Table of Contents
- President’s Message
- Special Feature
- Society News
Patrick Leavey, MD
December seems like a good month to reflect on behalf of ASPHO and to look forward since there are several items that will require continued attention in 2019, some of which are highlighted below.
ASPHO organizationally has much to be proud of. In 2018, we welcomed the formation of the 11th special interest group; we represented almost 2,000 members — probably > 50% of the practicing pediatric hematology/oncology physicians in the United States; we made strategic investment decisions, given ASPHO’s financial good health; and we initiated an early redesign to the ASPHO board review course educational offerings, in line with an emerging education strategy and financial stewardship. In 2019, at our Conference in New Orleans, we will welcome on stage colleagues whose careers and achievements will be deservedly celebrated in the Distinguished Career, Oski, and George Buchanan awards to name a few; we anticipate the success of the Review Course early in 2019, and we will continue to work with ASCO’s Metric Development and ASH’s Choosing Wisely groups among other external liaison activities.
Just six months ago, in my first message to you, I described the importance of the Diversity Advisory Group and the challenge to ASPHO to be nimble, effective, and proactive as we consider pathways within workforce dynamics and, considering the ever expanding breadth of required expertise, how we deliver educational content to match this. I continue to see these as critical descriptors for outcome in 2019, and I hope you find time to personally let me know where we meet and equally importantly do not meet your needs as an organization.
You also might be interested to hear briefly about Board of Trustee strengths! Board members embarked on a development program this November, wherein we each completed a Gallup StrengthsFinder exercise. This tool categorizes strengths into executing, influencing, strategic thinking, and relationship building themes. The purpose of this exercise was to help the Board of Trustees identify synergistic strengths and talents with which we represent and serve you, our members and colleagues. Importantly to me, strengths in all categories were identifiable across our group. I encourage you to ask any trustee about the value of this exercise when we meet in New Orleans, and I will incorporate the lessons we learned into ASPHO’s decisions and work.
Good luck to fellow applicants and fellowship leaders in the upcoming Match on December 12, and happy holiday season to all.
Fellowship and the Mythology of "Never Again"
“Why do you want this job?” In pediatric hematology/oncology, we were not only asked this in our fellowship interviews, but we continue to be asked it at every turn, accompanied by a pained expression that translates to: “Why do you want to be sad?” We are not paralyzed by sadness because of our belief in “never again.” We know through the work of our dedicated predecessors that our own efforts to come will find success through trying again, and again, to find cures for our patients.
The ironic challenge of fellowship is that so many of our questions are easily answered through past failures that we can study like a premillennial mythology for our young generation. We can’t truly understand with our eyes and our hearts what ‘again’ can be. At the 2018 ASPHO Conference, I watched Elliot Vichinsky debate Michael DeBaun on stem cell transplant versus chronic transfusions for sickle cell disease. I’ve read the statistics proving that these advances have made a meaningful life possible for thousands. Yet for me they are not advances, because I know no other world than the one they’ve created. These pioneering mentors have endured the metronomic, purpuric pounding of again, and again, and again so I won’t have to. They’ve touched the horizon of new possibilities we can only imagine and seen it shift with the landscape they changed, moving again to somewhere new. Now they come back to show us the way.
The road is daunting for a millennial generation with the world at our fingertips, but we know from studying the footsteps of those Vichinskys and DeBauns, those Neunerts and Parks, those Allisons and Honjos, that the horizon has been reached before, that it will move and be reached yet again. So we thank the legends of our mythology for giving us the confidence that one day we too will look back at the horizons we’ve overcome. On that day, we’ll walk back and point the way onward for a young fellow, following the path of our mentors again.
Alexander Glaros, MD
Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Fellow
Children's Hospital of Michigan
Copyright © 2018 by the American Society of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology. All rights reserved. The views and opinions expressed in the Special 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.
Registration is open for the 2019 ASPHO Review Course being held January 31-February 2, 2019, at the Omni Mandalay Hotel in Irving, TX.
The Review Course is designed for physicians planning to take the American Board of Pediatrics (ABP) examination for initial certification in pediatric hematology/oncology and fellows in training and practitioners who wish to review the established standards of care in pediatric hematology/oncology.
Offered every 2 years, the live course offers access to expert faculty, lectures that follow the new ABP content outline, a comprehensive electronic syllabus, practice questions in PDF format, and morphology slides in print format. Attendees receive special savings opportunities on supplemental items.
Register and make your preorder purchases before January 7 to take advantage of early bird rates! Learn more.
