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Milestones: E-news from the Department of Pediatrics | University of Wisconsin-Madison


Top Stories: A Genetics Career Grows: Residency Alum Katie Williams, MD, PhD, Returns as a Fellow  |  Meet our New Fellows!  |  Scenes from the American Family Children's Hospital Quality Poster Fair  |  SMAHRT Welcomes High School Summer Research Scholars

In the News: Dr. James Conway Advocates for HPV Vaccination  |  Dr. Megan Moreno Talks About Screen Time for Kids  |  Dr. Dipesh Navsaria on How Adverse Childhood Experiences Predict Health  |  Dr. Jennifer Rehm on New Report on Lack of Healthcare Access for Transgender Youth  |  Dr. Christine Seroogy's Newborn Genetic Screening Project for Plain Communities Profiled on WPR  |  Pediatrics Faculty Profiled in Quarterly Article Celebrating Bone Marrow Transplant Program's 50th Anniversary

Honors and Awards: Dr. Carol Diamond Honored at UW Department of Psychiatry Resident Graduation Ceremony  |  Dr. Robert Steiner Named New Editor of Genetics in Medicine  |  Dr. Jeffrey Sleeth Named GPAM Clinical Chief  |  Dr. Jasmine Zapata Named an SMPH Centennial Scholar 

Wellness Tip: Wellness Symposium, Provider Well-being Update

Learner Tribute: Ellen Connor, MD

Hi-5 from a Colleague: Matthew Harer, MD

New Grants

New Publications

New Faculty and Staff: Katherine Gonzaga, MD  |  Emma Mohr, MD, PhD  |  Jasmine Zapata, MD, MPH  |  Claire Baniel  |  Samantha Fredrickson  |  Stefanie Gerberding  |  Reese Hyzer  |  Elaine (Lanie) Kohn  |  Elizabeth Mann, MD

Top Stories

A Genetics Career Grows

Residency alum Katie Williams, MD, PhD, returns as a fellow

For Genetics fellow and Department of Pediatrics residency alumna Katie Williams, MD, PhD, a community health event during her last year of residency was the spark that launched her career. 

That event, held October 10, 2012, at the Scenic Bluffs Community Health Center in Norwalk, Wisconsin—near one of Wisconsin’s more concentrated Amish settlements—featured an inspiring presentation from Holmes Morton, MD, who was there as part of a Department of Pediatrics visiting professorship. 

Dr. Morton is a world-renowned pediatric genetic specialist and founder of the Strasburg, Pennsylvania-based Clinic for Special Children, which integrates genomic research and practical medical treatment for children with rare genetic disorders.

Dr. Williams was considering entering a genetics and/or endocrinology fellowship after residency, but then she heard Dr. Morton mention that his clinic was looking for a new physician. “The work seemed to have many of the components I was looking for,” she remembers. “It combined basic science and rural healthcare in a truly unique medical model.”

So in October 2013, after residency graduation, Dr. Williams and her family relocated to Pennsylvania. 

At the Clinic for Special Children, Dr. Williams was among pediatricians, nurses, researchers and patient advocates who provide comprehensive care in a medical-home model. She recalls the challenges and rewards of caring for children with significant medical needs, in a way that was mindful of cultural preferences as well as costs. 

“I had the opportunity to work with the Plain community in a very personal way. In many cases, I got to know the child and family well.  At times, I watched that child thrive. Other times, the child passed on and we were there to support the family,” she reflects. “The relationships with the children and families were very important to me. I was so grateful to be part of their lives.”

Her work outside the clinic included a modified pulse oximetry screening protocol for babies delivered by midwives outside the hospital; workshops to train midwives on the protocol and other medical issues in the first weeks of life; and several research projects.

After more than four years at the clinic, she still loved her work, but wanted to broaden her skills and experience with genetic disorders. 

Excited by the Department of Pediatrics’ continued commitment to the Wisconsin Plain Community Project, she sought out our clinical medical genetics fellowship.

In June, she returned to Wisconsin with her family, which had since grown to include three children, and in July, began her fellowship, again working alongside many of the faculty she trained with during residency.  

“It’s great to be practicing in Wisconsin where there is a robust initiative to serve the Plain community,” she says. “I would love to take these two years to strengthen my clinical skills, and then find a way to reach children from the Plain community who don’t already have access to care.”

