Friday, December 16, 2011

Safe Kids Worldwide provides child passenger safety training in Abu Dhabi

The Children's delegation attending the World Health Care Congress Middle East weren't alone in Abu Dhabi this past week. Our colleagues at Safe Kids Worldwide were also there, holding a week of trainings around Abu Dhabi on child passenger safety. Based in Washington, DC, Safe Kids Worldwide is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1987 by Children's National. According to Safe Kids data, traffic crashes are the second major cause of death in the UAE. The UAE has six times more deaths from road traffic accidents per year than the U.S. and Europe. As a result, child passenger safety has become a major focus for governmental agencies in UAE, including the Health Authority Abu Dhabi (HAAD).

These trainings was hosted by HAAD with the aim of helping medical professionals, child care providers, police officers, and others improve child passenger safety in motor vehicles in UAE. Three certified instructors from the United States who lead the Safe Kids USA National Child Passenger Safety Certification Training Program and child occupant protection programming through the Safe Kids Buckle Up program taught the sessions. The instructors posted more about their experiences on the Safe Kids blog.   

The classroom portion of a training session in UAE.
The trainings included a certification program for twelve individuals to receive U.S. certification as new child passenger safety technicians, which will enable them to educate families and caregivers about how to safely transport children in vehicles throughout the Emirate. The trainees learned:
  • Crash dynamics 
  •  Selecting and securing any car seat in any vehicle
  • Selecting the correct restraint for the age, weight and height of a child
  • Problem solving where everyone should sit in a vehicle (children, infants, adults) 
  • Talking to parents about child passenger safety 
Trainees gained hands on experience in child passenger safety as well.
Additionally, there were several awareness trainings for police officers and community educators to prepare them to teach parents and caregivers how to make children safer in vehicles. Skills included:
  • How to do “curbside” education with motorists they have stopped
  • What to quickly scan for during a curbside stop when children are in the vehicle
  • The rules of basic child restraint selection and installation
  • Safety features in vehicles that protect all occupants such as airbags in the front, side and roofline
It was great to see our colleagues while on the ground in Abu Dhabi and to hear that their trainings were well received by the community, who have shown such an interest in finding better ways to keep Abu Dhabi children safe from accidental injuries.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Drs. Kim and Cora-Bramble speak at 3rd Annual SEHA Research Conference

In addition to the World Health Care Congress Middle East, Peter Kim, Vice President of the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation and Denice Cora-Bramble, Acting Executive Vice President, Ambulatory Services, Senior Vice President of the Goldberg Center for Community Pediatric Health at Children's National were asked to present two keynote talks at the 3rd Annual SEHA Research Conference, also held in Abu Dhabi. The theme for this year is "Research and Quality: Advancing Excellence in Healthcare."

Dr. Kim: Sustainable Translational Research: Fantasy or Reality?
Many academic medical centers around the world are putting renewed emphasis on translational research, or research that is quickly transferred from laboratory developments to clinical settings to improve care and treatment. Dr. Kim defined translational research and discussed why all translational research programs need to include several components of sustainability in order to have a lasting impact on health care. He outlined successful translational research already under way, and illustrated how such successes could be scaled up to create not just a single program but perhaps an entire research community or network aimed at building a sustainable ecosystem dedicated to translational research as the new worldwide research paradigm.

"The important thing is to identify enough ingredients in an effective research program to make a stable combination," he said. "Success is a matter of finding that right combination."

Dr. Cora-Bramble: Research Ethics: A Global Perspective
Over the past decades, research studies involving diverse populations have at times resulted in exploitation and harm to participants. Through a series of global case studies, Dr. Cora-Bramble discussed the principles and practice of ethical research and provided examples of research ethical lapses. She also addressed the importance of cultural and linguistic issues in research, and notable community and patient-centered research models, such as community-based participatory research, were presented during her workshop.

"Effective community based research has to be about more than just publishing a study. We have to look at how the study will impact the community, and actively engage the community throughout the process, including sharing the outcomes with them," she said.

The leadership of SEHA graciously recognized both Dr.Kim and Dr. Cora-Bramble
for their participation in the conference.

World Health Care Congress Panel: Promoting Healthy Lifestyles

On the third and final day of the World Health Care Congress Middle East, Denice Cora-Bramble, MD, MBA, Acting Executive Vice President for Ambulatory Services and Senior Vice President of the Goldberg Center for Community Pediatric Health at Children's National Medical Center, participated in one of the WHCC’s Keynote Panel discussions, entitled, “Promoting Healthy Lifestyles.”

Dr. Cora-Bramble joined Dr. Jamal Al Kaabi, Director, Customer Care and Corporate Communication Division at HAAD; Dr. Ali Al Obaidli, Chief Clinical Officer at Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA); P.R. Smith, Author and Founder of the Great Sportsmanship Programme UK and; renowned TV Chef, Osama El Sayed, to compare and contrast approaches to healthy living and education, and discuss how health care professionals can play an active role in the community by raising health awareness.

The panel, featuring Dr. Cora-Bramble, was a keynote session.

