alumni photo-class of 1997 reunion A few members of the class of 1997 got together last summer and are pictured among sun flowers, representing hope during a long COVID-19 pandemic. Dear CHOP Alumni Family,

Remember our CHOP Alumni Motto: Keep … Tradition, Keep … in Mind, Keep … in Touch!

To begin, I’d like to thank our chief residents for helping with the last issue with their update and hope you were impressed by the quality and breadth of our great residency training program. Before you know it, we will be graduating another outstanding class of pediatricians and welcoming another 60 (!!) or so interns to the CHOP family. That will make for a lot of alumni in future years!

And now I begin:

Keep … Tradition: One of my favorite Alumni Organization traditions is welcoming an alumnus to give the annual Alumni Organization Grand Rounds. This is a wonderful opportunity to bring back a trainee or prior faculty member to both teach us and reflect on their career. This year, we invited Alexis Thompson, MD, for the Alumni Grand Rounds. Dr Thompson completed her hematology/oncology fellowship at CHOP (back when I was a resident), and recently returned to CHOP after many years at Lurie Children’s Hospital as the Elias Schwartz MD Endowed Chair in Hematology. Dr Thompson serves as our Chief of the Division of Hematology and is a professor of Pediatrics at the Perelman School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania. She updated us on the remarkable advances in care for children with sickle cell disease during her career. She described her personal and collaborative work in advancing clinical and translational studies to improve and treat hemoglobinopathies and highlighted the opportunities for future discovery and treatment. We are delighted to welcome Dr Thompson back to CHOP, and we thank her for giving our annual Alumni Grand Rounds.

Another annual spring tradition is hosting the BEST Alumni reception at the annual Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting! (OK, I’m a little biased.) After 3 long years, it was wonderful to gather again in person in Denver for our CHOP Alumni Reception. More than 150 attended from multiple classes and decades. Joe St. Geme and our own Tina Master hosted. Joe welcomed everyone and shared updates on CHOP, including the opening of the new King of Prussia hospital, the Middleman Family Pavilion, and the upcoming groundbreaking for a new patient tower on the Philadelphia Campus. CHOP alumni from all corners of the United States were represented: Seattle, Boston, and Nationwide Children’s Hospital, as well as Stanford, Lurie Children’s, and Children’s National were among the many institutions where CHOP Alumni have established themselves. Of course, Philadelphia was strongly represented.

Just a few updates from the event: Tara Wenger is doing important genetics research at Seattle Children’s, Deb Boyer is Designated Institutional Official at Nationwide, and Todd Florin is the new Strategy and Operations Officer for the Society for Pediatric Research and liaison to PAS Committee Leadership Team (congrats Todd!). Mary Leonard continues to lead the Department of Pediatrics at Stanford, and Dennis Durbin is the new President of the Abigail Wexner Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s. If you have exciting news to share with us, please drop me an email ( I love hearing what everyone is up to.

Which reminds me to mention that CHOP continues to expand its capacity to care for the region’s children. As mentioned, we opened the Middleman Family Pavilion in KOP in January, and it has been very busy ever since, providing medical, surgical, and emergency care to thousands of children. Additionally, the Wood Center is going to be replaced by a new 500-bed, 24-story inpatient tower. It’s hard to believe I’ve outlasted an actual building during my career at CHOP! And thinking back to when I first arrived in 1985, I could never have imagined the growth of the hospital complex, nor the advancements in pediatric medicine. It’s truly amazing.

Keep … in Mind: … Getting involved with the Alumni Organization has never been easier, more rewarding, and impactful! I hope you’ll consider making a gift, as well. Visit today.

And finally, Keep ... in Touch!

A number of classes have been organizing class reunions over the past few years, and we are here to help! Alumni have returned to Philadelphia for a weekend reconnecting, visiting the hospital, and enjoying all that Philadelphia has to offer. Many classes made generous donations to the hospital as part of their reunion. If you are interested in organizing a reunion, please reach out, as we are happy to help support your efforts.

Until next time, enjoy, work hard, but not too hard, and keep in touch!

Cindy W. Christian, MD
President, CHOP Alumni Association

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