Full story

Meet Our New Fellows!

This academic year, the Department of Pediatrics proudly welcomes 14 new fellows across the following eight programs: 

  • Allergy and Clinical Immunology
  • Endocrinology and Diabetes Laboratory Genetics and Genomics
  • Clinical Medical Genetics 
  • Hematology and Oncology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Neonatology
  • Pediatric Critical Care
  • Primary Care Sports Medicine
View full list with photos 

Scenes from the American Family Children's Hospital Quality Poster Fair

On July 18, 2018, American Family Children's Hospital hosted its fourth annual Quality Poster Fair at the Health Sciences Learning Center. Participants submitted 77 posters from pediatric areas across the organization—ambulatory care, inpatient care, surgical services, the emergency department—and everywhere in between. The posters were displayed all day and were followed by a late-afternoon reception.

Thanks to everyone in the department who participated. Mark your calendars now for next year's fair, which is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, July 17, 2019.

Below: Drs. Ellen Wald and Diane Heatley discuss Dr. Heatley's award-winning poster on a standardized workflow to reallocate released time in the pediatric otolaryngology clinic. Lower left: An overview of the 77 posters on display at the HSLC. Lower right: Drs. Ryan Coller and Jonathan Fliegel peruse a poster highlighting a project that aimed to improve resident progress notes. 

SMAHRT Welcomes High School Summer Research Scholars 

From July 23-27, 2018, the Social Media and Adolescent Health Research Team (SMAHRT), led by Megan Moreno, MD, MSEd, MPH, hosted a group of high school summer research scholars. The students learned the steps of the research process, heard about different paths in research, and toured American Family Children's Hospital. They also designed and implemented projects focused on technology and health, which were displayed on Friday, July 27, in the HSLC atrium. Check out FOX 47's coverage of the event.

Below, clockwise from upper left: Dr. Moreno with SMAHRT team researchers and high school Summer Research Scholar participants; participant Shreya Godishala talks with Sarah Webber, MD; and participant Lauren Weis with her poster on social media use and attention span.

In the News

James Conway, MD
Dr. James Conway Advocates for HPV Vaccination in Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article

James Conway, MD, (Professor [CHS], Division of Infectious Diseases), along with UW Carbone Cancer Director Howard Bailey, MD, and UW Department of Human Oncology Assistant Professor Randy Kimple, MD, was quoted in a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article on the importance of vaccinating children for human papillomavirus (HPV) as a necessary and safe way to prevent several types of cancers. "[Vaccines] are tested on hundreds of thousands of people, they're scrutinized way more than anything else in the medical system," he said. "Even after they're licensed and put on the market, they're followed really closely for any sort of safety issues." Full story...


Megan Moreno, MD, MSEd, MPH

Dr. Megan Moreno Talks with Marketplace Tech About Screen Time for Kids

Megan Moreno, MD, MSEd, MPH, (Professor and Academic Division Chief, Division of General Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine; Vice Chair of Digital Health, Department of Pediatrics), talked with the host of public-radio show Marketplace Tech about the right and wrong types of screen time for children. They discussed the American Academy of Pediatrics' new recommendations for children's media use, how parents should have conversations about screen time with their children but also be aware of the examples they set, and experiment to see what guidelines work in their own families. 


Dipesh Navsaria, MPH, MSLIS, MDDr. Dipesh Navsaria Quoted in Wisconsin State Journal on How Adverse Childhood Experiences Predict Health

Dipesh Navsaria, MPH, MSLIS, MD (Associate Professor [CHS], Division of General Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine), was quoted in a Wisconsin State Journal article on how childhood trauma can impede development and lead to health and behavioral problems. “There are many possible negative mental health concerns that appear to be associated with high ACE scores, including depression, anxiety, ADHD, suicide attempts,” he said “However, there are also many negative physical concerns, including higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.”


