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Matters - Connecticut Children's Medical Center


									                                                                                                                         First of its Kind     Reducing Painful      Center for Motion
                                                                                                                         Specialized Care      Ear Infections        Analysis Celebrates
                                                                                                                                                                     30 years

                                                                                                                                                                               Vol. 4 Issue 2
                            A PUBLICATION OF CONNECTICUT CHILDREN’S MEDICAL CENTER                                                                                            Summer 2011

Giving Back to Connecticut Children’s
is a Sweet Project for a Former Patient
                                                                                                Connecticut Children’s achieved an                neighborhood selling cupcakes. About
                                                                                                important milestone earlier this                  50 cupcakes are made for each trip.
                                                                                                month when the NICU at the UConn                      “I really have fun with the cupcake
                                                                                                Health Center operationally became                cart and just wanted to give something
                                                                                                part of the neonatology program at                to the kids in the hospital,” Ally said.
                                                                                                Connecticut Children’s. Ally Lewis,                   Ally was born at 26 weeks on Dec.
                                                                                                who received care at both NICU’s                  22, 1998 weighing only 2 pounds, 13
                                                                                                as a newborn, is an inspiration to                ounces. Her parents David and Gail never
                                                                                                any parent of a premature baby.                   left her side in the Neonatal Intensive
                                                                                                Actually she’s an inspiration to                  Care Unit at the University of Connecticut
                                                                                                anyone and everyone.                              Health Center in Farmington.
                                                                                                   And     despite   some      physical               “If one of us couldn’t be with Ally
                                                                                                challenges that have affected her since           because of work, we always made
                                                                                                birth, the Meriden seventh grader is              sure the other was there for her,” said
                                                                                                an honor student, school volleyball               Ally’s mother Gail.
                                                                                                player and even finds time to give to                 Gail and David Lewis said that
                                                                                                Connecticut Children’s Medical Center.            although it was a very difficult ordeal
                                                                                                   Last spring, Ally began selling                at times, they credit the support they
                                                                                                cupcakes via “Ally’s Cupcake Cart”                received from Gail’s parents and their
                                                                                                with all proceeds going toward                    neighbors. “We would often come
                                                                                                the purchase of toys for patients                 home to a hot meal that was made by
                                                                                                at Connecticut Children’s. With                   one of our neighbors,” said David Lewis.
                                                                                                the help of one of her best friends,              “And Gail’s parents were a tremendous
Ally Lewis, 12, weighed just a little more than 2 pounds when she was born in 1998. Today she
                                                                                                Aislinn Quinn, Ally parades a brightly            help with Ally’s older sister, Chelsea.
is an honor student at Lincoln Middle School in Meriden where she also plays on the school      painted pink wagon throughout her                 It’s during those difficult times
volleyball team.
                                                                                                                                                                         continued on page 3

      Connecticut Children’s Once Again Ranked Among
      Best Children’s Hospitals in Country

   Three     pediatric   subspecialty              The rankings, more commonly
   programs at Connecticut Children’s            known as the U.S. News and World
   have received top rankings                    Report Best Children’s Hospitals,
   in U.S. News Media Group’s                    recognize the top children’s
   2011 Best Children’s Hospitals                hospitals among a number of
   rankings. Connecticut Children’s              various specialties. Now in its fifth
   Best Children’s Hospitals rankings            year, Best Children’s Hospitals pulls          Fernando Ferrer, MD, Surgeon-in-Chief and Director of Urology, Karen Rubin, MD, Division Head
                                                                                                of Endocrinology/Diabetes and Jeffrey Thomson, MD, Director of Orthopedics, are responsible for
   were in urology, diabetes and                 together clinical and operational              the three programs at Connecticut Children’s to receive 2011 Best Children’s Hospital Rankings.
   endocrinology and orthopedics.                data from a lengthy survey,                    This is the 2nd consecutive year that the Department of Orthopedics has received this honor.
   This is the second year                       completed by the majority of the
   in a row that Connecticut                     177 hospitals asked to participate             children’s hospitals that are included            are a great honor and further
   Children’s      department      of            for the 2011-12 rankings. The                  in these rankings, it just reinforces             proof that as the state’s only
   orthopedics has received a                    data from the survey is combined               how far Connecticut Children’s has                hospital dedicated exclusively to
   top ranking from U.S. News.                   with     recommendations        from           come in its first 15 years.”                      children, Connecticut Children’s
    “We        salute    Connecticut             pediatric specialists on the hospitals           Earlier this month, a celebratory               provides the highest quality of
   Children’s,” said Health Rankings             they consider best for children                event was held at the Medical Center              pediatric care in our region,” he
   Editor Avery Comarow. “The goal               with challenging problems.                     to recognize the staffs of these three            said. “I’m happy for the doctors,
   of the Best Children’s Hospitals               “It’s a thrill to be recognized for           programs for their accomplishments.               nurses, and all of our employees in
   rankings is to call attention                 something that we are just so                  Martin J. Gavin, president and CEO                these areas who were recognized
   to pediatric centers with the                 passionate about,” said Karen Rubin,           of Connecticut Children’s, shared                 for their wonderful work.”
   expertise to help the sickest kids,           MD, Connecticut Children’s division            his thoughts on the ranking and
   and Connecticut Children’s is                 head of endocrinology/diabetes.                what they mean to everyone at
   one of those centers.”                       “When I see the nationally-renowned             the Medical Center. “These rankings
 2                                                                                                                                         Summer 2011

