Medical Professional Publications

Awards and Announcements

(From the July 2015 issue of Research Now)

Alliance Data Makes $400,000 Gift to Nationwide Children’s Hospital to Support Development of “Big Data” Architecture

The gift will help create the first data system of its kind in Ohio dedicated to link numerous data sources for improved pediatric care and research.

Alliance Data Systems Corporation (NYSE: ADS), a leading global provider of data-driven marketing and loyalty solutions, and its Columbus, Ohio-based card services business, a premier provider of branded private label, co-brand and commercial credit programs, announced a $400,000 gift to Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Alliance Data’s decision to invest in the hospital was not only fueled by its superior service to the community, but by the company’s more than 3,500 associates who work in the Columbus area, many of whom have benefitted from the hospital’s services, whether it be through a family member or friend.

A large portion of the gift will help Nationwide Children’s build, and make accessible, data architecture that links all pediatric and research data sources. The ability to integrate large amounts of data in this way bolsters the hospital’s ability to deliver more effective patient care, improve research outcomes and create data-sharing collaboration opportunities with other community partners and programs. Additionally, providers and researchers will be able to lead public health initiatives and enable collaborations through data sharing more effectively and efficiently– ultimately to ensure every patient gets the right diagnosis and the right treatment at the right time.

“We are very appreciative of the support from Alliance Data,” says John Barnard, MD, president of The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s.  “We are expanding our computational architecture to seamlessly integrate large amounts of clinical and research data. Harnessing this computational power to store, access and analyze thousands of data points will benefit our patients and the overall field of pediatric research. Thanks in part to the Alliance Data funding, we will have the first data system of this kind in Ohio dedicated to pediatric research and care.”

The gift will also support the hospital’s family and volunteer services programs, such as the Sibling Clubhouse, designed to support the unique needs of children whose siblings are receiving short or long-term healthcare. Nationwide’s Art Cart and Music Therapy programs will also benefit from the gift. The Music Therapy program in particular, is especially valued in the hospital environment as the program’s therapists use music to enhance coping, legacy building/memory making, normalization, academic and physical skill development, and collaboration with other health care team members to meet treatment goals.

“The department of Family and Volunteer Services is deeply grateful for the wonderful gift that Alliance Data is giving to Nationwide Children's Hospital to support the work and programs that are facilitated through our department,” said Donna Trentel, director of Family and Volunteer Services at Nationwide Children’s. “This generous gift will make a direct impact on the experiences that patients and families have through services such as the Sibling Clubhouse, expressive arts programming, and will provide support for resources that promote comfort and coping.  Gifts such as these truly impact the quality of care that is provided and demonstrate that it takes more than medicine to help patients and families heal.” 

Alliance Data associates are getting involved too, volunteering for the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon and Half Marathon and assembling patients’ family “care kits.” The kits provide support to adult family members during unexpected visits and include personal care items and healthy snacks.

“Our business is built upon the positive impact data-driven insights can bring to an organizationand we are thrilled to support Nationwide Children’s Hospital with  a gift that will have such a significant impact on the livesof children and their families,” said Melisa Miller, president of Alliance Data’s card services business. “Our associates across Central Ohio are passionate about our ability to make a difference for the children of our communities and we look forward to doing our part to contribute.”

Alliance Data is committed to making a difference in the communities where its associates live, work and play. Through partnerships like the one with Nationwide Children’s Hospital, the company is given an opportunity to not only strengthen needed care and services for a community, but also demonstrate a commitment to its associates and their families.


Award Winners at 18th International Symposium on Recent Advances in Otitis Media

Congratulations to the following four award winners at the 18th International Symposium on Recent Advances in Otitis Media, held June 7-11, 2015 in National Harbor, Maryland.

  • Laura Novotny (Bakaletz Lab): 1st place, podium presentation - "Defining the functional epitopes of integration host factor (IHF) to develop a novel biofilm-focused immunotherapeutic against nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae-induced chronic and recurrent otitis media”
  • Rachael Hardison (Mason Lab):  2nd place, podium presentation - “Intracellular bacterial community development in nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHI) survival and pathogenesis”
  • Derek Heimlich (Mason Lab):  1st place, poster presentation - “Persistence of nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae is dependent upon selective import of nutrients and host antimicrobial peptides”
  • Michael Ward (Bakaletz Lab):  2nd place, poster presentation - “Antibodies against the majority subunit of the Type IV pilus mediates dispersal of nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae biofilms in a LuxS-dependent quorum signaling manner”


John P. Cheatham, MD, Receives Top Designation from Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions

John P. Cheatham, MD

John P. Cheatham, MD, Director of Cardiac Catheterization and Interventional Therapy and Co-director of The Heart Center at Nationwide Children's Hospital, has been named to the new class of Master Fellows of the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (MSCAI), the professional medical society for adult and pediatric invasive/interventional cardiologists. SCAI is recognized worldwide for its commitment to quality and education for enhancing the care of patients who suffer from all forms of congenital and acquired cardiovascular disease. The MSCAI recognition acknowledges outstanding SCAI members for a career achievement of excellence in patient care, teaching, research, and innovation.

“Master Fellow – or MSCAI – is a tremendous honor awarded a small number of SCAI Fellows, selected by their peers, as invasive/interventional cardiologists who have demonstrated leadership, clinical excellence and significant achievements over the course of their careers,” said James Blankenship, M.D., MHCM, FSCAI, 2015-16 SCAI President. “The MSCAI designation identifies the recipient is among the outstanding leaders and pioneers of our profession.”