Jennifer Rehm, MD

Dr. Jennifer Rehm Comments on New Report on Lack of Healthcare Access for Transgender Youth 

Jennifer Rehm, MD (Assistant Professor, Division of Endocrinology and Diabetes), spoke with the Wisconsin State Journal about a new report (developed with Brittany Allen, MD, Assistant Professor, Division of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine; Jay Botsford of the Transgender Youth Resource Network; and the Wisconsin Transgender Health Coalition) on how Wisconsin youth who are transgender, nonbinary and gender expansive/nonconforming (TNG) lack access to TNG-centered health care and insurance in Wisconsin. “TNG young people deserve access to high-quality and affirming services, resources and care throughout their lives so that they can successfully grow into affirmed, safe and thriving adults,” Dr. Rehm said.  Full story  |  Full report


Christine Seroogy, MD

Dr. Christine Seroogy's Newborn Genetic Screening Project for Plain Communities Profiled on WPR  

Wisconsin Public Radio profiled a new project led by Christine Seroogy, MD (Associate Professor, Division of Allergy, Immunology and Rheumatology) to expand newborn genetic screening for Wisconsin’s Amish and Old Order Mennonite, collectively known as Plain communities. "We want to be able to offer very rapid, low-cost confirmatory testing of genetic disorders," Dr. Seroogy said of the project. "Additionally, it could be cost-saving, in that we are diagnosing the disorders early, which saves the families lots of diagnostic testing." Full story...


Pediatrics Faculty Profiled in Quarterly Article Celebrating Bone Marrow Transplant Program's 50th Anniversary

Paul Sondel, MD, PhD  Christian Capitini, MD  Kenneth DeSantes, MD  Mario Otto, MD, PhD
The cover story in the current issue of Quarterly, the magazine for alumni, friends, faculty and students of the UW School of Medicine and Public Health, celebrates the 50th anniversary of the first bone marrow transplant and how it's led the way for today's immunotherapies for childhood cancer. Division of Hematology, Oncology and Bone Marrow transplant faculty whose work is profiled in the article are Paul Sondel, MD, PhD (who connections with the program go back to his time as a UW-Madison undergraduate); Christian Capitini, MD; Kenneth DeSantes, MD; and Mario Otto, MD, PhD. Full story...

Honors and Awards

Carol Diamond, MD

Dr. Carol Diamond Honored at UW Department of Psychiatry Resident Graduation Ceremony

At its residency graduation ceremony on June 14, 2018, the University of Wisconsin Department of Psychiatry honored Carol Diamond, MD, an associate professor (CHS) in the Division of Hematology, Oncology and Bone Marrow Transplant, for her contributions to the program. For nearly 20 years, Dr. Diamond supervised many first-year psychiatry residents on their Pediatrics Hematology/Oncology rotation, which Department of Psychiatry leadership considers a "formative experience."

Robert Steiner, MDDr. Robert Steiner Named New Editor of Genetics in Medicine

Robert D. Steiner, MD, FAAP, FACMG, a clinical professor in the Division of Genetics and Metabolism, was selected as the new editor-in-chief of The American College of Medical Genetics' (ACMG) peer-reviewed journal, Genetics in Medicine. Dr. Steiner has been the journal's deputy editor since 2011 and a section editor since 2006. His new role begins in the fall of 2018.  


Jeffrey Sleeth, MDDr. Jeffrey Sleeth Named GPAM Clinical Chief

Jeffery Sleeth, MD, a clinical professor in the Division of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine (GPAM), and a member of the department since 1998, has accepted the position of clinical chief for GPAM effective August 1, 2018. He takes over for Department of Pediatrics Vice Chair Gail Allen, MD, who served in that role since 2013.


Jasmine Zapata, MDDr. Jasmine Zapata Named an SMPH Centennial Scholar 

Jasmine Zapata, MD, MPH, an assistant professor (CHS) in the Division of Neonatology and Newborn Nursery, has been selected as a University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health (SMPH) Centennial Scholar, effective July 1, 2018. She will receive three years of 50 percent protected time to complete scholarly activities related to maternal child health disparities research.

Wellness Tip 

Sarah Webber, MD

Wellness Symposium, Provider Well-being Update

This month, I’d like to highlight the many things going on in the institution related to well-being. UW-Madison is hosting the 4th annual Wellness Symposium on Oct 23, 2018. This event will showcase Laura Putnam, author of Workplace Wellness that Works. In addition, there will be breakout sessions featuring a wide variety of wellness topics. Mark your calendars to attend this event! It will be available to UWMF, SMPH and UW Health employees. Look for an email to register.

