Upper Airway Center

  • Meet the Team

    The Upper Airway Center, part of the Division of Pulmonary Medicine, is home to specialists with a wide variety of backgrounds and areas of focus. As a team, this diversity makes us better prepared to care for your child’s unique needs. Learn more about our faculty and staff.

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    Program Director

    A photo of Raouf Amin.

    Raouf S. Amin, MD
    Director, Division of Pulmonary Medicine

    513-636-6771

    raouf.amin@cchmc.org

    Raouf S. Amin, MD

    Director, Division of Pulmonary Medicine

    Director, Rare Lung Diseases Program

    Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics

    Phone: 513-636-6771

    Fax: 513-636-4615

    Email: raouf.amin@cchmc.org

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    Specialties

    Chronic respiratory failure; sleep disorders in children

    Biography

    Raouf S. Amin, MD, is a professor of pediatrics at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center and the director of the Division of Pulmonary Medicine. He graduated from the University of Ain Shams in Cairo Egypt in 1977. Dr. Amin received clinical training in the United Kingdom and the United States. He completed a pulmonary fellowship at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center in 1993. His research focus is on cardiovascular morbidity of sleep disordered breathing in children. He has several funded protocols from the National Institute of Health.

    Education and Training

    MD: Aim Shams University, Cairo Egypt, 1978.

    Residency: Pediatrics; Michigan State University, Flint, MI.

    Certification: Pediatrics 1990; Pediatric Pulmonary Medicine 1994; Sleep Medicine 1995.

    Publications

    View PubMed Publications

    Surgical Director

    A photo of Stacey Ishman.

    Stacey L. Ishman, MD, MPH
    Surgical Director, Upper Airway Center

    513-636-4881

    stacey.ishman@cchmc.org

    Stacey L. Ishman, MD, MPH

    Surgical Director, Upper Airway Center

    Associate Professor, UC Department of Otolaryngology, Head & Neck Surge

    Phone: 513-636-4881

    Email: stacey.ishman@cchmc.org

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    Education and Training

    BS:  Biology/Vertebrate  Physiology, The Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA, 1992.

    BA: Political Science, The Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA, 1992.

    MD: Medicine, Rush Medical College, Chicago, IL, 2000.

    Internship: General Surgery, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI, 2001.

    Residency: Otolaryngology, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI, 2005.

    Fellowship: Pediatric Otolaryngology, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, 2006.

    Advanced Training: Sleep Medicine, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, 2007.

    MPH: Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD, 2010.

    Program Manager

    Pulmonology Medicine

    A photo of Barbara Chini.

    Barbara Chini, MD
    Director, Pulmonary Fellowship Program

    513-636-6771

    barb.chini@cchmc.org

    Barbara Chini, MD

    Director, Pulmonary Fellowship Program

    Assistant Cystic Fibrosis Center Director, Division of Pulmonary Medicine

    Associate Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics

    Phone: 513-636-6771

    Fax: 513-636-4615

    Email: barb.chini@cchmc.org

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    Education and Training

    BS: University of Notre Dame Notre Dame, IN, 1986.

    MD: Vanderbilt University Medical School, Nashville, TN, 1990.

    Internship: Pediatrics, University of Rochester Medical Center Pediatrics, Rochester, NY, 1991.

    Residency: Pediatrics, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY, 1993.

    Fellowships: University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY, 1994; Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH, 1997.

    Publications

    View PubMed Publications
    A photo of Narong Simakajornboon.

    Narong Simakajornboon, MD
    Director, Sleep Disorders Center

    513-636-6771

    sleep@cchmc.org

    Narong Simakajornboon, MD

    Director, Sleep Disorders Center

    Director, Sleep Medicine Fellowship Program

    Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics

    Phone: 513-636-6771

    Fax: 513-636-4615

    Email: sleep@cchmc.org

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    Specialties

    Clinical Interests

    Pediatric sleep disorders; respiratory control disorders

    Research Interests

    Effect of nicotine exposure on the developing brainstem

    Education and Training

    MD: Faculty of Medicine, Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University, Thailand, 1992.

    Residency: Pediatrics, Children's Hospital of Michigan, Detroit, MI.

    Fellowship: Pediatric Pulmonology and Sleep Medicine, Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans, LA.

    Publications

    View PubMed Publications

    Otolaryngology

    A photo of Sally R. Shott, MD.

