Hello OKAAP Chapter Member:
Let me introduce myself. I am Dr. Raja Nandyal, a full time faculty Neonatologist in the department of Pediatrics, OUHSC. I addition to being an academic neonatologist for over 12 years in Oklahoma, I was also fortunate to work in a semi-academic private practice setting in Southeastern Wisconsin (Southern Milwaukee, Racine and Kenosha areas). As the medical director of a level III B Neonatal ICU, I enjoyed a great interaction with, and support from, neonatologists and pediatricians of the S.E. Wisconsin. Several of them joined me in my efforts to improve and maintain very high quality of care for our most vulnerable population: infants and children. With their support, I was able to bring universal newborn hearing screening (UNHS) to S.E. WI in 1996- 1997 (WI- 3rd state to start UNHS). Our team helped me in playing an important role and also in supporting the efforts of WAPC (Wisconsin Association for Perinatal Care) to be one of the earliest states in implementing universal Hepatitis-B vaccination, universal maternal GBS screening and to adopt HIV screening guidelines. I was one of the authors for 2000 and 2002 Guidelines for Perinatal HIV testing in Wisconsin.
In Oklahoma, I was made the Chair for Oklahoma Infant Alliance, and our team came out with guidelines for the Care of Late Preterm Infants (2010). Because Oklahoma was one of the few states to have these guidelines, I earned a spot in the National Perinatal Association (NPA) Steering Committee’s publication of Multidisciplinary Guidelines for the Care of Late Preterm Infant (2013). That helped me to extend my work with NPA Steering Committee on Interdisciplinary Guidelines for the Psycho-social Support of NICU Parents (2015).
Now, let me explain about my affiliation with CATCH Grant (Community Access To Child Health). Ever since I entered a full time academic life (2005), I started realizing that there is a rapidly widening gap between the NICU training that a pediatric resident has been receiving in a 3 year residency program and the acuity level of the complex medical problems of the NICU infants that have been sent home. Since the regionalization of newborn care started in late 70s in the US, the number of months of NICU rotation for Pediatric residents came down from 6 months (plus) to only 2 months, during the last two years. And there has been an exponential increase in the number of complex and complicated NICU graduates during the last decade. With that impetus, I did a QI study to find a need for a ”Medical Home for Neonates” with the help of a CATCH planning grant, which completed in 2013. The reason I was able to get that grant, despite being an academic pediatrician I presume, is that the CATCH reviewers saw my QI study’s usefulness to the community pediatricians. That again helped me to earn an important position as Oklahoma Chapter’s CATCH Facilitator, since July 2017.
CATCH’s mission is to support pediatricians to collaborate within their communities to advance the health of all children. I am sure that you also have a lot of questions and ideas / solutions to help Oklahoma children’s access to healthcare. This is your opportunity to work on your favorite project. I strongly urge all of you to log on to AAP.ORG and click on CATCH and take a tour. You will see several grant opportunities including planning and implementation grants, resident’s grant, fellow’s grant etc. I am your facilitator so please feel free to e-mail me at (Raja-Nandyal@ouhsc.edu) and I can guide you through the application process and will try my best to clarify any questions you come across during this process. Please don’t wait. Apply before July 31st.