For the past several decades, infants born in the USA are screened for congenital hypothyroidism. Like many beneficial programs, it is human nature to take the importance of this screening for granted. Dr. Pesce has just published an opinion piece that helps bring home the importance of newborn screening for congenital hypothyroidism. In this piece, she reflects on a child with congenital hypothyroidism who asks “what would have happened if I had not been screened?” Dr. Pesce then reflects on the consequences of untreated congenital hypothyroidism, including impaired mental development and impaired growth. She also notes how diagnosis of congenital hypothyroidism is typically delayed in the absence of screening. You can find her informative blog piece here.
We most commonly associate thyroid eye disease as occurring in the context of Graves disease. However, the same immunologic processes that drive Graves thyroid eye disease can also occur in the context of hypothyroidism. Dr. Alex Tuttle woudl have just presented such a case this weekend at the annual Pediatric Endocrine Society meeting originally planned to occur in Texas. His presentation was entitled: “Active Thyroid Eye Disease in a Pediatric Patient with Hypothyroidism”. This serves as a reminder that it is important for even otherwise routine cases of hypothyroidism to receive expert care. Dr. Tuttle is completing his pediatric residency at the University of Iowa this year. We are thrilled that on July 1 he will join our division as a pediatric endocrine fellow. On this case report, he was mentored by pediatric thyroid expert Dr. Liuska Pesce.
We are pleased to report that Dr. Liuska Pesce, one of our pediatric endocrine faculty, has been selected to co-chair & then chair the Pediatric Endocrinology Self-assessment Program for the Endocrine Society in 2020 & 2021. As part of this group, she helped publish Pediatric ESAP 2019-2020, ESAP Special Edition: Historical Perspectives for Today’s Clinician, and Pediatric ESAP 2017- 2018.
Dr. Pesce is now a member of the American Thyroid Association Patient Affairs & Education Committee . She plans to serve on this committee through fall 2022. We thank her for her service in this area, helping make sure that pediatric thyroid considerations are well represented at the national level. Back here in Iowa, Dr. Pesce is the Director of the Pediatric Thyroid Clinic at the UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital, where she provides expert care for children and adolescents with thyroid conditions including hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism including Graves Disease, thyroid nodules and thyroid cancer.
Dr. Pesce has authored a powerful opinion piece entitled “Everything but Everydayness” about the joy of being a pediatric endocrinologist. In an almost poetic way, she describes the many scenarios in which a pediatric endocrinologist can make a significant difference in the health and well-being of a child. Find the piece here (link note this is not a permanent link) , on page 10 (12th page of PDF) of the Feb 2018 issue of Endocrine News .
Dr. Pesce recently received the Excellence in Clinical Coaching award. This award is given to select faculty who are known for outstanding clinical teaching of resident and fellow physicians. The comments that accompanied the award were “Dr. Pesce has a true passion for teaching and making sure that her patients receive the best care possible. When I have worked with Dr. Pesce, she sat with me one-on-one to review the unique aspects of the patient’s diagnoses and explained why we may be doing things a certain way.”