As many of you may know, Choosing Wisely is an initiative of the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation that seeks to advance a national dialogue on avoiding unnecessary medical tests, treatments, and procedures. ASPHO will be working in collaboration with the American Society of Hematology (ASH) to develop a Choosing Wisely list with a pediatric hematology focus. This allows ASPHO to meet the external relations goal of its Strategic Plan and provide content expertise to this important endeavor. The collaborative panel will consist of six members from each organization, with one member of each group serving as co-chair for the panel.
Under the direction of the Practice Committee, a call for volunteers generated a number of qualified applicants. Applications were vetted by a small workgroup of members, with selection criteria including clinical experience and background in hematology, pediatric population served, and practice demographics (e.g., practice setting and institution size) to ensure a wide range of knowledge bases were represented. These nominees were then presented to ASPHO leadership for final approval and appointment to the panel. We would like to recognize and congratulate the following members who will serve as ASPHO’s panel members:
- Sherif Badawy (Lurie Children’s Hospital/Northwestern University)
- Mary-Jane Hogan (Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale/Yale School of Medicine)
- Lori Luchtman-Jones (Cincinnati Children’s Hospital/University of Cincinnati)
- Ginna Priola (Mission Health)
- Mona Shah (Texas Children’s Hospital/Baylor College of Medicine)
- Marianne Yee (AFLAC Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta/Emory University)
In the near future, the panel will be soliciting a focused group of ASPHO membership for questions to address and further investigate, and would greatly appreciate your input at that time. The panel will narrow down the list of suggestions, and a systematic evidence review will be completed. Based on the evidence, the panel will work to finalize a list of five items to present to the boards of each organization for approval. We will continue to update members on the progress of the Choosing Wisely panel via future newsletters.
Don't miss the first of our free webinar series!
The first webinar, Laboratory Evaluation of Primary Immunodeficiencies and Immune Dysregulation Syndromes, will be held on Wednesday, December 12, 2018, at 3 pm CT. Register today!
Many new monogenetic immune defects are marked by autoimmunity, lymphoproliferation, and hyperinflammation rather than infectious complications. Hematology/oncology physicians might be among the first to evaluate these patients. Practicing pediatric hematology/oncology physicians and trainees must have a greater foundation of knowledge regarding the laboratory evaluation of these unique and often complex patients. This webinar focuses on the best practices in laboratory evaluation of these immunological disorders, which is vital to ensure timely diagnosis and treatment for these patients and their families.
We will look at mechanisms related to acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) treatment that increase risk factors during treatment and subsequently lead to long-term risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity and insulin resistance. We will discuss interventions that can alter the metabolic pathways to cardiometabolic disease.
- Describe the multifactorial physiologic mechanisms for obesity and cardiometabolic disease and discuss potential prevention strategies for pediatric ALL patients.
- Study the impact of obesity on childhood ALL survivors and long-term health-related outcomes into their adult years.
David Buchbinder, MD MS
Children's Hospital of Orange County
Shanmuganathan Chandrakasan, MD MBBS
Children's Healthcare of Atlanta
Roshini Abraham, PhD
Nationwide Children's Hospital
Mark your calendars for upcoming webinars:
Wednesday, January 23, at 3 pm CT: Addressing Sexual Health in Adolescent and Young Adult Patients with Cancer and Blood Disorders
Wednesday, February 27, at 3 pm CT: Direct Oral Anticoagulants (DOACs): What The Pediatric Hematologist/Oncologist Needs To Know
Wednesday, March 27, at 3 pm CT: Supportive Care for Our Patients with Vascular Anomalies and Associated Syndromes
Thursday, April 11, at 1 pm CT: Rhabdomyosarcoma Update
ASPHO’s Board of Trustees and Awards Committee are pleased to announce three leaders who will be honored during the 2019 ASPHO Conference in New Orleans in May.
Distinguished Career Award
Elliott Vichinsky, MD
UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland
From his nominators:
“Elliott has undoubtedly made a major impact on discovery and immediate translation to care to children and adults with sickle cell disease and thalassemia. He is an internationally recognized expert in hemoglobin disorders, including an intimate knowledge of pathophysiology and natural history, and the varied complications of acute and chronic manifestations of these diseases. He has done this while maintaining his true passion, the simple bedside enjoyment of his patients and families, and his delight in helping them through the most difficult times in their lives as well as the challenge of solving their unique medical dilemmas. We are humbled and honored to have a man of this academic caliber serve as our visionary and inspirational leader, and can think of no other more deserving of the ASPHO Distinguished Career Award.”
