Message From The Chair: Wave our flag!

March 4, 2015 by

James P. Nataro, MD, PhD, MBA

At our last faculty meeting, you all may have heard Tucker Petty’s marvelous pitch around the Children’s Hospital marketing campaign. I am very pleased and proud of Tucker’s work and of the attention being given to the Children’s Hospital by our institution. The “Healthier Ever After” campaign is really taking off, with signs around the Health System and, of course, our many media commercials.

We have good reason to wave our flag, and we should proudly do so. Recall that in 2014 and early 2015 we marked a great many achievements and milestones and saw some remarkable statistics. What makes me most proud is that we are hitting on all cylinders in every one of the missions. Remember: “Excellence in all missions, equally valued” is my catch-phrase.

In the clinical arena, we are seeing emerging excellence in many of our most important programs. I’ll remind you of just a few. Our roll-out of Be Safe in the Children’s Hospital is a model for the institution. If you have been in the PICU this month, you know that we did 4 heart transplants in a two week span; unbelievable for a program our size. They were cared for in our cardiac ICU, another of the year’s achievements. The NICU has started a neuro-NICU service, a multi-disciplinary model for complex care that few institutions can match (and neonatology was ranked for the first time in US News & World Report!). Our Division of Hematology & Oncology is expanding and starting a stem cell transplant program, while GI, Respiratory, Developmental Peds, General Pediatrics and other subspecialties are continuing rapid and excellent growth. Our senior faculty are recognized at the national level – including new recognitions for Drs. Chevalier, Bill Wilson and Vicky Norwood. Our new faculty are spectacular. And of course, the Battle Building has exceeded all expectations. I could go on and on.

In education, our residents continue to be fantastic. We mark another year of 100% board pass rate, and our graduates went to some of the best fellowships in the country. I hear quite routinely from other chairs about how much they love our residents as their fellows. (The Chair at Chapel Hill raved about Lydia Snyder just today!) We have wonderful fellows, and students love our teachers.

It has been as well a great year for our researchers. Nothing gives me more pleasure than to note new grants to our young investigators, including Brian Belyea, Rebecca Scharf, and Jennifer Charlton. We opened the Child Health Research Center and it has taken off with a steep trajectory. Research in the Department has a bright future.

With these and many, many other accomplishments, we deserve to brag a little. We should all be proud to be part of an outstanding Children’s Hospital, which makes it easier to do what we truly love: advancing children’s health.

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