    Sally R. Shott, MD
    Pediatric Otolaryngologist

    513-636-4355

    sally.shott@cchmc.org

    Sally R. Shott, MD

    Pediatric Otolaryngologist

    Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics

    UC Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery

    Phone: 513-636-4355

    Fax: 513-636-8133

    Email: sally.shott@cchmc.org

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    Specialties

    Specific ear, nose and throat (ENT) problems relating to down syndrome patients

    Biography

    Sally R. Shott, MD, is a member of the American Board of Otolaryngology and specializes in treating children. Dr. Shott is affiliated with a private practice, in addition to her duties as an associate professor at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center and the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.

    Dr. Shott treats children with otologic disease, sinus disease and provides airway management. She has a special interest in children with Down syndrome and the specific medical issues they face.

    In addition to ongoing research, Dr. Shott performs surgery and sees patients at numerous locations, making patient care more convenient for families.

    In 2006 Shott was elected the president of the Society of Ear, Nose, and Throat Advances in Children - also known as SENTAC.

    Education and Training

    MD: University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, OH, 1982.

    Residency: University of Cincinnati Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH, General Surgery, 1982 to 1983; University of Cincinnati Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH, Otolaryngology, 1983 to 1987.

    Fellowship: Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH, Pediatric Otolaryngology, 1987.

    Certification: American Board of Otolaryngology, 1988.

    Publications

    View PubMed Publications

    Plastic Surgery

    A photo of David Billmire.

    David A. Billmire, MD, FACS, FAAP
    Director, Plastic Surgery

    513-636-7181

    David A. Billmire, MD, FACS, FAAP

    Director, Plastic Surgery

    Associate Professor, UC Department of Surgery

    UC Department of Pediatrics

    Phone: 513-636-7181

    Fax: 513-636-7182

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    Specialties

    Clinical Interests

    Craniofacial problems; cleft lip and palate surgery; craniosynostosis surgery 

    Research Interests

    Cellular signaling in craniosynostosis 

    Biography

    David A. Billmire, MD, has practiced plastic surgery in the Cincinnati area since 1983. He has centered his practice around pediatric patients, although he accepts select adult patients.

    He received his BS and MD from Ohio State University. He completed training in general surgery and plastic surgery at the University of Cincinnati. His fellowship training included pediatric and craniofacial surgery at the Foundation for Craniofacial Deformities at the Baylor University Hospital and Children's Hospital of Dallas, Texas and aesthetic surgery training in Miami, Fla.

    Dr. Billmire is the director of Plastic Surgery at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. He has been at the forefront of craniofacial surgery, introducing craniofacial bone distraction to the Cincinnati area in 1994. He is well known and respected by his colleagues and has organized an annual regional meeting for the exchange of ideas and knowledge.

    He has served as the president of the Ohio Valley Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and a as guest examiner for the qualifying exam of the American Board of Plastic Surgery.

    Dr. Billmire's current clinical research centers on facial bone growth after severe burns and chemical signaling defects in craniosynostosis

    Education and Training

    MD: Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, 1975.

    Residency: General Surgery, University of Cincinnati Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio; Plastic Surgery, University of Cincinnati Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio.

    Fellowship: Aesthetic Surgery, Miami, Florida; Craniomaxillofacial Surgery, Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas, Texas.

    Certification: Surgery, 1983; Plastic Surgery, 1985.

    Christopher B. Gordon, MD

    Associate Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics

    UC Department of Surgery

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    Biography

    Christopher Gordon, MD, sees patients at the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center Burnet Campus, Children's Outpatient Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati Children's Mason Campus. His clinical interests include distraction of the facial skeleton for obstructive apnea, aesthetic jaw surgery, novel approaches to the treatment of cleft lip and palate and endoscopic craniofacial surgery. Dr. Gordon's research focuses on the molecular biology of bone growth and the genetic basis for facial clefting.

    Education and Training

    MD: University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 1989.

    Residency: Union Memorial Hospital, Baltimore, Maryland, 1993; University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky, 1995; Chief Resident, University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky, 1996.

    Fellowships: Department of Surgery, Johns Hopkins University, 1994; Craniomaxillofacial / Minimally invasive Plastic Surgery, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Mexico City, Mexico, 1997; Craniofacial and Aesthetic Surgery, Hospital M. Gea Gonzalez, Mexico City, Mexico, 1998.

