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February 19, 2016

UAB Medicine's annual Employee Engagement Survey is one of the best tools for gathering staff input on what's working well, what isn't, and where change is needed most. Leadership looks closely at the results each year and uses the anonymous data to craft new policies that reward employees, make their jobs easier and more productive, and benefit the organization as a whole.

This is your survey, and your participation is invaluable. In 2015, the survey response rate was 74% for non-faculty employees, and we want to see that figure continue to rise.

This year's survey period is February 15-29, which is earlier than usual (more on that here). We hope to encourage greater participation by clarifying certain facts about the survey and sharing some insight into the process. Click here to read more about your privacy and how the survey results are used. 
This survey is open to participation for all regular part-time and full-time employees. If you have yet to receive your code, please see your administrative supervisor. If you have already received your code, what are you waiting for?  Let your voice be heard!
Take the 2016 Employee Engagement and Faculty Engagement Survey February 15-29 

Please contact if employees have any issues with accessing the survey. We want everyone to have an opportunity to let their voice be heard.

Congratulations to Smita Bhatia, M.D., MPH, Pediatric Hematology and Oncology, and William J. Britt, M.D, Pediatric Infectious Diseases, on their recent election to the AAP. They will be introduced at the formal AAP dinner in April 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. The Association of American Physicians is a professional organization founded in 1885 by seven physicians, including Dr. William Osler, for “the advancement of scientific and practical medicine.” It is an honorific society and election to the AAP reflects well on UAB, the Department of Pediatrics and of course the individuals. We are extremely proud of Smita and Bill. Congratulations as well to two other UAB physicians, Drs. Ravi Bhatia and Victor Thannickal, both in the Department of Medicine, who were also elected this year. 



Benefit-eligible UAB, UAB Health System and UAHSF employees may participate in the free 2016 health screenings and receive a health-risk profile. There will be an onsite screening clinic Wednesday, Feb. 24 in the Bradley Lecture Center – Lee Conference Room.  Slots are filling fast, so register now!  Other screening sites are available Feb. 22- March 16 (see schedule).
For more information about these screenings and UAB My Health Rewards, please click here
To participate in these free health screenings, please register through the My Health Rewards website and schedule your appointment. Earn 10,000 points with My Health Rewards for completing the screening. Register between now and Feb. 19 to earn an extra 1,000 points and be entered for a chance to win a Fitbit from UAB Employee Wellness!

Children’s of Alabama has recently had two companies demonstrate their voice recognition products. mModal will return for “hands-on sessions” Monday Feb. 22 from noon - 4 p.m. and Tuesday Feb. 23 from 7 a.m. to noon.  All sessions will be held in the “Jeffery” conference room in the Nursing Informatics area (2nd floor Park Place South).  All Children's-based physicians (and physician extenders) are welcome to drop by at their convenience and provide input.  Please contact Terry Wall, M.D., with any questions. 

A committee to review UAB's child-care program and provide recommendations is conducting a brief survey of employees at UAB, UAB Hospital, Health Services Foundation, Health System, Callahan Eye Hospital and VIVA. For more information, click here. Make sure to give your input so that the Department of Pediatrics is well represented. Click here to take the survey

Drs. David Kimberlin, Karen Fowler and Suresh Boppana will all participate in plenary presentations at the Congenital Cytomegalovirus (CMV) Public Health & Policy Conference in September 2016.
Karen Fowler, DrPH, Pediatric Infectious Disease, is on the organizing committee.
Suresh Boppana, M.D., 
Pediatric Infectious Disease, is an advisory board member.

If you would like additional information, please contact Drs. Fowler or Boppana.

All UAB employees are encouraged to attend this year’s Blazer Family Day with UAB Men's Basketball, happening Saturday, Feb. 27. Each UAB employee can receive up to four free tickets. No reservations are necessary; tickets will be available for pickup at 10 a.m. on gameday at the Bartow Arena Blaze statue on a first-come, first-serve basis. Employees must present their ONE Card to receive their tickets. Employees may purchase additional tickets at $7/ticket while supplies last. 
Click here for more details.

The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) established CHEAR to advance our understanding of the impact of the environment on children’s health and development.

CHEAR provides selected children’s health researchers access to laboratory and data analysis services to add or expand environmental exposures as a component of their research. CHEAR is particularly interested in expanding the range of environmental exposures assessed in NIH-funded children’s health studies, including:

  1. Studies wishing to expand their analysis to include environmental exposure analysis
  2. Studies that have collected environmental exposure data but seek more extensive analysis

Exposures measured by CHEAR will cover the breadth of the “exposome," which encompasses all environmental exposures including chemical, physical, and biological stressors, as well as lifestyle and social environments, from conception through adolescence.

CHEAR will provide NIH-funded pediatric researchers access to analyses of environmental exposures at no cost to the investigator. Visit their recently launched website for more information.


