Neonatal Perinatal Medicine

Overview

The neonatologist in the future needs to have a strong clinical foundation to continue learning and to practice medicine during the exciting changes that will occur during the 21st century. Our faculty and fellows practice at two different NICUs (level III/IV). Care is provided for all types of patients ranging from normal deliveries to critically ill newborns who are transferred to our hospital requiring cardiac surgery or ECMO. We believe that using Evidence-based medicine and understanding research techniques and strategies will provide tools for the candidate to understand the medical literature and to develop approaches to answer new questions to advance the care of newborns.

The fellowship training program in Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine is a three-year program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). There is full salary support for all three years. Dr. Vineet Bhandari is Director of the Division of Neonatology and Dr. Alan Zubrow is the training Program Director. Dr. Anja Mowes is the Associate Program Director. Our program accepts four first year fellows each year.

Mission

The Fellowship Program's mission is to prepare trainees for a career in academic Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine. We accomplish this goal by offering exposure to a large, diverse population of patients along with in depth training in research design, techniques, and hypothesis generated experiments. If interested, fellows are guided through the steps in preparing a grant.

Education

Our training program consists of 12-15 months of clinical service (including 1 month of Maternal Fetal Medicine, 1 month of Cardiology/Cardiothoracic Surgery), 15- 19 months for research, and time in continuity clinic. Each year, the fellow has 4 weeks for vacation.

Clinical Opportunities

We have a high risk inborn service at Hahnemann University Hospital (level III) that provides challenges in caring for all types of sick infants. Care starts with involvement in prenatal case conferences about difficult patients and perinatal consults. The team is available 24 hours a day for call to the delivery room. Care is provided in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit with up to date equipment and an excellent nursing staff.
Our NICU at St. Christopher's Hospital (level IV) is a regional resource caring for babies referred for specialized treatment from hospitals throughout the tri-state region. All types of patients are referred  including those who require management of complex medical problems, surgical intervention, cardiovascular surgery, neurosurgery, and ECMO.

Educational Opportunities

There is a strong commitment to fellow education. There are daily NICU attending teaching conferences and rounds with staff radiologists. One afternoon a week, there is dedicated time for fellow education that covers topics in clinical medicine, perinatal physiology, and research. Monthly, there are two conferences with our obstetrical colleagues. The educational experience is augmented by participation in  simulations using  high-fidelity mannequins that apply what is taught at other times through a structured curriculum. Similarly, material is reviewed using a Board Course format.
In addition, St. Christopher's Hospital offers a comprehensive Core Curriculum for education of the fellows. At these meetings, the Neonatal-Perinatal fellows are able to interact with their peers/fellows from all of the other disciplines. The faculty fully supports each fellow to meet all of the American Board of Pediatrics requirements for Scholarly Activity. By having joint educational meetings with fellows from other programs in Philadelphia, the fellow's experience is enriched. Fellows are encouraged to attend meetings of the Philadelphia Perinatal Society and present their research in the annual Boggs Award competition.

Research Opportunities

Ample time spread over three years is available to formulate a research project, collect data, write abstracts for national and international meetings and prepare manuscripts for publication in competitive scientific journals.

Research

Research is important for the future to improve care of newborns and understand disease processes that affect babies. Members of our division are currently investigating:

Brain injury induced by:

  • Hypoxia
  • Hyperoxia
  • Drugs
  • Systemic inflammation

Understanding the pathogenesis of bronchopulmonary dysplasia:

  • Utilizing in vitro and in vivo hyperoxia-induced lung injury models
  • Utilizing genetic gain-of-function (transgenic mice) and loss-of-function (null mutant mice; siRNA) models
  • Utilizing mesenchymal stem cells, conditioned media and exosomes
  • Utilizing in vitro and in vivo sepsis-induced lung injury models 

Collaborative clinical projects to enhance clinical care:

  • Impact of preterm formula on bone mineralization

Mechanisms of fetal programming of adult-onset diseases by investigating:

  • Impact of maternal nutrition on modulating hypothalamic gene expression in offspring
  • Interaction of maternal stress and diet on development of metabolic dysfunction in offspring
  • Neonatal immune response to infection
  • Mechanisms that the neonate uses to fight influenza virus

Simulation as an Educational Tool:

  • Quantitatively Measure Critical Thinking Skills of Neonatology Fellows

This research is supported in part by grants funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), March of Dimes, The Hartwell Foundation, St. Christopher's Foundation for Children, and the Newborn Resuscitation Program of the American Academy of Pediatrics and industry-sponsored.

