Table of Contents
- President’s Message
- Special Feature
- Society News
- Membership Bulletin
- Case Quiz
- Conference Central
- Career Center
Patrick Leavey, MD
The 2019 Conference in New Orleans was yet again a tremendous success with greater numbers of attendees than ever before leading to outstanding networking opportunities, as well as novel educational events which included the first time that an ASPHO Presidential symposium was presented in a TED-style format. I thoroughly enjoyed the meeting, attending a wide array of terrific educational sessions, superb award presentations from Dr.’s Wilbur Lam, Elliott Vichinsky, Ken McClain and Charles Mullighan, and outstanding platform presentations from very talented Young Investigator awardees. I even tweeted for the first time! Thank you to all the awardees, presenters, ASPHO volunteers and staff whose tireless effort on our behalf resulted in an amazing week.
In addition to the Conference, the ASPHO Education Committee has embarked on an ambitious journey to evaluate our portfolio of educational offerings, content and formats, the first examples of which were on display in New Orleans. The Knowledge and Assessment Resources (KARE) toolkit was launched in parallel with the Review Course earlier this year, providing PHO professionals with a wider choice of targeted educational options. I’m pleased to share that based on feedback and interest from those who have purchased these new products, the KARE Toolkit has been very well received.
In keeping with the opportunity to consider formats of presentation, as I mentioned above, I elected along with input from the education committee to host the Metabolism in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Presidential symposium in a TED-style format. My impression from other meetings I’ve attended that used this format, has been this style is inviting, informal and welcomes a greater sense of audience involvement without detracting from the quality of science nor ability to use presentation aides. Dr.’s Ralph DeBerardinis, Navdeep Chandel and Rachael Grace presented three different facets of metabolism - the opportunity to study in-vivo metabolic susceptibilities in cancer, the role of the mitochondria in more than ATP generation, and the translational research that lead to effective treatments for metabolic hematological syndromes. While I may be a little biased, this was simply an outstanding session and with such success I can only say, watch this announcement space for next year’s Presidential session!
In closing, the work of ASPHO, our work to treat the patients and parents we are privileged to see, our work to train our future colleagues, our opportunity to build interdisciplinary teams of professionals and our need to advance outcomes for kids with the spectrum of clinical conditions for which we provide care, continues. The 2019 ASPHO Conference provided a wonderful opportunity to share this professional experience with colleagues and friends, to explore the burdens of care in sessions dedicated to our own health, and to leave New Orleans excited and empowered with new knowledge. I’m sure the 2020 Conference in Fort Worth will do the same. I look forward to ongoing improvements, ongoing collaborations and next year’s HAT (inside joke, but ask anyone who was at the Conference and they’ll tell you!!)
Global Hematology – A Leveled Playing Field
Akshat Jain, MD MPH, at the SMS Medical School, Department of Medicine, Jaipur India, after presenting the Annual Honorary Visitation Lecture on Advances in Global Hematology and Cellular Therapy.
The virtual connectivity on the cloud has brought the global scientific community to a very interesting era in medicine. My work in the field of global hematology began in Africa as a medical student in Mauritius, a small island in the Indian Ocean rim with a unique genetic intermix of Creole African and South East Asian immigrants. Observing and treating prevalence and morbidity of thalassemia major and hemophilia in a country going through the HIV epidemic was an eye opener. Ever since, in my various roles as project director of consultation to national governments and organizations, I see an important need to globally address the following issues.
A Look at ASPHO’s Finances
The details of the 2017 year-end results were presented at the Society's Annual Business Meeting, May 3, in Pittsburgh, PA, during the 2018 ASPHO Conference.
Sources of Revenue
The Society’s revenue streams include member dues, event registration fees, grants and sponsorships, exhibits, and advertising. The chart below illustrates the percentage of revenue derived from these sources in 2017 by cost center.
Proceeds from membership, the conference, and the review course are used to offset volunteer and administrative operations, as well as other programs that do not produce revenue.
2017 Operating Revenues
2017 Expenses by Program
The ASPHO Conference requires the largest share of resource dollars annually, followed by the general administrative costs of running the organization.
2017 Operating Expenses
Net assets have grown steadily over the past decade and reached $1,388,967 at year end. This figure is sufficient to support operating expenses for more than 6 months, a targeted benchmarked amount for healthcare associations of similar size. In 2017, a positive variance over budget was attributable to increased registration and sponsorship for both the annual conference in Montréal and review course.