                                                             A NOTE FROM OUR WEBSITE:
                                                             I am writing to tell you how much I appreciate your staff that worked with us during my daughter’s stay
                                                             at Connecticut Children’s last December. Lily was 6 days old when she was admitted and my husband,
                                                             Jesse, and I stayed with her for a week while the doctors, nurses and other staff helped her get better.
                                                                Without the expertise and thoughtful sincerity of your staff, I don’t know if Lily Arnold would be with us
                                                             today. She is almost 6 months old now and smiles, smiles, smiles all day long. A pure angel.
                                                                Please accept my sincerest gratitude to your staff for everything they did to heal my baby. A special big
                                                             THANK YOU to nurse Nancy who was with us for the majority of the time. I tell Lily all about her and the
                                                             other doctors and nurses who took care of the 3 of us while she was sick.

                                                             Your staff will always be in our hearts. We are eternally grateful.

                                                             Thank you.
                                                             Jennifer, Jesse and Lily Arnold
                                                             Portland, CT

Generosity of Donors
Makes New Clinical
Care Center a Reality
Earlier this summer, Connecticut Children’s
announced that it had successfully reached
the $5 million goal of its “A Brighter Hope”
Campaign, resulting in the construction
of a new outpatient Clinical Care Center
for Cancer and Blood Disorders at the
Medical Center.
   Already home to the most comprehensive
pediatric oncology program in Western New                                 CONNECTICUT CHILDREN’s IN THE NEWs
England, the new Clinical Care Center will
allow Connecticut Children’s to double the
space devoted to oncology and hematology
programs. It will also allow the Medical                                                                                                                  disease. Connecticut Children’s
Center to add technology, broaden its                                                                                                                     is home to the Pediatric IBD
research and further integrate care in these                                                                                                              Collaborative Research Group.Their
areas. The end result is that beginning                                                                                                                   innovative work and extensive
this fall, more children and families from                                                                                                                research findings are helping
across the region will have access to the                                                                                                                 children in Connecticut and
specialized care that Connecticut Children’s is                                                                                                           throughout the country.
known for.
   Connecticut Children’s Foundation Board
Member Glen Greenberg serves as chairman                                                                                                                  Connecticut
of the “A Brighter Hope” Campaign and on
behalf of everyone at the Medical Center,                                                                                                                 Children’s Expands
thanked the thousands of donors who                                                                                                                       Care In Danbury
realized that the increased demand for care
                                                                                                                                                          After opening a new office just
at Connecticut Children’s made achieving
                                                                                                                                                          this past February, Connecticut
this campaign goal a necessity.                           In attendance at the event (from left): Jeffrey Hyams, MD, head of the Division of Digestive
                                                          Diseases, Hepatology and Nutrition at Connecticut Children’s; Kevin Dineen, featured speaker;   Children’s has doubled the number
   “This expansion could not happen without
                                                          event chair Caryl Goldberg and NBC30 sports reporter Kevin Nathan, host of the event.           of programs it is offering in Danbury
significant philanthropic support and we are
                                                                                                                                                          from two to four. In addition to
grateful to everyone who made the success
                                                                                                                                                          cardiology and digestive diseases,
of this project a priority. We are truly blessed         For The Children                                  Florida Panthers head coach                    subspecialists from Connecticut
to have had such a wonderful outpouring
of generosity from both individuals and                  Gala Raises More                                  Kevin Dineen, who shared his                   Children’s oncology and hematology
                                                                                                           story of becoming a professional               and general surgery programs have
organizations committed to seeing the best               Than $70,000                                      hockey player and coach while                  begun seeing patients in the Medical
very best clinical care provided to children
                                                          On June 18, the For the Children                 battling Crohn’s disease throughout            Center’s offices located at Danbury
and families,” he said.
                                                          Gala was held at the Farmington                  his career.                                    Hospital’s Children’s Health and
                                                          Marriott and raised more than                      Due to the outstanding work of               Wellness Center on 79 Sand Pit Road.
                                                          $70,000 for the Center for Pediatric             Jeffrey Hyams, MD and his talented             To schedule an appointment for
                                                          Inflammatory Bowel Disease at                    team, Connecticut Children’s is                one of the new programs offered in
                                                          Connecticut Children’s Medical                   recognized as a national leader in             Danbury, please call (860) 545-9636
                                                          Center. The event featured former                providing and advancing care for               for hematology and oncology or
                                                          Hartford Whalers star and current                children with inflammatory bowel               (860) 545-9520 for general surgery.