Quality Improvement in the NICU – Fellow led projects

2015 Improvement of Discharge summaries
2015 Improvement of Discharge summaries
2015 Oxygen targets
2015 Improvement of MRI slots for NICU patients
2014 Improve placement of umbilical catheters
2014 Prevention of unplanned extubation events in Neonates
2014 Consult Documentation
2013 Improving discharge communication between well baby nursery physician and community 
primary care providers
2013 Improving adherence to AAP recommendations for the prevention of perinatal GBS
2012 Improving physician documentation in the medical record of central line placement and removal
2012 Vancomycin use in Neonatal patients
2012 Newborn Resuscitation Program Compliance
2011 Medication Reconciliation 'NPSG8'

Faculty (Hospital where received Fellowship Training)

Vineet Bhandari, MD, Section Chief, Professor
Fellowship Training: University of Connecticut Health Center, University of Connecticut
Alan Zubrow, MD, Program Director, Professor
Fellowship Training: Babies Hospital/Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital of New York Presbyterian Medical Center, Columbia University
Endla K. Anday, MD, Professor
Fellowship Training: Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania
Juan Ballesteros, MD, Associate Professor 
Fellowship training: St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, MCP-Hahnemann University
Alison Carey, MD, Assistant Professor
Fellowship training: Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital of New York Presbyterian Medical Center, Columbia University
Harbhajan Chawla, MD, Professor
Fellowship Training: Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania
Maria Delivoria-Papadopoulos, MD, Professor
Fellowship Training: Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto
Rachel Fleishman, MD, Assistant Professor
Fellowship Training: Seattle Children’s Hospital, University of Washington 
Keri Fugarolas, MD, Assistant Professor
Fellowship Training: St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, Drexel University
Margaret A Gilfillan, MD, Assistant Professor
Fellowship Training: Penn State Children’s Hospital, Pennsylvania State University
Jan Goplerud, MD, Associate Professor
Fellowship Training: Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania
Arleen Haynes-Laing, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor
Fellowship Training: Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania
Folasade Kehinde, MD, Assistant Professor
Fellowship Training: University of Connecticut Health Center, University of Connecticut
Kelley Kovatis, MD, Assistant Professor
Fellowship Training: Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania
Shadi Malaeb, MD, Assistant Professor
Fellowship Training: Women and Infants Hospital of Rhode Island, Brown University
Jane McGowan, MD, Professor
Fellowship Training: University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, University of Colorado
Kirstie Marcello-Donnelly, MD, Assistant Professor
Fellowship Training: Thomas Jefferson University Medical Center/Christiana Care Medical Center/A.I., duPont Hospital, Thomas Jefferson University
Ogechukwu Menkiti, MD, Assistant Professor
Fellowship Training: Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania
Roschanak Mossabeb, MD, Assistant Professor
Fellowship Training: Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania
Anja Mowes, MD, Assistant Professor
Fellowship Training: Thomas Jefferson University Medical Center/Christiana Care Medical Center/A.I., duPont Hospital, Thomas Jefferson University
Nicholas Obiri, MD, Assistant Professor
Fellowship Training: St. Christopher's Hospital for Children, Drexel University
Michael Spear, MD, Clinical Professor
Fellowship Training: The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania 
Michael Szatkowski, MD, Assistant Professor
Fellowship Training: University of Michigan Medical Center, University of Michigan
Thomas Jefferson University Medical Center, Thomas Jefferson University
Heidi Taylor, DO, Assistant Professor
Fellowship Training: St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, Drexel University 
Suzanne Touch, MD, Associate Professor
Fellowship Training: Thomas Jefferson University Medical Center/Christiana Care Medical Center/A.I., duPont Hospital, Thomas Jefferson University
Yanick Vibert, DO, MPH, Assistant Professor
Fellowship Training: St. Christopher's Hospital for Children, Drexel University
Andy Wang, MD, Assistant Professor
Fellowship Training: St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, Drexel University

