Children's Mercy honors Dr. James Daniel, Dr. James O'Brien and Dr. James St. Louis with Endowed Chairs
Children's Mercy today announced three endowed chair faculty positions:
- James F. Daniel, MD, Director, Liver Care Center; Chief, Section of Hepatology and Transplantation, has been named the James F. Daniel, MD Endowed Chair in Liver Care;Â
- James E. O'Brien Jr., MD, FACS, Division Chief, Cardiovascular Surgery; Co-Director, The Ward Family Heart Center, has been named the Jerry Smith Chair in Pediatrics; and
- James D. St. Louis, MD, Surgical Director, Cardiac Transplantation, has been named the Joseph Boon Gregg/Missouri Endowed Chair in Cardiac Surgery.
All three physicians received their honor during an investiture ceremony on Monday, March 23, at the Sheraton Crown Center. Endowed chairs provide ongoing financial support for research and education and are of strategic importance in elevating the hospital's academic profile and stature as a national leader in clinical care. Investment of the original gift to establish a chair generates income annually. The principal of the gift is held by the Children's Mercy Hospital Foundation.
James F. Daniel, MD, Endowed Chair in Liver Care
James F. Daniel, MD, Endowed Chair in Liver Care will support the growth of research at the Children's Mercy Liver Care Center. It will strengthen the hospital's capacity to improve outcomes in patients with liver diseases at Children's Mercy.
"The Liver Care Center at Children's Mercy is setting research priorities with a focus on the future for our patients," Dr. Daniel said. "Our team is researching transplant outcomes, medication and complications experienced by patients with liver disorders, and we are looking at new ways to treat and prevent rejection. Because we also know kids can have learning disabilities and behavioral problems after transplant, we want to be proactive in doing quality of life measurements with kids, so if they are having troubles, we can try and correct potential problems in advance."
The Liver Care Center was established in 2000, the year Dr. Daniel came to Children's Mercy. The program has grown from an initial staff of one medical physician, one transplant surgeon, one nurse coordinator and one intensivist to its current staff of 22. The center currently follows 900 chronic liver patients, and in 2014 the 100th patient received a liver transplant at Children's Mercy. Dr. Daniel is also an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine.
Dr. Daniel received his medical degree from the Loma Linda University School of Medicine in 1972, and completed his pediatric residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital and fellowship in pediatric gastroenterology at the University of Texas Medical Branch.
Majorie and Montie Tripp established the James F. Daniel, MD Endowed Chair in Liver Care in recognition of the care their grandson, Brendan Elam, received at Children's Mercy. Diagnosed with Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency at two weeks old, Brendan received a liver transplant in December 2012. Brendan is now a healthy and active 12-year-old who loves music and basketball.
Jerry Smith Chair in Pediatrics
The Jerry Smith Chair in Pediatrics will support the growth of research at the Children's Mercy Ward Family Heart Center. Dr. O'Brien is looking at ways to improve clinical outcomes, developing best practice models and increasing safety in the operating room.
"The Ward Family Heart Center team tirelessly pursues quality pediatric heart-surgery outcomes for our patients. I believe the story behind our numbers and better outcomes is directly linked to our collaborative approach to taking care of patients," Dr. O'Brien says. "No matter the service, our group of experts is working as a team to provide the best possible outcomes. We are constantly gathering data, studying our outcomes and improving our strategies to provide the highest quality of cardiac care for all our young patients and help ensure they have excellent quality of life as they grow older."
Dr. O'Brien came to Children's Mercy in 2001, where he has been instrumental in developing the Ward Family Heart Center in collaboration with Dr. Girish Shirali along with members of their respective teams. Dr. O'Brien is recognized as a leading surgeon in the areas of pediatric and adult congenital heart surgery and performs cardiac surgery for newborns and children with congenital heart defects and children with acquired heart conditions. He is also an Associate Professor of Surgery at the University of Missouri - Kansas City School of Medicine.