Her comments focused on explaining the role of schools in promoting healthy lifestyles among children, using the District of Columbia Healthy Schools Act that was passed in 2010 as an example. That act was designed to make all public school meals healthier, increase the amount of local fruits and vegetables served, and provide more physical activity and health education opportunities for school aged children.

But to truly gain traction in helping families develop healthier lifestyles takes even more. "To have healthy children you have to look at not just one component of their lives, but all. Where they spend their time- school, home, etc-, what foods they have access to, and where they play. All these things either deter or encourage a child to be healthy,” she said.

Dr. Cora-Bramble and the celebrity Chef Osama El Sayed.

Chef Osama also interviewed Dr. Cora-Bramble for his television show.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Exciting demos at the Children’s exhibit booth draw a crowd

Children’s National has a significant role in this year’s World Health Care Congress Middle East. We sponsored a large exhibit at the meeting. Our booth was also lucky enough to host two of the Sheikh Zayed Institute's external collaborators.

Our booth at the World Health Care Congress Middle East.

These partners stole the show. The first, MDA, designs robotic arms for use in space. They brought a demo of a robotic arm that can be controlled remotely and extremely precise--even a new user can quickly become adept enough to pick up small objects. The systems sends the user haptic cues, which means that a  virtual "sense of touch" is relayed to the user via the stick that is used to move the arm around. Ideally, this technology could be adapted to perform routine precise tasks, like sutures, in extremely small places. Visitors were able to use the robotic arm themselves to loop small plastic rings over a series of posts. It was a huge hit, and even made the local Abu Dhabi television.

MDA demonstrates its robotic arm technology that might be applied in pediatrics.

“We are looking forward to working with the Sheikh Zayed Institute and Dr. Kim to adapt the precision and accuracy of the robotics we use in space to pediatric surgery,” said Dave Caddell, Executive Vice President, MDA.

Additionally, we were able to display a set of virtual reality surgical simulation systems that Dr. Kim has worked to develop for the last few years. The system allows surgical trainees to view a virtual model of the 3D surface of target tissues and laparoscopic tools, in real time. It also has a force feedback haptic interface, meaning the tools are able to produce tactile cues that help the user know exactly where his or her tools are located within the body.

A video demo of the 3D simulation system.

Needless to say, having cool robotics technology for people to try really made a big difference in booth traffic. Abu Dhabi TV, local news, reported that the team within the Children’s National booth had the most lively booth in the exhibit hall, and there were frequently crowds gathered around the technology. Though these technologies are still under development, seeing the current designs through video and interactive demos allowed conference go-ers to imagine all the interesting possibilities of applying these "space age technologies" to children's surgery.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Innovations in Pediatric Chronic Diseases: Children's National Panel at World Health Care Congress Middle East

Children’s National and the Sheikh Zayed Institute hosted a sponsored luncheon session on the second day of the World Health Care Congress Middle East, “Innovations in Pediatric Chronic Diseases,” focused on effective programs in diabetes, obesity and asthma for children that will help guide other regions with similar health challenges, for example, Abu Dhabi. The session was moderated by Peter Kim, Vice President of the Sheikh Zayed Institute.

Dr. Cogen presented about the latest developments in pediatric diabetes, and how her team works with families to develop treatment strategies using these approaches and devices in ways that work best for each individual child. "Innovations for children are only possible when the social and psychological support is available to support children and families in accepting changing processes and procedures," she said.

Dr. Nadler presented an overview of the challenge of childhood obesity, both in the United States and in Abu Dhabi. He noted that, for teens with severe obesity, diet and lifestyle changes may not be enough to really improve their lives. "We have been facing this problem for 20 years and we still don't have a diet or behavior modification plan that works consistently for everyone." In cases of severe obesity, Dr. Nadler said that families should consider weight loss surgery a viable option that has research-proven success.

Dr. Cogen and Dr. Nadler at their luncheon session.

Dr. Teach talked about his innovative asthma program, IMPACT DC, which provides support to children with asthma, teaching them to manage the disease as a chronic, rather than episodic, occurrence. He also talked about some promising new treatments, including immunomodulation therapies, which counter the body's reaction to asthma triggers.
Dr. Teach confers with colleagues Denice Cora-Bramble, MD, MBA, and Philip Pearl, MD.
It was a packed room for this session, and the audience included some reporters from local media outlets. 

Dr. Kim previews the panel session for reporters before it begins.

2011 World Health Care Congress Middle East

Children’s National has once again sent a delegation to participate in the World Health Care Congress Middle East in Abu Dhabi, UAE. This is the second year of the conference, which gathers health care policy makers and leaders from the region and around the world to discuss better ways to deliver health care services.

Innovation continues to be a theme of the Congress, with particular emphasis on how innovations in terms of efficiency, waste reduction, and overall health system management can really improve a hospital’s bottom line. This is even true in times of economic instability, a global occurrence that demonstrates another shared challenge that is not limited by a country’s physical boundaries. 

Our delegations always benefit from these conferences because they are a great opportunity for us to spend time with our colleagues here in Abu Dhabi and the Gulf region face to face.  
Our full delegation attended the opening session.

Dr. Kim gives an interview to Abu Dhabi TV.