Chair's Initiatives

Making an Impact

More than a decade ago, the Department of Pediatrics at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) began the Chair’s Initiatives to establish new models of care in pediatrics and tackle some of the most daunting challenges in healthcare.

The program provides internal grants to support innovation, improvement and collaboration throughout and beyond Children’s Hospital. The Chair’s Initiatives program was started in 2006 by Alan R. Cohen, MD, then-physician-in-chief and Chair of the Department of Pediatrics, and Alison Marx, Operating Officer for the Department of Pediatrics. Today, the program continues under the guidance of Joseph W. St. Geme III, MD, who joined CHOP in 2013 as Chairman of Department of Pediatrics and Physician-in-chief of the Hospital.A

It takes a team

Participants in the Chair’s Initiatives have included physicians, nurses, researchers, quality improvement advisors, data analysts, engineers, social workers, genetic counselors and others within many specialties and across many disciplines. These individuals provide an unflagging willingness to work diligently and collaboratively to move their initiatives forward and to find solutions to complex challenges.

The program represents an excellent opportunity for donors interested in helping incredibly bright, motivated teams quickly bring change that truly benefits patients and families and sustain their efforts to create lasting impact. For more information about how you can make a gift, visit Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Foundation or call 267-426-5332.

Chair’s Initiatives awardees and key contacts

Since its inception, the Chair’s Initiatives program has helped 39 teams turn great ideas into reality. Reflecting the Hospital’s commitment to patient safety, we have chosen Initiatives focused on innovation, safety and quality of care.

Each initiative is given seed funding for two years. Ten Initiatives were funded in Round 1; six in Round 2; six in Round 3; five in Round 4; six in Round 5; and six are currently underway in Round 6.

Round 1

Access Nurse Advisor

Awardees: Alison Marx, MBA; Mark Rodi, MHA
Key Contacts: Alexandra Lahm RN; BSN; Michelle Lizzi, RN, BSN

Referring Physician Communication and Care Coordination

Awardees: Alison Marx, MBA
Key Contacts: Maryann Chilkatowsky, MBA; Michelle Lizzi, RN, BSN

Automated Appointment Reminders

Awardees: Alison Marx, MBA
Key Contacts: Larry Barnes, MBA; Eileen Drames, MBA

Center for Bone Health

Awardees: Maria Mascarenhas, MBBS; David A. Piccoli, MD; Virginia Stallings, MD
Key Contacts: Andy Calabria, MD; Michael Levine, MD, FAAP, FACP, MACE

Center for Pediatric Eosinophilic Disorders

Awardees: Chris Liacouras, MD; Jonathan Spergel, MD, PhD

ADHD in Primary Care

Awardees: Nathan Blum, MD; Thomas Power, PhD, ABPP

Multidisciplinary Cancer Survivorship Program

Awardees: Claire Carlson, RN, BSN; Jill Ginsberg, MD

Office of Fellowship Training

Awardees: Catherine S. Manno, MD; Gail Slap, MD, MS

Pediatric Knowledgebase

Awardees: Jeffrey Barrett, PhD, FCP; Peter Adamson, MD

Sudden Cardiac Death Prevention

Awardees: Victoria Vetter, MD, FAAP, FACC

Round 2

Anticoagulant Management Program

Awardees: Leslie Raffini, MD

Chemotherapy Tracking System

Awardees: Charles Bailey, MD, PhD

From Knowledge to Practice: Developing the Infrastructure to Create and Implement Collaborative Clinical Pathways

Awardees: Ron Keren, MD, MPH; Jane Lavelle, MD

Intestinal Rehabilitation Program

Awardees: Maria Mascarenhas, MBBS
Key Contacts: Christina Bales, MD

Unit-Based Patient Safety Walk Rounds

Awardees: Allison Ballantine, MD, MEd; Jacquelyn Evans, MD, FRCP(c), FAAP; Anne Reilly, MD, MPH; Kathy Shaw, MD, MSCE; Lisa Zaoutis, MD
Key Contacts: April Taylor, MS, MHA

Department of Pediatrics CHOPLink (EPIC) Implementation, Quality and Safety Team

Awardees: David A. Piccoli, MD

Round 3

A Shared Decision-Making Portal for Pediatric Chronic Illness

Awardees: Alexander Fiks, MD, MSCE; Robert Grundmeier, MD

Assuring Quality and Patient Safety at CHOP Community Pediatric Programs

Awardees: Jan Boswinkel, MD; John Chuo, MD, MS; Jeffrey Gerdes, MD; Carrie Hufnal-Miller, MD, FAAP; Mark Joffe, MD; Mark Ogino, MD; Karen Pinsky, MD; Kathy Shaw, MD, MSCE

