Winter 2015 Neonatal-Pediatrics Bulletin

Winter 2015 Neonatal-Pediatrics Bulletin

Natalie Napolitano, MPH, RRT-NPS, FAARC

The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Philadelphia, PA 19104


Lisa Tyler, MS, RRT-NPS, CPFT

The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Philadelphia, PA 19104

Jenni L. Raake, MBA, RRT-NPS

Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center

Cincinnati, OH


In this issue:

Notes from the Chair

Natalie Napolitano, MPH, RRT-NPS, FAARC

Although this edition is coming out well past the holiday season I wanted to take the opportunity to wish you all a Happy Holidays and Happy New Year! In this edition we decided to provide a summary of the AARC Congress experience from the view of the neo/peds RT to show how much our section has grown and how neonatal-pediatric respiratory care has become such a major specialty in our profession. We have summarized the topics and Open Forum presentations, as well as highlighted our 2014 Specialty Practitioner of the Year and the other section members who were nominated for the award. A report on our section meeting at the Congress is included as well.

We hope you enjoy this overview of the meeting, and we will be back with our educational articles in the next edition! As always, if you have an idea for an article and/or would like to contribute as an author please let Lisa, Jenni, or I know. Our contact information appears in the masthead at the top of this screen!

Specialty Practitioner of the Year: Karl Kaminski, BSRT, RRT-NPS

Natalie Napolitano, MPH, RRT-NPS, FAARC

Karl Kaminski
Karl Kaminski

Karl Kaminski, from New Hanover Regional Medical Center, Cameron Women’s and Children’s Hospital, in Greenville, NC, received our 2014 Specialty Practitioner of the Year award at AARC Congress 2014 in Las Vegas. Here is what his nominator said about him —

Karl is a shining example of professionalism and dedication to not only the field of respiratory care, but to the neonatal-pediatrics specialty as well. He has had a career that has seen him go from staff therapist at Vidant/Pitt County Hospital in Greenville, NC, to starting a new department in a “new” children’s hospital in Wilmington, NC. Along the way he made a stop as the clinical educator in Greenville, NC, at an ECU affiliated hospital. He has excelled in all areas: as a clinician, as an educator, and now as a leader.

Karl strives to bring other therapists to their full potential through mentoring and coaching. Karl remains active on discussion boards and often provides profound insights. He is active in the North Carolina Society for Respiratory Care and represents our profession well.

Karl is passionate about learning, both for himself and his staff. He tirelessly lobbied until our department became the first in North Carolina to dose a baby with Surfaxin (the new synthetic surfactant), and has been key in attracting several other pending and current research studies. He encourages staff to advance themselves by offering prizes to those who obtain their NPS credential and has set the department goal for 100%.

I feel that Karl epitomizes the hard-working, dedicated neonatal-pediatric therapist who works daily, behind the scenes, to progress our profession while simultaneously securing a place for future RTs to work.

Karl is also a very active participant on and off the section discussion list, assisting his peers around the country. When Karl was notified that he was our 2014 winner, his response was so humble — “are you sure you don’t mean a different Karl Kamimski?”

As we have in the past, we want to highlight the other nominees for the award as well. Even though they were not selected, they are all doing great things and have made a big impact on the people around them. Again, we’ll let their nominators speak to their qualifications for the award —

Shari Toomey, MBA, RRT-NPS
Carilion Clinic Children’s Hospital, Roanoke VA

Shari Toomey is the neonatal-pediatric respiratory clinical team leader at Carilion Clinic Children’s Hospital in Roanoke, VA. She has spent the last 23 years trying to improve the quality of care for our patients. She is responsible for the education of staff on new equipment and therapy that is introduced into the neonatal and pediatric areas. She is a member of multiple committees designed to improve the treatment of our patients by improving the quality of care that is provided here at Carilion. She works closely with all departments and directors to ensure the most up-to-date evidence-based practices are being implemented and constantly reviews data to ensure that practices are being followed. 

Over the last year Shari has been instrumental in helping develop a simulation, feedback, and critique system to improve our birth response team’s performance during births of all gestational ages, ensuring NRP guidelines are followed. 2014 has been a busy and productive year here in our NICU and PICU; we introduced NAVA into both units, introduced high frequency jet ventilation, and redesigned our bronchiolitis and asthma protocols. Shari has been instrumental in getting all of these projects started and ensuring protocols were written and implemented. Shari is very passionate about her work and puts 150% into every project.

Jason Vanloo, RRT-NPS
Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center, Phoenix, AZ

Jason is the NICU supervisor at Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center in Phoenix, AZ. As NICU supervisor, one of his biggest accomplishments has been decreasing the hospital’s chronic lung disease rate. In three years, Jason has helped create and implement three RT driven protocols, all directed towards decreasing chronic lung disease. The chronic lung disease rate decreased from 31% to 11%. His knowledge, skills, and ability to educate were all instrumental to the success of the chronic lung disease program. Not only has this helped increase the value of the RT staff, but his efforts have helped change the future of hundreds of patients, families, and futures.

It is not too early to begin brainstorming names for our 2015 Specialty Practitioner of the Year. Nominations may be made on the section website. Please remember that nominees must be a member of the AARC and the Neonatal-Pediatrics Section to be considered.

AARC Congress 2014: Neonatal-Pediatric Conference Summary

Lisa Tyler, MSM, RRT-NPS, CPFT

The AARC International Respiratory Convention & Exhibition is always an exciting meeting for respiratory therapy professionals, as the profession continues to grow, adapt, and respond to the transformation of the health care industry. The expanding influence of the neonatal and pediatric respiratory specialty was evident in last year’s program.

