May Newsletter

The month in review

Here is a summary of what has occupied the DEO office in May:

Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) Annual Meeting was held April 30th through May 3rd.  I am happy to say that the Stead Family Department of Pediatrics was very well represented with more than 30 posters and presentations and over 33 faculty, fellows, and residents participating.  Thank you to all who attended and presented.

I plan to host a reception on behalf of the Stead Family Department of Pediatrics at next year’s PAS to provide an opportunity for networking and connecting with colleagues.

Invited Speakers

We were fortunate to have a number of guest speakers in May.  We were hosts to the Carl Gillies Visiting Professor Lecturer as well as the Filer Lecturer.  The list of guest speakers included:


Dr. John Racadio, Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati – Gillies Visiting Professor LecturerPediatric Interventional Radiology:  Technology Research, and Clinical Care
Dr. John Lantos, Children’s Mercy Bioethics Center, University of Missouri – Filer Lecturer:  Should Pediatricians “Fire” Vaccine-Refusing Parents
Dr. Stephen Tsang, Columbia University, New York:  Of Mice and Men:  Precision Pathways in Pediatrics
Dr. James Gern, University of Wisconsin, Madison:  Childhood Asthma from Bench to Bedside:  “Do Viral Wheezing Illnesses in Infancy Cause Asthma”
Dr. Michael Seidman, National Institute of Health – DNA Damange, Replications Stress, and Genome Stability:  Lessons from Fanconi Anemia


  • Chairman’s Rounds continued in May with residents presenting a number of very interesting cases.  I encourage faculty and fellows to participate in these great opportunities for learning and enrichment.
  • I meet monthly with the Chief Residents and round with them once per month.  Tracey Morgan-Harris and Kathryn Newby have done an outstanding job with the program as Chief Residents this past year and will soon be passing the baton to our new Chief Residents, Catherina Pinnaro and Lindsay Blick.
  • You will begin to hear and see efforts underway in preparation for the LCME (Liaison Committee on Medical Education) site visit in 2017 which is a major step in the reaccreditation of the school of medicine.  Please provide assistance if asked to supply information or feedback by those involved in these efforts.


Faculty recruitment continues as the department continues to grow in our clinical and research missions.  I met with a number of candidates for positions in the following divisions in May:

  • Four candidates for Interventional Cardiology
  • Two candidates for Infectious Diseases
  • One candidate for Endocrinology and Diabetes
  • One candidate for Allergy and Pulmonology
  • One candidate for Director of the Division of Infectious Diseases was also interviewed.

Dr. Julie Sommerfield

Dr. Sommerfield arrived in May as a new member of our Cardiology Division.  Her office is located at 1010-22 Boyd Tower.  Please take a moment to welcome Julie when you see her.



Dance Marathon and CMN held their spring allocations meetings at which $50,000 pilot studies were awarded. These include:

Dance Marathon Awards:

  • Anjali Sharathkumar: Novel Mechanisms of Thrombogenesis in Pediatric Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia
  • David Gordon: Targeting DNA Replication Stress in Ewing Sarcoma Tumors
  • Bill Terry:  The Role of Genetic Testing in Clinical Decision Making for Pediatric Cancers

Children’s Miracle Network Awards:

  • Joe Turek:  Multilevel interactions between CaMKII and TRVP 1 Contribute to Aortic Aneurysm Progression
  • Anthony Fischer:  Initial Bacterial Attachment in Cystic Fibrosis Airways
  • Christina Cifra:  Missed Diagnosis of Pediatric Sepsis:  Analysis of a Large Population Based Sample
  • Stacey Kern (Neonatology Fellow):  The Effects of Milk Oligosaccharides on Intestinal Development and Subsequent Injury Potential.


My annual meetings with each faculty member continued in May.

One on one monthly meetings with each Vice Chair and Division Director continue to take place.  In addition to the one on one meetings, the Division Directors meet as a group with me twice per month and the Vice Chairs meet as a group with me once per month.  These meetings ensure that all Divisions have ample opportunity to bring their concerns and ideas to me so that we can continue moving toward our goal to be amongst the best pediatric departments in the nation.

Clinical Programs

  • PSC:  Dr. Bishop provided a presentation at the May 2nd Faculty Lunch regarding the renovation and expansion of the Pediatric Specialty Clinic presently underway.  The clinic space will be increased from the present 36 exam rooms to 56 exam rooms and will be structured more like the IRL, in four pods with a central staff area surrounded by exam rooms.  The renovation and expansion will be completed in two phases with Phase 1 scheduled for completion in July, 2017, and Phase 2 in late summer of 2018.
    We held a monthly routine meeting to discuss PSC workflow improvement as well as a monthly routine meeting to discuss PSC scheduling improvement.
  • Pediatric Associates held its monthly board meeting.
  • Satellite Clinics: Monthly meetings to discuss our satellites in Bettendorf and Waterloo continue.

Meetings with Chairs of other Departments

  • I meet monthly with Dr. Weigel, Chair of the Department of Surgery and Dr. Dale Abel, Chair of the Department of Internal Medicine.  This is a great way for us to identify ways to collaborate across departments and also provides us with a venue to discuss any opportunities that may have occurred since our last meeting.
  • I also schedule meetings with other Department Chairs when there is an opportunity to improve or enhance service between Departments.  In May I met with Dr. Nugent, Chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine and Dr. Marsh, Chair of the Department of Orthopedics to discuss ways to improve referral of children to orthopedics.

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.
  • I had the opportunity to view rough cuts of the new marketing campaigns for the Children’s Hospital which will be introduced prior to the opening.
  • At the very end of October, orientation to the new building will begin and various public events, dedication, etc. will begin the first week of November.  This will be a very exciting and busy time for the Department.

Final Thoughts

As we near the end of the school year, I want to wish safe travels to those planning a family vacation or other getaway, and to everyone in the Stead Family Department of Pediatrics, A GREAT SUMMER.