                                                                   Connecticut Children’s is grateful for the dedication provided by many individuals, clubs and organizations
                                                                     who host events to support and promote the mission of Connecticut Children’s. If you are interested in
                                                                     learning more about events that support the Medical Center or hosting an event, please visit the new
                                                                            Connecticut Children’s Foundation Events website at

                                                         To comment on any articles appearing in this publication, please visit our website at If you have
When it opens this Fall, the Clinical Care Center
for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Connecticut                   a change of address or do not wish to receive future issues of Pediatric Matters, please call (860) 610-5700.
Children’s will unite clinical care services, research
initiatives and family support programs in one
state-of-the art location.
                                                                           CREDITs      Editor: Robert Fraleigh Contributors: Chris Boyle and Doreen Tarascio Design: Dornenburg Group
                                                                                                   Photography: J. Fiereck Photography, LLC Printing: Finlay Printing

A Sweet Project for a Former Patient                                                                                     continued from page 1

when you really find out who your
loved ones are.”
    David recalled his family’s first
Christmas in the NICU just three days
after his daughter was born.
    “It started off as the worst Christmas
ever,” he said. “The NICU was so quiet
and at one time, Gail and I were the
only ones there. Up to that point
we were told that Ally’s prognosis
                                                                                                                                                        Connecticut Children’s
was pretty grim. Finally, after a                                                                                                                       Completes Integration
series of examinations, a nurse
smiled at us and said that Ally was                                                                                                                     of NICU at UConn
going to be okay.”
    Shortly after her discharge from
                                                                                                                                                        Health Center
the UCOnn Health Center in early
                                                Since she started Ally’s Cupcake Cart last spring, Ally Lewis has raised more than $300 by selling         On September 1, a milestone in
1999, Ally was admitted back to
                                                cupcakes to help purchase toys for patients at Connecticut Children’s.                                  the Medical Center’s history was
the hospital, but this time it was to
                                                                                                                                                        achieved when the NICU at the
Connecticut Children’s. A severe                   One of the conditions that Ally was             neighborhood, Ally is taking                         UConn Health Center was formally
case of respiratory syncytial virus             born with is a chronic disease known               orders – such as the one from                        integrated into the neonatology
filled her lungs with fluid and she             as cytomegalovirus which David and                 her principal at Lincoln Middle                      program at Connecticut Children’s.
was transferred to the Emergency                Gail Lewis said affects about 1/3                  School who ordered 100 for                           The unit in Farmington has been
Department before being admitted                of her brain. Ally cannot hear in her              an upcoming conference.                              renamed Connecticut Children’s NICU
to the Connecticut Children’s NICU.             right ear and is about 60 percent                    Ally’s generous ways haven’t                       at UConn Health Center.
    Over the next few years Ally would          deaf in her left ear.                              gone unnoticed either. Her story                          Connecticut Children’s will now
travel to Connecticut Children’s twice             “Nothing stops her,” Gail Lewis                 has garnered significant print and                   manage neonatal care at two
a week to see numerous specialists              said. “Whether it’s school, sports or              electronic news media coverage                       locations; both at the Health Center
in neurology, pulmonary medicine                the cupcake cart, when she has her                 and one story produced by NBC30                      in Farmington (40 beds) as well as
and gastroenterology. Today her                 sights set on something, she just drives           went national and was aired by                       our current location in Hartford (32
follow-up visits have been reduced              towards it until she reaches her goal.”            dozens of NBC affiliates from                        beds). Combining these 72 beds
to once a year.                                    But Ally has a busy fall awaiting               as far away as Los Angeles.                          under common medical and clinical
    “Everyone at Connecticut Children’s         her with her cupcake cart which                    Ally admits she likes the publicity.                 leadership creates one of the largest
– starting when you come into the               already has resulted in more than                    “It’s pretty neat and a win-win for                NICUs in the state.
Emergency Department to the NICU                $300 in toys for the patients at                   everyone,” the aspiring baker said.                      It will also present many benefits
and all the clinics – have always been          Connecticut Children’s. In addition                                                                     for patients and families. In addition to
very kind to us,” said Gail Lewis.              to selling cupcakes in her                                                                              offering the highest level of neonatal
                                                                                                                                                        care in the area, it will allow us to

