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Delirium is a frequent occurrence among children hospitalized with cancer, affecting nearly one in five patients, according to new research from Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian.

The study, published Nov. 21 in the Journal of Pediatrics, revealed that children who were either younger than 5 years old, had an underlying brain tumor, were recovering from surgery or receiving benzodiazepines — a class of drugs that treat anxiety, nervousness, seizures and other conditions by altering chemical signals in the brain — were at greatest risk for delirium, a mental state characterized by changes in alertness, cognition or awareness. The investigators say their findings demonstrate that children with cancer are at risk for developing delirium, and underscore the importance of routine screenings for the condition, which is associated with poor health outcomes, prolonged hospital stays and increased distress for patients and their families.

Analise Scarpaci's career debut also changed her long-term health.
Dr. Barry Kosofsky spoke on concussion impacts for teens.

The study by Dr. Jennifer Levine and colleagues, which is published in Cancer, found that women who survived childhood cancer faced an increased risk for nonsurgical premature menopause, resulting in lower rates of live birth for female survivors in their 30s.  Learn more 


Harvard Physician-Scientist Honored for Research on Genetic Blood Disorders

Dr. Vijay Sankaran, a physician-scientist who investigates the molecular underpinnings of pediatric genetic blood disorders, has been awarded the 3rd Annual Gale and Ira Drukier Prize in Children’s Health Research at Weill Cornell Medicine.

The Drukier Prize honors an early-career pediatrician whose research has made important contributions toward improving the health of children and adolescents. Dr. Sankaran is a pediatric hematologist and oncologist at Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, and an assistant professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School.  He was recognized for his innovative research on red blood cell disorders, using genetic studies.   Full Story 

A pilot study led by
Jeffrey M. Perlman, MB, ChB involving 11 Tanzanian Physicians and Midwives found that new ways of approaching care in Tanzanian hospitals led to a significant reduction in preterm mortality.   The study, which has implications for most global resource-limited settings, was published today in PLOS ONE.  Dr. Perlman, a professor of pediatrics at Weill Cornell Medicine and Chief of Newborn Medicine at NewYork-Presbyterian Komansky Children’s Hospital, and his research team explored ways to improve birth rates by providing midwifes and other members of the healthcare team with a low cost “care bundle.”  The results are an overall 26% reduction in premature infant mortality and up to a 70% reduction in premature infant mortality when infants are exposed to all components of the care bundle. 

Before Dashiel was born, Alissa had expected her son to be hospitalized for two weeks. Because “Dash” had congenital heart defects along with Down syndrome, she wanted him to have the best care — even if it meant driving two hours from her home in the Hudson Valley to NewYork-Presbyterian’s Upper East Side Manhattan campus and the NYP Komansky Children's Hospital.  But after Dash underwent surgery to place a shunt into his pulmonary artery, leading to his aorta, to make sure he had enough oxygenated blood going into his lungs, he suffered troubled breathing and dangerously high fevers. Two weeks turned into six months, making the hospital the only home he’d ever known. 

The family endured their greatest challenges with help from a broad community of caregivers, from the friends and family who watched the kids to the nurses who loved and cared for Dash like Alissa did.

Learn more about Dashiel's Story

We are pleased to announce the appointment of Snezana Nena Osorio, M.D., M.S. as Vice Chair for Quality and Patient Safety in the Department of Pediatrics. In this new position, Dr. Osorio will lead and expand the Department’s Quality and Patient Safety initiatives. She will continue to provide clinical care in the Division of General Academic Pediatrics and serve as an educator in the Department of Pediatrics.

Dr. Osorio brings demonstrated experience, innovation, and leadership in quality and safety. Since joining the Department of Pediatrics at Weill Cornell Medicine, Dr. Osorio has 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. KCH FAC is a group of dedicated parents whose children have been hospitalized at NewYork-Presbyterian. The FAC has become a vital part of family-centered care, working with hospital staff to improve safety measures and the patient experience with initiatives such as the Family Faculty and Family Centered Rounds. This work was supported by a Clinical Scholar Award for Patient Safety and Quality from the Department of Pediatrics.

Dr. Virginia Pascual is on a mission to help sick kids. As the Drukier Director of the Gale and Ira Drukier Institute for Children’s Health at Weill Cornell Medicine, that means fostering a passion for unconventional thinking. Children are not little adults.  In one Drukier Institute research project, Dr. Pascual and her team --  investigated a disorder called systemic onset juvenile arthritis, which causes joint inflammation, rashes and other symptoms in young children and has no effective therapies.  Through basic research, a collaboration with Hospital for Special Surgery, and a pilot clinical trial, the team was able to improve the life of one little girl.

Visit the WCM Newsroom to learn more and see the video

The Department of Pediatrics is excited to participate in Weill Cornell Medicine’s inaugural Diversity Week.  We look forward to a week of engaging and important lectures and activities, including the Department of Pediatrics Grand Rounds on Tuesday, April 24th presented by Dr. Yewande Johnson entitled "Health Equity: Improving the Healthcare Ecosystem Through Promotion of Cultures of Inclusion."   Grand Rounds take place at 8:30 am in Uris Auditorium (1300 York Avenue).  

Pediatric faculty Dr. Erika Abramson, Dr. MacKenzi Nicole Hillard, and Dr. Joy Deanna Howell present a faculty development workshop on "Unconscious Bias" from 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm in the Griffis Faculty Club. 

See the Diversity Week program for the complete schedule of activities and talks.

PDF iconDownload the complete Diversity Week Program


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