2018 Budget and Forecast
The 2018 budget revenues are $2.20 million with associated expenses of $2.18 million. This year’s conference was once again a success with attendance over 1,000. However, the board is forecasting a 2018 operating deficient due to a significant decrease in sales of preparatory materials for the ABP Maintenance of Certification examination. In January, ABP notified pediatric hematology/oncology subspecialists of the postponement of recertification examination dates through 2022 anticipating roll-out of MOCA-Peds. At this time, the Society anticipates meeting the forecast.
|Investment Income||$15, 000|
The AAP Section on Hematology/Oncology (SOHO) and the American Society of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology (ASPHO) developed and implemented a collaborative policy review process in January 2014. The overarching goal of the process is to provide pediatric hematology/oncology (PHO) review expertise regarding policy and other documents for physicians who care for children with blood disorders and cancer. This process addresses two general areas.
The first is the review of policies and guidelines from other AAP sections and committees as well as, at times, from other medical societies. SOHO and ASPHO established the following 11 review groups that engage 52 members of our organizations:
- Solid tumors
- Benign hematology
- Leukemia/lymphomas/lymphoproliferative disorders
- Health care delivery and health policy
- Coagulation disorders
- Stem cell transplantation
- Oncology supportive care
- Survivorship and late effects group
Their review and feedback help to reinforce the voice of PHO specialists as it pertains to statements developed by internal AAP as well as external groups (i.e. American Society of Hematology (ASH)). Since inception, the policy review groups have reviewed over 166 policy statements, clinical practice guidelines, book chapters and other documents from the AAP and other societies. Thank you to all who volunteer and have supported this effort over the past 5+ years!
The second area is the development of AAP policies that address PHO-related conditions and issues. As part of the technical review process, draft policy is reviewed by the appropriate PHO review group/s along with many groups within the AAP who provide feedback to the authors. Below is a list of policies that have been developed in collaboration with ASPHO:
- Health Supervision of Children with Sickle Cell Disease (revision)
- Treatment of Iron Deficiency Anemia in Infants, Children and Adolescents (new clinical report)
- Long-term Follow-up Care for Pediatric Cancer Survivors (also in collaboration with the Children’s Oncology Group; revision)
- Evaluation for Bleeding Disorders in Suspected Child Abuse and Evaluating for Suspected Child Abuse: Conditions That Predispose to Bleeding (also in collaboration with the AAP Committee on Child Abuse; revision)
There is also PHO representation on two clinical practice guidelines developed/under development by the AAP:
- Clinical Practice Guideline for the Management of Infantile Hemangiomas
- Clinical Practice Guideline on Hyperbilirubinemia
We are very appreciative of the joint review group members who continue to volunteer their time and expertise to support this valuable collaboration. Watch for future opportunities to serve on the policy review groups in Fall 2019.
Articles about sessions and posters presented at the conference were published in numerous publications and online sites.
As you finish up your fellowship program and look toward the future, navigate your next career move with ASPHO. Stay connected to an active peer community of 2,000 members and in-the-know about key issues in the field.
Whether settling into a new position or pursuing opportunities, the next year is a critical time to build your network and advanced knowledge. Access to valuable member resources—such as the Clinical Forum, online Member Community, mentoring program, special interest groups, and award and leadership opportunities—give early career professionals a boost as they establish their careers.
Diversity Special Interest Group—ASPHO 2018 and Beyond
Jacqueline Casillas, MD MSHS, Kerice Pinkney, MD, Emily Meier, MD MSHS, and Pinki Prasad, MD MPH
Pipeline OutreachEarly outreach to the pipeline of potential future clinicians and researchers is critical to ensure success for increasing diversity within our workforce of pediatric hematology/oncology. A recent review on ensuring success for investigators from diverse backgrounds in academic pediatrics has highlighted that while 38% of individuals in the United States are from racial/ethnic backgrounds, our workforce within the field of pediatrics does not mirror these numbers (United States Census Bureau, 2016). Only 12% of pediatricians in the U.S. are from racial/ethnic diverse backgrounds (American Academy of Pediatrics, 2013). There are only 5% of medical school faculty in the United States who are from diverse backgrounds (Association of American Medical Colleges, 2015). There is no specific data available within our field of pediatric hematology/oncology but given that we are a subspecialty within pediatrics, it is likely similar or even with potentially lower numbers. Nonetheless, this data highlights the need for outreach early on in the medical school training pipeline. This early outreach can initiate an important mentoring opportunity. The Diversity Special Interest Group (DSIG) of ASPHO has made it a top priority for our group’s activities to begin with early outreach where we connect medical students with faculty in the field of pediatric hematology/oncology at every ASPHO national meeting.