Connecticut Children’s Opens
                                                                                                                                                        make investments that will enhance
                                                                                                                                                        our current range of services to
                                                                                                                                                        include technologies such as ECMO,
                                                                                                                                                        pursue further advanced care models

Specialized Epilepsy Center                                                                                                                             and broaden our opportunities in the
                                                                                                                                                        areas of neonatal research, education
                                                                                                                                                        and training.
                                                                                                                                                           Outside the walls of the unit itself,
                                                                                                                                                        the Connecticut Children’s NICU at
                                                                                                                                                        UConn Health Center will help attract
                                                                                                                                                        the highest quality pediatricians,
                                                                                                                                                        neonatologists, obstetricians and
                                                                                                                                                        other clinical health care professionals
                                                                                                                                                        to the greater Hartford area. It will
                                                                                                                                                        also drive more grant opportunities
                                                                                                                                                        to the region and allow our clinicians
                                                                                                                                                        to further their research in this highly
                                                                                                                                                        specialized area of medicine.
                                                                                                                                                           Most importantly, the integrated
                                                                                                                                                        NICU will meet the needs of our
                                                                                                                                                        state’s most vulnerable patients –
                                                                                                                                                        today and for years to come. We
                                                                                                                                                        will have more information on the
                                                                                                                                                        Connecticut Children’s NICU at
                                                                                                                                                        UConn Health Center in our next
                                                                                                                                                        issue of Pediatric Matters.

Jennifer Madan Cohen, MD, Director of Connecticut Children’s Comprehensive Epilepsy Program, works with David Kimball of New Milford, the
first patient admitted to the new Epilepsy Monitoring Unit at the Medical Center. The new unit was opened to better understand and care for
pediatric patients with epilepsy.

Nearly 12,000 children in Greater               and families that is the first of its               closer to its goal of being a level III          for surgery that has the potential to
Hartford and three times as many                kind in Connecticut.                                epilepsy center.                                 cure the epilepsy,” commented Dr.
statewide suffer from epilepsy.                   “The idea behind our epilepsy                        In addition to providing medical              Madan Cohen.
While many of them control their                center is to be able to fully care for              staff with the opportunity to witness              Cure rates from surgery can be
seizures with medication, almost                children who suffer from epilepsy,”                 a seizure first-hand, the correlating            as high as 60 to 80 percent and the
one-third do not respond to any                 said Jennifer Madan Cohen, MD, a                    of data from state-of-the-art EEG                majority of surgical procedures for
drug therapy. In these cases, surgery           pediatric neurologist and director of               monitoring with MRI and other                    epilepsy can be performed on-site
often becomes the result.                       the Medical Center’s Comprehensive                  data often helps pinpoint where                  at Connecticut Children’s.
  To better understand and treat                Epilepsy Program.                                   in the brain a seizure is originating              The new Epilepsy Monitoring Unit
children with epilepsy, Connecticut               A key part of the center is the new               from and helps decide if surgery                 was made in possible in part by
Children’s recently opened a                    Epilepsy Monitoring Unit, located                   is necessary.                                    the Connecticut Children’s Medical
specialized epilepsy center at its              on the 7th floor of the Medical                        “We have a strong ketogenic diet              Center Friends, who made a
main campus in Hartford. The new                Center in Hartford. With a focus on                 program and physicians who are                   $75,000 donation to help equip the
unit will draw on the expertise of              patient safety and optimal recording                skilled in medical treatment, but for            new unit and further the promise
the neurology and neurosurgery                  capabilities, Connecticut Children’s                epilepsy that’s intractable to those,            of helping children live seizure-free.
programs at Connecticut Children’s              recently began offering long-term,                  the next step is often surgery. The
and creates a service for children              overnight EEG monitoring, which                     monitoring helps us determine
                                                moves Connecticut Children’s a step                 whether a patient is a candidate
4                                                                                                                                           Summer 2011

