The University of Chicago Medicine - Comer Children's Hospital

Department of Pediatrics 2017 Annual Report

Community Health Academic Pediatrics

Patient Liam with mom Jackie Baker

We are improving the management of complex asthma in underserved kids in Chicago

Children and adults in Illinois have the highest rate of mortality from asthma in the country for reasons that are not fully known. But prevention of mortality is fully possible. The Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes in Chicago (ECHO-Chicago) is a program of weekly clinical training sessions that connect University of Chicago Medicine subspecialists with health care providers throughout Chicago via high-definition videoconferencing. Four asthma experts lead the ECHO series on complex pediatric asthma, which completed its inaugural year in 2017. Funded by a five-year grant from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration, the 15-session asthma module is one of three pediatric-specific ECHO programs currently offered to community providers.

Primary care providers on the South Side of Chicago are well aware that asthma affects 20 percent of children living in these neighborhoods and is one of the most common reasons that their patients end up in the emergency department and have to be admitted. By enrolling in ECHO-Chicago, community providers expect to upgrade their skills in managing children with poorly controlled asthma by learning the latest evidence-based guidelines.

Satyanarayan Hegde, MD, Crystal Stevenson, Jeannine Cheatham, APN, CNS, and Stephanie Zaas

There is a common misperception among families and providers that using a nebulizer on a child who is having a severe asthma attack is first-line treatment at home, but nebulizer use is associated with more complications in complex asthma and frequently delays a child coming to the ED when it is warranted. Clinicians should be instructing families that the use of a metered-dose inhaler is the appropriate treatment at home when a child is having an asthma attack. The ECHO team is currently developing a video demonstrating the proper use of an inhaler for community providers to show to patients and families.

Clinicians should be instructing families that the use of a metered-dose inhaler is the appropriate treatment at home when a child is having an asthma attack.

The ECHO-Chicago team will be collecting data on the impact of the asthma sessions on health outcomes of kids and on provider behavior, similar to the research conducted on other ECHO-Chicago training modules. Daniel Johnson, MD, director of ECHO-Chicago, studied prescribing patterns of practitioners before and after receiving ECHO training on pediatric ADHD, for example. The number of first-time prescriptions of ADHD medications fell as much as 73 percent post-ECHO training, reflecting the curriculum’s emphasis on behavioral approaches to managing ADHD, according to Johnson.

The ECHO asthma project will also partner with the new South Side Pediatric Asthma Center, a collaboration between the Department of Pediatrics and the University of Chicago Medicine’s Urban Health Initiative and other health providers, to improve pediatric asthma management in underserved areas. “We are aligning our teaching with the recommendations of the center to ensure we consistently deliver asthma care across the South Side of Chicago,” says Johnson. “In addition, patients with asthma who come to the ED and don’t have a primary care provider will be connected to an ECHO-Chicago asthma-trained provider for ongoing care.”

Additional pediatric-specific ECHO modules include ADHD and obesity and co-morbidities, with modules on headache and concussion and trauma-informed care in the works. In 2016-17, ECHO-Chicago participants included 368 health care providers from 51 different community health centers in Chicago.

Academic Appointments

  • Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
    Director, Pediatric Clerkship

  • Professor of Pediatrics and Orthopaedic Surgery
    Director, Primary Care Sports Medicine

  • Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics
    Chief, General Internal Medicine

    Named a Top Doctor in 2018 by Chicago magazine

  • Associate Professor of Pediatrics
    Medical Director, Pediatric Mobile Medical Unit

  • Michael Boettcher, MD

    Clinical Associate of Pediatrics

  • Donald Brown, MD

    Clinical Associate of Pediatrics

  • Clinical Associate of Pediatrics

  • Joy Elion, MD

    Clinical Associate of Pediatrics

  • Gary Fernando, MD

    Clinical Associate of Pediatrics

  • Associate Professor of Pediatrics
    Associate Director, Pediatric Residency Training Program

  • Professor of Obstetrics/Gynecology and Pediatrics
    Ellen H. Block Professor of Health Justice
    Vice Provost for Academic Leadership, Advancement, and Diversity, University of Chicago

  • Professor of Pediatrics
    Medical Director, Child Advocacy & Protective Services

  • Associate Professor of Pediatrics
    Associate Director, Pediatric Residency Training Program

  • Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Science and Pediatrics
    Director, Pediatric Ophthalmology

  • Assistant Professor of Pediatrics

  • Aisha Jameel, MD

    Clinical Associate of Pediatrics

  • Professor of Pediatrics
    Chief, Academic Pediatrics
    Associate Chair, Clinical Services

  • Clinical Associate of Pediatrics

  • Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
    Director, General Care Nursery

  • Associate Professor of Pediatrics

  • Clinical Associate of Pediatrics

  • Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
    Associate Director, Pediatric Residency Training Program

  • Munzareen Padela, MD

    Clinical Associate of Pediatrics

  • Clinical Associate of Pediatrics

  • Assistant Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics
    Hospitalist Scholar

  • Clinical Associate of Pediatrics

  • Assistant Professor of Pediatrics

  • Carolyn and Matthew Bucksbaum Professor of Clinical Medical Ethics
    Professor of Pediatrics, Medicine, Surgery and the College
    Associate Director, MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics
    Co-Director, Institute for Translational Medicine

  • Associate Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics

  • Assistant Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics
    Associate Chief Medical Information Officer

  • Clinical Associate of Pediatrics

  • Carl Toren, MD

    Clinical Associate of Pediatrics

  • Clinical Associate of Pediatrics

  • Anitha Vinod, MD

    Clinical Associate of Pediatrics

  • Assistant Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics

  • Professor of Human Genetics and Pediatrics
    Medical Director, Human Genetics

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