In this issue
- President's Message
- Special Feature
- Society News
- Membership Bulletin
- Case Quiz
- Conference Central
- Career Center
Amy Billett, MD
Optimizing the state of the pediatric hematology/oncology workforce is critical to the future of our field. The issues in our specialty are wide-ranging. Are we training the right number of fellows? How do we optimize the role of pediatric hematology/oncology trained physicians in the care of our patients? How can we further support career development at all career phases and in a wide variety of pathways? How can we optimize training pathways? There are much more.
What We’ve Been Doing
These are but a few of the reasons that workforce was identified as a key strategic goal of ASPHO. Even before the new strategic plan, leadership appointed a Workforce Strategy Advisory Group in 2015, which supervised the development of two important manuscripts: Current State of the Workforce and Implications for Fellowship Training that were published in Pediatric Blood in Cancer in 2017, along with accompanying editorials.
The workforce data collection led by ASPHO continues and the 2017 ASPHO Workforce Survey results are now available to members.
ASPHO is committed to ongoing data collection and analysis as recommended by the Workforce Strategy Advisory Group and approved by the board of directors.
- The board has charged the Practice Committee, under the leadership of Janice Olson, with developing a new workforce survey strategy that will achieve a higher participation rate while surveying members at the optimal frequency.
- Post-fellowship employment data from the 2017 Annual Survey of Fellowship Directors will be shared on the Clinical Forum in the online Member Community in early January. Thanks to members Scott Borinstein and Scott Moerdler for their dedication to collecting this information.
Advocating for the role of the subspecialist is a specific objective under the Workforce Goal in our strategic plan. The board has charged various committees with determining how to best carry out this objective using the tactics below.
- Identify the specific training necessary for pediatric subspecialists in the ever-changing workforce models.
- Create awareness of various career pathways vital to the field through our website’s Post-PHO Fellowship Program Directory (providing non-ACGME subspecialty training options) and the quarterly Career Spotlight on our Early Career Forum member community.
- Ongoing education that helps all practicing professionals navigate their career pathway such as job negotiation, mentoring, and career planning at all career phases.
- Existing offerings include mentoring, the Early Career Council, and multiple workshops at previous meetings.
- The Professional Development and Training Committees, led by Vandy Black and Mark Atlas respectively, are developing content for future Conference workshop submissions.
- The Conference Planning Committee will incorporate these priorities into meeting development.
- ASPHO will work to provide program and division directors with better resources to help them guide trainees and faculty to the wide array of career pathways and options available to them.
What You Can Do
Amy Billett, MD
Care During a Natural Disaster: Implementation of an Emergency Plan and Lessons Learned
On the weekend of August 25–27, 2017, Hurricane Harvey made landfall on the South Texas coast. Rainfall totals in the Houston area ranged from 28 to 56 inches, according to the National Weather Service. Estimates were that 70% of Harris County, which includes Houston, was covered by 1.5 feet of water and 136,000 structures were flooded in the county alone (Harris County Flood Control District).
The Texas Children’s Cancer and Hematology Centers (TXCH) operate out of three Houston-area Texas Children’s Hospitals (TCH). At our Texas Medical Center (TMC) campus we average approximately 80–90 inpatient hematology/oncology and bone marrow transplant (BMT) patients daily. Our outpatient TMC hematology/oncology clinic sees 100 patients with 50 infusions daily. After the storm, TCH closed outpatient services at all three area hospitals for an entire week, resulting in the loss of over 700 TXCH outpatient visits in the TMC alone.
The first order of business was caring for our inpatients. Fifteen faculty and fellows were called in to ride out the storm in the TMC hospital while one physician stayed at each TCH community hospital. Three to 4 days after Harvey made landfall we were able to relieve the entire initial ride out team at the TMC campus with staff who could safely make it to the hospital.
Attention quickly turned to rescheduling the hundreds of outpatients we would not be able to see. We prioritized patients who were due for any medical treatment while deferring those who were off therapy or nontherapeutic visits for several weeks after storm recovery. We also had to find ways to reschedule all the sedated procedures lost. We were able to reopen the BMT clinic on a limited basis six days after landfall and hematology/oncology clinic 7 days after.
Some lessons learned include:
- Having personnel on the ride out team dedicated to the clinic rescheduling process rather than providing direct inpatient care.
- Utilizing faculty who had power at home to help with prioritizing their patients for rescheduling.
- Other institutions in the state were able to help by seeing some patients who evacuated from the city. At TCH one person was designated to fax clinic notes and roadmaps to these institutions.
- Daily communication with staff outside the hospital by email was crucial. Fellows and faculty were being contacted by parents directly for guidance and updates about reopening as well as for help regarding managing patients at home.
- Blood products could not be easily replenished during or immediately after the storm given the severe flooding. Good communication with the blood bank was essential in advance of transfusions.
- Even when clinics reopened some patients were still not able to travel to our facilities.
Harvey was hopefully a once in a lifetime event. A large team of faculty, fellows, nurses, appointment schedulers, and other hospital staff was able to work together to ensure patients were able to get back to their normal treatment schedule as soon as possible. This storm was closely followed by Hurricanes Irma and Maria, which both affected other portions of the country and required individualized disaster responses. We would be happy to offer guidance to other centers who may find themselves in a similar situation.
Tim Porea, MD
Texas Children’s Cancer and Hematology Centers
Copyright © 2017 by the American Society of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology. All rights reserved. The views and opinions expressed in the Feature Articles are those of the author alone and do not imply an opinion on the part of ASPHO, its Board of Trustees or staff. The information in this newsletter is intended to provide readers with resources and information that they may find useful and of interest and is only current as of the publication date. ASPHO is not liable to any party as a result of their reliance on the information, recommendations, services, or resources discussed or made available through this newsletter.
Are you attending the ASH Annual Meeting and Exposition in Atlanta? Be sure to visit ASPHO at Booth #1741 and get the latest information on upcoming programs.
ASPHO is also pleased to applaud member Betty S. Pace, MD, of Augusta University, who will receive the inaugural ASH Award for Leadership in Promoting Diversity at this year’s ASH Annual Meeting and Exposition. The award was established by ASH to recognize hematologists who have supported the development of an inclusive hematology workforce, encouraged the career development of underrepresented minority trainees, or made a commitment to inclusiveness through contributions in support of ASH’s mission.
ASPHO members are encouraged to attend the award presentation when ASH President Kenneth C. Anderson, MD, recognizes Dr. Pace’s contributions on Sunday, December 10, at 1:30 p.m. during the meeting.
The ASPHO Awards Committee and Board of Trustees are pleased to announce the three leaders who will be honored during the 2018 ASPHO Conference in Pittsburgh in May.
Distinguished Career Award
Michael Link, MD
Palo Alto, CA
From his nominators:
“Michael is a consummate clinician, teacher and clinical researcher who has had a profound effect on how pediatric cancer is treated, and a major influence on generations of young physicians. He has been a national leader in pediatric cancer organizations for over two decades and is widely respected for his knowledge and his ability to cut right to the heart of important questions. He has had a major influence on our careers, and we feel privileged to call him a friend and colleague.”
Frank A. Oski Memorial Lectureship Award
Julie Park, MD
Seattle Children’s Hospital
From her nominators:
“Under Dr. Park’s leadership, outcomes for patients with neuroblastoma have gradually improved, and the recent findings of her COG Phase 3 study, ANBL0532, demonstrated a significant improvement in survival through the incorporation of tandem myeloablative chemotherapy treatments for patients with high risk disease. She is also a talented mentor, coach and leader and works with a fiercely loyal staff of physicians, nurses, researchers and research assistants. I cannot think of a more deserving person for this award.”
George R. Buchanan Lectureship Award
Stephen Hunger, MD
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
From his nominators:
“During the last two decades Steve has mentored several fellows and junior faculty in the field that have gone to take leadership positions across the country. Steve’s endless energy, compassionate attitude, dedication to trainees and junior faculty remind me of that of Dr. Buchanan. I believe that Steve is a fantastic candidate for this award.”
To honor these leaders in the field as they receive their awards, be sure to attend the 2018 ASPHO Conference May 2–5 in Pittsburgh, PA.
Increase your knowledge and register for Neonatal Thromboembolism: Management Challenges and Potential Solutions | Tuesday, January 23, 2018, at 3 pm CT.
Moderator: Chris Guelcher, RN-BC MS PPCNP-BC, Children’s National Health System
Speakers: Jennifer L. Meldau, MSN CPNP CPHON RN-BC, Hemostasis Nurse, Children’s National Health System; Yaser Diab, MBBS, Children’s National Health System
Neonates account for the largest proportion of thromboembolic events seen in the pediatric population. These events often occur in sick term and preterm infants. Newborns are at increased risk of thrombotic complications due to unique characteristics of their hemostatic system and exposure to known triggers such as indwelling catheters. Moreover, the management of thrombosis in this patient population is more challenging compared with older age groups and requires careful consideration of the risks and benefits.
- Review important aspects of the neonatal hemostatic system and their impact on the pathophysiology, diagnosis and treatment of neonatal thromboembolic events.
- Discuss diagnosis and management of common neonatal thromboembolic events.
- Review the role of pediatric multidisciplinary anticoagulation consult services with focus on Advanced Practice Nurse Practitioner–managed service model.
A SIG THAT WILL BOOST YOUR IMMUNITY!
We are very excited to announce that the Clinical Immunology SIG will have its inaugural meeting in Pittsburgh!
The Clinical Immunology SIG was formed as a way to help incorporate clinical immunology into pediatric hematology/oncology practice. We hope to increase awareness and understanding of the immunological basis of disease presentations, therapies, and complications. This will include a commitment to education focused on the diagnosis and management of immunologic disorders. We also hope to use the Clinical Immunology SIG as a platform for the development of clinical studies. We wish to attract clinician scientists with a broad range of interests, including clinical care and basic and laboratory research. Prior to the meeting, the Clinical Immunology SIG will complete a needs assessment. Topics of interest may include an overview of immunodeficiency disorders, laboratory evaluation, and management of immunodeficiency disorders relevant to practice. Various areas of focus such as immunohematology, hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis, immune complications of checkpoint inhibitors, and immune effector therapies may also be considered. Importantly, the Clinical Immunology SIG represents an important partnership between the ASPHO community and other relevant societies such as the Clinical Immunology Society. Together we are poised to boost our immunity knowledge!
The SIG is led by Chair David Buchbinder, MD MS, and Vice Chair Shanmuganathan Chandrakasan, MD.
A New Special Interest Group for ASPHO Physician Scientists
The Physician Scientist Special Interest Group (PS SIG) will provide a national networking forum for members who are interested in a career as a physician scientist (lab-based) in the field of pediatric hematology/oncology. The expected membership and audience include physician scientists with significant lab-based effort, as well as non-physicians (basic scientists, nurses, students etc.) who have a strong interest in basic/translational research in pediatric hematology/oncology, and clinical investigators who have a strong interest to collaborate with basic/translational researchers. The mission of the PS SIG is to support the advancement of ASPHO members and the field through advocacy for physician scientists among the membership and leadership of ASPHO and related professional organizations, as well as the home institutions of the members.
The PS SIG plans to have a workshop during the annual ASPHO conferences and will be open to all ASPHO meeting attendees. The PS SIG workshop activities will include small group discussions to assess the needs of PS in today’s academic climate, solutions to address these needs, including publications, promotions, grants, team science, work–life balance, protected time, and translation to clinical application. The SIG is led by Chair Kathleen M. Sakamoto, MD PhD, and Vice Chair Sinisa Dovat, MD PhD.
Learn more about ASPHO’s SIGs or go directly to the online Member Community to join one!
Professional Development Committee
Under the direction of Vandy Black, MD, and Lindsay Frazier, MD ScM, the Professional Development Committee (PDC) continues to bring a variety of opportunities to enhance all levels of career growth to ASPHO members.
At the 2018 conference in Pittsburgh, the popular Early-Career Roundtable Luncheon and Speed Mentoring session will be back, providing opportunities to help Early-Career members reach their career goals. In addition, two other sessions will be available at the conference for all career levels:
- A preconference half-day workshop on mentorships’ core competencies
- A workshop on providing effective feedback, allowing participants to develop skills for using frame-based feedback as well as discuss barriers to resolve conflict among team members.
