Table of Contents
- President's Message
- Upcoming Programming
- Society News
- Membership Bulletin
- Case Quiz
- Conference Central
- Career Center
Enhance Your Professional Development with ASPHO
Doug Graham, MD PhD
ASPHO’s Community/Professional Development strategic goal states ASPHO will “deliver opportunities for career development and community engagement.” ASPHO aspires to play an important role in mentoring and career development for pediatric hematologists and oncologists at every point in their career: early, mid, and late.
ASPHO has a strong history of providing mentoring, networking, and career development for early career members, including trainees and junior faculty. Additionally, as part of ASPHO’s overall workforce strategy, a new membership category was created for medical students and residents to encourage those interested in entering our field as clinicians, researchers, and educators. Our hematology/oncology trainees and junior faculty have provided very positive feedback regarding opportunities tailor-made for them at the ASPHO Conference:
- Speed Mentoring and Early Career Roundtable events provide a forum for mentees and mentors to learn, develop their skills, and support others in career development.
- Workshops and Symposia have historically provided valuable information related to choosing a mentor, contract negotiations, tips for writing grants, and how to achieve work-life balance.
In addition to these offerings at the ASPHO Conference, the Early Career Mentoring Program had a record number of virtual matches in 2022. Since its inception, ASPHO has matched 130 mentees with mentors to help guide them. Recent mentees share their experiences in this new video (aspho.org/mentoring).
The recently approved ASPHO Strategic Plan confirmed our commitment to also provide career development opportunities for our mid- and late-career members. Annual meetings and webinars throughout the year will feature topics that specifically benefit these member groups. Further, ASPHO has prioritized mentoring experiences for our mid-career members, including a Mid-Career Mentoring Program developed by the Professional Development Committee that has met with very early success. This program is a year-long endeavor that commences with an in-person meeting at the ASPHO Conference. A former mentor shared her experience: “I was a bit surprised on how VERY positive the experience was for me as the mentor. Being truly external—this was a remarkable relationship in which I could be certain that I was giving my best and most selfless mentoring and advice and learning myself about being a better mentor.”
Our members at all career stages can benefit from volunteering to serve on one of our ASPHO committees. ASPHO seeks to recruit committee volunteers who reflect the diversity of its membership, and this includes creating committee membership with faculty at different career stages. I have personally been involved in ASPHO committees for more than 20 years, starting as a member of the Training Committee as a hematology/oncology fellow followed by membership on the Conference Planning Committee, Young Investigator Committee (now part of the Professional Development Committee), Nominating Committee (now Leadership Development Committee), Finance Committee, and Board of Trustees. I found committee service to be an effective way to build leadership skills and provide career development as well as network with colleagues across the country. In total, ASPHO offers opportunities to participate in nine committees and 16 special interest groups.
Our 2023 conference is scheduled for May 10–13 in Fort Worth, TX. The meeting will provide high-quality education and chances to receive formal mentoring and career development as well as informal time to network with mentors and colleagues. I look forward to seeing you in Fort Worth!
Read about upcoming programs, webinars, and products to support your work.
The ASPHO Training Committee will host a town hall for fellowship program directors on Wednesday, February 22, 4–5 pm CT. We will be joined by Dr. David Turner, vice president for Competency-Based Medical Education for the American Board of Pediatrics, as he discusses Entrustable Professional Activities (EPAs), including future strategies for utilizing these in fellow evaluations.
Gain new perspectives on issues relevant to clinicians, administrators, and investigators by attending upcoming live ASPHO Webinars featuring Q&A with presenters. Registration includes attendance at the live program and on-demand access.
- The Use of Yoga for Children with Cancer & Blood Disorders, Tuesday, February 28, 3 pm CT
- Vignettes of Vanquishing Vexing Variants, Tuesday, March 7, 3 pm CT
- Hope and Realism: Partnering with Patients and Families Who Hope for Cure Despite Poor Prognoses, Wednesday, April 26, 3 pm CT
Did you miss a recent webinar? Register for past webinars and watch the full presentation and Q&A conversation on demand. Visit aspho.org/webinars for details on the 2022-2023 Webinar Series.
