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CEO of the Year, NCCN Neuroblastoma Guidelines, HIV Risk in Youth

Published on February 16, 2024 in Cornerstone Blog · Last updated 1 month 1 week ago


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In the News


Congratulations to Children's Hospital of Philadelphia President and CEO Madeline Bell, honored as Press Ganey's CEO of the Year! Kudos also go to Matthew Weitzman, PhD, elected to the American Academy of Microbiology's 2024 Fellowship Class. Additional highlights in this edition of In The News include the release of the first-ever National Comprehensive Cancer Network Guidelines for Neuroblastoma, a study of HIV risk factors in gender and minority youth, and a first-person perspective on the importance of diversity in STEM careers.

Madeline Bell Named CEO of the Year

Madeline Bell, CHOP President and CEO

Madeline Bell, CHOP President and CEO

President and CEO of CHOP Madeline Bell received the CEO of the Year Award from Press Ganey, in recognition of her visionary leadership in humanizing healthcare.

Bell consistently demonstrates empathetic and integral leadership, inspiring the more than 28,000 workforce members in CHOP's health system and Research Institute to make breakthroughs that have worldwide impact. The honor highlights her unwavering commitment to providing high-quality care to children and families.

"Every day at CHOP, our amazing team members demonstrate our core values of integrity, compassion, accountability, respect, and excellence as they work together to care for our patients and families," Bell said. "Their commitment to transforming the human experience – and to elevating the CHOP experience – is truly inspiring. I am grateful to them for all that they do, and to Press Ganey for this recognition."

Bell accepted the award at Press Ganey's Human Experience Conference, which this year highlighted the role of compassion, empathy, and perseverance advancing the future of healthcare. Press Ganey is a healthcare performance improvement solutions company that centers on human experience in healthcare enterprise transformation.

Learn more in this CHOP news release and on the Press Ganey blog.

Matthew Weitzman, PhD, Elected to the American Academy of Microbiology

Matthew D. Weitzman Headshot
Matthew Weitzman, PhD

The American Academy of Microbiology elected Matthew Weitzman, PhD, and 64 peers to the Class of 2024. Fellows of the American Academy of Microbiology, an honorific leadership group within the American Society for Microbiology, are elected annually through a highly selective, peer-review process, based on their records of scientific achievement and original contributions that have advanced microbiology.

"The 2024 Cohort Fellows are an outstanding assembly of scientists whose contributions have propelled discipline and whose knowledge benefits both the scientific community and broader society," said Vanessa Sperandio, PhD, chair of the Academy Governors.

Dr. Weitzman is co-director of the Division of Protective Immunity at CHOP and a professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. His research focuses on understanding host responses to virus infection, and the cellular environment encountered and manipulated by viruses.

The American Society for Microbiology is one of the largest professional societies dedicated to the life sciences and is composed of 36,000 scientists and health practitioners. ASM's mission is to promote and advance the microbial sciences.

Learn about the 2024 Fellowship Class.

NCCN Releases Its First-Ever Guidelines for Neuroblastoma

Rochelle Bagatell
Rochelle Bagatell, MD

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) published its first-ever set of guidelines for neuroblastoma, the most common type of solid tumor (aside from brain tumors) in children, with more than 700 cases diagnosed in the United States annually. Rochelle Bagatell, MD, professor of Pediatrics and Solid Tumor Section Chief at CHOP, is chair of the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology Panel for Neuroblastoma.

"Neuroblastoma is a biologically and clinically heterogeneous cancer, which creates many challenges for those treating patients with this disease," Dr. Bagatell said. "The NCCN Guidelines were designed to assist clinicians caring for children with neuroblastoma by providing key information regarding risk stratification and by summarizing the data that have led to the current approaches to therapy."

Research innovations have led to survival rates better than 90% for patients with low- and intermediate-risk neuroblastoma and around 50% for individuals with high-risk disease. Improving outcomes for patients with high-risk neuroblastoma and reducing long-term treatment effects for all patients remain areas of active research. As new clinical trial results become available and as therapies evolve, the NCCN will update the guidelines.

Dr. Bagatell will present an on-demand online session on the new NCCN Guidelines as part of the NCCN 2024 Annual Conference April 5-6.

Learn more in this NCCN press release.

Polysubstance Use and Sexual Partnership Factors May Increase Risk of HIV in Youth

Renata Arrington Sanders, MD

Renata Arrington Sanders, MD

Researchers at CHOP and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine studied associations among high levels of polysubstance use, sexual practices, and partner characteristics that can reinforce risk for HIV acquisition or transmission among young Black and Latinx sexual minority men and transgender women. Adult studies have demonstrated that polysubstance use increases the risk of acquiring HIV through increased sexual behaviors, but few studies have examined polysubstance use and HIV risk in the youth population.

