Mental Health – Leandra Godoy, PhD – $5,000

Expanding Access to Parent-Child Therapy — Parent-child interaction therapy (PCIT) has broad applicability in young children including those with behavioral issues, anxiety, depression, and autism. The need for this outpatient therapy is far greater than the current availability. This funding will provide another room with appropriate equipment for providers to see additional patients who would benefit from PCIT.

Cardiology –Charles Berul, MD – $27,750

Novel Tool to Improve Safety During Cardiac Ablation Procedures — Cardiac arrhythmias can be treated with ablation procedures which involve the creation of multiple lesions within the heart and can take several minutes each.  Even the smallest movement from operator fatigue can result in damage to vital cardiac structures. This research will develop the PeriTorq, a catheter torque tool that allows better gripping of the catheter which will lead to improved stability, control, and safety during ablation procedures.

Neuroscience – Kazue Hashimoto-Torii, MD – $14,586

Time-Lapse Single Cell RNA Sequencing for Monitoring Cellular Heterogeneity — Funds will be used to develop a novel genomic technology named Time-Lapse Single Cell RNA Sequencing (TL-Seq), which will assist the understanding of gene regulation and open new avenues in biomedical research. Understanding the heterogeneity of a small population of unique cells within a larger group of cells can provide insights into tumor cells,  antibiotics-resistant bacteria and epilepsy. The TL-Seq method allows researchers to examine gene expression while keeping these cells alive. This funding will allow further expansion of this research with multiple applications on these cells across different points in time.

Cardiology – Nikki Posnack, MD – $36,400

Pediatric Cardiovascular Model for Risk Assessment — Funds will be used to  conduct cutting-edge research focused on pediatric heart physiology, safety and toxicity. Chemicals in plastics and in medical devices have been shown to affect cardiovascular function in rodents. A pediatric heart model more representative of the physiology and conductivity of the human is necessary to further examine the effects of these chemicals on the heart. This research will benefit premature infants, cardiac surgery patients, patients with anemia, and other patients that receive blood transfusions with tubing products.

Genetic Medicine – Ljubica Caldovic, PhD – $36,913

Preclinical Research for Treatment of Inborn Errors of Metabolism — Maple syrup urine disease, propionic academia and methylmalonic academia are three rare diseases that result from genetic defects that disrupt the body’s ability to break down protein.  These funds will continue a study to test whether existing drugs, such as those used to treat other diseases like Type 2 Diabetes, and known to target AMPK, can be repurposed to treat these patients. The development of a successful therapeutic treatment may affect children world-wide with disorders for which available treatments are very limited.

Emergency Medicine – Shilpa Patel, MD – $35,260

StethAid for Lungs, Mobile Stethoscope and App for Recording and Analyzing Lung Sounds — This is an expansion of a highly innovative ongoing research project, StethAid, a patent-pending smartphone-based, digital stethoscope and app for recording and analyzing heart sounds. A similar opportunity exists in asthma management. This grant will expand the technology to build StethAid for Lungs, a cutting-edge technology for automated detection of wheezing, a symptom associated with asthma attacks. The grant will be used to build an extensive lung sounds library and develop a computer algorithm to detect wheezing. With StethAid for Lungs we are entering the world of telemedicine to help families manage their child’s asthma early and at home, to avoid a hospital visit resulting in better care, decreased costs and decreased morbidity and mortality from asthma.

Endoscopy – Pavel Yarmolenko, PhD – $30,892

High Intensity Focused Ultrasound Endoscopic System — Funds will be used to  purchase of equipment to construct a custom endoscopic High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) system for use in early preclinical studies. Gastroesophageal reflux and pyloric stenosis are two common pediatric diseases whose treatment include surgery. A minimally invasive surgery alternative would be the use of HIFU, which has been used to treat various types of tumors noninvasively by focusing ultrasound energy from an external transducer. This new HIFU will expand on the current HIFU but bring the transducer inside the body through the mouth, allowing for treatment of tissues currently inaccessible by current HIFU systems. The goal is to test the theory of using HIFU endoscopically and ultimately translate it into clinical practice.

Orthopedics – Aruradha Dayak, MD – $35,925

Patient Specific Casting for Pediatric Orthopedics Using 3-D Printing — Normal plaster casts are heavy, bulky, itchy and not water-proof. This grant will fund an investigative project to create and develop customizable, biocompatible, 3D printed casts for pediatric orthopedic patients who require prolonged casting and immobilization because of injury or post-surgical casting. In certain types of orthopedic injuries, 3D printed casts have been shown to be as effective as plaster casts, while having the additional benefit of being lightweight, thin, and water resistant. This program would be the first of its kind for children in the nation.

Neuropsychology – Gerald Gioia, PhD – $30,000

OnTRACK App Assists Concussed Patients with their Recovery — This funding will develop an app, OnTRACK – Online Treatment Recovery Assistance for Concussions in Kids, to help patients who suffer symptoms from a concussion over a longer period of time.  The new recommendations for concussed patients emphasizes the gradual and managed increase in a patient’s activity level during recovery. The app will prompt a patient to report real-time post-concussion symptoms throughout the day via the  app which will provide guidance to the patient, caregivers, parents and teachers regarding the level of activity appropriate for the patient. The OnTRACK app will have significant benefit for patients, serving approximately 1150 new patients and 3000 total visits annually. Potentially, OnTRACK will be adopted worldwide.

