Month in Review – February/March, 2016

The Month in Review

Here is a summary of what has occupied the DEO office in February/March:

Incentive payouts

Incentives to faculty for calendar year 2015 will be paid out in April. I am pleased to report that incentives for the 2015 calendar year will total $433,610, a record high incentive payout for the Department. Since initiating the incentive plan 3 years ago, the Department has been able to add a total of $1,158,859 to faculty compensation by means of the incentive plan. Faculty from the divisions of Cardiology, Endocrinology, GI, Gen Peds, Genetics, Heme/Onc, Neonatology, Nephrology, Neurology, Critical Care, and Rheumatology will be receiving incentives for 2015.

Medicaid Upper Payment Limit (UPL) initiatives

As a major Medicaid provider, the Stead Family Department of Pediatrics is benefiting from the UPL payments coming to UIP for the purpose of advancing quality, care coordination, and access to care for Medicaid patients. Following discussion with the Division Directors who then engaged their faculty, a number of suggestions were submitted to the department. We are currently in discussion with UIP and the College of Medicine for approval of these initiatives for this first UPL cycle.


The Residency Program expansion has been approved by the hospital and we will be adding two additional interns per year beginning this summer.

The match results are in and we have an outstanding class of interns for July.

I held a number of Chairman’s Rounds with the residents. Chairman’s Rounds are held most Tuesdays at 12:15 pm in Zellweger Conference Room. The residents present a patient currently in the hospital who represents either a diagnostic or a management challenge (sometimes both). Nate Price and Jason Misurac have been regular faculty participants and I want to encourage faculty and fellows to attend these interesting discussions even if you are not involved in the care of the patient because it enriches the discussion and adds to the educational experience of the residents and students. And we have a lot of fun.


I want to update you on our very busy faculty and leadership recruitment efforts. I encourage everyone to review the details below. You can help us with these efforts. If you know outstanding faculty candidates from other institutions for any of these positions please let me know:

Allergy/Immunology: We are recruiting a Director for Allergy in order to meet the current and growing demand for clinical services. We anticipate that, upon successful recruitment of this individual, Allergy/Immunology will become a section within the Division of Allergy Immunology and Pulmonary Medicine.

Pulmonary Medicine: We are recruiting a Division Director. We have had a number of candidates visiting us these past 2 months.

Cardiology: Julie Sommerfield will be joining the faculty in May. She is currently a practicing cardiologist at  Children’s Hospital of Michigan. We have 3 active recruitments, including a Director of Cardiac Imaging, an Adult Congenital Heart Disease Specialist, and a Diagnostic Cardiologist. A number of candidates for these positions visited us these past 2 months and we are finalizing offers.

Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics/Psychology: Shruti Tewar will be joining the faculty in July after completing her DBP fellowship at Cincinnati Children’s. Shruti is Arun Modi’s wife. We are recruiting for another Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics faculty member. We are also planning an expansion of our psychology services to better meet the needs of our outpatient clinics as well as inpatient services such as Pain and Palliative Care. We are recruiting both research and clinical psychology faculty.

Pediatric Critical Care Medicine: Marcelo Auslender joined the Department in February as the new Division Director. Previously Marcelo was at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Case Western Reserve in Cleveland. With his arrival the Division is larger than it has ever been, with 8 faculty. By this summer we are anticipating 10 faculty, including Veerajalandhar Allareddy who has been recruited as Medical Director for the PICU, as well as the return of our former fellow, Adi Badheka, who is completing a one year cardiac critical care fellowship at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. By this summer we will have 4 faculty who have completed specialized training in cardiac critical care. This, along with the new recruitments into our Division of Cardiology, will enhance our children’s heart program.

General Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine: Beth Tarini arrived from University of Michigan at the end of March as the new Division Director.

We are recruiting a Pain and Palliative Care faculty to allow us to continue to expand the outstanding service that Becky Benson has developed and that has grown beyond her capacity to manage alone.