Dr. O'Brien received his medical degree from the University of Connecticut. He completed his residency in general surgery and a fellowship in cardiothoracic surgery at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia. He completed a fellowship in congenital heart surgery at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.
Jerry Smith was a member of the Board of Directors at Children's Mercy. A collector of American memorabilia, including antique toys, Smith used his toy collection to raise funds through shows across the country, requiring exhibitors to make two gifts, one to a local children's charity and the other to Children's Mercy. Today, a small collection of his toy soldiers remains on permanent display outside the hospital auditorium. The Jerry Smith Chair in Pediatrics was established shortly after his death in 1984.
Joseph Boon Gregg/Missouri Endowed Chair in Cardiac Surgery
The Joseph Boon Gregg/Missouri Endowed Chair in Cardiac Surgery will support the growth of research at the Children's Mercy Ward Family Heart Center. Dr. St. Louis is looking at ways to improve clinical outcomes for patients who have had heart transplantation and ventricular assist devices.
"The Ward Family Heart Center at Children's Mercy is bridging the gap for patients who need a heart transplant," said Dr. St. Louis. "With the creation of our heart failure and heart transplant program at Children's Mercy, we are striving to ensure that children in our region have access to innovative heart treatments."
Dr. St. Louis joined the Ward Family Heart Center at Children's Mercy in 2014. He is a board-certified thoracic and cardiac surgeon with more than 15 years of pediatric experience, previously as Director of Pediatric Cardiac Transplantation and the Director of the Heart Center at University of Minnesota Children's Hospital.
On February 13, 2015, Dr. St. Louis and his team successfully performed the first pediatric heart transplant at Children's Mercy on a 15-year-old patient with cardiomyopathy. Less than a week later, the team placed the hospital's first ventricular assist device (VAD), a mechanical pump used to support heart function and blood flow, in an ailing toddler.
Dr. St. Louis received his medical degree from Georgetown University. He completed fellowships in pediatric and neonatal cardiac surgery at Children's Mercy and in cardiothoracic surgery at Duke University.
Joseph Boon Gregg was a longtime Children's Mercy volunteer and advocate. He became a member of the Board in 1957, serving in various leadership roles over the course of five decades, including as Chairman in 1971-1972 and then later as a Trustee. Mr. Gregg was also instrumental in planning and establishing a Children's Mercy presence in Johnson County, Kansas. His dream was realized just two years after his death with the opening of Children's Mercy South.
Children's Mercy Currently Held Endowed Chairs
Michael Artman, MD, Joyce C. Hall Distinguished Professor of Pediatrics
James F. Daniel, MD, James F. Daniel, MD, Endowed Chair in Liver Care
Kathy Goggin, PhD, Ernest L. Glasscock, MD, Chair in Pediatric Education and Research
George W. Holcomb III, MD, MBA, The Katharine B. Richardson Chair in Pediatric Surgery
Richard A. Hopkins, MD, The Thomas Holder/Keith Ashcraft Chair in Pediatric Surgical Research
Gregory L. Kearns, PharmD, PhD, The Marion Merrell Dow/Missouri Chair in Pediatric Medical Research
Stephen Kingsmore, MB, ChB, BAO, DSc, FRCPath, The Dee Lyons/Missouri Endowed Chair
J. Steven Leeder, PharmD, PhD, The Marion Merrell Dow/Missouri Chair in Pediatric Clinical Pharmacology
James E. O'Brien Jr., MD, FACS, Jerry Smith Chair in Pediatrics
Bradford W. Olney, MD, The Dr. Rex and Lillian Dively Chair in Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgery
Girish S. Shirali, MBBS, FASE, FACC, Melva and Randall L. O'Donnell, PhD, Chair in Pediatric Cardiology
James D. St. Louis, MD, Joseph Boon Gregg/Missouri Endowed Chair in Cardiac Surgery
William E. Truog III, MD, The Sosland Chair in Neonatology Research
Shui Qing Ye, MD, PhD, William R. Brown/Missouri Endowed Chair in Medical Genetics and Molecular Medicine