Dear CHOP Alumni Family,

I have decided to begin each installment with a reminder of our motto for the column, straight from Dr. Pat’s old files: Keep … Tradition, Keep … in Mind, Keep … in Touch!

The motto is wonderful, has the added benefit of organizing my thoughts and information, and makes writing his column just a little easier! And so I begin:

Keep…Tradition: Dr. St. Geme and I had a grand time hosting the CHOP alumni reception at the PAS meeting in Baltimore this spring. This year, I caught up with my old buddies Rachel Moon and Steve Zeichner, who are now at the University of Virginia. Steve’s lab works to develop therapies and diagnostics for infectious diseases and cancers, and Rachel serves as the division head of General Pediatrics. We had a great time reminiscing about the old days and Rachel’s fondness for baby food after long nights on call! The CHOP reception at the meeting is always packed with alums (and friends of CHOP who know our reception is the best), and we hope all of our alumni look forward to joining us. We also recognized two of our residents, Katherine Guttmann and Stacey Kallem, who received Alumni Organization research stipends to present at the meeting. The Alumni Organization is committed to supporting educational efforts in the Hospital, and supporting the academic work of our trainees is one way we fulfill this mission.

In a similar vein, last year we started a wonderful tradition at CHOP. In the weeks leading up to graduation, we honor the work of two residents and two fellows by inviting them to give grand rounds. This year, David Hill shared his research on the epidemiologic characteristics of allergic conditions, Stephanie Doupnik presented the impact of mental illness on pediatric and surgical hospital care, Rebecca Ahrens-Nicklas discussed precision therapy for a new disorder of AMPA-receptor recycling, and Evan Orenstein shared his experience with the NERD Squad, a resident initiative for EHR innovation. The talks were all outstanding, educational, and informative. This new tradition highlights the amazing early careers of our trainees. Congratulations to all!

Another favorite Alumni Organization tradition is highlighting our alumni’s wonderful careers by inviting one to present at the annual Alumni Organization grand rounds. This year, former resident John Campo, now chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health at The Ohio State University College of Medicine and Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, returned for a fabulous visit. John’s talk covered the public health implications of mental health and substance abuse disorders, and the benefits of integrating physical and mental health services to improve care, outcomes, and costs for patients and society. The talk was interesting, timely, and important, and we had a great time welcoming John back to CHOP.

And finally, at the annual meeting of the medical staff in June, Steve Ludwig received the Richard D. Wood Distinguished Alumni Award. This 28-year-old tradition recognizes alumni who have made significant and important contributions to the field of pediatrics. I was honored to present the award to Steve, who has been a mentor of mine and a mentor to generations of CHOP trainees.

As for Keep … in Mind: The Alumni Organization is grateful for the great generosity of our faculty and graduates. The Alumni Giving Fund was established to provide valuable educational opportunities to our trainees, and we continue to support the CHOP’s educational mission. Every gifts matters, and your support at any level will make an impact. Visit to make a contribution.

And finally, Keep ... in Touch: If you have any news about yourself or your CHOP friends, please share with me so I can spread the word. This issue, I would like to alert you to a blog written by two pediatricians who trained together at CHOP (1995 – ’97) and have been in practice together for many years at CHOP Care Network Newtown, Pennsylvania. Naline Lai and Julie Kardos write a blog at that was chosen as a Parents magazine Best of the Web! They are looking for guest bloggers. If you would like to contribute, please contact Naline at I’m always on the lookout for more alumni news, so please email me at, and you, too, can be famous—or at least be mentioned here.

Best wishes always,

Cindy Christian, MD
Alumni Editor