I also want to share progress from the UW Health Provider Well-being Committee. This committee was formed last spring to work on system-level action plans to address provider well-being. The fall 2017 UW Health Well-being survey showed that in the domain of “culture of wellness”, the following five factors exhibited statistically significant correlation with both professional fulfillment and burnout:

  1. Perceived appreciation
  2. Personal/organizational values alignment
  3. Control over schedule
  4. Peer supportiveness
  5. Connectedness to other physicians

Based on these results, the committee is prioritizing initiatives in the culture of wellness domain and currently working to create a list of potential system-level action plans. We hope to finalize potential action plans in the coming months.

Wellness conceptual graphic

For more information, please see the full post on the Peds intranet (DOP login required).

Sarah Webber, MD

Learner Tribute

Ellen Connor, MDHere's what a resident had to say about Ellen Connor, MD, (Professor [CHS], Division of Endocrinology and Diabetes):

"Dr. Connor has great relationships with her patients, which is inspiring. She knows tons of medical facts about them and really cares about them and their family. She also obviously enjoys teaching and having learners. She loves what she does and it is contagious. I learned a lot from Dr. Connor and enjoyed working with her!"

Hi-5 from a Colleague

Matthew Harer, MDMatthew Harer, MD, (Assistant Professor [CHS], Division of Neonatology and Newborn Nursery) was recognized with this Hi-5:

"Just wanted to drop a note to say thanks—you are always a pleasure to work with. I appreciate your ability to hear family and nursing perspectives and incorporate them into the plan. You also do little things like get a blood pressure before you assess the baby. Thank you for being considerate and compassionate, consistently!”

Send a Hi-5 to a colleague through U-Connect

New Grants


Dr. Christian Capitini Awarded National Cancer Institute Funding

Christian Capitini, MDChristian Capitini, MD, and co-investigator Sean Fain, PhD, were recently awarded a five-year grant from the National Institutes of Health-National Cancer Institute (NIH-NCI) for their project, “Combining hu14.18-IL2 and NK cell infusions to treat neuroblastoma.” This R01 award for over $1.75 million in total costs will use murine allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant (alloHSCT) models to develop evidence for a clinically applicable combined strategy that utilizes the immunocytokine hu14.18-IL2 to enhance the graft-versus-tumor effect of immunologically activated, ex-vivo activated natural killer (NK) cells, and to track the localization of these NK cells using a novel 19F-MRI platform.

Dr. Paul Sondel Awarded Impact Grant from Hyundai Hope on Wheels

Paul Sondel, MD, PhDPaul Sondel, MD, PhD, has been awarded a one-year Impact Grant from Hyundai Hope on Wheels, a nonprofit organization dedicated to finding a cure for childhood cancer. This $100,000 award will support his research, “Innate and Adaptive Immunotherapy to Eradicate Immunologically Cold Neuroblastoma,” in which Dr. Sondel and his team will develop combination immunotherapy regimens, activating both innate and adaptive immune responses, to eradicate immunologically cold neuroblastomas in mice in order to translate these regimens to potent anti-neuroblastoma clinical therapy. Dr. Sondel and Wisconsin children affected by cancer were honored in a June hand-print ceremony at American Family Children’s Hospital.

Dr. Megan Moreno and SMAHRT Team Awarded Contract 

Megan Moreno, MD, MSEd, MPHMegan Moreno, MD, MSEd, MPH, and the Social Media and Adolescent Health Research Team (SMAHRT) were recently awarded a subaward contract from the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board (NPAIHB) to collaborate on the Tribal Health – Reaching out InVolves Everyone (THRIVE) project. For this one-year award, SMAHRT will play several roles in the Concerning Social Media Training project, including working with the THRIVE team, compiling and analyzing follow-up data, including pre-post analyses and comparisons between study arms, and dissemination of findings. These tasks are in support of the “Concerning Post” youth curricula, for placement on web site, which is designed for tribal health educators, teachers, and parents, and contains health promotion curricula and resources for American Indian and Alaska Native youth.

