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Tennessee Pediatric Neurocritical Care Collaboration holds inaugural conference

Jul. 5, 2023, 10:40 AM

(photo by Erin O. Smith)

by Christina Echegaray

The Pediatric Neurocritical Care team at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt recently hosted the first statewide conference of the Tennessee Pediatric Neurocritical Care Collaboration.

A multidisciplinary group of health care providers from six pediatric institutions across the state attended the daylong conference. The group included attendees representing pediatric intensive care, neurology, neurosurgery, physical medicine and rehabilitation, and developmental medicine.

“Children with acute neurologic illness are among the most vulnerable patients we care for in the PICU. Providing them with excellent care depends on close coordination between professionals and teams across the hospital,” said Michael Wolf, MD, director of Neurocritical Care in the Division of Critical Care Medicine at Monroe Carell. “The field of pediatric neurocritical care emphasizes collaborative innovation to continually improve our ability to promote the best possible outcomes for children.”

The Tennessee Pediatric Neurocritical Care Collaboration is a new multidisciplinary group of pediatric neurologists and pediatric intensivists seeking to improve the care of children with neurologic critical illness in Tennessee through partnerships in clinical care, research, education and advocacy.

During the inaugural conference, the group shared ideas and engaged in shared goal setting, identifying key short- and long-term initiatives for the organization’s ongoing effort to improve the care of children with acute neurologic illness.

The keynote speakers for the conference were Erika Fink, MD, MS, professor of pediatric critical care medicine at UPMC Children’s Hospital, who spoke about collaborating to meet the needs of children with acute neurologic illness, and Zachary Warren, PhD, professor of Pediatrics, Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, and Special Education, and director of the Division of Developmental Medicine at Monroe Carell, who discussed improving systems of care for children with neurodevelopmental concerns.

“TN-PNCC seeks to organize and promote collaboration within our state, recognizing that there are many different models for neurocritical care amongst providers and institutions, and that each group and setting provides unique and valuable perspectives that contribute to advancing care. Additionally, by working together as a larger team, we hope to bring attention and advocacy to this special patient population,” said Lindsay Pagano, MD, director of Neurocritical Care for the Division of Pediatric Neurology, associate professor of Pediatrics, Pediatric Neurology and director of the Pediatric Neurology Residency Program.

The conference was supported by the Department of Pediatrics through the Katherine Dodd Faculty Scholars Program.

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