Improving Hospital Care and Service Delivery for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Awardees: Jan Boswinkel, MD; Eron Friedlaender, MD, MPH; Amy Kratchman, BA; Susan Levy, MD, MPH; Judith Miller, PhD, MS

Transitioning from Pediatric to Adult Services: A Primary Care Based Model

Awardees: Oana Tomescu, MD, PhD; Symme Trachtenberg, MSW, LSW

Minds Matter: Improving Pediatric Concussion Management

Awardees: Kristy Arbogast, PhD; Matthew Grady, MD, FAAP, CAQSM; Christina Master, MD, FAAP, CAQSM; Flaura Winston, MD, PhD

Preventing Outpatient CLABSI

Awardees: Christina Bales, MD; Susan Coffin, MD, MPH; Allison Ballantine, MD, MEd; Millie Boettcher, MSN, CRNP; Joy Collins, MD; Lori Kramer; Mark Magnusson, MD, PhD; Maria Mascarenhas, MBBS; Anne Reilly, MD, MPH; Susan Rettig, RN, BSN

Round 4

COMEDO: A Computerized System to Assess Acne and Develop Appropriate Treatment Recommendations

Awardees: Elena Bernardis, PhD; Albert Yan, MD, FAAP, FAAD

Enhancing Providers Ability to Respond Effectively to Peer Bullying and Victimization

Awardees: Stephen Leff, PhD

Thrombosis Prevention and Treatment in Cardiac Patients

Awardees: Therese Giglia, MD, FACC, FAAP, SCCM; Leslie Raffini, MD

Development and Evaluation of THRIVE (Texting, Health Resources to Inform, MotiVate and Engage)

Awardees: Lisa Schwartz, PhD
Key Contacts: Lamia Barakat, PhD; Chris Bonafide, MD, MSCE

Identification, Remediation, and Prevention of a Chronic Glucocorticoid Therapy Adverse Effects

Awardees: Jon (Sandy) Burnham, MD, MSCE; Robert Grundmeier, MD

Round 5

An Integrative and Educational Pediatric Genomics Initiative

Awardees: Līvija Medne, MS, LCGC; Ian Krantz, MD

Multidisciplinary Intervention Navigation Team (MINT) for Pediatric to Adult Care Transfers

Awardees: Sophia Jan, MD, MSHP
Key Contacts: Adam Greenberg, MSN, CRNP; Dava Szalda, MD, MSHP; Symme Trachtenberg, MSW, LSW

Fostering Healthcare Coordination of Children in Foster Care

Awardees: Kristine Fortin, MD, MPH; Philip Scribano, DO, MSCE
Key Contacts: Judy Dawson, RN, BSN

PATTERNS: Predictive Analytic Technology To Eliminate Repeat No Shows

Awardees: Marie Gleason, MD, FAAP, FACC; Robert Grundmeier, MD; Hallum Hurt, MD; Ritu Verma, MBChB
Key Contacts: Lauren Tanzer, MBA, MS; April Taylor, MS, MHA

Developing a Hospital Wide Fertility Preservation Program

Awardees: Claire Carlson, RN, BSN; Jill Ginsberg, MD

iAPP: Integrating Apps in Pediatric Practice

Awardees: Alex Fiks, MD, MSCE; Linda Fleisher, PhD, MPH; Flaura Winston, MD, PhD

Round 6

Comprehensive Cancer Predisposition and Surveillance Program

Awardees: Garrett M. Brodeur, MD; Jennifer M. Kalish, MD, PhD

Community Health Worker Initiative: Enhanced Care Management for Complex Patients

Awardees: Colin Hawkes, MD; Terri Lipman, PhD, CRNP; Leigh Wilson, MSW

Center for Sepsis Excellence

Awardees: Fran Balamuth, MD, PhD; Julie Fitzgerald, MD, PhD; Scott Weiss, MD, MSCE

Integrated Multi-disciplinary Hemophagocytic Syndromes Team of Excellence

Awardees: David Teachey, MD

Epidermolysis Bullosa Multidisciplinary Clinic

Awardees: Marissa Perman, MD

Integrating Lupus Care

Awardees: Jon (Sandy) Burnham, MD, MSCE; Andrea Knight, MD, MSCE

For more information about the Chair's Initiative or to contact the awardees, please contact Alison Marx.

