3rd Quarter 2021
Quarterly Newsletter for members of the Nebraska Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics
Chapter Leadership
Message from Melissa St. Germain
Happy Summer to all of our NE-AAP members! As we venture back out into the world, I’d like to thank all of you for the flexibility and resilience you’ve shown over the last 18 months. Some changes, like telehealth, decreased time in waiting rooms, and drive-through vaccine clinics, will be here to stay. Others (universal eye protection, I’m looking at you…) will hopefully fade with the receding COVID positivity rates.

We are excited to return to in-person meetings in the near future (mark your calendars to join us with AAP President Dr. Lee Savio Beers on Oct 15), but recognize the value of the virtual Chapter Chats that allow more members to engage with the Chapter and will continue to offer those as well. As always, please reach out with any news, suggestions, feedback, or just to say hi! (Our wonderful executive director Laura Polak is back in the MOMS office in person, and she would love to chat!)

Melissa St. Germain, MD, FAAP
Nebraska Chapter News
New Members
Welcome to our newest Nebraska Chapter AAP members:
  • Emilio Arispe Jr., MD, FAAP
  • Emily Burdett, APRN
  • Jason Cole MD, BS, FAAP
  • Andrea Green Hines MD, FAAP
  • Heerali Patel*
  • Mohanad Shukry MD, PhD, FAAP
  • Sarah Small*
  • Shubra Srinivas MD, FAAP

* Medical Student
COVID-19 Vaccine Information & Resources
For Your Patients & Families

This past year has brought so many unknowns for us as we continue to care for children in our communities. But what we do know is, we are in this together! Children’s is fortunate to have a team of pediatric infectious disease experts who have helped guide the community’s pediatric response to COVID-19. We are sharing the resources they have helped develop for you to use as you need to inform students and families about the COVID-19 vaccine. 
Video: Dr. Mel St. Germain discusses facts about the COVID-19 vaccine and why it is important for schools.
Video: FaceBook Live with Dr. Mel St. Germain answering
questions parents submitted about the COVID-19 vaccine.
Resource Page: Children's Hospital & Medical Center Additional COVID-19 Vaccine Resources
COVID-19 Vaccine FAQ
Save the Date!
NEAAP Fall Conference
Friday, October 15, 2021
8:00 AM – 3:30 PM
3:30 PM Networking Event
Virtual vs. In-person format TBD
Featuring a Grand Rounds National AAP Update from
Lee Savio Beers, MD, FAAP
President of the American Academy of Pediatrics
Other topics will include:
Pediatric updates on asthma, infectious disease, hip ultrasound, neurosurgery, emergency medicine as well as information on the child death review process and developing Nebraska pediatric crisis standards of care.
Mark your calendar and plan to attend! More details to come.
NEAAP Executive Committee Changes

New Elected Executive Committee members:
Dave Meduna, MD, Lincoln Representative
Ken Zoucha, MD, Omaha Representative

Re-elected for a second term:
Matt Gibson, MD, Omaha Representative

Completed their term:
Sid Mahapatra, MD, Omaha Representative
Karla Lester, MD, Lincoln Representative

AACAP Grant Improves Advocacy for Children in Nebraska

The Nebraska Regional Council of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (ROCAP) and the Nebraska chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (NE AAP) were awarded an advocacy and collaboration grant from AACAP for 2020. This grant allowed the creation of the Nebraska Advocates for Child Health, a group of child and adolescent psychiatrists, pediatricians, and developmental pediatricians, working collaboratively to improve advocacy for children’s health across the state of Nebraska. Using grant funds, we provided education for members of both groups from local advocacy experts as well as the AAP Senior Director of Federal and State Advocacy and the AAP Advocacy Communications Manager.  We offered an introduction to advocacy activity for trainees in pediatrics and child psychiatry and purchased Improving Healthcare through Advocacy and The Citizen’s Guide to Influencing Elected Officials: Citizen Advocacy in State Legislatures and Congress: A guide for Citizen Lobbyists and Grassroots as resources for our members and trainees. 