Frank A. Oski Memorial Lectureship Award
Wilbur Lam, MD PhD
Emory University School of Medicine
From his nominators:
“Dr. Lam is an extraordinary physician scientist, whose work bridges biomedical engineering and hematology, employing the emerging fields of nano/microtechnology to study hematologic processes and disease mechanisms in ways that are simply not possible with existing standard methods. His unique “basement-to-bench-to-bedside” approach enables his laboratory to invent, translate, and even clinically assess their novel technologies for the good of the pediatric patients we see with blood disorders. He has rapidly established a national and international reputation as a leader in his field (and ours) and he truly represents the future of research in pediatric hematology/oncology.”
George R. Buchanan Lectureship Award
Kenneth McClain, MD PhD
Texas Children’s Hospital
From his nominators:
“Ken has made a durable impact on his patients through his dedication, and on pediatric hematology and oncology through his research, publications and mentorship. The field of Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis has transformed over the last 20 years, with many of the great leaps forward led by Ken and his mentees. Next to Dr. Buchanan, I can think of no better Pediatric Hematologist/Oncologist to be recognized by this tremendous award.”
To honor these leaders in the field as they receive their awards, be sure to attend the 2019 ASPHO Conference May 1-4, 2019 in New Orleans, LA. Registration will open this month.
The excitement is building for next week’s official Match Day!
We would like to thank all of the pediatric hematology oncology fellowship (PHO) program directors, associate program directors, coordinators and faculty for their continued hard work and dedication towards preparing fellows for the profession. As most of you may know, this is the first year that PHO fellowship programs are participating in the Pediatric Specialties Fall match. The match process involves extensive work and planning, and we wish the fellowship programs success with next week’s Match Day on December 12th.
With Match Day upon us, this is a great time to remind Program Directors, and membership in general, of the resources available through ASPHO for trainees and other early career members.
The Mentoring Program is currently available to early career members and offers guidance and networking opportunities for those early in their journey. The program also gives experienced members in the field a chance to serve as a mentor, sharing their experiences and thoughts with early career members, helping to guide the future of the profession. For more information and/or to enroll in the Mentoring Program as mentee or mentor, please visit the mentoring overview page of the career development section on our website.
The early career roundtable luncheon and speed mentoring programs at the ASPHO conference are also great ways for early career professionals to network and receive guidance from experienced mentors.
Members of all career stages can benefit from multiple resources on ASPHO.org. Participation on the online Member Community Clinical Forum can help answer questions and guide you with input for your clinical challenges, as well as allow you to apply your expertise to assist others with their questions. Joining the various online member communities and Special Interest Groups (SIGs) can assist in building your professional network, and be involved in discussion of topics/areas of particular interest to you. These are just a few of the resources available to assist with professional growth, regardless of your career stage.
The Training Committee’s efforts have continued to focus on monitoring ACGME requirements to advocate for appropriate changes in subspecialty requirements, collaborating with external organizations on training related discussion, and promoting the subspecialty to all levels of trainees. Here are some highlights of the committee’s work in these areas:
ACGME PHO Specific Program Requirements
Early this fall, the committee submitted comments, on behalf of the organization, to the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) regarding proposed revisions to the Pediatric Hematology/Oncology subspecialty Program Requirements. The comments included support of combining the current two program requirement documents into one comprehensive and integrated document, as well as support of the continued promotion of supervisory continuity during fellowship training, and emphasis on the importance of training fellows to function as an interdisciplinary team.
The committee suggested clarity from ACGME in the requirements relating to the necessity of having a pain management professional available within the fellowship program, as many institutions may not have a dedicated professional readily available. The committee questioned whether it would be adequate to deem a PHO faculty member with experience in pain management, the pain management professional.
Collaboration with External Organizations
The subject of workforce, related to trainees and fellowship training in general, has also been a recent topic of discussion for the committee. Members were recently informed of the Council of Pediatric Subspecialties’ (CoPS) current workforce action teams, including those on fellowship training length and improving visibility of pediatric subspecialties. The committee will continue to have discussions on workforce, from a training perspective, and solicit feedback from fellowship program directors and membership in general, to promote communication and direct the future focus of the committee.
Our committee liaisons have also been busy representing PHO in external organization meetings. Dr. Amit Soni, liaison to ASH’s Committee on Training (CoT), attended the CoT’s meeting in mid-October, on behalf of ASPHO. Our liaison to CoPS, Dr. Scott Borinstein, participated in the CoPS fall meeting in late October representing ASPHO and the PHO subspecialty.
Promoting the subspecialty to all levels of Trainees
The committee has taken on updating the PHO subspecialty description page on the CoPS website. All pediatric subspecialties are represented on the website, via an individual webpage. The content is geared towards medical students and residents as they make decisions about their future paths, presenting an overview of our subspecialty including career opportunities, pathway to becoming a Pediatric Hematologist/Oncologist, as well the application process for PHO fellowship training. This update process will allow for us to present a more current picture of our subspecialty.