    Surgeon’s Research Aims to Reduce
    Painful Ear Infections
    For pediatric otolaryngologist Tulio           The study – which started about
    Valdez, MD, of Connecticut Children’s       two months ago – also includes
    Medical Center, there will always be        investigators from the University of
    a better way to diagnose and treat          Michigan, Baylor University, Johns
    children with ear infections.               Hopkins University and the University
       Between an ever-increasing number        of Wisconsin. All the institutions
    of surgical cases and busy clinic hours,    will ultimately share the data that
    Dr. Valdez is still able to conduct         is gathered.
    research that he ultimately hopes will         Dr. Valdez said that the academic
    benefit children with otitis media – an     setting is lacking an effective way of
    infection that occurs when the middle       evaluating residents who insert ear
    ear cavity becomes filled with fluid.       tubes. The project includes evaluating
    According to Dr. Valdez, otitis media is    the resident immediately following
    one of the most common cases treated        the ear tube procedure. The process
    in the Division of Otolaryngology.          includes grading them on their surgical
       “Painful ear infections resulting from   technique including the method by
    otitis media are almost like a rite of      which the ear tube was inserted, the
    passage for children by age 5,” said Dr.    way the microscope is arranged and
    Valdez who also serves as an assistant      how the surgeons make their incisions.
    professor of clinical otolaryngology at        “With the long hours that are
    the University of Connecticut School        required of surgical residents, if they
    of Medicine. “Although many types           can efficiently perform a procedure
    of viral ear infections resolve on their    like placing ear tubes, we can move on
    own, millions of dollars are spent every    and find a better use for their time,”
    year on antibiotics to treat bacterial      Dr. Valdez said.                              Tulio Valdez, MD, of Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, has several research projects in the works
                                                                                              including one that examines the methods used to grade surgical residents who insert ear tubes.
    infections like otitis media.”                 Dr. Valdez also has other otitis media-
       Dr. Valdez is in the midst of several    related research projects including a
    research projects that revolve around       recently published preliminary study          growth of top-flight faculty,” said                   agreement formalizes and establishes
    otitis media. One of his current            that shows how using a photo-                 Dr. Finck, who also serves as the                     methods by which investigators from
    studies is a multi-institutional project    activated antimicrobial in the ear            Associate Chair of Surgical Academic                  Connecticut Children’s can attain
    that involves properly assessing and        does not harm the nerves of hearing           Affairs and Director of the section of                lab space, equipment and facilities
    training surgical residents on the          and may provide an alternative to             Pediatric Surgical Research. “Surgeons                at the UConn Health Center.
    methods of inserting ear tubes.             commonly used antibiotics.                    work in a different environment where                   “These are some very exciting
       “Sometimes ear infections or fluid in       Christine Finck, MD, is the Chief of       patient care comes first and many feel                projects that have some great
    the middle ear may become a chronic         the Division of Surgery at Connecticut        that there is just no time to                         possibilities,” Dr. Valdez said.
    problem leading to other issues such        Children’s and said it’s vital to             deal with the obstacles and setbacks                  “Research like this enables me to
    as hearing loss or speech problems,”        encourage surgeons like Dr. Valdez to         associated with research.”                            think differently as a surgeon – I can
    Dr. Valdez said. “It’s in these cases       devote some of their time to research.          Dr. Finck said that a new                           concentrate more on the solutions that
    when we have to place tubes in the             “Discovery       through       research    agreement signed with the University                  will ultimately benefit my patients.”
    ear drum to allow air into the middle       is integral to the mission of the             of Connecticut School of Medicine
    ear thus reducing the possibility           Department of Surgical Subspecialties         earlier this year is of great benefit
    of infection.”                              as well as to the recruitment and             to investigators like Dr. Valdez. The

