The Cincinnati Children's Research Foundation recognizes faculty achievement in research, clinical care, education, entrepreneurship, mentoring, advocacy and service.
Ryan Moore, MD
Division of Cardiology
When a child is born with a congenital heart defect, families must
quickly learn about their child’s condition and the treatments
available. Ryan Moore, MD, applied his medical and artistic talents
to helping families visualize and understand multiple types of
heart defects and repairs.
During his fellowship, Dr. Moore partnered with the Cincinnati
Children’s animation team to create the Heartpedia mobile app.
This interactive, 3D app shows anatomically accurate images and
animations to educate families, trainees and nurses.
Dr. Moore strongly advocated for Heartpedia to be a free
download to reach as many people as possible. To date there
have been 55,000 downloads in over 100 countries.
In addition, Dr. Moore developed a 3D printing program and is
working on translating it for use in virtual reality. Both Heartpedia
and the 3D printing program are now used to teach families,
helping them provide true informed consent, ensuring safer care
and improving the patient-family experience.
Dr. Moore’s innovations are helping to further Cincinnati
Children’s mission to provide excellent care in an environment
that is focused on patients and families.
Mary Staat, MD, MPH
Division of Infectious Diseases
Mary Staat, MD, MPH, is the founding director of the International
Adoption Center (IAC). Dr. Staat is recognized nationally for
her top-tier research on vaccine safety and efficacy and the
epidemiology of childhood infections, but she is most passionate
about her work with international adoptees and their families.
She is deeply devoted to the children and families the IAC
serves, and is both the motivational and hands-on leader of the
talented team she has assembled. Under Dr. Staat’s direction,
the IAC has become one of the leading centers of its kind in the
world, and she advocates nationally and internationally for the
welfare of this special population.
As a well-funded and respected researcher, Dr. Staat’s dedication
to the IAC is not required for her to be successful in her academic
and clinical pursuits, yet she devotes significant effort to helping
adoptees and their families. The work is done from the goodness
of her heart, and it’s clear that the families she serves are grateful
for the impact she has had on their lives.
Nicolas Madsen, MD, MPH
Nicolas Madsen, MD, MPH, was appointed medical director of
inpatient Cardiology after just one year at Cincinnati Children’s.
“He came to us with a toolbox of skills, but nobody could have
anticipated the trajectory of his clinical contributions,” wrote
Andrew Redington, MD, in his letter of nomination.
Dr. Madsen transformed inpatient care in the Heart Institute.
He built a multidisciplinary team of young clinicians and senior
faculty. He worked with the Cardiac ICU team to develop
comprehensive protocols for postoperative management.
Thanks to the reduction in average length of stay the protocols
produced, the Heart Institute was able to nearly double surgical
cases with little or no increase in human or hospital resources.
While doing this work, Dr. Madsen also co-founded, and is
executive director of, a national consortium for inpatient teams.
This learning collaborative includes over 20 major institutions.
Locally, he has organized the Heart Institute’s Patient and Family
Day for four years, and has served as medical director of Camp
Joyful Hearts and the Heart Institute Family Camp since 2013.
Angela Statile, MD, MEd
Division of Hospital Medicine
Angela Statile, MD, MEd, is an exceptional clinician and educator
who is leading large-scale quality improvement efforts to achieve
timely patient discharge, better care transitions, and less costly care.
As medical director for Hospital Medicine’s Burnet Campus
clinical services, she works with her team to improve flow and
discharge efficiency through timely recognition of patients
medically ready for safe discharge. As a result, over 80% of
Hospital Medicine patients are discharged within two hours of
meeting medically ready goals.
Dr. Statile’s leadership was a major driver in increasing the timely
discharge of medically complex patients, and subsequently,
similar programs have spread to 80% of the hospital’s medical
and surgical units. Dr. Statile also has been recognized at
conferences where she details timelines of discharge work in
medically complex patients.
In addition, Dr. Statile is an institutional operations leader who
implements key initiatives and nurtures partnerships across
disciplines. She led implementation of high flow nasal cannula
use in patients with bronchiolitis admitted to A6. As a result, fewer
infants hospitalized with bronchiolitis require ICU admission.