Day one began with two robust pro/con sessions debating the early use of ECMO as a lung protective approach and optimal tidal volumes for pediatric ARDS. Lectures for the day covered topics targeting the elimination of endotracheal intubations through the use of noninvasive and high flow nasal cannula. The first neonatal-pediatric Open Forum included 12 abstracts; in addition four neo/peds abstracts were presented in other Open Forums.

Day two presentations focused on quality safety practice, pediatric acute lung injury and lung protective ventilation strategies, and bronchopulmonary dysplasia and neonatal ventilator strategies, then ended with a look at cystic fibrosis and airway clearance modalities. The second neonatal-pediatric Open Forum included 11 abstracts, and again, four other neo/peds abstracts were presented in other sessions.

Day three started with interactive case studies, complete with audience response and discussion, then proceeded to presentations on pediatric resuscitation, neonatal abstinence syndrome, inhaled therapies, protocols, and transport of the critical patient. The day ended with two lectures on optimizing ventilator synchrony. Day three also included a pro/con session debating cost, technology, and outcomes — exciting stuff. Day three did not include a neonatal-pediatric Open Forum but the specialty was well represented in many other sessions — 23 abstracts in total on this day.

The final day finished with a bang. Lectures covering evidence-based medicine, technology dependent children, caregiver stress, neonatal ventilator management, and strategies for asthma management were on the agenda. The third neonatal-pediatric Open Forum included 11 abstracts, and three neo/peds abstracts were presented in other sessions.

In all 23 lectures were dedicated to a variety of neonatal-pediatric topics; in addition, 68 abstracts, three pro/con sessions, and a nitric oxide symposium were dedicated to our specialty area. Throughout this conference RT expertise, vision, and knowledge were well represented. As we continue to meet the challenges of our field in the health care arena we are our own greatest asset.

Greetings from the Neonatal-Pediatrics Section Meeting

Jenni Raake, MBA, RRT-NPS, FAARC

The Neonatal-Pediatrics Section meeting was held on December 11, 2014, at the AARC International Respiratory Convention & Exhibition in Las Vegas, NV. Natalie Napolitano, our Neonatal-Pediatrics Section chair, presided over the meeting, giving us an update on section activities.

Did you know that the Neonatal-Pediatrics Section is over 1900 members strong? We are one of the largest AARC Specialty Sections.

We were well represented at AARC Congress 2014, with 23 presentations focusing on neonatal-pediatrics topics. Additionally, there were three Open Forums dedicated to neonatal-pediatrics.

Because there is strength in numbers, we also recognized the skills and knowledge our section members bring to their peers. We are always looking for great topics and authors from the world of neonatal-pediatric care to showcase in our Quarterly Bulletin. If you are interested in sharing information with your peers, please use the contact information in the Bulletin masthead to get in touch with us.

Congratulations went to Karl Kaminski for being named our 2014 Specialty Practitioner of the Year. Karl is a manager of respiratory care at Cameron Women’s and Children’s Hospital in Wilmington, NC.

We were also pleased to report that there is now a Neonatal-Pediatrics Journal Club moderated by Charles Bishop, also from Cameron Women’s and Children’s Hospital in Wilmington, NC, and Tina Pitt from Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis, TN. This is a great way to network with your peers and learn more about the latest in pediatric care.

Natalie shared the AARC Strategic Plan with the group as well. It is available on the AARC website. One of the goals of the Strategic Plan is to rejuvenate the research grant process. Known as “The Million Dollar Fund,” the research grant fund is designed to identify gaps in the literature, explore requests for proposals, match financial resources with people, and have mentors available to help enhance research, including research in neonatal and pediatric respiratory care.

Another topic that was raised was the respiratory therapy credentialing process. As a part of the 2015 Strategic Plan, there is a push for the RRT to be the minimum credential required to practice in the field of respiratory care.

In 2014, 864 RRTs took the NPS examination. The first time pass rate was 68.8%. The second attempt pass rate was 56.6%. Currently, the AARC does not have a neonatal-pediatric examination prep course. Some respiratory therapy programs have reduced the focus on neonatal-pediatric topics. This begs the question, are RT students being adequately prepared for neonatal-pediatric respiratory care?

To answer the charge, the AARC plans to work on online preparation materials. Dr. Ira Cheifetz will be working with RTs to develop content on topics ranging from congenital heart disease to newborn transition from the delivery room to the receiving hospital. More to come.

Another discussion focused on the neonatal-pediatric discussion list on AARConnect. Content such as case studies would be great to add into the mix. If you have ideas for topics or case studies, they are more than welcome.

Next Year’s Congress will be held in Tampa, FL. The 2014 changes to the Open Forum poster process experience will continue on in Tampa. The poster presentation process is consistent with that used by our physician counterparts at conferences such as the Society for Critical Care Medicine meeting. If you have an idea for a poster and want it screened, please contact Natalie Napolitano and she will find a subject matter expert to help review the poster and give valuable feedback prior to the 2015 Open Forum deadline for abstract submission, which is May 1.

Feedback, information, and ideas are always welcome.

Section Connection

Recruit a New Member: Know an AARC member who could benefit from section membership? Direct them to section sign up. It’s the easiest way to add section membership to their overall membership package.

Section Discussion List: Go to the section website and click on “Discussion List” to start networking with your colleagues via our social networking site, AARConnect.

Bulletin Deadlines: Winter Issue: January 1; Spring Issue: April 1; Summer Issue: July 1; Fall Issue: October 1.