This year, the DSIG collaborated with the medical school of the host city for our annual meeting, the University of Pittsburgh Medical School (UPMS), to sponsor a medical student – pediatric hematology/oncology faculty meet-and-greet event. This event was held at the UPMS’ Scaife Conference Center the night before the ASPHO conference. The Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at UPMS hosted the dinner event under the faculty leadership of Dr. Erika Friehling, who is the associate program director of pediatric hematology/oncology. We also had the following student leadership (1) Medical Scientist Training Program, Kevin Levine; (2) Pediatric Interest Group, Stephanie Hum; and (3) Oncology Interest Group, Theresa Reno. The networking and mentorship event held on May 1, 2018, included a presentation by Dr. Jackie Casillas, 2017–2018 chair of the DSIG on academic career pathways in pediatric hematology/oncology. This was followed by a question and answer session with Dr. Casillas and Dr. Emily Meier, 2017–2018 past-chair for the DSIG, for the 22 medical students that were in attendance. In addition, the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh supported the opportunity for five students to attend the ASPHO conference by paying for their registration fees. The students who also were supported to attend the Pediatric Blood & Marrow Transplant Consortium were Alicia Mizes, Andrew Hughes, Mondira Ray, Kevin Levine, and Gaelen Dwyer. These selected medical students were paired with faculty guides at the ASPHO conference to help them navigate the meeting and serve as mentors to answer questions regarding pursuing a career in academic pediatric hematology/oncology.
Be the Match
In addition to the mentoring program at UPMS, we started the evening with a presentation from representatives of Be the Match, National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP), who included Lisa Maloney and Deborah Vehec. They discussed the ongoing efforts to increase the donor pool from diverse racial/ethnic communities. The U.S. NMDP provides life-saving opportunities through the bank for various hematologic, immunologic and metabolic disorders. Research has shown that there has been under representation of communities of color in the donor banks (Johansen et al., 2008). Therefore, the NMDP has recognized that targeted recruitment efforts are needed to increase the knowledge and the donor pool of under-represented minority populations (Johansen et al., 2008). The NMDP presentation included an overview of their program and statistics about who is represented in their bank. They read a letter from a thankful family and the response from the donor who was able to save the life of a child through his stem cell collection. This was followed by a question and answer period with the medical students on opportunities to be a match, as well as their targeted recruitment efforts for our diverse communities.
Our keynote speaker for 2018 DSIG workshop was Darin A. Latimore, MD, Deputy Dean for Diversity and Inclusion and Inaugural Chief Diversity Officer, Yale School of Medicine. His talk was titled “Unconscious Bias and How It Affects the Hiring Process.” There is increasing awareness in academic medicine regarding the need for targeted efforts to train healthcare providers on unconscious bias. Unconscious bias can cause disparities in both the delivery of care to patients but also result in disparities of faculty diversity within our institutions. Dr. Latimore led an interactive session with ASPHO attendees, wherein the audience were asked to participate in a self-reflection exercise on how we view different people projected onto the screen, as well as group exercises on how we can all enter a scenario seeing things we are pre-conditioned to see because of our own bias. By receiving diversity training, such as how unconscious bias affects the way we perceive people, we can become more knowledgeable and be self-reflective of the lenses through which we see someone — whether it be due to race/ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, age, or physical attributes such as height or facial expression. He encouraged the audience to take the Implicit Association Test (IAT)—one method for measuring implicit bias at http://implicit.Harvard.edu. As healthcare providers, we often assume that we treat everyone equally and would not evaluate faculty applicants differently due to gender or racial/ethnic differences, for example, but research has shown the contrary (Bates et al., 2016; Holm et al. 2017). However, through educational interventions, including our 2018 DSIG workshop on unconscious bias, one of the first steps of providing a solution to a problem is recognizing that it exists and which educational opportunities can be implemented. The ASPHO DSIG leadership welcomes and continues to encourage future opportunities in disparities training for future large group workshops at the national ASPHO conference.
United States Census Bureau. (2016). QuickFacts. Retrieved from https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/table/PST045215/00. Accessed June 24, 2016.
