June Newsletter

The month in review

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

Invited Speakers

With Frontiers Seminars on hiatus for the summer, only two guest speakers presented this month:

  • Dr. Puneet Opal, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine: “Giant Axonal Neuropathy:  How a Rare Disorder can have a Major Impact”.
  • Dr. Susan Woolford, University of Michigan, Child Health Evaluation and Research (CHEAR) Unit, Department of Pediatrics and Communicable Diseases: “A Diamond in the Rough:  A Tale of Text Messaging and Mobile Technology in Pediatric Weight Management”


  • Resident Graduates
  • Fifteen individuals graduated from the Residency Program this year. I am very pleased to share that five of those fifteen will remain at the University of Iowa in the following capacities:
  • Nour Akil – Pediatric Pulmonology Fellowship
  • Lindsay Blick – Pediatric Chief Resident
  • Catherina Pinnaro – Pediatric Chief Resident
  • Emily Peterson – Hospitalist
  • Patricia Watkins – Neonatology Fellowship
    Three Residents will begin fellowships at other institutions and five have elected to begin their careers in General Pediatrics or as Hospitalists in other institutions or practices.
  • Fellow Graduates
  • Ten individuals completed their Fellowships this year and I am equally pleased to announce that two of those individuals will remain at UIHC:
  • Dimah Saade – Division of Child Neurology (Neuromuscular) – Fellowship
  • Lindsay Harshman –Division of Pediatric Nephrology – Faculty Member

Note from Riad Rahhal, MD, MS – Vice Chair for Education

A few months ago, most of our graduate medical educational programs were informed of their expected participation in the ACGME-required self-study. The new process replaces the prior one that depended heavily on generating large documents (PIF forms for those who recall). We are now expected to examine each of our programs in great detail, analyze its data in a SWOT analysis format delineating strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, describe the data gathering/review process and generate a plan to improve our programs and reach their set aims. The deadline to finalize our work and submit the required data to ACGME is the end of October, 2016. We will expect a visit by ACGME approximately 12 months following the submission. This is a critical step to maintain the accreditation of our core residency and subspecialty programs. Many of you are involved in this process and I thank you greatly for your time, effort and feedback to make this a meaningful, smooth and successful process.


  • Faculty recruitment continues. I met with candidates for positions in the following divisions in June:
  • One candidate for Interventional Cardiology
  • One candidate for Endocrinology and Diabetes
  • One candidate for Neurology


AllareddyDr. Veerajalandha Allareddy

Dr. Allareddy arrived in June as the Medical Director of the Division of Pediatric Critical Care Medicine.  His office is located at 770B JPP and his phone number is 356-4817.  Please take a moment to welcome Veera when you see him.

calhounDr. Amy Calhoun
Dr. Calhoun arrived in late June as a new member of our Division of Medical Genetics.  Her office is located at W114 GH.  Please take a moment to welcome Amy when you see her.

  • Annual meetings were held in June with Dr. David Gordon and Dr. Meredith Fishbane-Gordon to discuss their career development.
  • All of the routine meetings with Division Directors and Vice Chairs continue to take place.
  • The group Division Directors (twice monthly) and Vice Chairs (monthly) meetings provide an opportunity for discussion of ongoing issues, opportunities, and wins of the Department as a team.

Note from Ed Bell, MD – Vice Chair for Faculty Development

  • SPR and APS Memberships – Each spring, I help to identify potential new candidates for membership in the Society for Pediatric Research and the American Pediatric Society, two of the societies that organize the annual Pediatric Academic Societies meeting. This year, with the help of the other vice chairs and members of the Promotions Advisory Committee, I identified four candidates for each society and recruited society members to nominate and second each candidate.
  • When the nominations for SPR were submitted, we were surprised to learn that four of the individuals nominating or seconding candidates were not eligible to do this because they were not active members in good standing. When I investigated further, I learned that 12 of our 36 SPR members had let their membership lapse. Several APS members are also behind in their dues payments. In some cases, this undoubtedly represents a conscious decision to spend the funds in other ways, but I suspect some of you simply forgot to renew your membership. For those who did not want to spend the funds, the cost is $350/y for active members (<55 y of age) including subscription to Pediatric Research; $145 for senior members (55-65); and $0 for emeritus members (>65). It is an honor to be selected for membership in SPR or APS. These societies, along with the Academic Pediatric Association, organize and manage our annual meetings and provide tremendous opportunities for our trainees and junior faculty members. If you have the honor of being admitted to either of these societies, I hope you will support them by maintaining your membership and participating in the societies throughout your career.


