Dr. Kanner Promoted!

Dr. Kanner

Please join me in congratulating Dr. Lauren Kanner for her well earned promotion!! In brief, Dr. Kanner has been promoted from Assistant to Associate Professor in recognition of her clinical expertise, her dedication to teaching, her compassion as a physician, and her national recognition as a rising expert in the clinical care of adolescents with ovarian issues. She joined the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in 2018, having just completed a pediatric endocrine fellowship at the University of Wisconsin. During fellowship she began to cultivate expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of ovarian hormonal conditions. She has spearheaded several new clinical initiatives at the University of Iowa, including initiating the Pediatric Endocrinology Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Clinic. She also serves to direct the Pediatric Lipid disorder clinic. In addition she practices general pediatric endocrinology and diabetes care, and she serves to provide outreach pediatric endocrinology services in the Quad Cities and attends in the LGBTQ and cardiometabolic clinics. To her peers and trainees, she is treasured for her stalwart devotion to teaching. Her expertise in ovarian health has earned her a national reputation, evidenced by her holding various leadership and service roles with the North American Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology. In the education realm, she serves as the Assistant Director of Medical Student Education in the Department of Pediatrics. Once again, congratulations to Dr. Kanner!

Diabetes Camp Hertko Hollow 2023 – Wonderful Summer Sessions

Some of the volunteer staff at Camp Hertko Hollow, 2023 (L-R): Drs. Lindower, Tansey, Palmer, Radig, Pinnaro, and Parra Villasmil.

Diabetes Camps are a summer highlight for many kids who live with diabetes. Camp represents a chance to experience outdoor fun, make new friends who understand what it is like to have diabetes and learn more about diabetes self-care, all while under the watchful eye of diabetes-knowledgeable camp counselors and staff. Several of the staff in our Division help support Camp Hertko Hollow (click for link), a diabetes camp in central Iowa with access to 400 acres of forest / outdoor recreation space. Dr. Pinnaro and Dr. Tansey serve to provide medical direction for the camp, and diabetes nurse Susan Huff has long volunteered to support the camp. Kids Week (ages 8-12) ran June 25-July 1 and Teen Week (ages 13-17) ran July 3-9. Also see the Camp website (link above) for details about Mini Camp and Family Camp opportunities. The doctors and nurses from our Division who have volunteered their time in camp this year: Dr. Pinnaro, Dr. Tansey, Dr. Parra Villasmil, Dr. Palmer, Dr. Tuttle and nurse Sue Huff.

Announcing New Pediatric Endocrine Fellow: Dr. Baum

Dr. Kyle Baum

Today we are thrilled to announce that Dr. Kyle Baum has joined our division as a new pediatric endocrine fellow. He will serve three years in this role, after which he will be a full fledged board eligible pediatric endocrinologist. Dr. Baum received his Osteopathic Doctorate degree from Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine having completed undergraduate studies at Baker University in Baldwin City, Kansas. He just completed a three-year pediatric residency at the Sanford School of Medicine, University of South Dakota. While a resident he demonstrated an outstanding aptitude for and interest in pediatric endocrinology. In his spare time, he volunteered at Camp Gilbert for children with diabetes. His scholarly work was recently recognized by the Pediatric Endocrine Society, who awarded his abstract with a prestigious Presidential Poster that was presented in May at their national meeting. A warm welcome to Dr. Baum!!

Dr. Tuttle Completes Pediatric Endocrine Fellowship

Dr. Tuttle

We are extremely proud of Dr. Alex Tuttle. For the past 3 years, Dr. Tuttle has been a pediatric endocrinology fellow in our program. Today he finishes this training and will officially become a “board eligible” pediatric endocrinologist. During these past three years, Dr. Tuttle has been an exemplary fellow, delivering excellent clinical care and demonstrating exceptional clinical teaching. His contributions include being an enthusiastic volunteer at Diabetes Camp. While a fellow, he created a new approach and platform to teach pediatric physicians how to manage diabetes in hospitalized patients. Earlier this year, he presented this work at the International Meeting of Pediatric Endocrinology. He will be missed by his patients, who admired his kind and thoughtful demeanor. We too will miss Dr. Tuttle, as he has accepted a faculty position at a another major midwest academic children’s hospital where he will also continue his clinical work in pediatric endocrinology and also work on advancing physician education as well. Congratulations Dr. Tuttle!

Our Program Ranked Among the Best Children’s Diabetes & Endocrinology Programs Nationally

Our Division has been rated among the Best Children’s Hospitals for Diabetes & Endocrinology Care by the US News & World Report 17th annual national report, where we were ranked #23 nationwide. Other top ranked specialties at the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital included neonatology (#21), nephrology, neurology & neurosurgery, orthopedics, and urology.

“Our ongoing strong national ranking is a testament to the steadfast dedication and expertise of our pediatric endocrine physicians, nurse practitioners, specialty nurses, diabetes educators, psychologists, researchers, medical assistants, dieticians, pharmacists, social workers, and all teams members. We remain devoted to provide the best care for the children and adolescents in the region and beyond.”