American Academy of Pediatrics. (2013). Demographics of women physicians and pediatricians. Retrieved from https://www.aap.org/en-us/Documents/dwmep_women_med_demographics.pdf. Accessed June 24, 2016.
Association of American Medical Colleges. (2015). Table 3. Distribution of U.S. medical school faculty by rank and race/ethnicity. Retrieved from https://www.aamc.org/download/453416/data/15table3.pdf. Accessed June 24, 2016.
Johansen, K. A., et al. (2008). Efforts of the United States’ National Marrow Donor Program and Registry to improve utilization and representation of minority donors. Transfusion Medicine, 18(4), 250–259.
Holm, A. L., et al. (2017). Recognizing privilege and bias. Academic Medicine, 92(3), 360–364.
Bates, Carol, et al. (2016). Striving for gender equity in academic medicine careers. Academic Medicine, 91(8), 1050–1052.
Flores G, et al. Hot topics, urgent priorities, and ensuring success for racial/ethnic minority young investigators in academic pediatrics. International Journal Equity Health, vol. 15, no. 1, 2016, doi:10.1186/s12939-016-0494-6.
Announcing New Adolescent and Young Adult Hematology/Oncology SIG!
We are very excited to announce the formation of the Adolescent and Young Adult Hematology/Oncology SIG!
The Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) Hematology/Oncology SIG was formed to improve the care of AYAs with cancer and blood disorders through education, clinical collaboration, advocacy, and research initiatives by supporting ASPHO members. Although AYA and transition programs are being developed in oncology and hematology respectively, no current organization facilitates collaboration between the two specialty areas. ASPHO is ideally situated for development of this group, as it is the only national organization that is truly inclusive of all aspects of both hematology and oncology. Through this SIG, we plan to collaborate to identify gaps in available tools for both patient and care provider education. We will be performing a survey to help understand the needs of this patient population and the programs that serve them to guide future initiatives. We are very excited to move forward with this new endeavor and for all future collaborations. Please join our group to stay up to date on our activities! The SIG is led by Chair Stefanie Thomas, MD MS, and Vice Chair Jacquelyn Baskin, MD MS.
Physician Scientist SIG
The inaugural meeting of the Physician Scientist Special Interest Group (PS SIG) took place during the ASPHO Conference in Pittsburgh, PA. A physician scientist workshop was organized under the leadership of Kathleen M. Sakamoto, MD PhD (Chair), and Sinisa Dovat, MD PhD (Vice chair). Panel members Alejandro Sweet-Cordero, MD, Ernest Frugé, PhD, Melissa Hudson, MD, and Betty Pace, MD, discussed challenges in basic/translational oncology, population science, clinical research, and translational hematology that are pertinent to physician scientists. Interactive discussion with members of PS SIG (more than 25 attendees) revealed several challenges of high interest for physician scientists: a) difficulty obtaining extramural funding—the typical age of the first R01 grant recipient is early 40s, and the median age of an R01 holder is 60 years. It was noted that large amounts of preliminary data are required for foundation as well as NIH grants. The need for training young investigators in grant writing through workshops and mock study sections was emphasized. Several educational venues, including the Early Career Review Program at NIH were suggested as solutions; and b) importance of mentorship for young physician scientists. Identifying pediatric hematologists/oncologists who have R01 funding, as well as other scientists that have funding that focuses on pediatric hematology/oncology will help young investigators to identify potential mentors and/or collaborators and enhance the sense of community among members of the SIG.
The importance of mentorship regarding career development, as well as lab management was discussed. Future plans of the PS SIG include preparations for a workshop at the next ASPHO conference, where the most important issues for physician scientists (identified by the survey) will be discussed. Related ideas included the possibility for webinars and a listing of foundations that support exclusively pediatric hematology/oncology research on the ASPHO PS SIG web site as well as a listing of recipients of these grants to facilitate identification of experts and mentors in specific research areas. The overall goal of the SIG and future activities will focus on ways to increase and sustain the pipeline for physician scientists in pediatric hematology/oncology.
Learn more about ASPHO’s SIGs or go directly to the online Member Community to join one!
Looking for ways to get involved? Here are a few ideas:
- Write a Special Feature article or a Diversity Corner article for an eNews edition
- The Special Feature section of eNews is designed to be a personal reflection or opinion piece on broad issues in pediatric hematology/oncology, that are of interest to ASPHO’s diverse membership.