As pediatric hematologists and oncologists, it is important to recognize that the patients we treat represent only a fraction of those that suffer from these devastating conditions living across the world. The ASPHO Global Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Special Interest Group was developed to connect like-minded pediatric hematology/oncology providers with the overall mission to improve the diagnosis, care, and outcomes for children with hematologic and oncologic disease across the world through the development of training partnerships and collaborative research. The Global PHO SIG organizes sessions at the ASPHO Conference and has a dedicated collaborative space within the ASPHO Member Community. We have evolved with time and are always looking for new, interested pediatric hematologists and oncologists (particularly trainees) with interest in global health. Areas of interest have included educational efforts, twinning, and encouraging networking between people doing work in limited-resource settings. We will host another exciting session at the 2019 ASPHO Conference in New Orleans, and we encourage you to join the SIG and attend this meeting. We are also always looking for energetic and globally-minded ASPHO members to become leaders and active participants of this SIG.
We are excited to announce the formation of the Quality Improvement and Patient Safety (QIPS) SIG! The goal of this community is to support and educate members of ASPHO who want help on an existing project as well as support and encourage those who want to integrate QI into their career. We hope to promote collaborations across institutions to improve the quality of care for our patient populations. We want to connect people who are doing great work and learn from each other how to overcome struggles in implementing new standards of care in individual practices. The SIG is led by Chair Meghan Drayton Jackson, DO, and Vice-Chair Christine Smith, MD. We look forward to meeting everyone in New Orleans at the ASPHO Conference this spring and collaborating with other ASPHO committees and interest groups to help ASPHO members be successful in implementing QI initiatives. We are busy planning a session including the state of QI in pediatric hematology/oncology, a moderated panel discussion, and an opportunity to hear how the SIG can best serve the members of ASPHO.
Please join the QIPS SIG online community so we can keep you updated as we begin this new endeavor! Join the SIG.
A key part of representing the pediatric hematology/oncology profession is to understand our membership. Accurate data allows ASPHO to work smarter and better for you, our members, so you get the most relevant information for your needs.
Please take 5 minutes to log in to your ASPHO account and update your professional and personal profile. Thank you for participating and empowering ASPHO to better serve you and the profession with this vital information.
Erin Hall, MD; Ibrahim Ahmed, MD; Mukta Sharma, MD, Children's Mercy Hospital - University of Missouri-Kansas City
A five year old boy with a history of relapsed Ph+ pre-B ALL, now in CR2 and awaiting allogeneic stem cell transplant, presented to clinic with a three week history of left submandibular jaw swelling.
Not only is New Orleans the destination for #ASPHO2019, it is also home to the famous New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. Because Jazz Fest, ending May 5, overlaps with the ASPHO Conference, we suggest you make your arrangements early to ensure convenient travel.
What an exciting time to be in NOLA! Be sure to come early, or stay after conference to attend the festival. Mark your calendar for May 1 - 4, 2019, and reserve your hotel room.
Hilton New Orleans Riverside
2 Poydras Street
New Orleans, LA 70130
$239 plus taxes until April 9, 2019
Phone Reservations: 504.684.3999
Online Reservations: Book Online Now
Registration opens in mid-December.
The ASPHO Conference Planning Committee invites the submission of abstracts for papers and posters to be presented at the 2019 ASPHO Conference on May 1-4 in New Orleans, LA.
Abstracts must be original and include basic, clinical, or social science content that relates 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 January 8, 2019 at 3 pm CT. Learn more.
The Young Investigator and Early Career Stipend Awards applications are now being accepted.
Young Investigator Award
Applications for the Young Investigator Awards are now 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 2019 ASPHO Conference. The deadline to apply is January 8, 2019.
Early Career Travel Stipend Award
Fellows and recent fellows who submit an abstract to present at the 2019 ASPHO Conference can also apply for an Early Career 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 2019 conference. The deadline to apply is January 8, 2019.
Purchase the online conference recording for everyday access to the education from the 2018 ASPHO Conference in Pittsburgh. This valuable resource compiles 49 hours of synchronized audio recordings and slides from 26 educational sessions, seven platform sessions, and five presentations by award recipients into one place you can easily access anytime.
This information is relevant to pediatric hematology/oncology physicians, practitioners, and investigators as well as hospitalists, advanced-care providers, administrators, and other professionals in the field.
The recording is available in an online streaming format. Viewers must have a high-speed Internet connection and speakers or headphones.
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.