Menu

Home | News | Member News

Member News

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

August 1, 2013

Linda Thompson, MD and John Tobin, MD are retiring this summer after nearly 40 years as pediatricians at Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC) where they’ve cared for underserved children and taught physicians who care for them. They have trained more physicians and medical professionals in primary care pediatrics than perhaps anyone else in Minnesota through their pediatric continuity clinics, everyday instruction to medical students and residents rotating through HCMC, and continuing education presentations.

What advice would you give to a young pediatrician?

Tobin: The costs are substantial, but the rewards considerable. You may be greeted with unabashed enthusiasm by a child, then criticized for being late or intrusive by the parents of another. Educational costs may be the same as those of colleagues going into more highly paid specialties, but the remuneration will not compare to theirs. You may make a difference in the life of the next Mozart or Einstein!

Thompson: Be prepared for hard work, long hours and a fair amount of worrying; this is the necessary price we pay for a life of fulfillment and enjoyment seeing kids grow and develop. Always listen to parents as carefully and empathetically as you can, bearing in mind that children sometimes hold the truth more so than their parents. Learning how to talk directly to children at a very young age is also important in order to provide optimal care. Read as much as time allows.

What are the biggest changes you have seen occur in your career affecting pediatric care and the health of children?

Tobin: Unquestionably, the continued development newer and more effective vaccines. Also, the Electronic Medical Record. There is now a premium placed on uniformity instead of molding the content of a visit to meet the needs of the child and family. Accompanying this is more and more requirement for measurable tasks with undocumented benefits.

Thompson: New vaccines and the virtual elimination of vaccine-preventable diseases; the disappearance of Reyes syndrome after the link with aspirin was shown; improvements in imaging techniques; advances in neonatal and pediatric intensive care; introduction of surfactant to prevent hyaline membrane disease; the explosion in medical genetics; and the increase in the proportion of women in medicine.

What are the biggest obstacles/challenges you foresee for pediatric care and children’s health in the future?

Tobin: Money. In this country we give lip service to the idea that children are important, but do not act on that principle. Witness the disparity between health care dollars spent on the end of life (much of it futile) and on the first years of life. Whether we speak of immunizations, nutrition, education, or drug development, children in the U.S. get short shrift.

Furthermore, private insurers have little incentive to provide more support, as they almost certainly will not be paying for the consequences of, say, obesity, for an individual child as an obese adult in the decades to come.

Thompson: Children’s mental health services need to improve; incentives for more people to train in child psychiatry and behavioral pediatrics and more collaborative efforts with schools, including preschools and day care centers, might help in this effort.

Racial disparities in health care access also need to be addressed. The quality of social services and the educational system are huge factors in determining children’s health. We as pediatricians need to partner with other professionals and not assume that we can solve all the problems facing children and families on our own.

What are highlights of your pediatric career? Your legacy?

Tobin: Time after time, the highlight of the week is my Continuity Clinic with University of Minnesota Pediatric residents. They have taught me far more than I have them! The fact that these residents and others have told me that they have learned the value of truly listening to what the parents have to say would unquestionably be my legacy.

Thompson: For 20 years I was the primary care doctor for NICU graduates at HCMC, often following them into their teenage years. I attended many funerals during those years and witnessed much sadness as well as some triumphs. During the past 27 years I have also worked with child abuse cases and have seen the development of this field culminating in the approval of child abuse pediatrics as a subspecialty by the ABP in 2009. Educating young pediatricians in Continuity Clinic has also been a great joy and has led to many long-term friendships for which I feel very privileged.

May 25, 2013

Tell us a little about yourself. Where did you complete your training?

I joined St. Cloud Women and Children’s Clinic right after residency 18 years ago.  About a year and half later, we joined CentraCare Clinic and I was the 12th member of what has now become a 20-person group of pediatric providers.  I attended high school in Edina, undergrad at the College of St.

Benedict, medical school at Mayo and residency at the University of Utah Medical Center/Primary Children’s Hospital. At CentraCare, I work as a general pediatrician. I have special interests in hematology-oncology and work with two other physicians here to cover our outpatient chemotherapy infusion center in conjunction with Children’s Pediatric Hem-Onc Group.

Are there any special programs or initiatives you’ve been involved with?

Our entire group has been involved with improving asthma care for our patients over the last several years and our rates of optimal asthma care have dramatically increased. We were also one of the first sites in the state to be certified as a health care home and continue to improve on that process. We are now working on initiatives to improve immunization rates and improve access to the electronic medical record for our patients.

What are some of the biggest challenges you (and/or your patients) face on a daily basis?

I think some of my biggest challenges are vaccine hesitancy/refusal among our patients’ families, economic disparity and the increasing costs of health care affecting patients directly (particularly with self-funded HRAs/HSAs and high deductibles,) and keeping up with available technology. I continue to keep open discussions with my patients’ families regarding immunizations and provide as much information as possible to them. I am hopeful that health care reform will continue to improve access to care for children, and in terms of technology, I continue to be involved with our EMR… and my kids help keep me up to date!

What do you enjoy most about being a pediatrician?

I love being in the exam room with my patients and their families. Seeing children grow and develop and the relationships we have built over the years has been amazing. I also enjoy watching a hospitalized child become well again.

 If you weren’t a pediatrician, what would you be and why?

I love all of the weather apps on my phone, the Weather Channel and watching for storms, so I think I’d have to say a meteorologist.

What do you enjoy in your spare time? Any hobbies/interests outside of medicine? Family?

I am a hockey mom!  All four of my children play hockey and I love watching them play and my husband coach.  They are also involved in theatre, soccer, softball, tennis, and football and I try to attend as many events as I can.

I also love to read, sew, knit, ski (alpine and Nordic), in-line skate, bike, run, hike, canoe, camp, kayak…..maybe I’m too busy to be a pediatrician!

 Anything else fellow members might be interested to know?

We own property on Turtle Lake just north of Grand Rapids and are in the process of building a log cabin. We have been using trees from the property to do this – my husband cuts them down, we help to peel them, then hand scribe and notch them. So far, it has been about 7 years, and will probably take that many more!

1 3 4 5
Annual Sponsors