    Certification: Board Certified, American Board of Plastic Surgery.

    Publications

    View PubMed Publications

    Brian S. Pan, MD

    Assistant Professor, UC Department of Surgery

    UC Department of Pediatrics

    Phone: 513-636-7181

    Email: brian.pan@cchmc.org

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    Education and Training

    BS: Biology, Creighton University, Omaha, NE, 2000.

    MD: Creighton University School of Medicine, Omaha, NE, 2004.

    Residency: Integrated Plastic Surgery Residency,  University of Cincinnati. Cincinnati, OH, 2009; Chief Plastic Surgery Resident University of Cincinnati. Cincinnati, OH, 2010.

    Fellowships: Aesthetic Surgery Visiting Fellowship,  Miami, FL 2009; Craniofacial and Pediatric Plastic Surgery Visiting Fellowship The Hospital for Sick Children. Toronto, Ontario, 2011; Craniofacial and Pediatric Plastic Surgery Fellowship Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. Cincinnati, OH, 2011.

    Publications

    Radiology

    A photo of Robert J. Fleck.

    Robert J. Fleck, MD
    Radiologist, Department of Radiology and Medical Imaging

    513-636-9941

    robert.fleck@cchmc.org

    Robert J. Fleck, MD

    Radiologist, Department of Radiology and Medical Imaging

    Division Chief, Cardiac MRI

    Assistant Professor, UC Department of Radiology

    Phone: 513-636-9941

    Fax: 513-636-8145

    Email: robert.fleck@cchmc.org

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    Specialties

    Airway, cardiac and pulmonary imaging

    Biography

    Dr. Fleck did his radiology training while in the Navy. He served his final two years in the Navy as the pediatric radiologist at Naval Medical Center San Diego with additional duty as radiology department head on the hospital ship MERCY. Dr. Fleck came to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in November of 2003 to be a general pediatric radiologist and to develop the cardiac magnetic resonance imaging program. Dr. Fleck is currently the section chief for cardiac imaging and continues clinical cardiac imaging and research.

    Much of Dr. Fleck’s research focuses on the cardiopulmonary system with NIH grant support to investigate the use of MRI in evaluating cystic fibrosis and a second grant to use MRI data to create a model of airway collapse in sleep apnea.

    Education and Training

    MD: University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, 1991.

    Residency: Naval Medical Center, San Diego, CA, 1998.

    Fellowship: Children's Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH, 2001.

    Certification: American Board of Radiology, 1998; Pediatric Radiology, 2002, 2012.

    Publications

    View PubMed Publications

    Grants

    RO1 Early CF Lung Disease in Humans. Co-Investigator. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Oct 2012-Oct 2016.

    RO1 Dynamic Modeling of Obstructive Sleep Apnea in Down Syndrome. Co-Principal Investigator. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. 2010-2014.

    Ohio Third Frontier. Co-Investigator. ODOTECH11. FY 2014.

    Prediction of Sleep-Disordered Breathing Based on Airway Anatomy and Flow in Turner Syndrome Patients. Co-Investigator. CREFF. 2013-2014.

    Genetics

    A photo of Howard Saal.

    Howard M. Saal, MD, FACMG
    Director, Clinical Genetics

    513-636-2438

    howard.saal@cchmc.org

    Howard M. Saal, MD, FACMG

    Director, Clinical Genetics

    Director, Cytogenetics Laboratory

    Co-Director, 22Q-VCFS Center

    Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics

    Phone: 513-636-2438

    Fax: 513-636-7297

    Email: howard.saal@cchmc.org

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    Specialties

    Clinical Interests

    Craniofacial disorders, community genetics, growth disorders, 22Q-VCFS

    Research Interests

    Genetic etiologies and natural histories of craniofacial disorders and new syndrome delineation

    Biography

    Howard M. Saal, MD, a highly respected clinical geneticist and dysmorphologist, is the head of the section of Clinical Genetics in the Division of Human Genetics at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. In addition to being board certified in clinical genetics and pediatrics, Dr. Saal is a board certified cytogeneticist.

    Early in his career, he was the Director of the Cytogenetics Laboratory at the University of Connecticut Health Center, where he was also the associate director of the Craniofacial Disorders Team.