The 2023 edition of ASPHO’s KARE Toolkit—Knowledge and Assessment REsources will be available in February, with updated information to keep you current on essential aspects of pediatric hematology/oncology (PHO). Look for details on how clinicians in every role, as well as researchers, can benefit from the content.
The American Academy of Pediatrics–Section on Pediatric Hematology/Oncology (AAP-SOHO) and ASPHO continue to collaborate via a joint policy review group to provide pediatric hematology/oncology review expertise regarding policy and other related documents for providers who care for children with blood disorders and cancer.
This collaborative group was established in 2014, and since its inception, our policy review groups have reviewed more than 250 policy statements, clinical practice guidelines, book chapters, and other documents from AAP and other societies. Currently, 11 review groups, which engage nearly 60 members of our organizations, help to cover this review process:
- Solid tumors
- Nonmalignant hematology
- Leukemia/lymphomas/lymphoproliferative disorders
- Healthcare delivery and health policy
- Coagulation disorders
- Stem cell transplantation
- Oncology supportive care
- Survivorship and late effects group
The review group terms are 3 years and renewable, and the end of 2022 marked the conclusion of the most recent 3-year term. All review group members were evaluated for eligibility for reappointment in late fall of 2022, and a call for volunteers was held to fill any gaps identified for particular review groups. Thank you to those who submitted their interest in joining the review group. The updated review groups are now set and began a new 3-year cycle in January 2023. We are very appreciative of the joint review group members who continue to volunteer their time and expertise to support this valuable collaboration.
ASPHO would also like to take this time to express our sincere appreciation and congratulations to our colleague Suzanne Kirkwood from AAP-SOHO as she retires after 14 years at AAP. Suzanne served as a manager for SOHO, which included leading this collaborative AAP-SOHO/ASPHO Joint Policy Review Group, and she has been a great ally for ASPHO and the PHO subspecialty.
ASPHO and the International Society of Paediatric Oncology (SIOP) signed a new affiliation agreement with Wiley Publications, which owns and publishes Pediatric Blood & Cancer (PBC), for cosponsorship of the journal for 5 years (from January 2023 to December 2027). Members of ASPHO and SIOP receive an annual online subscription as part of their membership.
PBC’s aim and scope is to publish the highest quality manuscripts describing basic and clinical investigations of blood disorders and malignant diseases of childhood, including diagnosis, treatment, epidemiology, etiology, biology, and molecular and clinical genetics of these diseases as they affect children, adolescents, and young adults. PBC will also include studies on such treatment options as hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, immunology, and gene therapy.
Both organizations are grateful for the continued leadership of Dr. Peter Newburger and Dr. Thomas Gross, PBC editor-in-chief and deputy editor, respectively.
The ASPHO Training Committee is pleased to present this month’s edition of the Career Path Spotlight Series. This resource showcases the career paths of a variety of ASPHO physician members and informs medical students, residents, PHO fellows, and early-career junior faculty members of the career opportunities available to them.
This month’s spotlight features Dr. Joanna Yi from Texas Children’s Hospital/Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.
After careful deliberations, the ASPHO Leadership Development Committee is pleased to announce the following slate of candidates for the officer and at-large positions on the ASPHO Board of Trustees.
In accordance with the ASPHO Bylaws, recently approved by the membership in 2022, this slate was presented to the current ASPHO Board of Trustees and approved.
Vice President: Jeffrey Hord, MD, Akron Children’s Hospital
Secretary-Treasurer: Daniel Wechsler, MD PhD, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta/Emory University
At-Large Trustee: Amir Mian, MD MBA, Georgia Cancer Center/Children’s Hospital of Georgia
At-Large Trustee: Rich Tower, MD, Medical College of Wisconsin
The new Trustees join Caroline Hastings, MD (President), Douglas Graham, MD PhD (Past President), Sarah Alexander, MD (Trustee), Michelle Hudspeth, MD (Trustee), Michael Jeng, MD (Trustee), and Maria Velez, MD (Trustee), who will continue their leadership on the board.