CHAMP: Child Health Research Acceleration through Multi-site Planning
CHAMP provides start-up funding for high-impact multi-site studies focused on child health. The UAB CCTS is working with four other CTSAs (Cincinnati Children’s-University of Cincinnati, Medical College of Wisconsin, New York University, University of Massachusetts) for this effort. CHAMP will provide the infrastructure to organize, select and manage the opportunity.  More information is available here.
Drug Discovery Opportunities for Funding and Training
  • The Alabama Drug Discovery Alliance (ADDA) has released its RFA for pre-proposals. Only small molecule-directed efforts will be considered responsive. The deadline is Friday, March 18 at noon. Awards are open to all UAB faculty and cover $50,000 per year for two years.
  • The ADDA Lecture Series will be held from noon - 1 p.m. on Mondays in PCAMS (1924 7th Ave. So.), beginning on March 7.  For information on the dates and scheduled speakers, please click here.
CCTS Forum: Grant Development Resources
Join the CCTS on Wednesday, March 2 from 4:45 - 6 p.m. in PCAMS (1924 7th Ave. So.) for refreshments and hors d'oeuvres as they discuss Grant Development Resources available at UAB and through their Partner Network. You may also join remotely:

Genomics Training
  • The Rare Disease Genomics Symposium will be held on next Friday, Feb. 26 from 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. in the Bradley Center.  The cost is $15 to register. Questions?  Please contact Shaila Handattu at
  • Registration is now open for the 2016 Center for Genomic Medicine Symposium which will be held on Wednesday, May 4 from 10 a.m.- 6 p.m. at the Jackson Center in Huntsville, Alabama. It will feature presentations by specialists and the opportunity to ask questions of a distinguished panel of experts and will provide a tour of the innovative HudsonAlpha facility.  Registration is free and transportation will be provided to and from Huntsville for Birmingham residents.

Syngo Imaging has reached end of life and archive space. Therefore, Children's of Alabama is upgrading to the next platform, syngo Plaza. Children's is in the process of migrating our Imaging archive from syngo Imaging to syngo Plaza. ResMD is an imaging viewer that has the ability to view images from multiple archives and operating systems (Windows, iOS).  Children's of Alabama PACS Administration worked with Corporate Communications to encourage users to utilize ResMD to view images.  ResMD has many advantages such as the ability to view images on multiple operating systems, mobile devices (iPad, iPhone, Android), native 3D functionality, secure collaboration feature, is available outside the Children's network, no software installation, works with multiple internet browsers, and is a secure zero-footprint application leaving no patient data on devices. Workflows do exist where ResMD will not provide adequate functionality to the user. While you may need to use syngo Plaza primarily for these workflows, ResMD will be utilized during any planned or unplanned syngo Plaza downtime, so you are encouraged to become familiar with both applications.

Click here to view the entire message from Pediatric Imaging regarding the changes to syngo Plaza

REMINDER: Curriculum Committee Meeting
Wednesday, Feb. 24
12:00 p.m.
Surgical Library
RSVP to Kim Butler if you plan to attend.

Alyssa Reddy, M.D., (Ped - Hematology/Oncology) ADVL1416: A Phase 1 Study of Ramucirumab, a Human Monoclonal Antibody Against the Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor-2 (VEGFR-2) Receptor in Children with Refractory Solid Tumors, Including CNS Tumors CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL (PHILADELPHIA). $18,800. 02/01/2016 - 01/31/2018.

Isabel Virella-Lowell, M.D., (Ped - Pulmonary) CELTAXSYS, INC. $91,468. 02/05/2016 - 02/04/2017.

 2016 Mar;75(3):481-9. doi: 10.1136/annrheumdis-2015-208982.2016 Classification Criteria for Macrophage Activation Syndrome Complicating Systemic Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis: A European League Against Rheumatism/American College of Rheumatology/Paediatric Rheumatology International Trials Organisation Collaborative Initiative. Ravelli A, Minoia F, Davì S, Horne A, Bovis F, Pistorio A, Aricò M, Avcin T, Behrens EM, De Benedetti F, Filipovic L, Grom AA, Henter JI, Ilowite NT, Jordan MB, Khubchandani R, Kitoh T, Lehmberg K, Lovell DJ, Miettunen P, Nichols KE, Ozen S, Pachlopnik Schmid J, Ramanan AV,Russo R, Schneider R, Sterba G, Uziel Y, Wallace C, Wouters C, Wulffraat N, Demirkaya E, Brunner HI, Martini A, Ruperto N, Cron RQ; Paediatric Rheumatology International Trials Organisation, the Childhood Arthritis and Rheumatology Research Alliance, the Pediatric Rheumatology Collaborative Study Group, and the Histiocyte Society.
This large collaborative project analyzed data from over 1,100 children with systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis (sJIA) and potentially confusable conditions to generate and validate novel classification criteria with high sensitivity and specificity for identification of sJIA patients who develop macrophage activation syndrome (MAS). This was a multi-staged process involving 28 experts in the field of MAS and was made possible by analyses of real patient data, and an eventual consensus conference covered by a grant from the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) and the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) awarded to Drs. Cron and Ravelli.

 2016 Feb 15. pii: 1501284. A Heterozygous RAB27A Mutation Associated with Delayed Cytolytic Granule Polarization and Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis. Zhang M, Bracaglia C, Prencipe G, Bemrich-Stolz CJ, Beukelman T, Dimmitt RA, Chatham WW, Zhang K, Li H, Walter MR, De Benedetti F, Grom AA, Cron RQ.
This manuscript describes two unrelated teenagers who developed macrophage activation syndrome (MAS) and shared the identical mutation in the hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH)-associated gene, RAB27A. The specific heterozygous mutation functioned as a partial dominant-negative protein and was shown to decrease NK cell lytic activity by disrupting interaction with its MUNC13-4 binding partner and delaying cytolytic granule transport to the immunologic synapse, resulting in increased interferon-gamma production responsible for the clinical manifestations of MAS/HLH. As both patients responded to immunosuppression without requiring traditional HLH therapy (etoposide), this study blurs the genetic distinction between familial HLH (homozygous deficiency in cytolytic pathway proteins), and questions the use of etoposide (high morbidity and mortality) in secondary forms of HLH, including those with heterozygous mutations in HLH-associated genes.
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