Dr. Avery Receives YOU Make a Difference Award

Congratulations to Dr. Kristen Avery (PL-3) on her recent positive feedback and YOU Make a Difference Award from a family’s nomination. From the nomination:

“Dr. Avery has been spectacular since the moment we have met her. When our son was born in July, he lost weight at his first appointment so we had more regularly scheduled appointments with Dr. Avery. She always spent so much time with us and really made sure that we felt prepared and knew how to help our son gain weight. She talked through all of our questions and was so kind with us and our son. We chose to follow her to North Liberty Pediatrics even though it adds an additional drive because she is an exceptional doctor…Dr. Avery was compassionate and so helpful to us as new time parents. She was so good with our son and will do amazing things throughout her career.”

Patient Story Lauding Providers

A parent uploaded praise through the “Share Your Story” link on the children’s hospital website praising several providers, including Drs. Adam Brown and Lori Christensen (General Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine); and Dr. Christoph Randak (Pulmonary Medicine).

“In September of 2019, AJ was diagnosed with RSV and hospitalized for two days. Fast forward to the first week of February 2020 and AJ was admitted again, but for 3 different viruses this time; the common human coronavirus, parainfluenza, and RSV once again. Different treatments and medications were attempted, but her cough and “junkiness” just wouldn’t go away. It was a CT scan in mid-March (near the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak) that confirmed a growing mediastinal mass in her chest, which was starting to bump up against her heart and one of her lungs….and she went into surgery to remove the mass less than one week after the CT scan. I was consistently updated during her surgery and all of her care team members spoke to me in a way that I could understand, while maintaining the extreme detail that I desired. From her first stay at Stead to (hopefully!) her last, I can’t speak highly enough about how everything was handled! Putting the life of my child in someone else’s hands was a very nerve-racking, gut-wrenching ordeal for me; especially with her being so young AND during the outbreak of COVID-19. However, I never had a single shred of doubt in her care team at any point in the process and their professionalism, while maintaining the utmost compassion, is unparalleled!”


Glowing Peer Comment for Dr. Bhoojhawon

Congratulations to Dr. Guru Bhoojhawon (General Pediatrics, hospitalist) on his glowing peer comment lately:

“I wanted to bring your attention to Dr. Guru Bhoojhawon and his excellent and timely care of a perioperative patient who presented for elective surgery today but had poorly controlled asthma and wheezing. We couldn’t do surgery as planned given her reactive airway, but Dr. Bhoojhawon came and saw the patient right away in the pre-op holding area which was immensely helpful to the patient and her mother (who had been struggling to get the patient’s local primary care doctor to assess the child for asthma for over a year with multiple admissions, oral steroid courses, et al.). He saw to follow-up when ordering medications for the patient on an outpatient basis and further followed up with the mother when one of the medications ended up not being covered by the patient’s insurance and had to be switched for another.

I was blown away by Dr. Bhoojhawon’s professionalism, promptness, and attention to detail when talking to the patient’s mother. He is a credit to your department and he really helped us out today when I consulted him. Thanks for having wonderful pediatric hospitalists like Dr. Bhoojhawon in your department!”

Martha herbst, MD
Clinical assistant professor, anesthesiology

Cardiology and Genetics Combine to Solve Medical Mystery

“An 11-year-old boy playing baseball stops running, clutches his chest and falls to the ground. He cannot be resuscitated. One of his brothers survives a similar attack and no one can figure out why, until a medical team at the University of Iowa discovered an unknown genetic disorder.”

Charity Nebbe, from Iowa Public Radio’s Talk of Iowa podcast, talked with Dr. Ian Law (Cardiology) and Hannah Bombei, MS, CGC (Medical Genetics and Genomics) to discuss their years of testing and research to stop a disease plaguing an Iowa Mennonite family of eight.

BMT Program Now a Member of PIDTC

Under the leadership of Dr. Arun Modi (Hematology/Oncology), the Bone Marrow Transplant (BMT) program is now a part of the Primary Immune Deficiency Treatment Consortium (PIDTC) – an NIH-funded consortium of select children’s hospitals involved in the diagnosis, cutting-edge research, and new clinical trials for Primary Immune deficiency disorders.

This is a great honor and achievement to be included in the PIDTC. “This is a feather in the cap of Dr. Modi and his BMT team”, says Dr. Yatin Vyas, Division Director for Hematology/Oncology.

Neonatal Hemodynamics Features in Children’s Hospital Today Magazine

The neonatal hemodynamics program within the Division of Neonatology was the feature of an advertisement in the winter 2020 edition of Children’s Hospital Today, a news magazine of the Children’s Hospital Association. The 2-page spread featured quotes from Dr. Patrick McNamara (Division Director) and Dr. Regan Giesinger as a hemodynamics expert.

Patient Comments for Faculty

Several faculty received very nice comments recently for their dedication to patient care.

For Dr. Gupta:

“Dr. Gupta was amazing, he took his time with us and explained things that we had additional questions on. Our Ultrasound Tech. (Kristy or Kristin) was amazing! As the parents are nerves were high and our daughter was very scared and anxious! She did an amazing job at calming us all down and had a wonderful bedside manner!”

For Dr. Hanna:

“We had a great experience with Dr. Hanna. He helped explain things in a way that my daughter could understand and she felt very comfortable with him. Which really felt like he cared and wanted to help.”

For Dr. Koestner:

“Dr. Koestner was excellent during our stay.  He was attentive and always answered all our questions. He was wonderful.”

NICU Praised in New Book


Journalist and mother Sarah DiGregorio praises the UI NICU in her new book, “Early,” (Harper Collins, 2020) a deeply personal study of premature birth in the United States.

Inspired by her own harrowing experience giving birth to her premature daughter, the book is a compelling and empathetic work that combines memoir with rigorous reporting to tell the story of neonatology—and to meditate on the questions raised by premature birth.

Ms. DiGregorio also speaks about the book and her experiences on NPR’s On Point podcast.

Specifically, page 188 of the book makes some exemplary comments at the NICU at the UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital.

Dr. Paternostro Receives Positive Patient Comments

Congratulations to Dr. Paternostro (Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics) on receiving a pair of very positive comments from families recently.

“Jena is so amazing. My daughter is a very shy, difficult to open up and Jena has helped her to work on her emotional needs. Jena has been helpful as a parent giving ideas and books that will help improve the outcome of our daughter. Thank you!”

And also:

“When the nursing/MA staff was busy rooming patients, Jena just came and got us to prevent a long wait time. This was much appreciated.”