Changes in the Bylaws, being implemented for the first time in our elections process, are to support and encourage a diverse and inclusive leadership environment, including adopting 1-year terms for President, Vice President, and Past President and creating a rigorous board elections process with a noncompetitive slate to better support diversity of the membership in every way: specialty, professional setting, leadership competencies, demographics, and other characteristics in accordance with the Society’s Diversity Statement. To learn more about ASPHO’s leadership development efforts, visit our website.
The Professional Development Committee fielded a successful call for mentee applicants for our 2023–2024 Mid-Career Mentoring Program. To be eligible for consideration, applicants needed to have completed primary PHO fellowship between 2007 and 2014. After careful vetting of the applications, and with consideration for multiple points of diversity, seven applicants were selected to participate in this year’s program.
Congratulations to those members selected to participate!
- Jesús Ardila, MD, Fundación POHEMA/Clínica Imbanaco, Cali, Colombia
- Nitya Bakshi, MD MS, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta/Emory University
- Amanda Blair, MD, Brenner Children’s Hospital/Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center
- Dorothea Douglas-Lindsay, MD, Nemours Children’s Hospital–Orlando
- Erika Friehling, MD MS, UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh
- Hemalatha Rangarajan, MD, Nationwide Children’s Hospital
- Mindy Simpson, MD, Rush University Medical Center
- Stacie Stapleton, MD, Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital
Mentors are currently being finalized for these individuals. The 2023–2024 program will kick off with a group meeting at the 2023 ASPHO Conference in Fort Worth.
Want to learn more about ASPHO’s Mid-Career Mentoring Program? Visit the ASPHO Mentoring webpage.
A Shout-Out from the Member Engagement Committee
Merriam-Webster Dictionary, America’s most trusted online dictionary, defines the verb to engage as “to offer, to attract and hold, to bring together, to provide occupation for, or to induce to participate,” among the many meanings related to how engagement can happen. One may ask how ASPHO could put these concepts into practice.
Perhaps the answer lies in the original vision that ASPHO’s founders had and the main goals that continue to guide the Society in its pursuit for excellence: impact/advocacy; discovery/research; education/knowledge, community/professional development; and practice/workforce. The Member Engagement Committee, tasked with promoting member knowledge and professional development, does so by identifying and evaluating engagement opportunities, including communities of practice (SIGs) and engagement-related member benefits and modes of communication/collaboration.
Do you aspire to keep up-to-date clinically, learning directly from national leaders in this field? Or to screen for the latest job opportunities available in the market? Have you ever wanted to play a role in advocacy or in diversity, equity, and inclusion? How about being introduced to leadership skills or being able to identify a junior/mid-level career mentor who will help you reach a career breakthrough? And what about presenting your research and evaluating where your academic work stands in comparison to your peers? In brief, these are among the many possibilities currently available with ASPHO, by participating in mentoring and other Society programs, networking on the member community, and volunteering with a committee or special interest group.
Since its creation in 1981, physicians specialized in pediatric hematology/oncology have made ASPHO their professional societal home, a place where they have felt represented and heard. Hosting almost 2,000 individuals from their career inception to late-career stages, ASPHO is an organization big enough to claim national representation within one of the biggest pediatric subspecialties—pediatric hematology/oncology—but yet a group where each member can still be heard.
Over the years, ASPHO has strived to incorporate the fast-growing body of knowledge in this field into its educational program. Similarly, it has served as a platform for active membership representation, offering professional growth opportunities required by individuals pursuing clinical and academic careers and inviting ASPHO members to participate and to influence the Society’s growth and reshape it to a contemporary society that can address the unmet needs of its time.
Review Course Committee
The 2023 ASPHO Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Review Course concluded its live portion January 26-29 with 19 sessions presented during the 4-day course. An additional 14 sessions are available on-demand, and course registrants receive on-demand access to all 33 sessions. Over 350 attendees joined the course, many preparing for the upcoming American Board of Pediatrics subspecialty exam, while others joined for a thorough review of key concepts in the field. Special thanks to outgoing Review Course Committee Chair, Dr. Paul Harker-Murray, and Vice Chair, Dr. Cindy Neunert, and the entire committee for coordinating an excellent event. If you missed it and want access to the educational content, please watch for information on purchasing the Review Course On-Demand and KARE resources later this month.
Members are the engine of ASPHO’s 16 Special Interest Groups, in which common interests and challenges drive discussion to spur solutions, learning, and collaboration. In this issue of eNews, read about activities and issues being addressed by the Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) and Palliative Care SIGs.
Vascular Anomalies Special Interest Group
The field of pediatric vascular anomalies has seen tremendous advancement in the last decade, and one great driver has been the ASPHO Vascular Anomalies Special Interest Group (VA SIG). ASPHO provided our field its first home in 2012, and more than 250 members provide a foundation for rapid growth. Early development of a VA SIG Practice Group led to standardizing approaches to classification, diagnosis, and treatment. These recommendations have gone on to fill textbook chapters and journal articles as the first practice guidelines for our field. The VA SIG Education Group maintains the “VA 101” education curriculum for providers and organizes triennial half-day primer sessions for the broader ASPHO community. Members of the VA SIG Research Group became the first to conduct clinical research in vascular anomalies across North America and have since completed retrospective clinical and survey studies.
More than a decade of accomplishments is due to the dedication of VA SIG members and to leadership whose individual participation has made a collective impact in the field. Our annual SIG meeting at the ASPHO Conference is complemented by a fall VA SIG in-person working meeting hosted by one of our member institutions. Each SIG working group also carries out regular virtual meetings to maintain productivity. One recent achievement includes publication of a dedicated volume of Pediatric Blood & Cancer that included a series of vascular anomalies manuscripts all started within the ASPHO VA SIG.
We thank ASPHO for continuing to provide the field of pediatric vascular anomalies with a medical home in the ASPHO VA SIG, and we welcome all who share an interest to join and help move the field forward together!
Quality Improvement and Patient Safety Special Interest Group
Patient Safety Awareness Week is March 12–18, 2023!
Did you know?
- Preventable hospital errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States.
- Hospitalized pediatric inpatients are three times more likely than adults to experience adverse drug events.
- Approximately 60% of the 70,000 adverse events occurring annually in hospitalized children are preventable.
Providing safe care to pediatric hematology and oncology patients is especially challenging due to its inherent complexity.
The Quality Improvement and Patient Safety Special Interest Group (QIPS SIG) offers members the knowledge, tools, and support needed to improve care quality and safety. Since 2018, our 290-plus members have expanded their knowledge, discussed problems faced by nationwide colleagues (and their solutions!), and collaborated with passionate peers. Highlights include:
- QIPS Tips: SIG-developed resources teaching the basics of QI available in our member community
- ASPHO webinar (January 2023) featuring Dr. Evan Orenstein discussing quality informatics and utilizing electronic health records to improve care (recording forthcoming)
- “Works in Progress” sessions, writing groups, and community discussions for members to collaborate and receive expert advice on their own QIPS work
- QI abstract-writing “clinic” featuring tips on writing a QI abstract and real-time editing for abstract drafts. We look forward to seeing those abstracts in Fort Worth, Texas, at #ASPHO2023!
To support the mission and impact of our rapidly growing SIG, we created working groups to manage ongoing initiatives. Please contact our leadership team to join a working group, become more involved in the SIG, or submit questions or ideas.
Trainees in their 1st, 2nd, and 3rd year can their knowledge as a Fellow Membership PLUS member and receive 100 self-assessment questions featuring questions and rationales on key aspects of pediatric hematology/oncology practice. An updated set of 100 questions was added December 1, 2022. Multiple fellows from the same institution can join ASPHO with the group application.
Medical students and residents can also become members and learn about the subspecialty to shape their career paths. Make sure you are experiencing the full benefits of membership! Access on-demand recordings and resources such as past ASPHO webinars and case quizzes. Post questions to your peers in the Member Community and engage in Special Interest Groups.
Please join ASPHO to welcome our newest members! We encourage you to connect on the Clinical Forum to welcome them to the ASPHO member community and expand your peer network. Meet the members who joined since the last issue of eNews.
