Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates

Monday, March 30, 2020 | 2:16 pm:

In order to help protect patients, family members and health care workers from the spread of COVID-19, no visitors are allowed at any of Wake Forest Baptist Health’s outpatient or inpatient facilities, except in certain situations.
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At this time, Wake Forest Baptist Health is following state and national guidelines and is limiting COVID-19 testing in the outpatient setting to only patients ill enough to require admission to the hospital.

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    Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center
    Department of Pediatrics
    Medical Center Boulevard 
    Winston-Salem, NC 27157

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Our program realizes that pediatric care involves more than the one-on-one interactions in the hospital or clinic. Our faculty pediatricians are strong advocates at local, state, and national levels, and we work to encourage and foster those same beliefs and skills in the residents. Our advocacy curriculum was initially designed by Dr. Jane Foy, a national leader in advocacy and mental health. 

Our residency program has been recognized locally and nationally for leadership in advocacy through several grant awards:

In 2015 Dr. Betsy Browder, Dr. Bonnie McTyre and Dr. Haley Johnson earned the Anne E. Dyson Child Advocacy Award for their AAP project, Child health Workshops for New Teachers.

In 2015, our residency program was awarded an AAP Community Pediatric Partnerships for Child Well Being grant, funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. The SPRING Campaign: Support, Prevention, and Resilience build-ING for pregnant and parenting teens emphasizes genuine partnership between medical homes and community organizations focused on prevention of repeat teen pregnancy, support of healthy teen pregnancy, and promotion of parent-child bonding and resilience among teen parents.

In 2015, Dr. Christina Thuet (Class of 2015) and Dr. Katie Carlin were awarded a CATCH grant for their project, Fostering Health Care Initiative, to build a sustainable foster care medical home model at the county level.  

Three of our residents have been recognized by the Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauama as “Childress Scholars.”  They have received generous funding from the Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma for their advocacy projects. 

  • Dr. Laura Shashy (Class of 2017): Car Seat Safety
  • Drs. Magali Calfee (Class of 2016) and Austen Carter (Class of 2016, Chief 2016-17): Water Safety and Education

In 2013, Dr. Abby Peters (Class of 2014) and Dr. Elizabeth Reichard (Class of 2015) were awarded a CATCH grant for their project, The Pediatric Medical Home: Access and Quality. This project has since been transformed into an ongoing medical home initiative that extends throughout our continuity clinic and chronic care curricula.

Community Plunge 

Our advocacy program begins during intern orientation with a “Community Plunge.” During this guided windshield tour of Winston-Salem, new residents not only identify evidence of many needs in our low-income communities but also recognize assets, such as churches, community centers, recreation centers, parks, housing restoration, schools, points of historical pride and significance, and health and human service agencies. After the tour, residents participate in focus groups with people who represent special populations, including teenage mothers, families who prefer to speak Spanish, and caregivers of children with special health care needs. After gaining their insights can strengthen our approach to health care and our sensitivity to cultural differences, new residents participate in a group discussion and reflection session with members of the faculty.  

Continued Advocacy 

Our advocacy curriculum is integrated throughout residency. During the first year, new residents participate in the Partnership for a Pediatric Medical Home Site Visit Program during ambulatory rotations. Resident visits on site to community agencies, schools, and subspecialty clinics enhance understanding of community health needs and existing resources.

Academic sessions, including small group case-based learning sessions, conferences on core topics related to advocacy, and guest lectures, provide ongoing education about advocacy. Several online modules have been established to offer selected reading on core topics related to pediatric advocacy.

  • Community health
  • Poverty and social determinants of health
  • Legislation and policy
  • School health, school readiness, and child care
  • Parenting/child care
  • Child abuse and neglect
  • Special populations
  • Global health
  • Environmental health

Finally, residents will also have the option of participating in supplemental advocacy activities, as their schedules and unique interests allow.  

Numerous residents have participated in White Coat Wednesday at our State Capital, and the NC Pediatric Society has funded several residents to attend the annual AAP Legislative Conference in Washington, DC.  In July 2016, we initiated an exciting collaboration with all eight NC and SC residency programs, through the AAP Community Pediatrics Training Initiative, and funded by the Duke Endowment.  

Advocacy Projects

Advocacy projects, which are required for all residents, provide an opportunity for our residents to recognize an issue close to their hearts and partner with others to make real and lasting change on behalf of patients and families.

Through a mentored project, residents will explore relevant resources, stakeholders, and any existing system change initiatives related to their interest. Residents will set specific goals with faculty and complete one or more action steps in relation to their chosen issue.

Recent resident projects include:

  • Incorporating education about basic medical information into orientation for new teachers in our school system
  • Establishing a pediatric food pantry to tackle food insecurity
  • Founding a county-level collaborative to promote refugee health  

Faculty Roles in Advocacy 

Our pediatric faculty members set the stage for advocacy through their own advocacy efforts, offering potential mentorship for innovative projects. A few highlights include the following:

Laurie Albertini, MD, Associate Program Director and the Medical Director of Pediatrics at the Downtown Health Plaza, has expanded access to care for children living in poverty in Winston-Salem.  Dr. Albertini has been a longstanding champion of the advocacy curriculum.  She recently engaged in legislative advocacy leading to a ban on the use of tanning beds by children under 18.   

Savithri Nageswaran, MD, MPH, one of our pediatric hospitalists, recognized the difficulties of coordinating the medical and non-medical services for children with complex chronic conditions.  With an interdisciplinary team, she developed an innovative community-based care coordination program, called the Community-Based Pediatric Enhanced Team (CPECT).

Joey Skelton, MD, a pediatric gastroenterologist, collaborated with multiple disciplines to develop Brenner FIT, to develop one of the most comprehensive pediatric weight management programs in the country.  Gail Cohen, MD, a general academic pediatrician, collaborates with Dr. Skelton and extends Brenner FIT’s educational and advocacy opportunities to our continuity clinic.

Avinash Shetty, MD, Pediatric Infectious Disease Specialist, has devoted his career to prevention of perinatal HIV in resource-limited countries. Dr. Shetty serves as the Associate Dean of the Office of Global Health.

Meggan Goodpasture, MD, Director of the Child Abuse and Neglect Team at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, currently serves as the chairperson for the NC Pediatric Society.  She directs the child abuse curriculum that emphasizes the role of child protection in pediatric care.  She is also a project mentor for our food insecurity and foster care resident advocacy projects. 

Daniel Krowchuk, MD, is a nationally known expert in general pediatrics, pediatric dermatology, and adolescent medicine.  As the President of the Board of Directors School Health Alliance, he advocates on behalf of improved health of children in our school system. 

Anna Miller-Fitzwater, MD, MPH, is a champion of literacy, school readiness, population health.  The director of our clinic’s Reach Out and Read Program, and she was recently awarded a prestigious grant from the Academic Pediatric Association to evaluate the impact of expanding Reach Out and Read to newborns.  Dr. Miller-Fitwater also a leader in our local Medicaid care management organization and co-mentors our foster care project. 

As advocacy is an essential role for all pediatricians, each resident develops a project he/she finds to be feasible, relevant, and personally exciting.  

If you have questions about our advocacy curriculum, please contact us.

  • Contact Us
  • 336-716-2694

  • Additional Information

    Please email us if you would be interested in speaking with one of our alums in your area.

    Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center
    Department of Pediatrics
    Medical Center Boulevard 
    Winston-Salem, NC 27157

    Donate Now
    Donate to Residency Fund

    *select "other" and in the box add pediatric residency education