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Children’s National welcomes inaugural class of the Joseph E. Robert, Jr., Fellowships in Pediatric Surgical Innovation

September 22, 2011

WASHINGTON, DC—The first class of Joseph E. Robert, Jr., Fellowships in Pediatric Surgical Innovation has joined the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation at Children’s National Medical Center.

“The Robert Fellowship is a critical element to establishing innovation’s sustainability in health care,” said Peter Kim, MD, PhD, vice president of the Sheikh Zayed Institute. “This program is a significant addition to the culture of innovation within our Institute, but, also, as our Fellows take this knowledge from here to their future endeavors, they will help build the foundation for this model to create a national and global ecosystem of health care innovation."

The 2011-2012 class of Robert Fellows includes:

  • Mahdi Azizian, PhD, a bioengineer with specialized experience in image-guided surgical robotics, who studied at the University of Western Ontario, in London, Ontario
  • Alana Beres, MD, a general surgeon who recently completed a Pediatric Surgery Trauma Fellowship at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto
  • Amy Burns, MD, a urologist who completed her residency at the University of Virginia and is also completing fellowship training in pediatric urology at Children’s National
  • Katherine Davenport, MD, a general surgeon with a bioengineering background who recently completed a research fellowship at Children’s National

“The Sheikh Zayed Institute is proud to welcome our inaugural group of Robert Fellows,” said Craig Peters, MD, who oversees the Robert Fellowships at the Sheikh Zayed Institute. “Each has a unique set of impressive academic credentials, and they also share the Institute’s enthusiasm for innovating how we provide care for children."

The fellowship provides a unique, dynamic learning and research experience focused on biomedical innovation. The program recruits:

  • surgical, radiological, or anesthesia trainees and junior faculty
  • nurses in pediatric surgical disciplines
  • post-masters and post-doctoral bioengineers
  • scientists with an interest in biomedical innovation
  • business-minded post-graduates with a biomedical innovation background

Over one or two years, the Robert Fellows are equipped with the skills they need to develop and translate innovative research concepts into pediatric surgical clinical practice, moving ideas beyond the conceptual level and into the stages of product development and implementation, including scientific validation, navigating regulatory requirements, and creation of clinical study and testing protocols.

Founded as part of the largest gift ever given for pediatric surgery, $150 million from the government of Abu Dhabi to Children’s National Medical Center, the Joseph E. Robert, Jr., Fellowships, are named for philanthropist Joseph E. Robert, Jr., a longtime supporter and parent of a child treated at Children’s National. Mr. Robert helped fund the existing surgical center at Children’s National.

Recruitment is currently underway for the 2012 class of Robert Fellows. The submission deadline is September 30, 2011. For more information, contact Jennifer Stinebiser at 202-476-4500

About Children's National Health System

Children’s National Health System, based in Washington, D.C., has served the nation’s children since 1870. Children’s National is one of the nation’s Top 5 pediatric hospitals and, for a second straight year, is ranked No. 1 in newborn care, as well as ranked in all specialties evaluated by U.S. News & World Report. It has been designated two times as a Magnet® hospital, a designation given to hospitals that demonstrate the highest standards of nursing and patient care delivery. This pediatric academic health system offers expert care through a convenient, community-based primary care network and specialty outpatient centers in the D.C. Metropolitan area, including the Maryland suburbs and Northern Virginia. Home to the Children’s Research Institute and the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation, Children’s National is the seventh-highest NIH-funded pediatric institution in the nation. Children’s National is recognized for its expertise and innovation in pediatric care and as a strong voice for children through advocacy at the local, regional and national levels. 

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