Michael Gelfand, MD
Department of Radiology
Michael Gelfand, MD, began his pediatric training here in 1973,
and completed a second residency in nuclear medicine at UC
in 1977—becoming one of the nation’s first pediatric nuclear
Over his 40-year career in nuclear medicine, he has been
instrumental in defining the anatomic and functional imaging of sickle
cell disease, biliary atresia, urinary tract infections, osteomyelitis,
renal obstruction, neoplasms, and many other pediatric diseases.
Dr. Gelfand modernized our imaging of neuroblastoma and
brought therapeutic MIBG treatment to Cincinnati Children’s. He
has been a key member of the thyroid cancer team. Under his
leadership, Cincinnati Children’s began PET imaging, which has
been invaluable in diagnosing and monitoring oncology patients.
Dr. Gelfand has a long history of working to reduce radiation
doses in children, from a paper in 1978 to his recent work leading
a nationwide dose reduction effort that defined new standards for
imaging in North America.
Dr. Gelfand has been the primary teacher of pediatric nuclear
medicine to hundreds of fellows and residents. He has influenced
pediatric nuclear medicine worldwide.
Daniel Schumacher, MD, MEd
Division of Emergency Medicine
Daniel Schumacher, MD, MEd, completed his Emergency
Medicine fellowship and MEd in 2012, and has already built an
impressive reputation as a leader in the field of competency based
His research focuses on the association between entrustment
decisions and indicators of quality care. He is developing new,
more meaningful, valid and reliable performance assessments to
judge physicians’ competence and ability to provide high-quality
care. Colleagues who nominated him believe his research will
revolutionize physician training and credentialing, and ensure
that patients receive the best care possible.
Dr. Schumacher chairs the Research, Innovation, and Scholarship
in Education Group within Emergency Medicine. He has over 38
peer-reviewed publications and has given over 25 workshops
at national meetings. He has been a member of the Pediatrics
Milestone Project Working Group, the International Competency based
Medical Education Collaborators group, and the Josiah
Macy Jr. Foundation Conference.
While his scholarly achievements are impressive, he is also a
skilled clinician, a dedicated teacher and a mentor to about 15
students, residents and faculty.
Ndidi Unaka, MD, MEd
Ndidi Unaka, MD, MEd, is an exemplary educator and institutional
leader, who is integral to Cincinnati Children’s educational mission.
As a hospitalist, she leads multidisciplinary teams on daily rounds
and regularly leads formal educational conferences for residents.
She’s known for her ability to find the teachable moment and for
her creative, interactive approach to education. She received the
Faculty Teaching Award from the 2015 graduating residency class.
Dr. Unaka has been associate director of the Pediatric Residency
Program since 2011. In this role, she contributes to the recruitment
of trainees and mentors many residents in career planning,
research project development and personal wellness.
She designed and leads the quality improvement educational
effort for pediatric residents, who now engage in 6-month
longitudinal projects coached by QI-trained faculty members
under her supervision.
Dr. Unaka also served as the director of the Continuing Medical
Education program for the 2016-17 academic year, and recently
assumed the role of chair elect of the executive committee of the
Association of Pediatric Program Directors.
Dominick “Nick” DeBlasio, MD, MEd
Division of General and Community Pediatrics
Nick DeBlasio, MD, MEd, directs the continuity clinics for the
Pediatric Primary Care Center (PPCC) and the Hopple Street
Health Center, and also is PPCC site director for third-year medical
students. In these roles he mentors and oversees the education of
about 80 residents and 100 medical students annually.
Learners and mentees consistently give him the highest evaluations.
He has been honored with the Outstanding Resident Teaching
Award, General Pediatrics Graduating Resident Award, and the
Raymond Baker Excellence in Primary Care Education Award.
Dr. DeBlasio takes a scholarly approach to educational projects.