The PDC continues to offer the ASPHO Mentoring Program throughout the year and will be sponsoring a webinar on the Essentials of Mentoring with Christine Pfund in March 2018.
Ultimately, the goal of the PDC is to continually assess and develop resources, programs, and tools to support all career levels of a member’s professional development needs.
Welcome to the new Comings & Goings section for sharing career changes in Society members’ position, department and institution. Take this opportunity to keep your colleagues and professional network informed. Remember to update your member profile!
The Early Career Council continues its series featuring various career paths available to pediatric hematology/oncology physicians, with its 7th issue featuring Dr. Jonathan D. Fish and his work in the area of survivorship. To read this and other profiles in the series, join the Early Career Forum on the ASPHO Member Community.
A Small Infant with Cytopenias
Deirdre Nolfi-Donegan, MD; Erika Friehling, MD
A 9-week-old, full-term female infant presented to the hospital with new onset fevers, irritability, and tachycardia. Her temperature was 38.9 degrees Celsius, heart rate 180 beats per minute, respiratory rate 32 breaths per minute, and blood pressure 111/76 mmHg. Her weight was in the third percentile (4010 g), and her height was in the second percentile (52.8 cm). On exam, she was well-proportioned, nondysmorphic without hepatosplenomegaly. She had a full head of hair with no obvious skeletal or skin abnormalities.
Registration for the ASPHO Conference opens next week.
Connect with the pediatric hematology/oncology field at the ASPHO Conference and stay in Pittsburgh to visit
- The Andy Warhol Museum—the collection includes 900 paintings, approximately 100 sculptures, nearly 2,000 works on paper, more than 1,000 published and unique prints, and 4,000 photographs
- The National Aviary—The National Aviary is America’s only independent indoor nonprofit zoo dedicated exclusively to birds. The Aviary’s diverse collection comprises more than 500 birds representing more than 150 species from around the world, many of them threatened or endangered in the wild.
- Fallingwater—America’s most famous architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, designed Fallingwater for the Kaufmann family. It instantly became famous, and today it is a National Historic Landmark.
Get the most out of your trip to Pittsburgh.
The ASPHO Conference Planning Committee invites the submission of abstracts for papers and posters to be presented at the 2018 ASPHO Conference May 2–5 in Pittsburgh, PA.
Abstracts must be original basic, clinical, or social science abstracts that relate to the field of pediatric hematology/oncology.
Submitted abstracts should focus on a topic such as hemostasis, thrombosis, vascular biology, case studies, red cells, hematology, leukemia solid tumors, bone marrow transplant, quality improvement, or outcomes research.
The deadline to submit is Tuesday, January 9, 2018, at 11:59 AM PST (12:59 PM MT, 1:59 PM CT, 2:59 PM ET)
The application period is now open for the Young Investigator and Early Career Stipend Awards.
Young Investigator Award
Applications for the Young Investigator awards are open.
Those who submit an abstract and meet the eligibility requirements may submit an application for one of two ASPHO Young Investigator Awards.
The Young Investigator Award was established in 1989 to formally recognize excellence in clinical and basic science research in pediatric hematology/oncology.
These awards will be presented at the 2018 ASPHO Conference. The deadline to apply is Tuesday, January 9, 2018.
Early Career Travel Stipend Award
Fellows and recent fellows who submit an abstract to present at the 2018 ASPHO Conference also can apply for a travel stipend.
The Early Career Travel Award Stipend Award was created to provide funding for deserving young investigators to attend the ASPHO Conference to present their work and be introduced to the many benefits of ASPHO's education and networking programs. This award is based on evaluation of abstracts submitted for the conference.
Five awards will be presented at the 2018 conference and are funded by the Enriching the Future Campaign. The deadline to apply is Tuesday, January 9, 2018.
Visit the Career Center Today
Visit ASPHO’s popular Career Center to stay on top of job openings in the field. The Career Center is the go-to source for employment and targeted recruitment opportunities in pediatric hematology/oncology.