September Department Highlights

Muscular Dystrophy Association kicked off local “fill the boot” campaign benefiting research and clinical services at UF Health on Aug. 27

Launch event attendees.
Launch event attendees.

Local firefighters took to the streets Labor Day weekend during the Muscular Dystrophy Association “Fill the Boot” fundraising campaign. It marked the start of the annual drive to raise funds that directly benefit research and clinical services at UF Health through the Center for Pediatric Neuromuscular and Orphan Diseases at the University of Florida and the UF Health Multidisciplinary Muscular Dystrophy Association Practice. Highlighting past accomplishments and anticipated future successes, officials from the various participating organizations and two MDA families officially launched this year’s campaign.

University of Florida Department of Pediatrics and Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics Host Successful First Medical Student Forum

The 2014 Pediatric Medical Student Research Forum, first of its kind in the nation, was hosted by the Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (FCAAP) and the University of Florida Department of Pediatrics during the FCAAP annual conference Aug. 29-31 in Orlando, Florida.

The group poses for a photo at the forum.
The group poses for a photo at the forum.

More than 70 students from across the country participated in the Pediatric Medical Student Research Forum; 47 of whom shared valuable basic and clinical science research and case reports with their peers in the form of oral and poster presentations.

Forum events began with an opening reception on Friday, Aug. 29. Oral and poster presentation sessions were held Saturday, Aug. 30 and were highlighted with the keynote address, “Treatment Strategies for Rare Disease: A Personalized Approach,” presented by Barry Byrne, M.D., Ph.D. Dr. Byrne is the associate chair of pediatrics and director of the Powell Gene Therapy Center at the University of Florida. Following the day’s events, attendees discussed recommendations for a career in pediatrics with UF faculty members and the forum concluded with an award presentation. Medical students were also invited to attend FCAAP sessions on Sunday, Aug. 31, which were optional.

UF Medical Students and Faculty at the Forum.
UF Medical Students and Faculty at the Forum.

“The pediatric medical student research forum marks an important first,” said Scott Rivkees, M.D., chairman of UF’s department of pediatrics. “Never before have medical students interested in pediatrics from north to south, east to west and from coast-to-coast met to share their exciting discoveries with each other. The medical students who participated in this event left us all inspired to further our understanding and treatment of pediatric illnesses.”

The success of this year’s event and its overwhelming response proves the importance of hosting such advancement and networking opportunities for medical students. The University of Florida Department of Pediatrics and Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics look forward to making it an annual event.

Institute for Child Health Policy Appoints Lindsay Thompson, M.D., as New Associate Director of Clinical Research

Lindsay Thompson, M.D.

In an effort to spur interdisciplinary research across the University of Florida’s College of Medicine, Lindsay Thompson, M.S., M.D., associate professor of pediatrics, has been selected as the first associate director of clinical research for the Institute for Child Health Policy.

“Our goal is to enhance the institute’s existing strengths in policy and community-based research on a national level with a strong clinical emphasis,” explained Betsy Shenkman, Ph.D., director of the Institute for Child Health Policy. “Dr. Thompson is the ideal choice to strengthen our clinical focus due to her dedication to improving children’s health and advancing evidence-based research.”

Thompson currently serves as a co-investigator on two research grants run through the Institute for Child Health Policy. One study uses health information technology to improve adolescent vaccination rates, and the other aims to create quality measures for oral health in pediatric settings. As associate director, Thompson will help build more research collaborations between institute faculty and pediatric faculty, secure clinical settings as research venues and provide clinical insight for the institute’s studies. Already, work groups have been formed to explore studies spanning important areas in maternal and child health such as adverse childhood events and oral health.

“I am looking forward to increasing the amount of implementation science performed in the Department of Pediatrics and helping more clinicians be involved in health services research,” Thompson said. “I specifically hope to strengthen the training and life-long learning of current and emerging pediatricians to equip them to become physician scientists.”

The appointment of an associate director from the Department of Pediatrics also aligns with UF Health’s strategic vision of implementing research findings in clinical settings to improve the quality of care that patients receive.

“Population-based medicine is becoming ever so important to our society,” said Scott A. Rivkees, M.D., professor and chair of the Department of Pediatrics. “Dr. Thompson will allow us to expand our pediatric research program in this emerging area.”

Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) Welcomes Three New Intensivists

The UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital  Pediatric Intensive Care Unit has welcomed three new faculty members to the team.

  • Lindsay Sikora, M.D., is joining us from Jackson Memorial Hospital (Miami, FL)
  • Shruthi Mahadevaiah, M.D.,  is joining us from Nemours (Wilmington, DE)
  • Jennifer Munoz Pareda, M.D.,  is joining us from Massachusetts General Hospital (Boston, MA)

Congratulations and welcome to UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital!

UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital Launches New Website

Homepage of new website.
Homepage of new website.

UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital launched a new website on Sept. 1. Click on the following link to visit it: