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Gigi Chawla, MD, FAAP, spoke with the Star Tribune about the ways in which Children’s Minnesota is adapting patient visits at its clinic locations in order to provide care to children during the pandemic.

Abe Jacob, MD, FAAP, M Health Fairview chief quality officer, spoke with KARE11 about the importance of mask compliance.

Ruth Lynfield, MD, FAAP, participated in a webinar hosted by Children’s Health Network exploring epidemiological and policy considerations of COVID-19. MNAAP Executive Director Melissa DeBilzan and Lobbyist Eric Dick also participated.

Gigi Chawla, MD, MHA, FAAP, was a guest on WCCO Mid-Morning where she discussed an inflammatory condition being seen in children with COVID-19, as well as the profound impact reading has on children’s development.

Malini DeSilva, MD, FAAP, spoke with the Star TribuneSt. Paul Pioneer Press, and MinnPost about the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) that indicated a drop in childhood vaccinations during the COVID-19 pandemic, which Dr. DeSilva co-authored.

Madeleine Gagnon, MD, FAAP, spoke with Fox9 about the rare inflammatory condition being seen in children with COVID-19.

Dawn Martin, MD, FAAP, spoke to the Star Tribune about the importance of childhood vaccinations and well child visits during the pandemic.

Andrew Olson, MD, FAAP, FACP, was quoted in a Star Tribune in an article about COVID-19 preparations and hospital discharges.

Mark Schleiss, MD, FAAP, spoke with KCBS Radio about a rare inflammatory condition being seen in children who test positive for COVID-19.

Krishnan Subrahmanian, MD, FAAP, spoke with KARE11 about the importance of rituals and resilience to help kids’ mental health during COVID-19.

MNAAP President-elect Sheldon Berkowitz, MD, FAAP, co-authored the piece “Transitioning Patients With Complex Health Care Needs to Adult Practices: Theory Versus Reality” which has been published online and will appear in the June issue of Pediatrics. Dr. Berkowitz was also published in Minnesota Physician with his article calling for prior authorization reform.

Nathan Chomilo, MD, FAAP, and Malini DeSilva, MD, FAAP, co-authored an article on racial equity in COVID-19 policy that was published on the Health Affairs blog. Dr. Chomilo also spoke with KARE11 about the importance of well child visits and immunizations during the pandemic, and the New York Times about the possible effects of the pandemic on vulnerable populations.

Hannah Lichstinn, MD, FAAP, created a YouTube series called “COVID Corner with Dr. Hannah” to answer questions about coronavirus from students at her daughter’s elementary school.

Claudia Fox, MD, MPH, FAAP, DABOM was elected to the American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Obesity Executive Committee. Her term will start on November 1, 2020.  Please reach out to her via email at lusc0001@umn.edu if you have issues related to childhood obesity that you would like to be addressed.

Julia Joseph-DiCaprio, MD, MPH, FAAP, was featured a recent Star Tribune article for her work at the Elim Church shelter to screen residents for the COVID-19 virus. You can read the article here.

Jessica Hane, MD, was named the recipient of the 2020 Walter Tunnessen Award from Medicine-Pediatrics Program Directors Association (MPPDA).

Holly Belgum, MD, wrote a children’s book to kids better understand quarantine and social distancing.

Abraham Jacob, MD, FAAP, M Health Fairview’s chief quality officer, was recently interviewed in the Star Tribune about hospital use of ultraviolet decontamination with N95 masks. Read the article here.

Pamela Gigi Chawla, MD, MHA, FAAP, has been named the new medical director of Reach Out and Read Minnesota. Dr. Chawla is currently the chief of general pediatrics at Children’s Minnesota and is a MNAAP board member. You can read more about her role with Reach Out and Read here.

MNAAP members offered their expertise and insight to the Star Tribune Magazine for the publication’s quarterly “Afraid to Ask” article. The spring article focused specifically on common questions parents and caregivers have about newborns and babies. You can see their answers here.

Several MNAAP members named 2020 Rising Stars by Mpls St.Paul magazine. According to the magazine, physicians who make the list are emerging leaders who have been recognized by peers for significant achievements in the first decade of their profession.

Janna R. Gewirtz O’Brien, MD, FAAP, and Andrew J. Barnes, MD, FAAP and collaborators published “Mental Health Outcomes Among Homeless, Runaway, and Stably Housed Youth,” in the April 2020 issue of Pediatrics.

Andrew Kiragu, MD, FAAP, past president of MNAAP, has been recognized as a fellow in the Society of Critical Care Medicine’s (SCCM) American College of Critical Care Medicine (ACCM). Fellowship recognizes individuals who have demonstrated significant contributions and have made an impact in the critical care profession at a regional, state, or national level.

The work of Emily Borman-Shoap, MD, FAAP, at the University of Minnesota to help train pediatric residents to better handle mental health issues was profiled in the American Board of Pediatrics’ annual report.

Rachel Tellez, MD, FAAP, was named March 2020 Advocacy Champion by the Minnesota Medical Association. Dr. Tellez was also recently interviewed by KARE11 to answer questions about the Coronavirus. You can see the interview here

Robert Jacobson, MD, FAAP, and Mark Schleiss, MD, FAAP, were recently quoted in a Minnesota Reformer article that shines a spotlight on the connection anti-vaccination advocates have with Minnesota legislators.

Marc Gorelick, MD, MSCE, FAAP, president and CEO of Children’s Minnesota, participated in a panel discussion hosted by Minneapolis/St.Paul Business Journal  to discuss what the future may bring to the health care industry in 2020.

Diana Cutts, MD, FAAP, has been appointed Chair of Pediatrics at Hennepin Healthcare. Dr. Cutts served as interim chair since 2018.

Janna Gewirtz O’Brien, MD, FAAP, was published with collaborators on the new AAP report “Runaway Youth: Caring for the Nation’s Largest Segment of Missing Children” in the January 2020 issue of Pediatrics.

Nathan Chomilo, MD, FAAP, has been named as the state of Minnesota’s new Medicaid medical director. 

Andrea Singh, MD, FAAP, has been selected to serve on the Governor’s Children’s Cabinet Advisory Council.

Nathan Chomilo, MD, FAAP, authored an opinion piece in the MinnPost: “Educational disparities: The gap we need to address is the opportunity gap.”

Angela Mattke, MD, FAAP, and Valeria Cristiani, MD, FAAP, answered questions about the importance of well-child appointments through a Facebook Live video Q&A hosted by the Mayo Clinic.

Brian Lynch, MD, FAAP, discussed the science of toxic stress and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) on children on the podcast “Terrible, Thanks for Asking.” The podcast episode titled “What Happened to You” is available in three parts: Part 1Part 2, and Part 3 The episode was produced with Call to Mind, American Public Media’s initiative to foster new conversations about mental health.

Angela Goepferd, MD, FAAP, and Valeria Cristiani, MD, FAAP, have each received a Special Achievement Award from the American Academy of Pediatrics. Dr. Goepferd was recognized for her leadership in professional training and support for LGBTQ and questioning youth in Minnesota. Dr. Cristiani was honored for her drive to start a school-based health clinic at the Rochester Alternative Learning Center.

Kelly Bergmann, MD, FAAP, collaborated with colleagues on an article recently published in the AAP’s Hospital Pediatrics journal. The article was titled, “Identifying Patients With Kawasaki Disease Safe for Early Discharge: Development of a Risk Prediction Model at a US Children’s Hospital.”

Two MNAAP members were honored recently by the American Academy of Pediatrics with awards marking their dedication to the health of children:

Cynthia R. Howard, MD, MPH, FAAP, received the Hillman-Olness Award for Lifetime Service and Lasting Contributions to Global Child Health. Dr. Howard is an associate professor in pediatrics at the University of Minnesota Medical School.

Dana E. Johnson, MD, PhD, FAAP, received the Thomas F. Tonniges, MD, FAAP, Lifetime Achievement Award for Advocacy on Behalf of Vulnerable Children. Dr. Johnson is a professor of pediatrics in the Division of Neonatology at the University of Minnesota Medical Center – Fairview.

Thomas Schrup, MD, FAAP, was named as a 2019 Community Caregiver by Minnesota Physician medical business journal. Dr. Schrup received the recognition for his volunteer work providing critical wellness visits and consults to homeless youth in St. Cloud.

Anne Griffiths, MD, FAAP, a pediatric pulmonologist with Children’s Minnesota, participated in the webinar Update on Severe Lung Injury Associated with Vaping, Clinical Issues and Epidemiology in Minnesota. The webinar was co-hosted by the Minnesota Department of Health and the Minnesota Hospital Association. The webinar recording is available here.

Emily Chapman, MD, FAAP, was a guest on the Sept. 18th Dr. Oz Show, discussing recent lung injuries related to vaping. Dr. Chapman is the chief medical officer at Children’s Minnesota, where several teens have been treated for vaping-related lung injury.

Dick Wicklund, MD, FAAP; Beatrice Murray, MD, FAAP; Paula Mackey, MD, FAAP; Linda Thompson, MD, FAAP; Ted Jewett, MD, FAAP; Mike Severson, MD, FAAP; Carolyn Levitt, MD. FAAP; and Kristin Benson, MD, FAAP joined Dan Broughton, MD, FAAP for the September Senior Pediatrician Lunch.

Angela Kade Goepferd, MD, FAAP, joined MPR News host Angela Davis to discuss talking with children about gender and how to create an inclusive environment for all students at school. You can hear their conversation here.

Emily Borman-Shoap, MD, FAAP; Jessica Hane, MD; Erin McHugh, MD; and Heidi Moline, MD, authored a Readers Write article in the Star Tribune that detailed the risks of vaping for adolescents and called for legislation to regulate vaping and e-cigarettes.

Nathan Chomilo, MD, FAAP, was interviewed by MPR News about the importance of unstructured play in child development.

Nusheen Ameenuddin, MD, FAAP; Robert Jacobson, MD, FAAP; and Angela Mattke, MD, FAAP, met with Surgeon General of the United State Jerome Adams during his visit to the Mayo Clinic on Aug. 27. The MNAAP members discussed immunization efforts with the surgeon general in a meeting organized and hosted by the Zumbro Valley Medical Society.

Katy Miller, MD, FAAP,  and Calla Brown, MD, FAAP, along with their team members Maura Shramko PhD and Maria Veronica Svetaz, MD (principal investigator), were recently awarded the Joanna Simer Research Fellowship Grant for their project “Latinx Youth Perspectives of Immigrant Policy Context, Deportation, and Family Resilience Processes: A Qualitative Exploration of Healthy Youth Development in Anti-Immigrant Contexts.” The team recently published a review of trauma-informed care for refugee and immigrant youth.

Nathan Chomilo, MD. FAAP, offered KARE 11 insight into childhood imaginary friends after a UK report noted a decrease in the prevalence of imaginary friends among children, citing screens as a possible reason.

Marjorie Hogan, MD, FAAP, co-wrote the book Terrific Toddlers! Simple Solutions, Practical Parenting. The book is a resource for parents navigating the toddler years.

Emily Chapman, MD, FAAP, chief medical officer at Children’s Minnesota, and Ruth Lynfield, MD, FAAP, state epidemiologist, were recently quoted in a Star Tribune article, “Teen lung diseases linked to vaping, Minnesota Health Department reports.” The article takes a closer look at four recent cases of lung injury in teens associated with vaping, and calls on physicians to be on the lookout for symptoms related to youth vaping.

Jeff Schiff, MD, FAAP, penned an open letter to Governor Tim Walz and state lawmakers calling for the creation of an independent board to oversee the Medicaid program and its policies. Dr. Schiff previously served as the medical director of Minnesota’s Medicaid program. You can read coverage of the letter in the Pioneer Press.

Janna Gewirtz-O’Brien, MD, FAAP, was quoted in a Star Tribune article that identified short-sighted decisions about Minnesota’s Medicaid program that are harming patients in the process. Dr. Gewirtz-O’Brien spoke to the barriers for patients to access long-acting reversible contraceptives or LARCs.

Krishnan Subrahmanian, MD, FAAP, spoke with WCCO-TV about the importance of sports physicals as part of the station’s “Good Question” segment. You can see the video here.

Nusheen Ameenuddin, MD, FAAP, was promoted to chair of the Council on Communications and Media at American Academy of Pediatrics

Nathan Chomilo, MD, FAAP, was a recent guest on the “What is Black?” podcast, discussing early literacy, racial and health equity. You can hear the podcast here.

Brian Lynch, MD, FAAP, was interviewed by Minnesota Public Radio as part of the “Call to Mind” mental health exhibit. Dr. Lynch spoke about adverse childhood experiences and how early trauma can affect kids, adults, and public health.

Angela Mattke, MD, FAAP, was interviewed by WGN – Chicago about her new book “Mayo Clinic Guide to Raising a Healthy Child.” You can see the interview here.