- The Diversity Corner articles allow members to address diversity and inclusion issues affecting the PHO field.
- Engage fellow members through online communities
- Join a Special Interest Group (SIG)to engage and network with other members that share common interests. By joining a SIG, you will have access to the online member community for that particular group.
- The online Clinical Forum is a great way to receive feedback from members regarding clinical care and cases, as well as give your feedback, regarding challenges that other members may be encountering.
- Become a mentor or mentee in our popular Mentoring Program
- Volunteer for an ASPHO committee position
- Applicants can apply year-round, with the committee appointment process taking place each year in the winter months.
- Learn about the different ASPHO committees and complete an application
Members are invited to share career changes in position, department and institution in Comings & Goings.
Congratulations to the following ASPHO member:
Oluwaseun Olaiya DO; Peds Heme Onc/BMT Fellow Mukta Sharma, MD MPH , Associate Professor Pediatrics Division of Hematology/Oncology/BMT, Children’s Mercy Hospital Kansas City, MO
A 5 week old infant presented to the emergency room with abnormal “twitching” seizure like activity. He had a 1 week long history of congestion with associated decreased appetite and increased fussiness. He was born term at 39 weeks and discharged home the day after delivery. Mother had not received prenatal care.
Over 1,200 specialists from more than 30 countries came to New Orleans last month for the 2019 ASPHO Conference, making it the highest attended conference to date.
Attendees learned about key issues in the field, scientific advancements, and professional development strategies at interactive and engaging presentations, including 26 educational and seven platform sessions with 26 papers and more than 450 posters.
- a record number posters and special interest group meetings
- the return of the popular Battle of the Superstars, poster tours, and speed mentoring
- the 5th annual 5K Fun Run/Walk, with winners: Women's Runners: Julie Boiko, University of California San Francisco, Michelle Hudspeth, Medical University of South Carolina, Men's Runners: Chris Denton, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, and Kevin Campbell, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
- launch of a mobile app for the conference
- a growing social media presence on ASPHO’s Facebook and new Twitter feed and an engaging ‘selfie board’ for posting
- a complimentary professional headshot opportunity.
Awards recognizing research, innovation, and leadership in the field were presented: The Distinguished Career Award was presented to Michael Link, MD, of Stanford University; Julie R. Park, MD, of Children’s Hospital & Medical Center, received the Frank A. Oski Memorial Lectureship Award; and Stephen P. Hunger, MD, of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia received the George R. Buchanan Lectureship Award. Additional awards include ASPHO’s Clinician Educator Award, Young Investigators Award, Early Career Travel Stipend Award, and International Travel Award.
ASPHO also is proud to partner with Northwestern Mutual Foundation for the inaugural 2018 Northwestern Mutual Award for Excellence in Childhood Cancer Survivorship honoring Les Robison, MPH PhD, of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and St. Baldrick’s Foundation for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation Robert J. Arceci Innovation Award, which was awarded to Alex Kentsis, MD PhD, of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.
At the Society’s Annual Business Meeting, President Amy Billett, MD, shared updates on the Strategic Plan adopted in 2017, gave an overview of the Society’s membership, thanked outgoing and welcomed incoming volunteers, and passed the gavel to Patrick Leavey, MD, welcoming him as the Board of Trustees President for the 2018-2020 term.
Thank you to all the volunteers, presenters, sponsors, and attendees who made #ASPHO2018 a success. Special recognition is due to the Conference Planning Committee, led by Chair Denise Adams, MD, for developing the signature education meeting and networking hub for pediatric hematology/oncology subspecialists.
The online recording is a valuable reference compiling 49 hours of synchronized audio recordings and slides of seven platform sessions, 26 educational sessions, and five presentations by award recipients at the 2018 ASPHO Conference in Pittsburgh, PA. 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 will be available for purchase soon.
Don’t forget to log in and complete the conference evaluation to provide your feedback. Once you complete the evaluation, you can print a certificate for continuing medical education credit.
PBMTC Education Program attendee evaluations also are available. Log in with the e-mail address you used to register for the meeting and PBMTC as the password.
Add ASPHO’s May 6-9, 2020, Conference at the Fort Worth Convention Center in fort Worth, TX, to your calendar!
Explore what Fort Worth has to offer!
The Conference Planning Committee is now accepting workshop proposals for presentation at the 2020 Conference in Fort Worth.
The deadline to submit a workshop is Thursday, July 25 at 11:59 pm ET.
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.