Activity surrounding submission of grants has been extremely busy as is typical near a submission deadline.  Please remember that all items which require my signature concerning grants (including IRBs) are to be submitted to Donna Friel, Research Support Manager.  Donna reviews the documents to ensure everything is in order prior to submitting to me for signature. By following the process established we optimize efficiency.

Clinical Programs

  • PSC:  Renovation of the PSC continues as does work regarding scheduling and optimization of services.  PSC New Provider orientation is receiving attention. With the help of committee members analyzing how this orientation can be improved, we will be developing the orientation process further so that it becomes more robust and beneficial to providers as they begin their service in the PSC.
  • Pediatric Associates:  Monthly board meetings allow us all to remain better informed regarding issues that arise and improvements we may be able to initiate.  An outcome of the most recent meeting is discussion with orthopedics regarding pediatric orthopedic transfers.  Dr. Boscaljon will represent Pediatrics Associates at a meeting with those involved in orthopedics and the Children’s Hospital to assure improvement in the transfer process.
  • Satellite Clinics:  Monthly meetings to discuss our satellites in Bettendorf and Waterloo continue.  These meetings are well attended and a Skype component has been added to the meeting to allow those who are unable to attend the meeting in person to participate by phone.
  • Pediatric Provider Council:  The most recent Pediatric Provider Council meeting was held this month and was well attended. Along with the 21 providers attending from the Stead Family Department of Pediatrics, there were 24 providers from outside the University; including pediatricians from the Burlington, Bettendorf, Cedar Rapids, Davenport, Fairfield, Iowa City/Coralville, Moline, Waverly, and Waterloo. Dr. Andy Peterson presented an update on concussion in children. The purpose of this Council is to bring together pediatric providers to discuss issues of common interest with the goal of improving the quality and coordination of care for children in our communities.

Meetings with Chairs of other Departments

  • Dr. Abel (Chair of lnternal Medicine) and I held our monthly meeting to remain in communication to further the collaborative environment between our departments.
  • Dr. Weigel (Chair of Surgery) and I held our routine monthly meeting.  A multi-disciplinary group including Critical Care, Surgery, Quality, Nursing, Burn Treatment staff, Internal Medicine, etc. met to discuss pediatric burn care.  A follow-up meeting has been scheduled to further develop the document created to address burn care for our pediatric patients.
  • I also met with Dr. George Richerson, Chair of the Department of Neuroscience to discuss Sleep Medicine.
  • Dr. Wong (Chair of Anesthesia) is working with me and two different groups of faculty regarding pediatric cardiology anesthesia opportunities and the structure of how anesthesia will be handled in the new Children’s Hospital.  We are also working on joint services to improve sedation and pain management.

Children’s Hospital

  • Scott Turner provided an update regarding progress at the Children’s Hospital at a Faculty Lunch in June.  He was pleased to share that at the time of his presentation, everything is on schedule for completion and opening of the Children’s Hospital on December 10th.
  • The Children’s Hospital Executive Oversight Committee and Routine Transition Activation Planning meetings continue and are very important as we move closer to completion of the CH.

Patient Experience

With the opening of a brand new, state of the art children’s hospital will come an even higher expectation from our patients and their families to receive state of the art, world-class service when they are under our care.  Patients and their families will experience beautiful spaces, the most up-to-date technology, and more and better amenities than we have ever been able to provide; but what will stay with our patients, and truly form their perception of their care is the empathy, compassion and respect with which we treat them.  I am privileged to work with faculty and staff that understand this, and I see evidence every day that the patient experience is as important to you as it is to our patients.   Thank you.


Raphael Hirsch, M.D.

Professor and Chair, Stead Family Department of Pediatrics