MNAAP President-Elect Sheldon Berkowitz, MD, FAAP, represented the chapter at the recent signing of the Rare Disease Advisory Council bill, at the request of Erica Barnes, who advocated for the council’s creation after the death of her young daughter from a rare degenerative neural disorder.

Kathleen Miller, MD, FAAP, authored a counterpoint opinion article that was published in the Star Tribune, providing insight into the value of gender affirming care after the Children’s Minnesota’s gender health program was called risky and unnecessary by a previous letter to the editor.

After reading a Pioneer Press article about an 8-year-old girl who found her mom’s gun in her backpack,  MNAAP President-elect Sheldon Berkowitz, MD, FAAP, wrote a letter to the editor to make sure everyone knows the “4 simple steps to keep guns out of kids’ hands.”

Tom Scott, MD, FAAP, has been invited by the Children’s Defense Fund to serve on the 2019 Minnesota KIDS COUNT advisory group.

MNAAP President-Elect Sheldon Berkowitz, MD, FAAP, authored an article in The American Jewish World advocating for rabbis and Jewish community leaders to take a stand for immunizations to protect children from measles and other vaccine-preventable diseases. Read the full article here.

Nathan Chomilo, MD, FAAP, was joined by Cuong Pham, MD, at the Capitol on Wednesday, May 15, to advocate for the repeal of the sunset of the Provider Tax. You can see coverage from KARE11 of their efforts here.

Nathan Chomilo, MD, FAAP, testified on May 10 before a legislative conference committee on behalf of Reach Out and Read MN’s inclusion in the education funding budget. You can see his testimony here (beginning at the 35:00 mark).

Sue Berry, MD, FAAP, co-chair of the MNAAP policy workgroup, authored a commentary about the provider tax in the Star Tribune.

Nathan Chomilo, MD, FAAP, authored a letter to the editor in the Sun Post advocating for the repeal of the sunset of Minnesota’s provider tax.

Ann Sneiders, MD, FAAP, offered an evidence-based rebuttal to a previously published anti-vaccination letter to the editor in the Owatonna People’s Press. In her letter, Dr. Sneiders pointed to the importance of immunizations in preventing illness, writing “immune systems are like muscles — they need exercise to get strong.”

MNAAP President Lori DeFrance, MD, FAAP and three other MNAAP members will attend the American Academy of Pediatrics 2019 Legislative Conference in Washington, DC, April 7-9. During the conference, participants will learn how to become effective child health advocates through interactive workshops and in-depth training sessions, while networking with pediatricians, residents and medical students from across the country.

Nathan Chomilo, MD, FAAP, a pediatrician and internist at Park Nicollet, attended the April 3 State of the State address as a guest of Governor Tim Walz. Walz mentioned Dr. Chomilo’s work in his speech to emphasize the importance of repealing the sunset of the Provider Tax.

Angela Kade Goepferd, MD, FAAP, recently spoke to the Star Tribune about the opening of Children’s Minnesota’s clinic for transgender youth. Dr. Goepferd serves as medical director of the clinic. Read the article here: http://www.startribune.com/children-s-minnesota-opens-special-clinic-for-transgender-youth/508011532/ 

Emily Chapman, MD, FAAP, chief medical officer at Children’s Minnesota, spoke at a press conference in support of the Breakfast After the Bell legislation, which would make it easier for children to get breakfast at school.

Robert Jacobson, MD, FAAP, an expert in childhood vaccines at Mayo Clinic, was interviewed by the Louisville Courier Journal after the governor of Kentucky said he favors exposure to chickenpox over vaccination. Read the article here https://www.courier-journal.com/story/news/politics/2019/03/20/matt-bevin-exposed-kids-chickenpox-instead-vaccine/3221848002/

Emily Borman-Shoap, MD, testified before the Senate Higher Education Finance & Policy Committee on March 5 in support of SF 1702 (Clausen), which would provide funding to support mental health training for pediatric residents at the University of Minnesota.

Nathan Chomilo, MD, FAAP, testified on behalf of HF 909, which would provide funding to address racial disparities in prenatal care.

Past MNAAP President Andrew Kiragu, MD, FAAP, recently testified in support of HF 8, which would require criminal background checks for private firearm sales and transfers and HF 9, also known as the “red flag” bill, which would allow law enforcement and family members to petition a court to prohibit people from possessing firearms if they pose a significant danger to themselves or others.

An op-ed written by Nathan Chomilo, MD, FAAP, arguing the case for paid family medical leave, was printed in the Star Tribune on Feb. 25.

