2019 Grant Awards

Cardiology – Kamil Barker, RN Clinical Educator – $17,948

Heart & Kidney Simulation Education for Nurses
The Heart & Kidney Unit serves patients with heart and kidney transplants, congenital heart and kidney disease, heart rhythm dysfunctions with varied and complex diagnoses. Funds will be provided to purchase simulation manikins and software to implement training that will assist the nursing staff strengthen complex procedures and assessment skills.

Hematology/Oncology – Mariagracia Rivas Berger, MT – $500

Heartbeat Recordings
Funds will be used to purchase a 3M Littmann Electronic Stethoscope which is built to record heartbeats. The music therapist of the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders introduced a new form of legacy-making for patients entering end-of-life care. The patient’s heartbeat is recorded and is then incorporated into a modified version of the patient’s or family’s favorite song

Endocrinology – Lauren Clary, PhD – $7,800

Support & Education Type 1 Diabetes Clinic
Provide funds to produce a 3-hour training video for online education for families of newly diagnosed patients to access on the Children’s National website and for innovative programming to support both children and youth with Type 1 Diabetes.

Anesthesiology – Jessica Cronin, MD – $6,043

Preoperative Non-Invasive Hemoglobin Measurement in Infants
Infants who undergo surgery must be screened for clinically significant anemia, which may change the course of their care and the timing of their surgery. Assessment of hemoglobin levels in infants is therefore required before surgery. Currently they must undergo painful heel sticks. This grant will provide a non-invasive Pulse CO-oximetry device software which will provide painless assessment of Hgb levels.

Child Health Advocacy Institute – Desiree de la Torre – $15,000

Designing a School-Friendly Health Care System
Bridging the divide between education and health care, Children’s National aims to become the first school-friendly health system in the US. These funds will help identify evidence-based models and practices that provide care to children in the school and community.

Otolaryngology – Elyse Gabay, RN – $2,000

Ear Nose & Throat Clinic Capes and Masks
Funds to purchase Superhero masks and capes which will provide emotional support through imaginative play for patients undergoing scope evaluations of their ears, noses, and throats.

Otolaryngology – Elyse Gabay, RN – $2,465

Ear Nose & Throat Clinic Instruction Cards
Funds to create a laminated post-op care instruction card in English and Spanish for caregivers of children who have received ear tubes.

Family Services – Gayle Gilmore MSW – $12,000

Social Work Professional Development
Funds will be used to pay the registration fees for Children’s National social workers to attend local and national conferences. These meetings introduce new techniques and help to advance skills and develop leaders that support a Top 5 Pediatric Hospital.

Nephrology – Charu Gupta MD – $878

Doppler Blood Pressure Measurement for Dialysis Center
Purchase a Doppler measurement system for the Hemodialysis Clinic. Children with end-stage renal disease are medically fragile and blood pressure monitoring is critical. The Doppler system will allow for more accurate and easier measurements, subsequently leading to better clinical management decisions for children with kidney failure on dialysis.

Neurosciences – Dana Harrar MD, PhD – $20,125

Continuous EEG Monitoring in CICU & PICU
Purchase a server to permit storage of EEG records that could be used for subsequent research which will guide the development of treatment strategies aimed at optimizing outcomes for critically-ill children at risk of brain injury.

Neuroscience Research – Beata Jablonska PhD – $10,000

Amino Acid as a Noninvasive Treatment for Brain Damage
Currently there are no effective therapeutic approaches to treat very small infants with white matter abnormalities in very small premature infants which occur from lack of oxygen and blood flow. This study seeks to determine if specific amino acids might be used to ameliorate this risk of brain damage. Data obtained will be used to support a larger scale federally funded research grant.

Child & Adolescent Protection – Alison Jackson MD, Division Chief – $29,310

Child Physical Abuse Clinical Decision Tool
A significant proportion of children who suffer severe injury or death due to maltreatment have been previously evaluated by physicians. The extent of education and training of physicians and nurses in detection of abuse is variable. This grant will provide a proven clinical decision support tool that will be embedded within the electronic medical record in the Emergency Medicine Department. This tool will trigger clinical care guidelines improving health outcomes and saving lives.

Sheikh Zayed Institute – Rafael Jaimes PhD – $7,782

Real-time Assessment of Cardiac Energetics
Funds to develop an innovative device and accompanying software to allow cardiac surgeons to measure oxygenation in real time following cardiopulmonary bypass procedures. Low cardiac output syndrome is a primary cause of mortality following surgery. This proposed work will provide assistance to clinicians treating these patients by giving them an early warning alarm.

Cardiac Intensive Care Unit – Kara Klem RN, Clinical Instructor – $358

Heart Institute Patient & Family Education
Purchase child and infant simulation dolls to teach parents taking their children home after major heart surgery how to perform CPR and administer injections. This is part of a larger initiative to educate CICU nursing staff on how to comprehensively educate families to care for children with congenital heart disease at home after hospitalization. Proper education at discharge reduces re-admissions and medical errors and empowers caregivers to be knowledgeable about their child’s condition and treatments.

Center for Genetic Medicine – Susan Knobloch PhD – $16,756

Sexual Dimorphism after Traumatic Brain Injury
Provide funding to purchase supplies for a study which will explore why females have a better response in recovery and treatment after traumatic brain injury (TBI) than males.

Emergency Medicine – Ioannis Koutroulis MD – $15,455

Children with severe sepsis experience high morbidity due to multi-organ failure. This grant provides funds to support research to investigate whether altering cell communication could lead to improved cell energy production and alleviate the excessive immune response, thereby achieving better clinical outcomes.

