Pavilion Elevator Lobby Closed for Renovation

Beginning Thursday, June 17, and lasting approximately six weeks, the Level 2 Pavilion elevator lobby will be closed for renovation work related to the Hubbard Center. Access to Pavilion level 2 from the east (behind Scooters) will be closed for the duration of the work and the Pavilion elevators will not stop on level 2 until work is complete. During this timeframe, staff will be asked to access level 2 Pavilion through a temporary corridor to the north from the Specialty Pediatric Center (SPC) or from the south stairwell in the SPC. This work will help the construction team complete the rainbow suites as a part of the Hubbard project. Thank you for your continued cooperation of the construction of the Hubbard Center.

See the floorplan

Achieving a Hubbard Milestone

For the past year, Children’s has had a very important date circled on the calendar: June 4, 2021. Early on, we set that date as our goal date to receive occupancy of the Hubbard Center for Children. Last Friday, the construction team achieved that goal. On Friday, Children’s “got the keys” to the Hubbard Center, and the building is now officially occupied by Children’s!

This is a huge milestone for our construction team and our transition planning into the Hubbard Center. The focus now shifts to filling the building with medical equipment, IT equipment and furniture. New Facility Orientation has also begun for select staff with more waves of staff coming. The next big milestone for our team will be July 9 for our first Day in the Life activity as we begin to test our new space.

Our certificate of occupancy kicks off a very exciting summer for Children’s as we look forward to moving into the Hubbard Center on Aug. 29. Congratulations to the entire construction team and everyone across the organization who helped us achieve this milestone.

Technically Speaking: My Service Center

By Stephen Dolter, M.D., Chief Medical Informatics Officer

First things first, and that’s to congratulate Kari Pokorski, nurse practitioner at Children’s Physicians, Spring Valley and Travis Kirchner, operations manager at Children’s Physicians, Kearney, for winning last week’s trivia contest. Kari was quick to point out that I was flat-out wrong in my belief that we had 9,999 of those 10,000 numbers, as the midtown Lowe’s had one of them—402-955-0700. Travis then chimed in with the answer I was really looking for: the Nebraska Regional Poison Center. It’s seldom used anymore, but they can be reached by dialing 402-955-5555. Thanks for playing; watch out for your cards in the mail!

Now on to this week’s water cooler conversation starter—the new My Service Center icon on everyone’s desktop. To make getting whatever help you need easier for our employees and providers, Children’s has bundled all requests for nearly everything into one location, and that location can be found simply by clicking the link! Is the network slow? Click the link. Need an Epic report run?  Click the link. Office too hot? Click the link. Need a new badge? You get the idea. 

This funneling of requests into one location was done for a few reasons. First, it allows users to enter their own requests into the Cherwell (Chair-well? Sure-well? Share-well? Who knows…) service management system, ensuring that the exact issue is brought to light. Second, it consolidates disparate request processes into one centralized location, making it easier for users to remember how to get the help they need. And third, this process allows for better tracking of requests as they are accepted and managed by the departments responsible for their resolution. Plus it looks pretty sweet:

Remember: satisfy, simplify, secure.

If there’s anything you need that is not covered in My Service Center, just let me know, and I’ll see if I can make it happen! Except that rogue apostrophe in Cameras—I’ll take care of that.  Thanks for all you do!

Stephen Dolter, M.D., CMIO

There’s Still Time to Share the Love

Thank you to all who have contributed to Children’s OneTeam Giving Campaign so far, with more than $160, 940 raised! To participate, open your giving reminder email from OneTeamGiving@ChildrensOmaha.org and follow the instructions to make a gift.

We’ll celebrate the conclusion of the OneTeam Giving campaign with the virtual Great Duck Race in the hospital “river” on July 8. Each department with 100 percent participation will receive a duck to race down the river. There will not be a duck display competition this year. However, departments are welcome to decorate their ducks. Even if you do not wish to donate, you should still log in to OneTeam Giving and follow the steps so that your department can receive its duck for participation in the Great Duck Race.

Why do you support OneTeam Giving?
Our leaders share their reasons why they give to Children’s. Please listen to this message from Chris Maloney, M.D., Ph.D., EVP, chief clinical officer & physician-in-chief.

Share the Love is the theme, and you are invited to share the love with your colleagues in other departments. Through June 25, show your appreciation by nominating another department with a short explanation of how you are grateful for what they do. Both departments will be entered into a weekly drawing. If chosen, both departments will receive Share the Love treats or prizes, and the nomination summary will be shared on MyChildren’s and in The Pulse. Join the fun and submit your Share the Love nomination to OneTeamGiving@childrensomaha.org.

This week’s Share the Love Winners: Access and Pathology
Erin Fender, phlebotomy educator in the Pathology department, has nominated Access. These departments will receive Share the Love treats or prizes. Below is Erin’s nomination:

I nominate Access for the Share the Love campaign. These are some of the first faces that our patients see, and their first interactions help shape the patient experience. I’m always so grateful for their compassion, attentiveness and willingness to go above and beyond for all the patients they encounter. Our departments work closely together, and I’m always so impressed by their attentiveness to detail and the lengths to which they will go to ensure the patient is being directed to the right department and that their needs are being met, whether that means calling for orders or coming over personally to get clarification. On the flip side, they help us tremendously with problem solving and are always willing to help and do what they can. I love coming into work every morning and being greeted personally with a very friendly “hello,” and what I assume are big smiles under the masks from the Access staff I encounter.