A 5-Year-Old with Anemia and Thrombocytopenia
The patient is a 5-year-old Caucasian female who is previously healthy and presented to an outside facility after she had syncope at home. For the prior 2 days, she had bloody diarrhea and development of pallor and fatigue. The day prior to presentation, she had one episode of hematemesis and was having epistaxis from both nostrils. She also had decreased oral intake and decreased urine output. Prior to development of these symptoms, she had no medical problems. She eats a regular diet including fruits, vegetables, and meats and no excess of cow’s milk.
Her labs were remarkable for a Hgb of 6 g/dL and platelet count (PLT) of 4x103/mcL, WBC 13x103/mcL with a normal differential. Total bili was elevated at 4.4 mg/dL. Her BUN was elevated at 44 mg/dL, and creatinine was elevated at 0.8 mg/dL. DAT was negative. She had an active nosebleed in the ED and hematemesis of 600 mL. She was given a dose of ceftriaxone and transferred to the ICU. Her neurologic exam was within normal limits. There was no indication of seizure activity from the history.
In the ICU, she was given a pRBC transfusion and platelet transfusions, and follow-up CBC showed Hgb improved to 10 g/dL and PLT improved to 67x103/mcL. LDH was elevated at 4159 U/L. PT was mildly prolonged at 15.9 sec with INR 1.2 and aPTT 30.3 sec. A respiratory PCR panel was positive for RSV.
Based on the clinical presentation and the most likely pathologic process, what would you expect to see on the peripheral smear?
Sara McElroy, MD; Shabnam Arsiwala, MD
Division of Pediatric Hematology Oncology & BMT
Children’s Mercy Hospital
Kansas City, MO
Registration is now open for the 2023 ASPHO Conference in Fort Worth, TX, May 10–13, 2023 with early bird savings through April 12. ASPHO is pleased to provide the home for the PHO community to reconnect, network, and learn. See below for an invitation from Conference Planning Committee Chair Karen Effinger, MD MS, and information about the conference.
“The 2023 ASPHO Conference Planning Committee has designed another remarkable program covering a wide array of topics presented by experts in the field to ensure there will be something for everyone. It will be a fantastic opportunity to hear updates on important topics, learn about cutting-edge research, form new networks, and connect with colleagues. We are so excited to see you in Fort Worth in May!” —Karen E. Effinger, MD MS, Chair, Conference Planning Committee
Take advantage of engaging programming at the conference, including
- Presidential Symposium “Access to Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Healthcare Leading to Improved Outcomes in Under Resourced Countries” where ASPHO President Doug Graham, MD, will lead a panel with Drs. Michael DeBaun, David Poplack, and Carlos Rodriguez-Galindo
- Luminary Speakers Stella T. Chou, MD, and Justin N. Baker, MD FAAP FAAHPM
- Clinical Conundrum sessions, Special Interest Group workshops, Speed Mentoring, and Early Career RoundTable
- Annual 5K, Opening Exhibit Hall Reception, and more!
- Plus, the #ASPHO2023 experience is enhanced with the ASPHO Engage platform providing on-demand education for 60 days following the conference.
View the Conference Schedule and make your plans to join us in Fort Worth! ASPHO is excited to welcome medical student and pediatric resident members to #ASPHO2023 and introduce them to the ASPHO community as they learn about the PHO career path.
Learn more about this vibrant city as you plan your 2023 ASPHO Conference experience and explore Fort Worth’s culinary scene, outdoor experiences, western-themed attractions, and many more cultural offerings!
The conference will take place in-person, and we look forward to providing you with the opportunity to reconnect with colleagues and friends in Fort Worth. A virtual option will also be available to attendees who are unvaccinated or unable to attend in person.
See What's New in the PHO Job Market
Find the latest openings and opportunities in pediatric hematology/oncology with the ASPHO Career Center.
Take advantage of ASPHO's Career Center resources to stay on top of job openings in the field. Skim the Resources section for resume writing, coaching, reference check, search strategy videos, and more. Create a personal account to save job postings and skim FAQs to learn how to best navigate the site! The Career Center is the go-to source where institutions post employment and targeted recruitment opportunities in the field.
Have you seen the latest issue of Advocacy Brief? Learn about important legislative and regulatory issues impacting PHO; #ASPHOadvocacy efforts to support members, patients, and the profession; and how to contact your legislators to support PHO.