Round 6 initiatives

The following six Initiatives are currently underway for 2017-2019:

  • Developing a Comprehensive Cancer Predisposition and Surveillance Program. The goal of this project is to increase identification and surveillance of the predisposition to develop childhood cancer due to a heritable germline mutation in order to track, understand and improve outcomes.
  • A Community Health Worker (CHW) Initiative: Enhanced Care Management for Complex Patients This team will build evidence and infrastructure for enhanced care management through the development of a generalizable and scalable CHW role at CHOP.
  • Creating a Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) Pediatric Sepsis Program. This team will leverage existing clinical, research, and quality improvement initiatives to establish CHOP as the premier center for treatment of pediatric sepsis.
  • Developing an integrated multi-disciplinary hemophagocytic syndromes (HS) team of excellence. The goal of this project is to develop a unique, internationally renowned, multidisciplinary team focused on the diagnosis and management of patients with hemophagocytic syndromes (HS). 
  • Creating an Epidermolysis Bullosa Multidisciplinary Clinic. The goal of this project is to provide coordinated, state-of-the art, and family-centered care for patients with epidermolysis bullosa (EB), a rare, inherited blistering disease that leads to skin fragility.
  • Integrating Lupus Care at CHOP. This initiative will support patients with pediatric systemic lupus erythematosus (pSLE) and their caregivers to improve the value of pSLE healthcare delivery. 

Round 5 initiatives

The following six initiatives were funded for 2015-2017:

  • An Integrative and Educational Pediatric Genomics Initiative. The goal of this project is to improve access, use and efficiency of genomic testing, and to help patients, families and healthcare providers better understand test results. The team will develop web-based interactive education modules on genomic medicine for professionals and families, and recruit staff champions to promote it.
  • Developing a Hospital-wide Fertility Preservation Program. This team will support the creation of a comprehensive fertility preservation program for patients, families and providers at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. The program will support identification of all at-risk patients, and offer timely referrals, clinical consultations, patient care plans and educational resources. Financial support will also accelerate the pace of research discoveries.
  • Integrating Apps in Pediatric Practice (iApp). This team will develop a process to integrate evidence-based and clinically evaluated health apps for families into pediatric care at CHOP in order to improve outcomes.
  • Fostering Healthcare Coordination of Children in Foster Care. This team will establish a healthcare coordination model for children placed into foster care by providing comprehensive screening and evaluation upon entry into foster care to ensure access to a medical home, sharing information across health and child protection systems, and identifying practices that can be used in the primary care setting and expanded through telemedicine.
  • Leveraging Predictive Analytics and Technology to Decrease Missed Appointments. This team will use data from CHOP’s electronic medical record system (EPIC) and predictive analytics to identify patients that are more likely to cancel the same day or fail to show for scheduled appointments. This information will be shared with staff who can reach out to patients and find more effective was to improve attendance rates.
  • Multidisciplinary Intervention Navigation Team (MINT) for Pediatric to Adult Medical System Transitions. This team will create a centralized CHOP service to assist with difficult transitions to adult care involving multiple specialists. The new service will develop care plans; assess patients’ psychosocial, self-care, and health insurance needs; and identify adult providers – coordinating care between CHOP and the University of Pennsylvania Health System.

Round 4 initiatives

Five initiatives were funded for 2013-2015:

  • COMEDO: A Mobile Computerized System to Assess Acne Patients and Develop Treatment Recommendations Adapted From Standardized, Expert Treatment Guidelines. Acne is one of the most common reasons for a visit to the doctor in ages 13-21. This team refined a computer program that can recommend treatment through analysis of the patient’s skin through photos taken from a smartphone and other data. The goal was to pilot the tool at primary care practices.
  • Enhancing Providers’ Ability to Respond Effectively to Peer Bullying and Victimization. This team surveyed patients, parents and providers about the effects of bullying, and then designed tools, such as sets of recommendations in Epic, to help providers identify bullying and respond in ways that will help.
  • Identification, Remediation and Prevention of Chronic Glucocorticoid Therapy Effects. More than 1,500 CHOP patients are on long-term glucocorticoid (steroid) therapy to prevent organ damage and other effects of immune diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus. This team worked on standards to identify, monitor, remediate and prevent side effects such as weight gain and high blood pressure.
  • Thrombosis Prevention and Treatment in Cardiac Patients. Children with heart disease account for a high proportion of CHOP’s acquired venous thromboembolisms (blood clots). This team developed strategies to reduce the incidence and complications of thrombosis in cardiac patients.
  • Proof of Concept of an Infrastructure for Text Messaging Interventions at CHOP: Development and Evaluation of THRIVE (Texting, Health Resources to Inform, MotiVate and Engage). This team studied the effectiveness of texting in improving care, adherence, and well-being of adolescents and young adults (ages 12 to 25) completing cancer treatment. One group received daily text messages for 16 weeks, including education, encouragement and appointment reminders; the control group did not. The project also aimed to evaluate whether texting software and interventions could be applied to care of and research with other diagnoses.