    Friends Storybook Gala Set for November 12
                                                are Donna Hires and Gretchen
                                                Lunsford. Donna and Jim Barnes
                                                and Vicki and Rich Rosenthal are
                                                Honorary Committee Co-Chairs and
                                                Lisa Howard and Trish Bonsignore
                                                are Auction Co-Chairs.
                                                   Katie and Jerry Davis are the
                                                featured guests. Katie, a children’s
                                                author and illustrator, has published
                                                nine books including Kindergarten
                                                Rocks!, Who Hops? and Mabel the
     Saturday, Nov. 12, 2011                    Tooth Fairy and How She Got Her Job.
      Connecticut Convention Center             She appears monthly on the ABC
                                                affiliate show, Good Morning
    For the past 18 years, the                  Connecticut, recommending great              For the 19th consecutive year, the Friends Storybook Gala will be held in downtown Hartford.
    Friends    Storybook    Gala    has         books for kids. Jerry is an author           Gifts to the event’s spotlight program, Bid 4 Kidz, will benefit Connecticut Children’s cardiology
    brought together supporters of              and animated film producer who               program. In order to accommodate the event’s popularity, this year’s Gala has been moved to
    Connecticut Children’s to celebrate         is best known for his work with              the Connecticut Convention Center.
    the hundreds of thousands of                Pixar on the first Toy Story movie
    children and families who are               and most recently with Robots.                support strategic priorities, provide                 addressed. The pediatric cardiologists
    cared for each year at the Medical          Katie and Jerry’s latest venture              grants to assist patients and staff                   and cardiovascular surgeons at
    Center. The event has experienced           is the newly published children’s             and award employee scholarships.                      Connecticut Children’s are seeking to
    tremendous growth during this time          book, Little Chicken’s Big Day, which            Gifts to the event’s spotlight                     define the standards of care, identify
    with over 500 guests contributing           they co-authored.                             program, Bid 4 Kidz, will benefit                     the best treatments and, where
    $715,000 in 2010.                              Proceeds from this signature               Connecticut Children’s heart program                  possible, find cures for pediatric
       This year’s event will be held           event significantly enhance the               with a focus on investing in their                    heart problems. Philanthropy plays an
    on Saturday, November 12 at the             investments of the Connecticut                Research and Technology Fund.                         essential role in the ability to pursue
    Connecticut Convention Center.              Children’s Medical Center Friends             Connecticut Children’s Cardiology                     scientific discoveries and expand
    The special appearance of an                in the Medical Center. The Friends            Group sees almost 8,000 outpatients                   and upgrade vital cutting-edge
    acclaimed children’s author, along          help fulfill Connecticut Children’s           and over 100 heart surgeries are                      technical resources.
    with a cocktail reception, dinner,          mission by funding state-of-the-art           performed each year at the Medical                       For more information about the Gala,
    dancing to the sounds of PRELUDE            equipment and innovative programs             Center. Cardiac issues range from                     please call the Connecticut Children’s
    and unique live and silent auctions         that benefit patients, family and             minor problems that might eventually                  Foundation at 860-610-5700.
    ensure an exceptional experience            staff. Every corner of the Medical            fix themselves to very complex
    for all who attend. Gala Co-Chairs          Center is touched as the Friends              problems that need to be surgically

