Department of Pediatrics
Clinical Associate Professor
Pediatric Pulmonology; Pediatrics
I oversee clinical, teaching and research activity related to evaluating and treating infants, children and young adults with pulmonary diseases such as asthma, cystic fibrosis, neuromuscular disease, interstitial lung disease, bronchopulmonary dysplasia and chronic ventilatory failure. My practice is primarily located at the Lung Center at the Women and Children’s Hospital of Buffalo where I provide family-centered care to our patients that promotes wellness and quality of life. I manage the respiratory care of patients with neuromuscular disease such as spinal muscle atrophy, Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), and other muscular dystrophies.
I believe strongly in striving for equity in health care, e.g., all children and adults with DMD and Becker muscular dystrophy (BMD) should be offered the full spectrum of respiratory care choices. With investigators from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), I conduct research within the five-state Muscular Dystrophy Surveillance, Tracking and Research Network (MD STARnet) to study respiratory device use and pulmonologist involvement in the care of patients with DMD and BMD. There is a shortage of pediatric and adult pulmonologists trained in neuromuscular respiratory care, and through MD STARnet, we can explore variances in care delivery, particularly as patients make the transition from pediatric to adult health care providers, and thus can help guide allocation of funding, training and resources. Though many non-pulmonologists are filling the void and providing exemplary care, we may need to help non-pulmonologists care for pulmonary patients while formalizing training of future pulmonologists. One of our charges is to review trends in respiratory care over time relative to the 2010 publication of DMD Care Considerations from the CDC and TREAT-NMD (a neuromuscular network that provides an infrastructure to help patients receive the most promising new therapies as quickly as possible).
My other passion is teaching, especially preparing the next generation of physicians to provide care that is humanistic, holistic and patient-centered. I helped develop a quarterly humanism-in-residency curriculum for pediatric residents, and I am a member of the faculty advisory council for the medical school’s Center for Medical Humanities. I also serve as an instructor for the University at Buffalo/Royal College of Physicians Educator Program (UB/RCP), and I am a member of its master educator committee. Through these collaborations, we will develop a four-year medical student humanities curriculum by using examples in the humanities and the arts to provide insight into the human condition. This insight will foster in medical students and residents skills of observation, analysis, empathy and self-reflection − skills that are essential for humanistic medical care as well as self-care for the physician.