Round 3 initiatives

Six initiatives were funded from 2011–2013:

  • A Shared Decision-making Portal for Pediatric Chronic Illness. For conditions such as asthma, communication between families and clinicians about goals, concerns, and the child’s condition and progress is key. This team created a computer portal where both sides can share information, track progress and make decisions about care.
  • Assuring Quality and Safety at CHOP Community Pediatric Programs. The CHOP Care Network includes affiliations with numerous local hospitals. This team designed and implemented a quality monitoring system to ensure that all CHOP-affiliated sites offered the same quality of care.
  • Improving Hospital Care for and Service Delivery to Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Children with autism have different reactions to care and require different approaches. This team piloted strategies to promote patient comfort and minimize safety concerns during routine procedures such as sedation before a CT scan.
  • Minds Matter: Improving Pediatric Concussion Management. Early recognition of concussion signs and symptoms and early implementation of cognitive and physical rest are key to management of acute concussion. This team analyzed current practice across the institution and recommended improvements in primary care, emergency care, sports medicine, trauma and other areas.
  • Reducing the Incidence of Outpatient CLABSI (Central Line Associated Bloodstream Infections). Long-term IV lines called central lines, used to give patients medication and nutrients, bring increased risk of dangerous bloodstream infections. This team worked to translate safety improvements CHOP had made on the inpatient side into the outpatient realm.
  • Transitioning from Pediatric to Adult Services: A Primary Care Based Model. Good primary care doctors are important to young adults with complicated healthcare needs, but many don’t make it a priority to find one after they outgrow their pediatrician. This team designed tools to help patients find and maintain primary care providers.

Round 2 initiatives

Six initiatives were funded from 2008–2010:

  • Anticoagulant Management Program. Improved monitoring and care for children taking “blood thinners”
  • Chemotherapy Tracking Project. Computerized records of cancer patients’ drug regimens
  • CHOPLink Implementation, Quality and Patient Safety. Linked clinicians with computer specialists to ensure technology improves care
  • Collaborative Clinical Pathways. Established a framework for care guidelines to be created more easily
  • Intestinal Rehabilitation Program. Coordinated and improved care for children with intestinal failure
  • Unit-based Patient Safety Walk-rounds. Provided a forum for safety concerns of families and staff

Round 1 initiatives

Ten initiatives were funded from 2006–2008:

  • Access Nurse Advisor and Care Coordination. Nursing roles, systems and tools were created to support patients, families and providers in coordinating both access and care.
  • ADHD in Primary Care. A team created computer tools, conferences and other supports to help primary care pediatricians learn and manage patients with ADHD.
  • Automated Appointment Reminders. A computerized system was implemented to place standardized reminder calls across specialties to help families remember appointments and support continuity of care.
  • Center for Bone Health. A team provides specialized care for children with poor bone health and helped establish international care guidelines.
  • Center for Pediatric Eosinophilic Disorders. A team provides specialized care for rare allergic disorders, attracting patients from across the United States and becoming a model for other hospitals.
  • Database Development. A team developed databases and Web-based applications to support physicians in research and care.
  • Multidisciplinary Cancer Survivorship Program. A team created a monthly clinic where cancer survivors see oncologists, endocrinologists, cardiologists and other specialists, resulting in better care coordination for their many needs.
  • Office of Fellowship Programs. A team coordinates and streamlines application, evaluation, curriculum development and accreditation processes for all fellowship programs in the Department of Pediatrics.
  • Pediatric Knowledgebase. A team created a Web-based application that combined data about drugs with data about individual patients to help improve outcomes.
  • Sudden Cardiac Death Prevention. A cardiologist and staff provide screenings for undiagnosed heart irregularities in children and teens, and training in CPR and automated external defibrillator use for schools.

Learn more about the Chair's Initiatives