Andrew Norris, M.D. Ph.D.
Director, Division of Endocrinology and Diabetes
UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital

Guest Lecturer – Shanlee Davis, MD PhD

Shanlee Davis, MD PhD

We were graced today by a research talk from Shanlee Davis, MD PhD. Dr. Davis is an Assistant Professor at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. Her expertise involves cardiometabolic and reproductive health in youth with X and Y chromosome variations. She spoke today at our Pediatric Grand Rounds. She recently received a prestigious R01 research grant from the NIH to study fatty acid metabolism in persons with Klinefelter Syndrome. She received her MD from Mayo Medical School and her PhD from the University of Colorado. She is a physician scientist and directs a clinical research group. Her research career, despite being in its early stages, has already earned several awards including from the Pediatric Endocrine Society, the Endocrine Society, the Society for Pediatric Research, and from the University of Michigan. Dr. Davis spoke today on how prenatal cell free DNA screening has impacted care for those infants with sex chromosome aneuploidies.

Dr. Parra Villasmil Named a CAPER Pancreas Scholar

Dr. Parra Villasmil

Children with recurrent pancreatitis are at risk to develop diabetes. However, current knowledge is insufficient to guide monitoring, screening, and therapy. Furthermore, there are no specific approaches to prevent diabetes from developing in those at risk. Additionally, there are very few pediatric endocrinologists with pancreatitis-specific expertise. To address these gaps, the Collaborative Alliance for Pancreatic Education and Research (CAPER) has created a program to identify rising physician specialists who can receive training to provide clinical care to these patients and to drive future research to better treat and even prevent endocrine complications from pancreatitis. We are pleased to broadcast that one of our Pediatric Endocrine Fellows, Dr. Parra Villasmil, has been selected as a CAPER Pancreas Scholar 2023-35. Dr. Parra Villasmil will receive mentorship from Dr. Melena Bellin who is a pancreas expert pediatric endocrinologist at the University of Minnesota. In this context, Dr. Parra Villasmil will develop a research project and participate in related national meetings. Congratulations to Dr. Parra Villasmil! We are not surprised that CAPER has recognized your talents and we look forward to her contributions to the field!

Using a Scribe to Improve Outpatient Physician Care.

Endocrine conditions are generally treated at home. Treatment can be complicated. A major purpose of appointments with the endocrinologist is to learn more about treatment. Often, a personalized plan is needed, depending on one’s daily schedules and activities. As a result, visits to the endocrinologist often involve numerous suggestions and details. Recording all of these details into the medical record can be difficult and time consuming. Two physicians in our Division participated in a pilot project whereby a scribe accompanied the physician during outpatient visits with the purpose of documenting the discussions and details. The results from this pilot project have now been published. The findings indicate that scribes have variable impact on visit times and physician charting burden, with improvements seen in one sub-specialty (developmental-behavioral pediatrics) but not another (pediatric endocrinology) . Patient satisfaction was equally high (>95%) with or without scribes. Two physicians from our Division, Dr. Kanner and Dr. Pesce contributed to the project and published manuscript. The paper is entitled “The Value of Adding Scribe Services to Two Distinct Pediatric Subspecialties in the Era of the Electronic Medical Record” and is being published in the journal Clinical Pediatrics. The manuscript’s abstract can be found at Pubmed (link).

Iowa Well Represented at National Pediatric Endocrine Society Meeting

The Pediatric Endocrine Society (PES) is a professional organization of over 1,600 endocrinologists with the purpose of advancing treatment of youth with endocrine disorders. The PES held its annual meeting May 5-8 in San Diego. Several of our division faculty attended the meeting. Dr. Pesce presented at one of the symposium session on Endocrinology in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Dr. Parra Villasmil presenter her research, conducted under the mentorship of Dr. Pinnaro, on Screening for Turner Syndrome-associated Hyperglycemia. Dr. Parra Villasmil’s work was selected as one of the top-ranking abstracts, receiving a PES Presidential Poster award. In addition, our future fellow, Dr. Kyle Baum, currently a pediatric resident at Sanford School of Medicine, also had an abstract selected for a PES Presidential Poster award.

Dr. Pesce presenting at PES 2023
Dr. Parra Villasmil at PES 2023

Dr. Pesce Recognized for her Outstanding Clinical Teaching

Dr. Pesce

Dr. Liuska Pesce is being recognized by the Carver College of Medicine for outstanding teaching. Today she is receiving the Collegiate Teaching Award. This award is given to recognize teaching that demonstrates unusually significant and meritorious achievement. The Award includes a plaque and monetary bonus. Those who have trained under her have many laudatory statements, including the following anonymous comment: “Dr. Pesce is the Mary-Poppins of physicians, ‘practically perfect in every way.’ She is an excellent teacher with clear explanations behind her thought processes which are always guided by best practices. She is very professional and thorough in all of her patient interactions and examinations. She provides excellent and timely feedback on presentations, physical exam findings, and clinical notes. She goes out of her way to ensure learners get the feedback they need.” Dr. Pesce is also involved in educational efforts at the national level, for example having just contributed as an author to this educational material “Pediatric ESAP 2023-2024: Pediatric Endocrine Self-Assessment Program. Washington, DC: Endocrine Society; 2023.”