Past MNAAP President Mike Severson, MD, FAAP, and Children’s Defense Fund Minnesota Executive Director Bharti Wahi penned a great opinion piece encouraging lawmakers to repeal the sunset of the provider tax.

Past MNAAP President Marilyn Peitso, MD, FAAP, testified on Feb. 13 before the House Health and Human Services Policy Committee in support of House File 12, a bill that would ban “conversion therapy” for children or vulnerable adults in Minnesota. You can view her testimony here.

Nathan Chomilo, MD, FAAP, was selected by the Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights to receive the 2019 History Makers at Home Award. The award honors African American leaders throughout the state who are making a difference in their communities in the areas of the business, health, education, government, and more. Dr. Chomilo was highlighted on the department’s Facebook page as part of a series introducing the award winners.

Angela Goepferd, MD, FAAP, spoke to KARE 11 about the impact online hate speech can have on children.

Lindsey Yock, MD, JD, FAAP, co-chair of MNAAP’s policy committee, testified about childhood hunger and health on Feb.5, 2019 before the House Education Finance Committee as part of an informational hearing on school nutrition. Her testimony is available at http://ww2.house.leg.state.mn.us/audio/mp3ls91/edfin020519.mp3 (beginning at 44:40).

Lucien Gonzalez, MD, MS, FAAP, was named chairperson of the American Academy of Pediatric’s national committee on Substance Use and Prevention. The committee is tasked with producing guidance for pediatricians, state and federal government, and other stakeholders to reduce harm from substance use.

Nathan Chomilo, MD, FAAP, medical director of Reach Out and Read Minnesota, congratulated Minneapolis on becoming the country’s largest “Bookend City” in the country, meaning all 32 clinics in the city have chosen to participate in Reach Out and Read. Additionally, clinics had to meet eight quality measures, which included at least 75% of providers being trained in the model and every clinic creating a literacy-rich environment for their patients. All together in Minnesota, there are 262 clinics now participating in Reach Out and Read, representing 40% of all children ages 6 months through 5 years statewide.

Gigi Chawla, MD, MHA, FAAP chief of general pediatrics at Children’s Minnesota, participated in a panel discussion following the Minnesota premiere of No Small Matter. The documentary focuses on the importance of high-quality early childhood education in child development. The screening was hosted by Children’s Minnesota, Minnesota Public Radio, and HealthPartners.

The Senate Health and Human Services Committee hosted MNAAP President-elect Sheldon Berkowitz, MD, FAAP, for a discussion of the health impact of screen time on children and adolescents on January 24. Dr. Berkowitz shared with the committee the most recent research about screen time and its impact on child health and brain development. Dr. Berkowitz’s testimony can be viewed at the link available here.

Nathan Chomilo, MD, FAAP, co-authored a commentary in Minnesota Medicine focusing on the small but significant steps all physicians can take to make a difference in addressing health equity in Minnesota. Read the article here.

MNAAP President-elect Sheldon Berkowitz, MD, FAAP, offered the Star Tribune insight into Minnesota’s drop in national health rankings, particularly where low childhood vaccination rates are concerned. Read the article here.

Robert Jacobson, MD, FAAP, past MNAAP president, pediatrician, and professor of pediatrics at Mayo Clinic, has been selected as Minnesota’s 2018 HPV Vaccine is Cancer Prevention Champion for his continual efforts to promote HPV vaccination and its power to prevent cancer. For his 13 to 15-year-old patients seen in the last two years, 71.2 percent have completed the HPV vaccine series as compared to only about 19.5 percent of 13 to 15-year-olds statewide completing the recommended HPV series.

Read more about the work Dr. Jacobson has done to improve HPV vaccination rates.

A recent study published in Pediatrics involving the four children’s hospitals in Minnesota looked at the cause of delayed discharge in children with medical complexity. Of 1,582 delayed discharges, 92 percent were directly attributed to lack of availability in home care nursing. The study suggests that increasing the availability of home care nurses or post-acute care facilities could reduce the length of hospital stay and associated costs. Roy Maynard, MD, FAAP with Pediatric Home Service oversaw the study.

Ruth Lynfield, MD, FAAP, Minnesota Department of Health State Epidemiologist and Medical Director, was named co-chair on CDC‘s Acute Flaccid Myelitis Task Force.

Claire Neely, MD, FAAP was named President and CEO of ICSI.