Current Fellows with their Residency Training

3rd Year
Jherna Balany, MD
Residency Training: Saint Peters University Hospital, New Brunswick, NJ
Kendra Kolb, MD
Residency Training: St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, Drexel University
Panagiotis Kratimenos, MD
Residency Training: The Unterberg Children's Hospital at Monmouth Medical Center, Drexel University College of Medicine

2nd Year
Samuel Ajayi, MD
Residency Training: Einstein Medical Center, Philadelphia
Thomas Habib, MD
Residency Training: Advocate Christ Medical Center, Oak Lawn, IL
Linda Nguyen, MD
Residency Training: UMDNJ Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, New Brunswick, NJ
Blossom Okafor, DO
Residency Training: UT Southwestern Austin, Austin TX

1st Year
Geoffrey Bajwa, MD
Residency Training: St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, Drexel University
Alison LaBadie, MD
Residency Training: Rhode Island Hospital, Brown University
Melanie Leong, MD
Residency Training: St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, Drexel University
Vilmaris Quinones Cardona, MD
Residency Training: Cooper University Hospital, Rowan University

Recent Graduates with Initial Employment after Fellowship

Eddie Chang, MD - Abington Memorial Hospital
Kristie Hornick, DO - Toledo Children's Hospital
Michelle Kelly, MD - Virtua Health
Aspa Fissikoudi, MD - The Hospital at Bowling Green
Purvi Jethva, MD - St. Christopher's Hospital for Children, Drexel University
Brandon Poterjoy, DO - St. Christopher's Hospital for Children, Drexel University
Nadege Brutus, MD - Virtua Health
Manjula Mudduluru, MD - St. Christopher's Hospital for Children, Drexel University
Subha Sangam, MD - St. Mary's Medical Center
Nicolas Obiri, MD - St. Christopher's Hospital for Children, Drexel University
Lynn Fuchs, MD - A.I. duPont Children's Hospital, Thomas Jefferson University
Meredith Monaco, MD - Albany Medical Center, Albany at SUNY
Altina Phaire, MD – Reading Medical Center
Heidi Taylor, DO - St. Christopher's Hospital for Children, Drexel University
Katie Durrwachter, MD – Einstein Medical Center, Montgomery Campus
Kirk Sallas, MD - Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters
Dimitrios Angelis, MD – Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, School of Medicine at the Permian Basin
Tania Fontanez-Nieves, MD – University of Miami Health Systems 
Lindsay Tellefsen, MD – CHOP Newborn Care at Holy Redeemer Hospital
Erin Cipko, MD – St. Luke’s Hospital, St. Christopher’s Hospital, Drexel University
Keri Fugarolas, MD – Temple University Hospital, St. Christopher’s Hospital, Drexel University
Andy Wang, MD – Shore Memorial, St. Christopher’s Hospital, Drexel University
Lynn Zeits, MD - Toledo Children's Hospital

How to apply

Please use the ERAS application service (www.erasfellowshipdocuments.org). An application must be complete before a candidate is invited for an interview.

If you have any questions, please contact:
John Wei
Practice Coordinator
St. Christopher's Hospital for Children
160 East Erie Ave
Philadelphia, Pa. 19134
(215) 427-5202

Alan B. Zubrow, MD
Program Director, Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine
St. Christopher's Hospital for Children
160 East Erie Ave
Philadelphia, Pa. 19134
(215) 427-5202

Eligibility

We are happy to accept applications for our Fellowship in Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine from physicians who will have completed an ACGME approved residency program and are eligible for board certification. Three letters of recommendation from physicians familiar with the applicant's clinical work should be included with the application. (One of the letters of recommendation should be from the Pediatric Program Director.) Once all documentation is complete in ERAS, the application will be reviewed and competitive candidates will be offered interviews. Pennsylvania law requires all fellows to have successfully completed all three Steps of the USMLE prior to entering their fellowship. Therefore, to be placed on the NRMP (www.nrmp.org/fellow ) match list, the applicant must have successfully passed all levels of the USMLE prior to the time the match list is to be submitted.

Foreign Medical graduates who have satisfied the requirements listed above are invited to apply after they have successfully completed the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) process and have a valid certificate number; copies of these documents need to be provided with the application. Where applicable, the candidate needs to have a valid visa. (The Hospital supports visas other than H-visas.) After reviewing all of the information, the staff will contact competitive applicants to arrange an interview.