After earning his MEd in 2014, he entered the Academic Pediatric
Association’s Educational Scholars Program, a highly competitive
educator faculty development program. He is currently collaborating
with educators at three sites on evaluating the impact of parent
feedback on resident performance in primary care.
His educational and mentoring contributions include evaluating
the impact of ACGME changes to duty hour regulations, creating
the resident as teacher curriculum, developing bedside evaluation
tools, and writing and critiquing questions for the General
Pediatrics certifying exam.
Samir Shah, MD, MSCE
Samir Shah, MD, MSCE, has been primary research mentor
to more than 75 medical students, residents, fellows, junior
faculty and post-doctoral students. He has developed young,
promising clinical leaders in the Division of Hospital Medicine
and contributed nationally to the growth of the field. Eleven of
his grateful mentees at Cincinnati Children’s nominated him “for
his generous mentorship of us . . . and on behalf of many, many
Dr. Shah pushes mentees to critically evaluate issues, formulate
research questions that address knowledge gaps, answer critical
questions and improve care. He gives mentees independence,
but is there with a guiding hand when it’s needed.
Over 100 of his research publications were co-authored with
mentees, and his mentees have been extremely successful in
securing external funding. Five are currently funded by career
development awards. Many of his mentees—including a large
number of women—are now in leadership roles, including leaders
in operations, safety, quality and education; division director;
associate chief of staff; senior medical director; and residency
Samantha Brugmann, PhD
Division of Plastic Surgery; Division of Developmental Biology
Samantha Brugmann, PhD, has achieved a remarkable level
of success at an early stage of her research career. She was
recruited to Cincinnati Children’s in 2011, after she completed
postdoctoral training at Stanford, where she developed an
interest in craniofacial development.
Dr. Brugmann’s research focuses on the molecular, cellular and
genetic basis for craniofacial anomalies caused by defects in
the primary cilia. Her research has resulted in significant external
funding and national honors.
In 2016, she received the Presidential Early Career Award
for Scientists and Engineers, presented at the White House.
This highly prestigious award documents her insight and
effectiveness. In 2017, she received a Cincinnati Children’s
Research Foundation endowed scholar chair to support her
ongoing investigations. And in another achievement in 2017,
Dr. Brugmann received a coveted R35 grant from the NIH.
Describing her as one of our most outstanding research
faculty, Daniel von Allmen, MD, wrote: “There are many senior
investigators across the country who would love to list these
accomplishments on their CV.”
Punam Malik, MD
Division of Experimental Hematology and Cancer Biology
Punam Malik, MD, has focused much of her career on the possibility
of curing sickle cell disease through gene transfer techniques.
Dr. Malik has worked persistently and creatively over 20 years
to achieve her goal. She has been at the forefront of vector
development for safe gene transfer. She devised effective
strategies and novel approaches. She optimized the gamma
globin gene sequence to produce a “super fetal hemoglobin”
model that is ideally suited for gene transfer studies in humans. '
Dr. Malik worked for years to design a gene therapy protocol that
could pass scientific and ethical review by study sections and the
IRB, while also receiving approvals by the federal Recombinant
DNA Advisory Committee and our local patient interest group.
These years of effort culminated with the first gene transfer
procedure into a sickle cell patient at Cincinnati Children’s in
2017. The patient is doing well. While it is too early to say whether
Dr. Malik’s procedure will be curative, the entire scientific process
has been a resounding success.
Christopher Mayhew, PhD
Division of Developmental Biology
Christopher Mayhew, PhD, director of the Pluripotent Stem Cell
Facility (PSCF), has been a driving force behind establishing
and providing cutting-edge pluripotent stem cell technologies
at Cincinnati Children’s.
Following the discovery of induced pluripotent stem cells,
Dr. Mayhew realized Cincinnati Children’s needed this
technology. Within a year, he was able to provide generation
of iPSCs as a core service. The PSCF has now generated
hundreds of iPSC lines, resulting in dozens of papers and
millions of dollars of new NIH funding.
He also established one of the first human PSC training facilities
and the first human intestinal organoid training course in the
world. The PSCF and its training facilities have been the crown
jewel in numerous program project grant applications.