Rachel Tellez, MD, FAAP wrote a letter published in the Washington Post about the role physicians play in reducing gun violence.

Nadia Maccabee-Ryaboy, MD testified in support of T21 at the Eden Prairie City Council. It successfully moved forward to a final vote the following month.

Nate Chomilo, MD, FAAP partnered with Twin Cities Medical Society to write a letter published in the Sun Post regarding Brooklyn Center’s T21 and E-cig sale restriction legislation. Both restrictions were voted in to place the same week.

Following a national search, UCare has hired Julia Joseph DiCaprio, MD, MPH, FAAP to lead the Medical Director team, as well as the Clinical Services, Pharmacy and Quality Management departments.

Lucien Gonzalez, MD, MS, FAAP, Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Minnesota and a Pediatric Addiction Medicine expert, was recognized by the AAP Section on Adolescent Health as the recipient of the Richard B. Heyman Award at the recent AAP National Conference & Exhibition.

Marc H. Gorelick, MD, MSCE, FAAP, President and Chief Executive Officer of Children’s Minnesota was presented with the Jim Seidel Distinguished Service Award from the AAP’s Section on Emergency Medicine at the recent AAP National Conference & Exhibition.

Angela Mattke, MD, FAAP, with Mayo Clinic wrote an article for AAP News recently that provided tips for pediatricians on connecting with the public via Facebook Live Stream. Check it out»

Rachel Tellez, MD, FAAP, wrote an article about how to teach children about differences that was featured in the April issue of Minnesota Parent. Check it out»

Nate Chomilo, MD, FAAP, was awarded the Gretchen Hunsberger Medical Champion Achievement Award from Reach out and Read. Additionally, he and Judith Eckerle, MD, FAAP, were profiled in Mpls.St.Paul Magazine for the Top Docs: Rising Stars edition. Check it out»

Mary Murati, MD, FAAP was recognized with the Bill Richards Young Physician Leadership Award by Park Nicollet Foundation. Since 2009, Dr. Murati has been a Park Nicollet Pediatric Hospitalist, with a keen eye for quality improvement.

Elsa Keeler, MD, MPH, FAAP, was recently named Clinic Medical Director at the HealthPartners White Bear Lake clinic.

Updated 4/17/19

November 1, 2016

Sheldon

What does a typical day or week look like for you?
I work half-time in our general pediatric clinic at Children’s Minnesota, seeing patients two mornings and two afternoons a week. The other part of my time is spent as the Physician Advisor for Children’s, supporting our in-patient Case Management, Clinical Documentation Improvement (CDI) and Revenue Management programs.

While in clinic I see a wide variety of patients, including many patients with complex health care needs and a large number of non-English speaking immigrants. I am also involved with our hospital’s Ethics Committee – both providing consultation and education.

What’s one pediatric issue you are particularly passionate about and why?
There are actually many things I’m passionate about, including providing equitable care to everyone, providing care that is needed (rather than mandated by various agencies), and preventing gun violence.

But most important is making sure my patients are fully immunized. It is incredibly frustrating to me when families refuse to vaccinate their children for reasons that are not based in science. However, I am committed to continuing to work with these families in the hopes they will ultimately agree to the needed vaccinations.

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August 4, 2016


Mattke_Angela_C_16AP
Dr. Mattke is a pediatric consultant at the Mayo Clinic Children’s Center where she has have worked for four years since graduating in 2012 from Mayo Clinic’s Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine residency.

What does a typical day or week look like for you? 

I practice primarily outpatient pediatrics at the Mayo Clinic Children’s Center in Rochester, MN. I see patients about three to four days per week in my outpatient clinic which is a satellite, primary care clinic in Northeast Rochester. I spend a half-day per week supervising the pediatric residents’ outpatient clinic. This is my favorite part of the week. I am pretty sure I learn as much from the residents and their patients’ diagnoses as they learn from me. Their upbeat energy fuels my tank for the week. I am also part of the social media team for the Children’s Center.

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February 8, 2016
Dr. Peitso with daughter Hailey, a psychologist, on her wedding day in September of 2015. Dr. Peitso and her husband also have another daughter, Robyn who is a 4th year medical student, and a son, Matthew, who is a geologist.

Dr. Peitso with daughter Hailey, a psychologist, on her wedding day in September of 2015. Dr. Peitso and her husband also have another daughter, Robyn who is a 4th year medical student, and a son, Matthew, who is a geologist.


What does a typical day or week look like for you?