Center for Motion Analysis Celebrates
30th Anniversary
It’s 30 years and counting for the           automated method of documenting
Center for Motion Analysis at                motion in three dimensions so that
Connecticut Children’s Medical Center.       the underlying causes of walking
    The Gait Analysis Laboratory – which     problems in children could be
first opened at the former Newington         identified more reliably and ultimately
Children’s Hospital – celebrated its         better understood.
30th anniversary on June 2 with a              “Doctors know how to ask the
special event that included numerous         questions, but they don’t know how
longtime friends and supporters.             to answer them,” Dr. Gage said.
    Some of the special guests included      “Engineers can answer them but
James Gage, MD, one of the center’s          they don’t know the proper questions.
founders and former Newington                When we work together there have
Children’s Hospital orthopedic               been tremendous advances.”
surgeon; Kimberly Lazarine-Meltzer,            The facility was the first gait analysis
the first patient to be treated in the lab   lab of its kind to fully automate and
in 1981 and Helen Gray, wife of the          synchronize videotaping, infrared
late Harry Gray, the former chairman         motion cameras, force plates and
of United Technologies Corporation.          electromyographic data to record
    In 1979, Harry Gray committed            and measure the three-dimensional                  In attendance at the 30th Anniversary celebration for the Center for Motion Analysis at
UTC to provide more than $200,000            biomechanics and muscle contractions               Connecticut Children’s Medical Center were (from left): former Newington Children’s Hospital
in funding and technical assistance          of walking in order to improve                     orthopedic surgeon James Gage, MD, and John Banta, MD, former Surgeon-in-Chief and
                                                                                                Director of Orthopedics at Connecticut Children’s.
to create the Gait Lab. He passed
away on July 8, 2009.
    “I really miss Mr. Gray,” said
Lazarine-Meltzer at the celebration
as she wiped away tears after hugging
Helen Gray. “I am so thankful to him
because instead of looking forward to
a life in a wheelchair, he and everyone
in the Center for Motion Analysis
have given me a life.”
    Lazarine-Meltzer was 5 when she
first came to the lab to determine
an orthopedic treatment plan for
her cerebral palsy.
    “It was hard because I couldn’t
do the things that the other kids did
like roller-skating and running around
on the playground,” said Lazarine-
Meltzer who is now a mother of
three and lives in New Jersey.
                                             Attending the 30th Anniversary celebration for the Center for Motion Analysis at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center were (from left):
    Since the Center opened, more than       Kimberly Lazarine-Meltzer, the first patient to be treated in the lab in 1981, and Helen Gray, wife of the late Harry Gray, former chairman of
9,000 children have benefited from the       United Technologies Corporation. In the photo at left, Ms. Meltzer is pictured with Harry Gray at the center opening in 1981.
information that has been collected
about their walking difficulties. The        medical treatment.                                 of gait and movement in a variety                  types of pitches – fastballs, curveballs,
Center for Motion Analysis provides             Connecticut Children’s Director of              of neuromuscular and general                       change-ups, sliders and cutters – can
comprehensive motion analysis services       Orthopedics Jeffrey Thomson, MD,                   orthopedic disorders.                              damage the elbow and shoulder,
for treatment decision-making and            treats children with cerebral palsy,                  “The lab has really been a                      and if so, are there certain types
evaluation for a variety of gait issues      spina bifida and numerous other                    phenomenal research tool from the                  of pitches that cause more stress
including neuromuscular disorders            disorders. He said having the Center               beginning,” Õunpuu said. “Our                      than others.
such as cerebral palsy and traumatic         for Motion Analysis at his disposal                research has profoundly changed the                   Recently, the Center published
brain injury in addition to general          has resulted in tremendous outcomes                medical community’s understanding                  a study in the American Journal of
orthopedic deformities such as club          improvements for his patients                      of gait pathomechanics for multiple                Sports Medicine that showed that
feet, Blount’s disease and torsional             “Actually one of the reasons I                 conditions resulting in better treatment           there is no difference in the stress
deformities of the legs. Formally            joined Connecticut Children’s was                  decisions and improved outcomes.”                  at the shoulder and elbow between
known as the Gait Lab, the Center            because of the capability and                         Over the past few years, sports                 fastball and curveball pitches in high
for Motion Analysis relocated in 2007        reputation of the Center for Motion                medicine research studies have                     school aged pitchers. In 2007, a study
to Connecticut Children’s Specialty          Analysis,” Dr. Thomson.                            garnered national attention for the                was published in the American College
Care Center in Farmington.                      Dr. Thomson also credits the                    Center for Motion Analysis, particularly           of Sports Medicine monthly journal,
    “Our orthopedic surgeons use             center for playing a vital role in the             research into the causes of injuries               “Medicine and Science in Sports and
the motion data to precisely address         Department of Orthopedics receiving                to young baseball pitchers. Since 2001,            Exercise,” that documented the
each child’s needs with orthopedic           a prestigious top ranking from U.S.                the center has been collaborating                  three-dimensional biomechanics of
surgery and other interventions and          News and World Report – an honor                   with orthopedic surgeon Carl                       adolescent pitchers. This database
then to measure treatment outcomes           his department has earned the                      Nissen, MD, director of Connecticut                is now being used to examine the
objectively by comparing motion data         past two years.                                    Children’s sports medicine program                 validity of coaching anecdotes with the
collected before and after treatment,”          As part of her presentation at the              “Elite Sports Medicine,” to study                  ultimate goal of reducing adolescent
said kinesiologist Sylvia Õunpuu,            30th Anniversary celebration, Õunpuu               the epidemic of elbow injuries                     pitching injuries.
MSc, Director of Research for the            highlighted the center’s research                  that affect young pitchers.                           “But we’re not stopping there,”
Center for Motion Analysis.                  capabilities which have not only helped               “There has been such an upswing                 Õunpuu said. “We’re hoping to take
    During the late 1970s, Dr. Gage          thousands of children, but also have               in the number of elbow injuries in young           our research into the direction of
– who today is on staff at Gillette          had a broad impact on medicine.                    pitchers that we have been examining               running and running injuries as well
Children’s Specialty Health Care in          Its studies – conducted through                    the biomechanics of pitching in order              as anterior cruciate ligament injuries
Minnesota – decided that there must          the collaboration of orthopedic                    to understand injury mechanisms based              in females which are far greater than
be a better way of understanding             surgeons and experts in biomechanics,              on technique and ultimately to prevent             in males. We have a lot of work to do
the complex movement abnormalities           kinesiology, physics, biomedical                   injuries,” Dr. Nissen said.                        and we have a phenomenal facility
in children with cerebral palsy other        engineering and physiotherapy – have                  Dr. Nissen added that in 2010 Elite             that’s going to allow us to do that.”
than the standard clinical tools. In         generated an enormous data resource                Sports Medicine was awarded a three-
a unique partnership, Dr. Gage and           describing the biomechanics of normal              year, $146,000 grant by Major League
engineers from UTC developed an              gait as well as the characteristics                Baseball to determine if numerous
282 Washington St.
Hartford, CT 06106