Pediatric Intensive Care Unit – Amanda Levin, MD – $6,725

Altered “Little Tikes” Cars Bring Mobility to Intensive Care Kids — “Little Tikes and “Step 2” toy cars and wagons are transformed to support devices for oxygen, IV poles, and monitors to allow children from the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) to be pushed around by their parents and medical personnel. Toddlers and preschoolers are quite vulnerable to the psychosocial stress of isolation because they are curious and naturally want to explore their environment. These altered cars allow them the freedom to explore their environment and enjoy being a child. The ability for these young patients to safely move and explore their environment will bring them joy and assist with their recovery.

Orthopedic – Maria Panayotou, RN – $5,351

High-Definition Monitor for Patient Rooms — This grant will provide funding for the purchase and installation of five high-definition monitors and computers for patient exam rooms in the Orthopedic Surgery and Sports Medicine clinic (currently there is only one HD monitor in the clinic which is located in the hallway). The purchase of this equipment will allow physicians to review imaging studies with the patient and their family in private. The goal is to create a patient-centered care environment to maximize patient understanding of their diagnosis and treatment.

Surgical Care Unit – Laura Thorpe, RN – $1,271

Comfort Cart for Post-Operative Pain — This grant is to fund non-reusable items to soothe post-operative patients to relieve their discomfort and anxiety associated with surgical pain. Opioids and other medications are often used to assist in managing patients’ pain; however, research has shown that non-pharmacological interventions such as distraction, aromatherapy, relaxation techniques, and interventions such as virtual reality to be highly successful in managing pain. These items will enable the Surgical Care Unit Champions to offer age appropriate non-pharmacologic comfort options to patients.

Mobile Health – Jaytoya Manget, NP – $5,141

Equipment for Infant Care in Mobile Unit  This grant would provide much needed funding for the purchase of a new infant scale and length board for the clinic’s mobile unit and a bilirubinometer, which measures bilirubin levels without drawing blood or puncturing skin, for the outpatient clinic. The outpatient clinic and mobile unit serve approximately 9,000 patients per year and these items will assist in providing immediate and effective care.

Ultrasound Simulation – Alysa Abo, MD – $49,943

Improving Point of Care Ultrasound Education and Training Funds will provide a new point of care ultrasound training solution for the purposes of training and improved care for the patients. Point of Care Ultrasound (POCUS) is used to aid with diagnostic evaluation, assist with procedures, or further elucidate a patient’s clinical status. The following divisions are currently using POCUS: Emergency Medicine, Critical Care (neonatal, pediatric, cardiac), Urology, Rheumatology, Anesthesiology, Hematology, Otolaryngology, and Urology. CNMC currently does not have POCUS simulator and this grant will improve patient care by giving our practitioners the ability to complete procedures and clinical evaluations in a simulated environment to ensure that POCUS in real-time is both accurate and precise.

Autism – Yetta Myrick – $4,210

Improving the Early Detection of Autism — ASD is one of the fastest growing developmental disabilities, with a prevalence rate of 1 in 68 children. Unfortunately, the wait list for clinical evaluations at the Children’s National Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders (CASD) is about one year. Primary care appointments offer the ideal location in which to identify ASD early and connect families with resources. Funds will provide the primary care doctor the necessary materials to conduct the ASD evaluation thereby providing families with timelier evaluation and treatment.

Mental Health/Mobile Health – Karin Walsh, PhD – $16,871

Feasibility of Robotics in a Pediatric Neuropsychology Service The Telepresence Robot (TR) is a new mode of engaging in telehealth services and provides a unique approach to patient care that allows mobility and increased interactions through extension of physical presence. The goal of the study is to evaluate the feasibility and acceptability of TR in neuropsychology for use with direct patient care, consultation/liaison, and for medical education. Telehealth is the future of medicine and this is an innovative approach to use it in neuropsychology.

Neonatology – Panagiotis Kratimenos, MD, PhD – $49,700

Reducing Brain Damage in Babies — Babies are deprived of the multiple advantages that the placenta provides when they are born weeks and even several months prematurely.  The placenta transports oxygen to the baby, produces hormones and nutrients that support the developing neurons and the myelin that wraps them, an important element for the proper conduction of neural signaling. Loss or malfunction of this myelin sheath leads to serious neurological problems, such as cerebral palsy and cognitive disorders. The long-term goal of the research is to elucidate the mechanisms of oxygen deficient white matter injury and translate this knowledge into the development of therapeutic interventions.

Gastroenterology – Muhammad Khan, MD – $3,785

Colonoscopy Training Simulator — The skill of passing a colonoscope through the lengthy and tortuous large intestine is difficult and may take dozens of procedures before the skill is mastered. This simulation educational tool will allow doctors to become familiar with the colonoscope including the “feel” of insertion and the skill of advancing the scope through the bowel before they need to perform the procedure on a child. The goal is to increase competency of using the colonoscope and reduce colonoscopy complications such as looping the scope inside the bowel or perforation of the bowel.

 Total Awards – $395,731