Dr. Mayhew realized the importance of bringing genome editing
to the users of the human PSC core.
He was able to develop
CRISPR editing technologies and now offers it as a core service.
His initiative and innovation have kept the PSCF at the forefront
of the field, allowing our scientists to explore new areas of
Paul Samuels, MD
Department of Anesthesia
Paul Samuels, MD, has stood out as an outstanding physician,
educator and collaborator throughout his 23 years at Cincinnati
Children’s. As a longtime member of the Medical Staff’s
Professional Health Committee and chair since 2014, he has
had a significant impact on the professional and personal lives of
clinicians through advocacy for physician health and well-being.
He has championed assistance, rehabilitation, resiliency and
optimizing clinical performance for impaired physicians and
those in crisis.
In 2016, Dr. Samuels partnered with the Lindner Center of HOPE
to give members of the Medical Staff direct, immediate access
(within 24-48 hours) to an adult-trained psychiatrist/psychologist.
During a 2017 meeting of tristate medical staff leaders interested
in improving physician well-being, it became apparent that no
other Medical Staff had developed a process for immediate
access to mental health services. This group, now the Physician
Wellness: Community Leadership Committee, is developing a
system modeled on the process Dr. Samuels designed. Thanks
to his leadership and collaborative style, hospitals are partnering
to support and advocate for the well-being of the physicians
on their staff.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center
Drs. Lee Denson, Michael Rosen, Phillip Minar, Richard Falcone, Jason
Frischer, Michael Mellon, Peter Margolis, Margaret Collins, Simon Hogan
The Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center—with physicians from
Gastroenterology, Surgery, Behavioral and Clinical Psychology,
the Anderson Center, Pathology and Allergy and Immunology—
provides innovative, well-coordinated multidisciplinary care for
children with very challenging diseases.
The IBD team aligns individual expertise with the continuum of
care, including timely review of medical records prior to visits,
consultations, and biopsy review in an IBD-Pathology session with
team members. Care protocols meet and exceed QI principles,
optimizing nutritional and medical treatment, drug level monitoring
and clinical response.
The IBD team also excels in research and innovation. The team
engages patients in ongoing QI projects. Patient blood and tissue
biopsies are analyzed in studies of genetics, pathogenesis and
biomarkers of IBD, and as part of clinical trials. The team is one
of the founding members of the ImproveCareNow network, a
clinical consortium that sets the national standard of care for IBD
patients across the US.
The IBD Center’s innovative, collaborative approach has become
a model for other centers in the US and abroad.
Learning Networks Team
Drs. Jeff Anderson, Jennifer Angeli, Julia Anixt, Andy Beck, William Brinkman, Maria Britto, Courtney Brown, Adam Carle, Stuart Goldstein, Samuel Hanke, David Hartley, David Hooper, Srikant Iyer, Robert Kahn, Heather Kaplan, Uma Kotagal, Carole Lannon, Ellen Lipstein, Angela Lorts, Maurizio Macaluso, Peter Margolis, Keith Marsolo, Esi Morgan, Steve Muething, Lisa Opipari, Carley Riley, Michael Seid, Kathleen Walsh
The National Academy of Sciences has called for development
of a learning healthcare system to improve functioning of the
healthcare system and patient outcomes.
Over the last 10 years, the Anderson Center has designed,
developed, implemented and studied networked learning health
systems. Today it supports nine learning networks encompassing
558 teams across 286 care organizations in 43 states, the District
of Columbia, and five countries.
These networks have reduced serious safety events (50%),
decreased mortality from hypoplastic left heart syndrome during
the inter-surgery period (40%), reduced elective preterm delivery
(75%), and increased the proportion of children with IBD in
Anderson Center and affiliated faculty have been awarded over
$50 million in federal research funding to develop and study
learning networks, and to conduct clinical studies using the
learning network infrastructure.
These accomplishments were only possible because of large scale,
multidisciplinary participation. This is truly a “big science”
model that involves close to 100 individuals across Cincinnati
Children’s who have developed the infrastructure for the science
and practice of learning networks.
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