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The Department of Pediatrics is pleased to announce the opening and accreditation of our new Leukodystrophy Center (LC),  directed by Dr. Eric Mallack, an assistant professor of pediatrics and co-directed by Dr. Jamie Palaganas, assistant professor of clinical pediatrics, both in Division of Child Neurolgy at Weill Cornell Medicine.

There are more than 50 types of rare genetic disorders that disrupt the central nervous system​, known as leukodystrophies. Collectively, ​these disorders affect about 1 in 7,000 people. 

The Weill Cornell Physicians Organization has selected seven outstanding physicians for the Healthcare Leadership Fellows Program (2020-2021) to foster their development as physician leaders, including Cori Green, MD, MSc, associate professor of clinical pediatrics and Director of Behavioral Health Education and Integration in Pediatrics in the  Weill Cornell Medicine Department of Pediatrics.  

Dr. Green's fellowship will focus on the Behavioral and Mental Health (B/MH) program from an educational, clinical, and research standpoint in the Department of Pediatrics.  The Department's initiatives will reach primary care faculty and practices and, eventually, subspecialty and inpatient care as well.  For year one starting in July 2020, the goal is to begin to change attitudes and culture for all faculty members, to implement a 3-year longitudinal curriculum with the new interns, and to implement B/MH screening in the primary care settings.  Dr. Green plans to be concurrently participating in the Fellowship Program during year one, and her project will be to study these implementation efforts. 

Dr. Juhi Kumar

The Department of Pediatrics is pleased to announce the appointment of Juhi Kumar, M.D., M.P.H. as Medical Director of the Pediatric Kidney Transplant Service in the Division of Pediatric Nephrology.

Dr. Kumar is an Assistant Professor in Pediatrics and Assistant Professor in Population Health Sciences at Weill Cornell Medicine. She is an expert in conditions affecting the kidneys in children, from congenital structural kidney abnormalities, kidney diseases causing proteinuria and hematuria, high blood pressure and fluid and electrolyte disorders. She cares for patients across the spectrum of kidney disease from acute kidney injury to chronic kidney disease that ultimakidney ately require renal replacement therapy, including dialysis and transplant. Dr. Kumar is also an Assistant Attending Pediatrician at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center and NYP Phyllis and David Komansky Children’s Hospital.

While most states have closed schools and made social distancing a priority to address the COVID-19  pandemic, parents may be wondering how they can help their children cope with being housebound and physically cut off from friends and family.

Sticking to a schedule, explaining the importance of social distancing in an age-appropriate manner, staying connected through technology, and seeking out mental health support by using telemedicine all can help.

In this time of uncertainty, the structure of a daily routine provides predictability, said Dr. Justin Mohatt, vice chair for child and adolescent psychiatry, vice chair for faculty practice of the Department of Psychiatry, and an assistant professor of clinical psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medicine.

Health and safety are always among our top priorities at Weill Cornell Medicine. We are closely watching updates from trusted healthcare organizations and governmental recommendations about the new coronavirus (COVID-19), and will continue to keep you informed.  

For up-to-date information, please visit Weill Cornell Medicine's information page:
Coronavirus (COVID-19): What You Need to Know

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Healthy & Happy: Khadijah Sabir gets a post-transplant check-up from her doctor, Dr. Eduardo Perelstein. Credit: Julia Xanthos Liddy

On Khadijah Sabir’s 11th birthday—surrounded by friends and family during a party in her honor at her Brooklyn elementary school, PS 177—she received what she calls “the best gift ever.” After months of incapacitating exhaustion due to chronic kidney disease, which necessitated at least 10 hours of dialysis every night for months, she got the news: a kidney donor had been found.

When Khadijah was just 9 her parents had started noticing that she seemed more fatigued than her three siblings, often falling asleep as soon as she got home from school. Eventually, high levels of creatinine in her bloodwork prompted a visit to a nephrologist, who discovered that her kidneys were failing, likely due to her extremely elevated blood pressure. “We couldn’t believe it,” says Khadijah’s father, Sajid Sabir. “Her blood pressure was worse than an old man’s.” By the time the problem was identified, Khadijah’s kidneys were in such bad shape that she was almost immediately transferred to NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, put on dialysis, and added to the transplant list.

An underlying problem with the production of important cellular building blocks called sphingolipids may explain why children with certain genetic risk factors develop asthma, according to a study by Weill Cornell Medicine, NewYork-Presbyterian and Columbia University Irving Medical Center investigators.

In a previous investigation, teams led by Dr. Stefan Worgall, chief of the Division of Pediatric Pulmonology, Allergy and Immunology at Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, and Dr. Tilla Worgall, associate professor of pathology and cell biology at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, showed that reduced production of sphingolipids causes hypersensitive airways in mice. Now, in a study published Jan. 13 in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, they confirm that asthmatic children who have genetic variations associated with an increased risk for the disease also produce less sphingolipids. The findings may help scientists develop new therapies for asthma that target this underlying problem rather than later symptoms of the disease like inflamed airways.

An esteemed physician-scientist with expertise in pediatric hematology and vascular cell biology, Dr. Katherine Hajjar has been named senior associate dean for faculty at Weill Cornell Medicine, effective Jan. 1. Dr. Judy Tung, a distinguished internist and educator, has been appointed associate dean for faculty development.

Dr. Hajjar will lead Weill Cornell Medicine’s Office of Faculty, which will focus on all aspects of faculty advancement at the institution and under whose auspices the Offices of Faculty Affairs and Faculty Development will operate. The Office of Faculty Development is dedicated to ensuring Weill Cornell Medicine’s physicians, scientists and educators achieve academic success by providing them with the resources and support—including mentorship and leadership training—they need to advance their careers. The Office of Faculty Affairs reviews, processes and tracks all faculty appointments for the institution’s nearly 1,800 full-time faculty members. It implements policies and best practices for promotions and tenure actions, working with academic staff to prepare faculty dossiers, solicit recommendations and manage reviews.

Caring for the Caregivers: Dr. Zoltan Antal leads a workshop for domestic workers on issues affecting children’s health. Photo by John Abbott.

We are very pleased to announce the promotion of Snezana Nena Osorio, M.D., M.S. to Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at Weill Cornell Medicine. Dr. Osorio, who serves as Vice Chair for Quality and Patient Safety in the Department of Pediatrics, leads the Department’s Quality and Patient Safety initiatives, provides clinical care in the Division of General Academic Pediatrics, and serves as an educator in the Department. She is also an Attending Pediatrician at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital.

Since joining the Department of Pediatrics at Weill Cornell Medicine, Dr. Osorio helped to develop the Patient and Family-Centered care (PFCC) Program, including the formation of the Komansky Children’s Hospital Family Advisory Council (KCH FAC) and introducing Family Centered Rounds. She serves as a Quality and Patient Safety Chair for the Department of Pediatrics and in this role she leads the Quality Council and co-leads the monthly safety event reviews.

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