranked among the top 50:

    • Cancer (36)
    • Gastroenterology (34)
    • Nephrology (25)
    • Orthopedics (31)
    • Pulmonary (29)
    • Urology (23)

    Data were collected from 183 children's hospitals. U.S. News looked at clinical and operational data, results from a reputational survey of board-certified pediatric specialists and supplemental information from resources like the National Cancer Institute.

    The data included level and quality of hospital resources directly related to patient care, delivery of health care such as infection-prevention programs, and adherence to best practices and clinical outcomes such as patient survival, complications and infection rates.

     
  • New Research Identifies a Genetic Cause for Mauriac Syndrome in Type 1 Diabetes

    Posted: June 2016
    Michael J. MacDonald, MD
    Michael J. MacDonald,
    MD

    A research team led by Michael MacDonald, MD, has discovered a genetic cause of a Type I diabetes syndrome that has puzzled investigators for 85 years.

    In the July issue of the journal Diabetes, the team describes its discovery of a gene mutation that, when combined with hyperglycemia from poorly controlled diabetes in children, causes Mauriac Syndrome, a rare disease that presents as massive liver enlargement, growth failure and delayed puberty.

    Specifically, the team sequenced the DNA of a patient with the syndrome, looking at the genes that encode all of the glycogen metabolism enzymes. They found a mutated gene, inserted it into human liver cells in cell culture and found that the mutated gene caused high levels of glycogen accumulation in the human liver cells, thus causing the liver enlargement.

    The patient's mother had the same gene mutation, but did not have diabetes or an enlarged liver. The patient's father did not have the gene mutation or an enlarged liver, but did have poorly controlled Type I diabetes. The case demonstrates how the interaction between the gene mutation and hyperglycemia is the root cause of Mauriac Syndrome.

    Read the full study here.

     
  • Pediatric Faculty Promotions

    Posted: June 2016

    The UW School of Medicine and Public Health (UWSMPH) CHS Appointments and Promotions Committee, and Dean Robert Golden, have approved the promotion to Associate Professor (CHS) for Dipesh Navsaria, MPH, MSLIS, MD; and the promotion to Professor (CHS) for Mei W. Baker, MD.

    The UWSMPH Biological Sciences Divisional Committee, and Dean Robert Golden, have approved the promotion to Associate Professor with Tenure for Daniel J. Jackson, MD.

    Dr. Baker's promotion became effective April 1st; all other promotions become effective July 1, 2016.

    Mei Baker, MD
    Mei Baker, MD
    Daniel Jackson, MD
    Daniel Jackson, MD
    Dipesh Navsaria, MPH, MSLIS, MD
    Dipesh Navsaria, MPH,
    MSLIS, MD
     
     
  • UW Health Honors Pediatrics Providers, Staff for Patient Experience and Quality Excellence

    Posted: June 2016

    Eight Pediatrics providers, three staff members and three clinic teams were among the winners recognized at UW Health’s Ambulatory Patient Experience and Quality Excellence Celebration event, held June 7, 2016, at Monona Terrace.

    Lindsay Geier, MD, Christopher Healy, MD, Laura Houser, MD, Thomas Meier, MD, Karen Pletta, MD, and Amy Plumb, MD, received Patient Experience Physician Champion Awards, which recognize their exemplary communication skills, empathy and support, as appraised by patients through survey feedback.

    What patients say:

    • Lindsay Geier, MD
      Lindsay Geier, MD
      “I cannot say enough good things about her. I completely trust her with my son. She is one of a kind.”
    • Thomas D. Meier, MD
      Thomas D. Meier, MD
      “Always professional, personable, and thorough. He makes such a difference!”
    • Christopher Healy, MD
      Christopher Healy, MD
      “Exceptional physician. Professional and compassionate.”
    • Karen Pletta, MD
      Karen Pletta, MD
      “My family loves her! She is amazing. I always know that my kids are getting the best care.”
    • Laura Houser, MD
      Laura Houser, MD
      “As a parent, I am very satisfied with her as our provider because my questions are always answered.”
    • Amy Plumb, MD
      Amy Plumb, MD
      “We absolutely love her. She is warm, welcoming and consistent. I hope that our daughter can see her until she reaches adulthood.”
    Istvan Danko, MD
    Istvan Danko, MD

    Istvan Danko, MD, received a Patient Experience Fast Tracker Award for achieving the most significant gains in 2015 on the same patient survey measures of communication, empathy and support.