            Happenings at Connecticut Children’s

     On June 27, the 9th Annual Geno Auriemma’s Fore the Kids Charity Golf Tournament was held         In recognition of National Cancer Survivors Day, Connecticut Children’s Division of Hematology
     at The Hartford Golf Club in West Hartford, CT. This year’s tournament raised over $150,000 for   and Oncology hosted the 4th Annual Cycle of Life, a special celebration for pediatric cancer
     the Division of Orthopedics at Connecticut Children’s. Above, Coach Auriemma, joined by Taylor    survivors and children who are currently undergoing treatment for cancer. The June 5th event,
     Christiana of Middlefield, is shown thanking the sponsors and participants who helped make this   which took place at Saint Joseph College in West Hartford, featured games and activities for
     year’s event another resounding success.                                                          patients of the Medical Center and their families. Above, many of the patients in attendance
                                                                                                       gather for a group photo.

     In July, Connecticut Children’s hosted the kickoff of the Connecticut Efficient Healthy Homes     Former American Idol star Siobhan Magnus visited patients, families and staff at Connecticut
     Initiative at the Medical Center. Through its LAMPP program, which removes lead from              Children’s Medical Center in early August. Magnus signed autographs, posed for photos and even
     houses, Connecticut Children’s has made over 1200 homes safer for area residents. Above,          sang renditions of Over the Rainbow for the children. She is shown above with 9-year-old Matthew
     Robert Adams, Supervisor of the Weatherization program with the U.S. Department of Energy,        Patino of Naugatuck.
     discussed the importance of these types of initiatives at the kickoff event.

           Guida’s Milk Partners with Connecticut
           Children’s to Help Promote Medical Center
                                                   In addition to supplying quality products and services
                                                   to its customers, Guida’s has played a supporting role
                                                   in our local communities since its inception. Connecticut
                                                   Children’s will now be the latest beneficiary of this support
                                                   through a partnership with Guida’s Milk to promote the
                                                   one-of-a-kind care offered at the Medical Center. Look for
                                                   “Got Kids?” on Guida’s Milk products soon.

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