We have recruited 2 hospitalists who will join us this summer: Emily Peterson is currently completing her residency with us. Katherine Patrick will join us from Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital where she is completing a one year hospitalist fellowship.

Ana Cary, a former medical student and resident here, will be returning this summer from private practice in Valencia, CA to join our primary care pediatrics group.

We have not had a full-fledged adolescent medicine program in our Department. We need to address this deficit. We are therefore recruiting a Director of Adolescent Medicine. I anticipate that the new Director will build an adolescent medicine program that will include an expanded clinical service addressing the totality of the needs of adolescent patients, a teaching component leading ultimately to a fellowship program, and a research program. We have 3 outstanding candidates for this position who have visited in February and March and interest is high. We are also recruiting for a more junior Adolescent Medicine faculty.

Genetics: Amy Calhoun arrives in May from the University of Minnesota where she has been on the faculty for a number of years. Amy is the sister of Katie Larson-Ode.

Infectious Diseases: We are recruiting an Infectious Diseases faculty. I also spoke with an outstanding physician-scientist who has expressed interest in the Division Director position.

Neonatology: Brady A’Hearn Thomas arrives in July from Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia where she is currently completing a neonatology fellowship.

Nephrology: Lyndsay Harshman is joining the faculty as a physician-scientist in July after completing her fellowship here.

Neurology: Aaron Boes is joining the faculty as a physician-scientist in July after completing a fellowship at Harvard. We are also recruiting an epileptologist.


Yatin Vyas (Vice Chair for Research) and the rest of our research leadership team are preparing for a wonderful Research Day on April 8. Everyone is encouraged to attend. Fellows are expected to be released from their duties in order to participate.


I meet annually with each member of the faculty. In February/March I met with Linda Cooper-Brown, Mike Ciliberto, Diana Bayer, Tarah Colaizy, Jane Brumbaugh, Nancy Bonthius, Vanessa Curtis, Ben Darbro, and Melinda Coro to discuss their career development.

I held my monthly one on one meetings with the Vice Chairs and Division Directors as well as my monthly Vice Chair group meetings and biweekly group Division Director meetings.

Ed Bell and I met to review faculty candidates being considered for promotion in the next cycle.

I met with Ed Bell, Eva Tsalikian, and Erik Edens to discuss how we can help our faculty complete their MOC part 4 requirements. Erik will be taking the lead on submitting quality improvement projects to the ABP that our faculty are already engaged in so that they can receive credit for these activities.

Clinical Programs

  • PSC: We held a monthly routine meeting to discuss PSC workflow improvement as well as a monthly routine meeting to discuss PSC scheduling improvement.
  • Satellite Clinics: We held a monthly Children’s Hospital satellite meeting to discuss our current satellite in Bettendorf as well as our planned satellites in Waterloo, Dubuque, and Cedar Rapids.
  • Pediatric Associates held its monthly board meeting.

Children’s Hospital

The Children’s Hospital Executive Oversight Committee met to discuss progress of the new hospital. Routine Transition Activation Planning (TAP) meetings continue in preparation for the move to the new hospital next year.

In my role as Physician-in-Chief of the Children’s Hospital I met with Terri Brennan, the UIHC Chief Medical Officer, to discuss common issues and initiatives.

I met with Cheryl Hodgson from Marketing and Communications along with hospital leadership to sign off on the new Children’s Hospital rebranding materials which includes a new logo. I also met with Lewis Communications who are developing the marketing materials for the new Children’s Hospital roll out. We reviewed the video and radio ads that will be rolled out this year and next.

Final thoughts:

As you can see from all of the above activity, the Department continues on its trajectory of growth. I am looking forward to welcoming our new faculty this summer. We will be doing so, as well as celebrating another successful year, at our annual faculty reception. Jodi and I have previously held this reception at our home in January. This year the reception will be in September, in response to a number of you who suggested we gather in the fall so we can enjoy the outdoors.  The date of the reception will be September 11, 2016, with full details to follow as the date approaches.


Raphael Hirsch, MD

Chair, Stead Family Department of Pediatrics