SCAI’s Master Interventionalists are department chairs, division chiefs, chairman of board of directors, organizational CEO’s, journal editors, and patent holders. Each has contributed indelibly not only to SCAI but extensively to the entire field of invasive/interventional cardiology.  SCAI is indebted to their contributions and is now recognizing them appropriately for their accomplishments.

Dr. Cheatham holds the George H. Dunlap Endowed Chair in Interventional Cardiology. He is also a Professor of Pediatrics and Internal Medicine at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. After graduating from the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine, he completed his residency at Boston Children’s Hospital, followed by a fellowship in Pediatric Cardiology at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston.

Dr. Cheatham’s area of expertise is transcatheter intervention and Hybrid therapy of newborns, children, and adults with complex congenital heart disease. He has pioneered several new techniques and devices in nonsurgical intervention, as well as being a world leader in developing new Hybrid therapies. He has been a principal investigator in numerous FDA sponsored clinical trials evaluating nonsurgical closure devices, stent therapy as well as transcatheter valve therapies over the past two decades.

Additionally, Dr. Cheatham designed the world’s first Hybrid Cardiac Catheterization Suites and advanced imaging equipment at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, which allows the interventionalist & cardiothoracic surgeon to perform combined therapy in order to improve clinical outcomes in patients referred to The Heart Center. He serves as a consultant to various medical companies and proctors, or teaches, new transcatheter techniques and devices to other physicians around the world. He recently performed First-in-Human Native Transcatheter Pulmonary Valve implantation as well as gene transfer therapy for limb-girdle muscular dystrophy.

Dr. Cheatham is co-director of the Nationwide Children’s Hospital International Program and has implemented a formal physician exchange program with two of the leading medical institutions in China.  In cooperation with China Red Cross, he is also the Foreign Director of the International Training Center for treatment of congenital heart disease in poor children. 

Dr. Cheatham has authored more than 175 manuscripts, 20 book chapters, more than 450 national and international presentations, and is co-editor of the book, “Complications in Percutaneous Interventions for Congenital and Structural Heart Disease.” He was selected as one of the top 25 Innovators in Healthcare by Health Imaging & IT. In addition, he was honored as the recipient of the Career Achievement Award at the prestigious 2007 PICS & AICS conference, attended by interventional cardiologists from all over the world.

The Master Fellows will continue to be recognized annually, and will comprise no more than 5 percent of SCAI’s membership. Those selected must have notable achievements in science, innovation, technical developments, teaching, leadership and the clinical practice of interventional cardiology, and have been an active member and Fellow of SCAI for at least 10 years.

About SCAI
The Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions is a 4,500-member professional organization representing invasive and interventional cardiologists in approximately 70 nations. SCAI's mission is to promote excellence in invasive/interventional cardiovascular medicine through physician education and representation, and advancement of quality standards to enhance patient care. SCAI's public education program, Seconds Count, offers comprehensive information about cardiovascular disease. For more information about SCAI and Seconds Count, visit or Follow @SCAI and @SCAINews on Twitter for the latest heart health news.


Stephen Lessnick, MD, PhD, New Director for the Center for Childhood Cancer

Stephen Lessnick, MD, PhD, Director of Center for Childhood Cancer

Stephen Lessnick, MD, PhD, has been appointed director of the Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Diseases at The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital. In addition to his appointment at Nationwide Children’s, Dr. Lessnick will also be a tenured professor of Pediatrics at The Ohio State University College of Medicine.

Prior to coming to Nationwide Children’s, Dr. Lessnick was an investigator at the Huntsman Cancer Institute in the Nuclear Control of Cell Growth and Differentiation program. He also was a member of the Huntsman-Intermountain Cancer Care Program in Salt Lake City, director of the Center for Children's Cancer Institute at the University of Utah, and an attending physician in pediatric hematology/oncology at Primary Children’s Medical Center also in Salt Lake City. From 2009 to 2015, Dr. Lessnick held the Jon and Karen Huntsman Presidential Professor in Cancer Research at the University of Utah. Most recently, he was honored with the Department of Pediatrics “Catalyst” Investigator Award, which is given to investigators who maintain greater than $500,000 in outside funding over a three-year period.

His recent academic history includes positions as a tenured professor in the Department of Pediatrics and as an adjunct professor in the Department of Oncological Sciences, the Department of Bioengineering and the Department of Orthopaedics at the University of Utah.

Dr. Lessnick has authored more than 50 peer-reviewed journal articles and over 20 review articles, published over 40 abstracts and multiple book chapters, and given numerous oral presentations as an invited/visiting professor for a variety of workshops, conferences and symposiums nationally and internationally.

Dr. Lessnick has served on over a dozen professional, scientific and grant review committees, including those with the National Institutes of Health, Children’s Oncology Group and the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation for Childhood Cancer. He is board certified in pediatric hematology/oncology and is a member of numerous societies including the American Society of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, the American Association of Cancer Research, the American Society of Clinical Oncology and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Dr. Lessnick earned his Bachelor of Arts in biochemistry and biology from Brandeis University, followed by his MD and PhD in molecular biology from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) as part of the Medical Scientist Training Program. He then completed an internship and residency in pediatrics at Boston Children's Hospital, and a fellowship in pediatric hematology/oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Boston Children's. Between 2001 and 2003, Dr. Lessnick was an attending physician in pediatric hematology/oncology at Boston Children’s and at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and was an instructor for the Department of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Lessnick’s research interests include Ewing’s sarcoma as a model for pediatric tumor development and developing new therapeutic interventions for children with cancer.

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