     

     

     

    The 20 South Park and University Station pediatric clinics received Patient Experience Clinic Team Awards for demonstrating exemplary proactive behavior and positive attitudes, as reflected in patient experience surveys.

    What patients say:

    • 20 South Park Staff
      “Friendly, helpful with answering questions
      and follow through.”

      “The clinic staff is always pleasant. I
      always feel content when I leave.”
    • U Station Staff
      “I receive return phone calls quickly; my concerns are heard and addressed; appointment times are made flexible and the office is comfortable for both adults and children. I’m very happy with the care.”

     

    Celestia Knapp, a scheduler at West Clinic-Pediatrics, was a finalist for the Diane Moscrip Best Reception Award. Melissa Rollins and Sandra Barkhahn, registrars at American Family Children’s Hospital, were finalists for the Lasting Impression Best Registrar Award. Those awards recognize frontline staff who demonstrate outstanding service behaviors of kindness, compassion, concern and respect toward patients and families.

    Celestia Knapp
    Celestia Knapp
    Melissa Rollins
    Melissa Rollins
    Sandra Barkhahn
    Sandra Barkhahn

    Robin Wright, MD, who practices at the West Towne General Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine Clinic, and the staff of the Stoughton Pediatrics Clinic also received Quality Excellence Primary Care Awards, which recognize top performers in the FY15 clinical quality measures used for the UW Health Primary Care Physician Compensation Program.

    Robin M. Wright, MD
    Robin M. Wright, MD
    Stoughton Pediatrics Clinic staff
    Stoughton Pediatrics Clinic staff

     

     
  • Dr. Nina Menda to Serve as WIAAP Liaison for the Wisconsin Perinatal Quality Collaborative (WisPQC)

    Posted: June 2016
    Nina S. Menda, MD
    Nina S. Menda, MD

    Nina Menda, MD, has been invited to be the Wisconsin Chapter of the American Adademy of Pediatrics (WIAAP) Liasion to Wisconsin Perinatal Quality Collaborative (WisPQC). Led by the Wisconsin Association for Perinatal Care, the WisPQC mission is to improve perinatal health outcomes and equity across the continuum for all women and infants in Wisconsin.

     
  • Mei Baker, MD, To Serve on National Committee on Heritable Disorders

    Posted: June 2016
    Mei W. Baker, MD
    Mei W. Baker, MD

    Mei Baker, MD, a professor in the Division of Genetics and Metabolism, has accepted an invitation to serve on the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Advisory Committee on Heritable Disorders in Newborns and Children.

    The Committee, which was chartered on May 7, 2015, provides advice, recommendations, and technical information about aspects of heritable disorders and newborn and childhood screening to the Secretary of Health and Human Services.

    Dr. Baker’s appointment begins immediately and will end on June 30, 2020.

    Congratulations on this great honor!

     
  • Elizabeth Cox, MD, PhD, Collaborates on PCORI Pipeline to Proposal Award Project

    Posted: June 2016
    Elizabeth Cox, MD
    Elizabeth Cox, MD

    Dr. Elizabeth Cox and her PROKids team have collaborated with researchers from West Virginia University and the West Virginia Coalition Against Domestic Violence to submit a proposal, “The West Virginia Collaborative for Intimate Partner Violence Screening” for a Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute Pipeline to Proposal Award. Danielle Davidov, PhD, Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine and Social and Behavioral Sciences at West Virginia University, will co-lead the project with partners from the West Virginia Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Dr. Cox will serve as an advisor, providing expertise in patient-centered outcomes research. This nine-month project will build partnerships and capacity to develop a patient-centered comparative effectiveness research project focused on improving intimate partner violence screening in healthcare settings.