We were excited to host our first annual one-hour discussion with Nebraska legislators where we learned how to be effective advocates as well as what issues the senators anticipated considering in the upcoming legislative session. We created a brochure and cover letter which delineate general topics about which we feel passionate and can provide expert information. 

While we were unable to physically be at our Capitol this year due to the pandemic, we were able to send our brochure, a cover letter, and a bound journal with our contact information inside to each state senator, regional city council members, University of Nebraska Medical Center leadership, and Nebraska’s U.S Congressional delegation and Senators.

Our Nebraska ROCAP provided 11 letters of support or opposition to bills presented in the Nebraska legislature in 2020; we also provided testimony on 2 bills. The Nebraska AAP sent 9 position letters during the 2020 legislative season.

We intend to have members of both organizations lead the Nebraska Advocates for Child Health into the future. We plan to meet every other week during the legislative season and quarterly thereafter. We hope to forge more personal relationships with our representatives through increased one-on-one conversations and annually provide advocacy training for trainees in both programs. We have established a gmail account to allow for ongoing contact: NebraskaChildAdvocates@gmail.com. Annual meet and greet events with senators will continue to offer opportunities to educate them on areas of importance to our patients and allow us to learn their legislative initiatives for each upcoming legislative session. Once the pandemic allows, we plan to make yearly trips to the Capitol with members and trainees to establish working relationships with key senators and their staff. 

We were initially delayed by the pandemic but were appreciative of the opportunity to make this work in a virtual format which allowed easier collaboration between our two organizations and greater availability from senators, local leaders, and national advocacy experts. We knew our intent to collaborate was strong, but we feel hopeful that we have begun to build a stronger and more productive relationship between both groups which will allow for more structured, targeted, and widespread advocacy for children’s health needs in Nebraska.

Our educational sessions were promoted on the NE AAP website, Facebook and Twitter pages. https://nebraska-aap.org/

Link to our ROCAP YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC05Q0Vbo0Jbp0NGaLT_HxYQ  

Link to our child health discussion with Nebraska Senators John Arch, Machaela Cavanaugh & Anna Wishart: https://youtu.be/7kHLLi40CYw

These are the links to our training sessions:

National AAP News
Registration Now Open!

October 8-12, 2021

Join the AAP in Philadelphia for the 2021 National Conference & Exhibition which will include world-class education, an exhibit hall, special events, and many other unique experiences. Attendees will have the option of participating in the full conference (live, in-person sessions and activities plus all on-demand content and virtual sessions)
or the virtual-only experience.

Exclusive for AAP Members: Registration and Hotel Reservations Now Open
Registration & Hotel Reservations Now Open
Pediatric News
Nebraska Methodist and American Cancer Society
Launch HPV Podcast Series

The HPV vaccine was introduced over 15 years ago, but it remains a topic of conversation today. This podcast series will discuss what HPV is, how to normalize the conversation of HPV vaccination and why education and awareness is needed.
NC2 has partnered with Nebraska Methodist and the American Cancer Society to
develop a 3-part podcast series that covers the topics below and also includes
free continuing education credits.
  • Podcast #1 : What is HPV?
  • Podcast #2 : HPV – Normalize the Conversation
  • Podcast #3: Why are we all still talking about HPV?
Pediatric Providers Sought for Health Disparities Survey on
Mental Health Needs Among Children in Nebraska

On behalf of Nebraska Partnership for Mental Health Access in Pediatrics (NEP-MAP), the Center for Reducing Health Disparities (CRHD) in the College of Public Health (COPH) at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) is conducting a statewide assessment of providers offering mental and behavioral health services to children in Nebraska.

Who is eligible? 
Pediatricians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, clinical social workers, psychiatrists, and family practitioners. Participants will be compensated with a gift card. 

Semi-structured Zoom interview lasting approximately 30 to 45 minutes to share their perspectives. 

We aim to identify:

  1. Assess unmet needs in the screening, treatment and referral associated with mental and behavioral health disorders among children of 18 years or younger
  2. Evaluate the impact of COVID-19 on clinical practices of participating pediatricians and identify effective coping strategies, such as any use of telehealth services
  3. Collect feedback on barriers and practical ways via which tele-behavioral health consultation can be integrated into current pediatric primary care.