Physician Profile: Sookyong Koh, M.D., Ph.D.

This is part of our ongoing series featuring physician-leaders to help the entire medical staff learn more about these colleagues.

  • Chief, Division of Pediatric Neurology, Children’s Hospital & Medical Center
  • Professor and Chief, Division of Pediatric Neurology, University of Nebraska Medical Center

Sookyong Koh, M.D., Ph.D., fondly remembers evening walks with her father in her hometown of Seoul, South Korea. As the only girl in a family of five children, she was her father’s favorite child and treasured the time alone with him.

She recalled, “With my little fingers gently enclosed in his big hands, he would whisper to me, ‘What will my little girl be when she grows up?’”

She also remembers when her father, a brilliant professor of medicinal chemistry, began to suffer from seizures at age 35.

“I grew up watching him have seizure after seizure. One day, he had multiple seizures and lost his memory. Then, he lost his job and eventually lost his life,” she said.

Witnessing her father and her older brother suffer from seizures and the fear felt by her family during the traumatic episodes was the driving force behind Dr. Koh’s early desire to learn more about the brain and what causes seizures.

At age 16, Dr. Koh and her family immigrated to the U.S., and she was determined to learn English, study biology and attend college.

“I didn’t know if I could become a doctor. It seemed like such a far-reaching goal. I consider having gone to medical school such a privilege,” she said.

Dr. Koh earned her B.S. in Biochemistry from the State University of New York at Buffalo, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude. She went on to earn her medical degree and her Ph.D. in Neurobiology from the University of Rochester School of Medicine. She completed Pediatrics and Pediatric Neurology residencies at Tufts New England Medical Center in Boston. Next, she further expanded her knowledge as a Clinical and Research fellow, completing her Clinical Neurophysiology fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital and Boston Children’s Hospital, Harvard University in Boston. After her fellowship, she became an instructor in the Department of Neurology at Harvard Medical School and an Assistant Professor in Neurology at Boston Children’s Hospital.

She was an attending physician and director of the Neurobiology Program and associate professor in Pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago.

Dr. Koh comes to Children’s in Omaha from Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, where she was a pediatric epileptologist and inaugural Marcus professor in Pediatrics at Emory University in Atlanta, also serving as the director of pediatric epilepsy research.

For Dr. Koh, the draw to Children’s was twofold: the opportunity to expand neurological care for children and the welcoming group of professionals to grow alongside.

“The entire staff, everyone I have met, genuinely care about and are proud of their position at Children’s. Their dedication and care are unprecedented in my view,” she said.

Her professional and personal experiences fuel her passion and ability to help families with children suffering from neurological illnesses.

“When I meet patients and their families, I know how they feel. Epilepsy is a family disease—if a child is affected by epilepsy, the entire family is affected. Watching someone have seizures is scary, especially a loved one. And I know my personal experiences help me understand the difficulties of the families we serve.”

Her first goal as Children’s division chief of Pediatric Neurology is to increase access to care for children experiencing new onset seizures.

“My ultimate goal is to create a regional center to become a resource for Neurology and epilepsy. We are at an exciting juncture in time for the entire field of Neurology. There is so much research going on. We have answers for many conditions, which makes Neurology much more effective now than in the past,” Dr. Koh said.

She has answered her father’s question of what she will become and knows he would be incredibly proud. However, she only recently became aware that she also had answered her mother’s prayers. Her mother shared, “For many years, I prayed to God to cure your father of epilepsy. I thought God did not answer my prayers. But now, you take care of many patients with epilepsy and research to find new therapy. God answered my prayer through you.”

CHRI Begins Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine Trial in Children Under 12

Getting younger children vaccinated is the next step to ending the COVID-19 pandemic. On Monday, the Child Health Research Institute (CHRI), a pediatric research partnership between Children’s and UNMC, kicked off COVID-19 pediatric vaccine trials for children under 12.

The pediatric study, sponsored by Pfizer, will be evaluating the vaccine’s safety and efficacy in healthy children in this age group. Kari Simonsen, M.D., MBA, pediatrician-in-chief at Children’s and chair of the UNMC Department of Pediatrics, serves as the site primary investigator. This global study will involve around 4,600 pediatric participants. Locally, the Omaha site plans to enroll approximately 50 children. Vaccine administration will take place at Children’s Specialty Pediatric Center, led by Children’s Pediatric Infectious Disease specialists. The list of study participants has already been completed, including a waiting list.

“CHRI is excited to support this vaccine study conducted by our highly skilled investigators at our sponsoring institutions, Children’s and UNMC. Bringing world-class research to the children of Omaha and Nebraska is core to our mission, and we are proud to be a part of ensuring that children have safe and effective access to a COVID-19 vaccine in a timely manner,” says Ann Anderson Berry, M.D., Ph.D., executive director of CHRI.

See the video

Stericycle Pharmaceutical Waste Program on Campus

Coming soon to a floor near you: Children’s has partnered with Stericycle to provide a pharmaceutical waste program, which will result in decreased pharmaceutical waste entering our water system. This effort will promote environmental safety and sustainability of our water supply. Stericycle will be on site Tuesday, June 8 and Wednesday, June 9 to install containers needed for the program. The Stericycle trainer will be rounding in Wiebe Tower, Specialty Pediatric Center and Children’s Outpatient Surgical Center to answer questions regarding the program. The program is set to launch on Monday, June 14.

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