    Dr. Saal is interested in the genetic causes of craniofacial disorders, especially cleft lip and cleft palate. He also has a significant interest in the natural history of genetic conditions, and has authored or co-authored numerous publications centering on the natural history and management of various genetic conditions, with special attention to neurofibromatosis, cleft lip, cleft palate, Pierre Robin sequence and 22Q-VCFS.

    After leaving Connecticut, Dr. Saal went to Children's National Medical Center in Washington, DC, where he was the Vice-Chairman of the Department of Medical Genetics and co-director of the Craniofacial Center. His clinical activities included establishment of the Neurofibromatosis Clinic, the Biochemical Genetics Clinic, and the multidisciplinary Skeletal Dysplasia Clinic with his colleagues at Children's National Medical Center. His interest in community activities led to his being named to the Health Professionals Advisory Committee and later to the Board of Directors of the National Capital Area March of Dimes.

    Dr. Saal joined the staff at Cincinnati Children's in 1993 as the Head of Clinical Genetics. He has been an active participant in numerous clinical settings and has established the Hereditary Cancer Program, a unique local resource for families with familial and inherited cancers.

    Dr. Saal is involved in community activities and has established urban genetics outreach clinics at three sites in Hamilton County. He has also been appointed as acting director of the Craniofacial Center at Cincinnati Children's, where he continues to cultivate his interests in the care of children with craniofacial disorders.

    Education and Training

    MD: Wayne State University, Detroit, MI, 1975-1979.

    Internship: University of Connecticut Integrated Program in Pediatrics, Farmington, CT, 1979-1980.

    Residency: University of Connecticut Integrated Program in Pediatrics, Farmington, CT, 1980-1982.

    Fellowship: University of Washington School of Medicine Division of Medical Genetics, Seattle, WA, 1982-1984.

    Certification: American Board of Medical Genetics in Cytogenetics and Clinical Genetics, 1984; American Board of Pediatrics, 1985.

    Publications

    View PubMed Publications

    Thomas Center for Down Syndrome

    A photo of Sonya Oppenheimer.

    Sonya G. Oppenheimer, MD
    Pediatrician, Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics

    513-636-4611

    sonya.oppenheimer@cchmc.org

    Sonya G. Oppenheimer, MD

    Pediatrician, Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics

    Director, Thomas Center for Down Syndrome

    Emerita, UC Department of Pediatrics

    Phone: 513-636-4611

    Fax: 513-636-7361

    Email: sonya.oppenheimer@cchmc.org

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    Specialties

    Biography

    Sonya Oppenheimer, MD, has been committed to the field of developmental disabilities her entire professional career. She recently retired as director of the Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, and director of the University Affiliated Cincinnati Center for Developmental Disorders, which was established in 1946 and is recognized nationally and internationally as a center for children with developmental problems.

    The Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics provides interdisciplinary training programs funded by the Maternal Child Health Bureau for the past 27 years. The center is also recognized for its community outreach programs, clinical service programs, diagnosis and treatment program, and research programs.

    Dr. Oppenheimer is recognized as an expert in spina bifida and has been director of the UACCDD multidisciplinary spina bifida program established in 1965. She has served on the professional advisory board of the Spina Bifida Association of America and the Cincinnati Spina Bifida Association.

    Under her direction, Dr. Oppenheimer co-sponsored three International conferences on Spina Bifida. Along with Marlene Lutkenhoff, Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics Clinic nurse specialist, Dr. Oppenheimer recently co-authored a book for teenagers and young adults, Spinabilities -- A Young Person's Guide to Spina Bifida, and a new book titled Children with Spina Bifida -- A Parent's Guide is in press for families and professionals.

    Dr. Oppenheimer has served on the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on children with disabilities and currently chairs the Ohio Department of Health Committee on children with disabilities and the joint Myelomeningocele Committee. She serves as the governor appointed pediatrician on the State Early Intervention Council.

    Dr. Oppenheimer joined the Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics and Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center in 1969. Prior to being appointed director of the division, she served as the director of the Department of Pediatrics of the Cincinnati Center for Developmental Disorders.

    Dr. Oppenheimer attended Radcliff College Boston, Mather College Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, and earned her medical degree from Case Western Reserve University. She had a developmental fellowship at Case Western Reserve University under the direction of Dr. Benjamin Spock and Dr. John Kennell.

    Education and Training

    MD: Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH.

    Residency: Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH. 

    Certification: Board Certified American Board of Pediatrics.

    Publications