To schedule an interview, please contact Jessica Ern at Jessica.ern@unmc.edu.
Child Health Research Institute Empowers Pediatric Researchers

The Child Health Research Institute (CHRI), an innovative partnership between University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) and Children’s Hospital & Medical Center was launched to change – and save – young lives. Established on June 1, 2017 by the University of Nebraska Board of Regents and endorsed by the Children’s Hospital & Medical Center Board of Directors, CHRI is a team of dedicated clinicians, investigators and educators, coming together to improve the lives of children through research. The formalization of CHRI allows UNMC and Children’s to most effectively promote discovery and innovation to improve children’s health in the state of Nebraska and to become a global leader in child health research.

Ann Anderson Berry, MD, PhD, is the interim executive director of the Child Health Research Institute. She also serves as the Vice Chair of Research for the department of pediatrics, division chief of neonatology at Children’s and a professor of neonatology at UNMC. She understands the strong connection between research and clinical care. “I am passionate about the process of research, inquiry, mentorship, and translation of bench work to patient care and aim to channel that into the success of CHRI and its investigators and staff,” Dr. Anderson Berry explained. Under her stewardship, CHRI has grown in nearly every available metric, including number of members, research infrastructure support, scientific and clinical collaborations, amount of grants received, number of CHRI member publications, etc.

Throughout the year, CHRI holds meetings and events where clinicians and researchers can collaborate and learn from one another. These include monthly seminars, a Pediatric Research Forum and a Pediatric Cancer Research Symposium, attended by government and community leaders. The internal Pediatric Research Office provides clinical study support to CHRI members for their grants leading to publication opportunities. CHRI also publishes a monthly newsletter to share news of member accomplishments, organizational activities and research opportunities.

As the research arm of two Omaha institutions engaged in community and child health, CHRI will seek to continue to expand its ability to achieve its vision: to improve the health of children everywhere. They realize this is a lofty goal, but by empowering experts in pediatric science to do their most impactful work, they believe it is attainable. Further, by bringing together pediatric care providers, researchers and public health experts, they aspire to make a lasting impact. Clinicians and researchers interested in CHRI membership opportunities can find information here.
Educational Events
Earn Free CME from Boys Town Hospital

The Boys Town Physician Education Series is a series of free medical and clinical presentations covering various aspects of pediatric specialties, including screenings, diagnosis and treatments, co-occurring conditions and differential diagnosis. The one-hour presentations are presented by physicians at
Boys Town National Research Hospital.

Food Allergy Update - July 15

Pediatric Leukodystrophies - August 4

Urological Surgical Issues on Pediatric Patients - September 30

CME: The Metro Omaha Medical Society designates this activity for a maximum of 1.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. The Metro Omaha Medical Society is accredited by the Nebraska Medical Association to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
Resident & Fellow News
March Resident of the Month
Julie Risinger, DO
Pediatric House Officer III
“Dr. Risinger is an example of professionalism to all other residents and goes out of her way to communicate in an exemplary manner. She ensures that all team members are included in discussions and does a wonderful job of communicating with patients and families.”
“Dr. Risinger - held everyone together for the month, not just her own team. Remained remarkably positive despite some difficult issues.”
April Resident of the Month
Ellen Horstmann
MBBCh Pediatrics House Officer II

A great leader that gives others the opportunity to shine. Dr Horstmann is a wonderful teacher”
“Always available and a great communicator!”
May Resident of the Month
Evan Symons, DO
Pediatric House Officer II

"Dr. Symons went above and beyond this month as a supervisor. He is extremely involved while still allowing for autonomy. He is always calm, collected, and focused while making teamwork and morale a priority.

Dr. Symons puts an incredible amount of thought into everything that he does. He is always trying to think of every possible clinical scenario and anticipate what's needed to keep patients safe, help his colleagues, or advance his own skills. I'm incredibly impressed with his growth, maturity and tact."
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