Students Awarded 2018-2019 Hilldale Undergraduate/Faculty Research Fellowships

The following undergraduate students and their Department of Pediatrics mentors were awarded 2018-2019 Hilldale Undergraduate/Faculty Research Fellowships from the University of Wisconsin:
  • Michael Gui, Microbiology. Mentor: Bruce Klein, MD
  • Hailey Prosek, Biology. Mentor: Pamela Kling, MD
Students receive a stipend of $3,000 and the associated faculty mentor receives $1,000 to offset costs associated with the student's research expenses. The Hilldale student will present research findings at the Undergraduate Symposium in April 2019.

New Publications

Scholarly Publications

Arora G, Esmaili E, Pitt M, Green A, Umphrey L, Butteris S, St Clair N, Batra M, O’Callahan C, on behalf of the Global Health Task Force of the American Board of Pediatrics. Pediatricians and global health: Opportunities and considerations for meaningful engagement. Pediatrics. 2018 July 27. Epub ahead of print. doi: 10.1542/peds.2008-1536.

Bauer AS, Harer MW. Acute kidney injury in the preterm neonate. Curr Treat Options Peds. 2018.

Coller RJ, Klitzner TS, Lerner CF, Nelson BB, Thompson LR, Zhao Q, Saenz AA, Ia S, Flores-Vazquez J, Chung PJ. Complex care hospital use and postdischarge coaching: A randomized controlled trial. Pediatrics. 2018 Jul 11. pii: e20174278. doi: 10.1542/peds.2017-4278. [Epub ahead of print].

Harer MW, Kent AL. Neonatal hypertension: an educational review. Pediatr Nephrol. 2018 Jul 5. doi: 10.1007/s00467-018-3996-1. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 29974208.

McAdams RM, Backes CH, Fathi O, Hutchon DJR. Revert to the original: time to re-establish delayed umbilical cord clamping as the standard approach for preterm neonates. Matern Health Neonatol Perinatol. 2018 Jul 4;4:13. doi: 10.1186/s40748-018-0081-5. eCollection 2018. PubMed PMID: 29997896; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6030773.

Webber S, Butteris S, Houser L, Coller K, Coller R. Asset-based community development as a strategy for developing lgcal global health curricula. Acad Pediatr. July 2018. pii: S1876-2859(18)30071-8. Epub 2018 Feb 7. doi: 10.1016/j.acap.2018.02.001.

New Faculty and Staff


Katherine GonzagaKatherine Gonzaga, MD
Division of Allergy, Immunology and Rheumatology
Dr. Gonzaga is a clinical assistant professor for the Division of Allergy, Immunology and Rheumatology

Emma Mohr, MD, PhDEmma Mohr, MD, PhD
Division of Infectious Diseases
Dr. Mohr has transitioned to an instructor (CHS) and postdoc trainee for the Division of Infectious Diseases


Jasmine Zapata, MD, MPHJasmine Zapata, MD, MPH
Division of Neonatology and Newborn Nursery
Dr. Zapata is an assistant professor (CHS) in the Division of Neonatology and Newborn Nursery



Claire BanielClaire Baniel
Division of Hematology, Oncology and Bone Marrow Transplant
Claire is a graduate intern/trainee with the Division of Hematology, Oncology and Bone Marrow Transplant

Samantha Frederickson
Samantha Fredrickson

Division of Neonatology and Newborn Nursery
Samantha is a research assistant for the Pattnaik research lab

Stephanie GerberdingStefanie Gerberding
Division of Pulmonology and Sleep Medicine
Stefanie has joined us as as outreach specialist for the Division of Pulmonology and Sleep Medicine

Reese HyzerReese Hyzer
Division of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine
Reese is an associate research specialist for the Social Media and Adolescent Health Research Team in the Division of Division of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine

Lanie KohnElaine (Lanie) Kohn
Division of Infectious Diseases
Lanie is an associate research specialist for the Division of Infectious Diseases

Elizabeth MannElizabeth Mann, MD
Division of Endocrinology and Diabetes
Dr. Mann is a postdoc trainee and research associate for the Division of Endocrinology and Diabetes

We want to hear from you!

The purpose of Milestones is to celebrate achievements and foster teamwork and community within the department. 

Please contact us at to share information about your professional achievements in education, research, clinical care, outreach and advocacy; honors and awards; new grants or publications; or other accomplishments of interest to your colleagues. 
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