Renata Arrington Sanders, MD, chief of the Craig Dalsimer Division of Adolescent Medicine at CHOP, led the study, which included 466 young Black and Latinx sexual minority men and transgender women living in four high HIV-burden cities in the United States. Researchers found associations between polysubstance use and characteristics of sexual partners, such as partners who are five or more years older and pressure to engage in sex without a condom, which may make the cohort vulnerable to HIV acquisition or transmission.

The findings highlight the need for combination interventions to address HIV disparities among Black and Latinx sexual and gender minority youth. These include substance use treatment alongside antiretroviral-based prevention and treatment, partner-based interventions, intimate partner violence and safety planning services, and individual support to develop condom negotiation skills.

The journal Substance Use & Misuse published the study. Learn more in this CHOP news release.

CHOP 'Research Hero' Now Works Alongside Surgeon Who Treated Him

Phillip B. Storm
Phillip “Jay” Storm, MD

When Kevin Eaise was 10 years old, neurosurgeon Phillip "Jay" Storm, MD, treated Eaise for tectal glioma, a benign tumor on his brain stem that was causing the young boy to have double vision.

A surgical procedure alleviated the complications Eaise's tumor caused, and the experience became a touchpoint for the Eaise family. They shared their story in 2018 as part of CHOP Research Institute's "Research Heroes" series.

Today, Eaise works as a clinical research assistant at CHOP alongside Dr. Storm, who is now chief of the Division of Neurosurgery. Eaise shared the satisfaction he receives by helping families whose children have tumors like the one for which he received treatment.

"I was one of these patients," Eaise said in a Philadelphia newscast. "Talking to these families, I think it does help if they're on the fence about [participating in] the research. I also point to myself and say I went through this situation."

Watch this video to see Eaise and Dr. Storm at CHOP, and learn about the Eaise Family Foundation, which has raised close to $1 million to support research at CHOP.

Mitigating Financial Stress May Reduce Child Welfare Involvement for Low-Income Families

Zoe Bouchelle MD, MSHP

Zoe Bouchelle MD, MSHP

PolicyLab researchers found that upstream economic strategies to alleviate financial stress for low- to moderate-income people have potential to reduce child maltreatment and inadequate access to basic needs.

The U.S. child welfare system receives nearly four million referrals each year, with children in lower-income families significantly more likely to interact with the child welfare system than their higher-income counterparts, according to the study team. While economic support may seem out of scope for healthcare providers, the study team suggested a comprehensive approach to patients' health and well-being can include championing appropriate programs and connecting families to these resources. Additionally, the study team called on pediatric providers to support anti-poverty programs and policies to reduce instances of child welfare involvement.

Zoe Bouchelle MD, MSHP, PolicyLab faculty scholar and first author; Sabrina Darwiche MD, MPH, PolicyLab affiliate trainee and physician in the Department of Pediatrics at CHOP; and George Dalembert MD, MSHP, faculty member at PolicyLab and Clinical Futures, both Centers of Emphasis at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Research Institute, co-authored the paper.

The study appeared in Current Problems in Pediatric and Adolescent Health Care.

Scholar's Experience Highlights Importance of Diversity in STEM Fields

Chermiqua Tsosie, BS

Chermiqua Tsosie, BS

A former participant in Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Research Institute Summer Scholars Program (CRISSP), Chermiqua R. Tsosie, is now working as a clinical research assistant and has written a first-person account in ASA Monitor of her academic journey as a Native American pursuing a medical career.

Tsosie spent 10 weeks with CRISSP, an intensive internship that involves practical training in academic research and exposure to pediatric-focused research career trajectories under the mentorship of CHOP faculty.

"I left CHOP with a fulfilled dream and a drive to continue with research," Tsosie wrote in the article, which covered the importance of diversity in STEM education and careers.

Learn more about Tsosie's CRISSP experience in this Cornerstone blog, and read her personal essay in ASA Monitor.


Catch up on our headlines from our Feb. 2 In the News:

  • Social and Emotional Barriers Identified When Treating CAP With Antibiotics
  • CVAP Frontier Program Shares Cutting-edge Research at Arab Health Exhibition
  • PolicyLab Announces Year 2 Winners for Community Partnerships in Research Awards
  • Six CHOP Researchers Inducted to Society for Pediatric Research

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