After a long career as a primary care pediatrician, last year I switched gears and became a pediatric hospitalist at St. Cloud Hospital. Shifts vary from 9-12 hours in length. I take care of sick children and also healthy newborns, in support of a very busy newborn service. I am fortunate to have NICU and PICU backup. I also have a 0.2 position as physician champion with the Care Transitions team within CentraCare, which allows me to continue my work advocating for families and robust care coordination.

What’s one pediatric issue you are particularly passionate about and why?
Addressing disparities in health care. With the help of a MNAAP grant from AAP Friends of the Children several years ago, my peds department had the opportunity to improve our developmental screening process for Somali children and bring on board a Somali community health worker. This experience has raised my awareness of all manner of barriers to equal health care access, and also the power of individual commitment and action.

You’re an active member of MNAAP. What benefits have you gained from your involvement?
When I was contemplating stepping up my involvement in MNAAP activities, Dr. Jeff Schiff told me that being active in MNAAP had a way of opening doors. I have gone through many doors, personal and professional, directly leading from my activities with MN AAP.

Which other organizations are you currently involved with?
I serve on the Board of Trustees of the Minnesota Medical Association and the Board of the Minnesota Medical Association Foundation. I am a member of AAP and the Section on Hospital Medicine and the Council for Children with Disabilities. I also sing in my church choir when able.

What’s one thing most people are surprised to learn about you?
I am a Boston Marathon finisher and am currently in a 12-step program for grieving ex-runners. It’s called “Yoga”.

What’s one of the best pieces of advice or funniest things a child has said?
Best advice category: “Hey mom, can we get a dog?”

Anything else you want to add?
There is a power and momentum created when pediatricians, passionate about advocating for children, work together with parents and other advocates, toward a common goal. I highly recommend it as both a professional and leisure time activity.

August 18, 2015

RuthLynfieldIn your role as Minnesota’s state epidemiologist, how do you work with others to slow or prevent the spread of infectious disease?
Protecting the public’s health is a holistic endeavor which needs participation and collaboration from the public, clinical practitioners and public health staff at the local, state and federal levels. Certain disease are reportable to the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) through clinicians, infection preventionists and laboratorians. Staff at MDH will conduct surveillance for these diseases, including abstracting medical records for demographic, clinical and outcome information. An isolate from the laboratory (depending on the disease) will undergo confirmation and characterization at the MDH public health laboratory (PHL). Sometimes case-control studies will be done to determine risk factors for disease. This information is then used to develop infection prevention and control measures that can be put into place, such as intrapartum antibiotic prophylaxis to prevent neonatal group B streptococcal (GBS) disease or conjugate vaccine to prevent pneumococcal disease in young children. Studies can then be done to assess the impact of these measures, and inform improved measures. For example, moving to a screening-only approach to prevent neonatal GBS (initial guidelines were risk-based or screening-based), or moving from a 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine to a 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine. It is also useful to partner with media to inform the public about infectious diseases and measures that individuals can take to minimize their risk of exposure.

Infectious diseases can emerge or re-emerge and it is essential to have a close partnership with clinicians who may recognize that something different is occurring. A number of years ago, a pediatrician reported a case of encephalitis that was investigated by MDH and found to be due to Powassan virus, an arbovirus transmitted by ticks and previously not recognized to occur in Minnesota. Subsequently, the PHL developed the diagnostic ability to test specimens and we have detected cases most years, and have developed and disseminated messages regarding the transmission of this virus by ticks and the importance of tick prevention measures.

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June 12, 2015

Where did you grow up and complete your training? Why did you decide to pursue a subspecialty in child abuse pediatrics?
I grew up in Two Harbors, Minnesota. I attended undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin Green Bay and Medical school at the University of Minnesota. I stayed at the U of M for my pediatrics residency. Following residency I spent two years in a child abuse pediatrics fellowship with Carolyn Levitt, MD and Rich Kaplan, MD at Midwest Children’s Resource Center at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota.

Most of my career decisions occurred relatively late. In medical school I found that I enjoyed my pediatrics rotations more than any of my other rotations. Not only did I enjoy working with children but I also enjoyed the pediatricians. In residency I did an elective rotation in child abuse and found it very interesting. As residency was coming to an end, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do with my career, but I didn’t feel ready to get a job. Child abuse pediatrics was not yet a recognized subspecialty, which allowed me to spend the next two years creating my own fellowship.

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