Physical Therapy – Staci Kovelman PT – $5,310

Biofeedback for Physical Therapy
Funds will be used to purchase a visual biofeedback machine. Biofeedback is a training technique that allows an individual to gain some element of voluntary control over muscle strengthening, using a device that produces auditory or visual stimuli. With children, the use of visual feedback has been shown to
improve adherence to therapy.

Transport Medicine – Katie Krieder, Pediatric Education Specialist – $8,490

iSimulate for the Critical Care Transport Team
Purchase an iSimulate ASi simulation system that will allow the Critical Care Transport Team to conduct medium fidelity simulations in both aircraft and ambulances. This system has the capability to have the team practice critical care skills such as highly infectious disease cases and patients on ECMO. The Transport Team is a high-volume neonatal and pediatric specialty team, that completes over 5500 transports annually 24/7 with multiple ambulance and helicopter teams.

Center for Genetic Medicine – Wei Li PhD – $25,211

Identifying Drug Targets to Selectively Kill Brain Tumors
Glioblastoma is one of the most aggressive cancer types, with a 5-year survival rate of about 20% in children. Research funding will identify critical genes and potential drug targets for glioblastoma cells using a new, genome-wide technology named “CRISPR screening.”

Autism – Yetta Myrick, Community Outreach Coordinator – $15,941

CASD – Center for Autism-Spectrum Disorders
Allocate funds to create an autism and sensory friendly environment for patients at CASD locations in Rockville, Upper Marlboro and Friendship Heights. Providing an accepting space for families will decrease stress and support the children.

Volunteer Services – Kristie Nardini, Volunteer Coordinator – $27,500

Dr. Bear’s Closet
Dr. Bear’s Closet significantly contributes to the comfort and care of the patients and families. Funding from this grant will allow Volunteer Services to cover essential non-clinical patient and family services, consumable items and equipment that significantly and positively impact those who visit Children’s National.

Nursing Education – Wayne Neal RN, Patient/Family Education Manger – $3,971

Teaching Infant CPR to Caregivers
All parents of children with a diagnosis of a heart condition, prematurity, choking incident or breathing problem must be taught infant CPR before discharge. Research shows that parents forget 40-80% of what is communicated to them during the stressful time of hospitalization. Our nurse educators propose a research project to assess the value of a take home CPR teaching kit to improve the outcomes of children at risk.

Sheikh Zayed Heart Institute – Nikki Posnack PhD – $25,000

Transfusion-Related Cardiac Complications
Pediatric patients have double the rate of blood transfusion complications, including increased mortality rates, compared to adults. This grant provides research funds to determine if red blood cell storage time, irradiation, and storage lesion negatively impact cardiac function.

Child Development – Cristiano Santostefano Psy.D – $1,780

Assessing Caregiver Mental Health
To provide mental health screening to detect postpartum depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress syndrome in parents of preemies and medically complex infants and toddlers. Early detection and swift referral are beneficial in treating problems and enhancing the child’s psychological and social development.

Cardiology – Jacqueline Sanz PhD – $5,000

Cardiac Neurodevelopmental Outcome Program Smartphone Application
Children with congenital heart disease have an increased risk of neurodevelopmental and behavioral impairment. This grants funds development of a smart phone app for families of children through age 5 who have CHD. The app would provide information at certain developmental milestones specific to this group of patients to increase participation in CANDO and improve overall outcomes.

Intestinal Rehabilitation – Aliza Shabanowitz RN – $1,841

Cookbook for Short Gut
Funds to develop a resource cookbook for children with Short Gut who suffer from significantly reduced intestinal length making it difficult for them to absorb nutrients. The cookbook will offer a resource for innovative, but nutrient-rich recipes for the patients and families.

Critical Care Medicine – Ashley Siems MD – $23,179

Tracking Interprofessional Performance During CPR
CPR requires intricate coordination between multiple providers with different expertise (nurses, physicians, pharmacists and respiratory therapists). This grant will provide new eyesight technology to tract team member’s attention during CPR simulation. This knowledge will provide the basis for training teams to perform better during CPR and thereby improve survival rates and neurologic outcomes after CPR.

PANDA Palliative Care Team – David Steinhorn MD – $17,250

Bedside Clinical Training for Integrative Therapies
The PANDA Team will create a 4-day course for bedside clinicians to be trained in integrative therapies to reduce suffering in hospitalized children. A holistic approach to care for and support the patient and family using nonpharmacologic therapies is critical in meeting patient and family needs.

Gastroenterology – Janel Talley – RN – $2,400

Intestinal Rehab Tract to Home
Purchase equipment and visual/instructional aides to assist nurses in conducting complex discharges for families of children suffering from Short Bowel Syndrome.

Celiac Disease Program – Vanessa Weisbrod, Program Manager – $21,848

Celiac School Action Guidelines for Education (SAGE) Initiative
There is a growing need to educate school officials and implement nation-wide standardization of school guidelines to manage the day-to-day issues of assuring the safe participation of children with Celiac disease in schools. This grant will support the construction of a web and digital app-based training platform for families, school administrators, teachers, nurses, psychologists, coaches and food-service personnel.

Family Services – Yanique Williams LSW – $1,094

Anacostia Girls Health Group
Provide funding for supplies needed to create the Anacostia Girls Health Group. The focus of this group will be to encourage a healthy lifestyle, while also promoting self-awareness and self-esteem.

Total Awards – $350,235

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.