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2016 Grant Awards

Critical Care Medicine – Sonali Basu, MD – $22,055

This grant will fund the purchase a new bedside ultrasound machine dedicated to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. The PICU, which admits upwards of 2900 patients annually, serves a population of children that range from newborns to adults with a wide range of critical illnesses. This new and improved diagnostic tool will improve patient care by giving practitioners, in real-time, the ability to complete procedures and clinical evaluations precisely and accurately.

Center for Genetic Medicine – Juan Cabrera-Luque, Ph.D. – $6,400

Oxidative stress is an important pathogenic feature of a large number of diseases such as autism, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, schizophrenia, MS and some inborn errors of metabolism. This grant will partially fund a study to develop an enzyme-based method for the synthesis and purification of y-GC that will allow researchers to advance at a much needed speed towards the identification of therapeutic uses of y-GC.

Neuroscience – Sharol Cain, RN – $7,639

The Neuroscience unit will be awarded funds to purchase a dedicated blanket warmer. Post-surgical and ICU transfer patients, with diagnoses specific to Neurology and Neurosurgery, often feel cold and uncomfortable. Having a blanket warmer will aid in the delivery of quality nursing care to all patients on the unit.

Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders – Hema Dave, MD, MPH – $10,000

This BOV grant will contribute to funding a study to determine whether patients with Childhood Hodgkin’s Lymphoma receiving brentuximab-containing chemotherapy have a favorable reduction in biomarkers that may serve as a window into the environment of a tumor, as well as paving the way for combining these strategies with other immunotherapies. This is an innovative approach that is on the cutting edge of modern medicine.

Immunology – Mona Elmacken, MD – $30,000

Dr. Elmacken will use this grant to fund a study to develop a novel T-cell immunotherapy for patients with pediatric brain tumors by genetically engineering CMV-killing T-cells. This is an innovative approach to treating tumors that are still often fatal, despite the many other advances in treatment of pediatric cancer. Initial evaluation of anti-tumor activity will be in the lab and in mice.

Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine – Sally Evans, MD – $17,500

This grant will be used to develop a power wheelchair mobility training device for children under 3 years old. Approximately 1 in 5000 children is affected by a neuromuscular disease that leads to ventilator dependence and complete paralysis before the age of one year. Although they are profoundly weak, these children have normal intelligence and the potential for normal and social cognitive development. While these children could greatly benefit from wheelchair mobility, they typically will not qualify for insurance therefore do not receive a wheelchair. This training device can teach them how to drive and therefore qualify for a wheelchair at an earlier age, which could have a profound effect on their social development.

Physical Therapy – Nora Guge, PT, DPT – $5,770

This grant will enable the purchase of three portable vital sign monitoring units to be used during physical therapy sessions. Two of the units will be used to monitor vital signs intermittently for therapeutic exercise. The additional unit will provide continuous vital sign monitoring during activity for the safety of patients with significant cardiac medical history. All patients in the physical therapy clinic could benefit from this acquisition; on average about 250 patients per week.

Oncology – Lauren Hancock, RN, MSN, CPNP-AC – $2,372

The Oncology Department will use this grant to acquire a special teaching doll which will be used to explain medical procedures to children with brain tumors. The doll is unique because it allows children to understand the many medical procedures they might undergo, such as central IV placement or a spinal tap, in a more play-based delivery of information.

Neuroscience – Beata Jablonska, PharmD, PhD – $19,880

Dr. Jablonska will apply these funds towards an innovative study which will investigate the possibility that hypoxia in premature infants causes changes in liver metabolism leading to abnormal levels of amino acids in the bloodstream which then affects brain function. Positive results from this study could lead to therapy to improve liver and brain function in these neonates.

Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation – Axel Krieger, PhD – $27,908

This grant builds on a grant that the BOV funded last year. A team led by Dr. Krieger is hard at work on a STAR robotic arm that can be used to perform more surgeries on pediatric patients. Surgical robots developed for adult surgery are not suitable for children due to size limitations. This team has made great progress in the last year and will use the grant funds to manufacture a minimally invasive “soft touch” tool for use with the STAR robotic system.

Dermatology – Kalyani Marathe, MD, MPH – $5,512

The Dermatology Department is growing and sees primarily low-income patients. This grant will allow the department to purchase photography software to store dermatology photo records. Currently they use a very outdated system that does not easily allow providers to track their patients’ skin conditions.

Neuroscience – Olga Morozova, MD, Kevin Cleary, PhD – $22,417

Drs. Morozova and Cleary will use this grant to create innovative way to deliver physical and occupational hippo therapy (horseback riding based therapy) for children with Cerebral Palsy and other conditions. They will collaborate to develop a ride-on mechanical horse, which simulates the varied motion of a horse allowing children to build core strength and balance. This mechanized therapeutic tool may take the form of a dragon or other fairytale creature to encourage children to both participate in the therapy and enjoy it.

Cardiac Surgery – Dilip Nath, MD, Lillian Su, MD, Laura Olivieri, MD, Axel Krieger, PhD
– $27,000

This grant will fund a clinical study to develop and review new 3-D cardiac imaging software and determine its effectiveness. This type of imaging is critically important because these tiny hearts are each very different, as is the approach to each unique surgery and the post-operative care. The 3-D imagining will allow all doctors and nurses on the treatment team to view the 3-D model of the patient’s heart, thereby improving the quality of the care.

Department of Diagnostic Imaging and Radiology – Hansel J. Otero, MD – $14,892

Dr. Otero will use this grant to fund a practical simulation course on MR imaging interpretation. The number of MRIs that any one member of the Radiology department might interpret in a given year varies widely, and is far less than other types of imaging. This training will allow for increased exposure to MRI interpretation as well as exposure to unique and complex cases.

Crisis Support Services – Theresa Roberts, MD, Jeremy Kerns, MD, Ashley Siems, MD – $25,000

This grant will partially fund the development of a much-needed crisis support service for providers at Children’s who are exposed to adverse clinical events. This program will offer crisis and stress management education resources focused on identifying and supporting those who may be struggling after an event. The service will include Web-based tools and educational modules, as well as the development and training of a peer volunteer responder group that will provide confidential support to providers immediately after a stressful clinical event 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Neonatal Intensive Care Unit – Katelyn Schmidt, BSN, RNC-NIC, Jess Eitel, BSN, RNC-NIC – $6,422

Due to medical necessity, infants in the NICU spend many hours in a solitary crib. Despite the care and dedication of the nursing staff, the stimulation that they receive is limited, often resulting in developmental delays. This grant will fund the purchase of educational equipment to encourage NICU infants to reach normal developmental milestones. Equipment will include: Mamaroo rockers to provide alternative positioning and visual orientation; mobiles, with sound, limited time of action setting; and crib mirrors to encourage visual focus and tracking.

Neurology – John Schreiber, MD – $13,125

Dr. Schreiber will use this grant to undertake a pilot study that examines whether subtle changes in cardiac tissue can be seen using speckle tracking, a new technology that detects impaired myocardial tissue, in children with severe refractory epilepsy or status epilepticus.

Volunteer Services – Fernanda Vessio – $16,500

This grant will continue the BOV’s longstanding support of Volunteer Services and Dr. Bear’s Closet. The funds will go to support a wide variety of patient services including supporting families in crisis with meals, lodging, transportation, and so many other important services.

Total Awards – $280,393

Two researchers looking at test results

Grants awarded by the Founders Auxiliary Board have inspired change and transformative advances in diverse areas of service throughout the hospital. Past awards have supported research, child wellness initiatives such as concussion prevention, immunizations, cutting-edge equipment and technology, pediatric surgical robots, professional development, and educational support.