In addition to my passion for helping injured plaintiffs through my role as an associate attorney with Wexler Wallace’s mass torts practice, I am passionate about helping to improve the quality of health care delivered to pediatric patients through my work with the Children’s Research Fund Junior Board (“Board”). On Friday, November 7, 2014, the Board is hosting its largest fundraising event of the year, Cocktails for a Cause. For ticket information and other details, please visit the board’s site here.
The Board supports pediatric medical research initiatives conducted at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago and the Stanley Manne Children’s Research Institute. Specifically, the Board funds a researcher for a period of two years at a time to conduct research that will improve the health and well-being of children.
This year we elected to support the research of Dr. Katherine A. Barsness, who is both a Pediatric General Surgeon at Lurie Children’s and an Assistant Professor of Surgery at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. The Board’s fundraising efforts will support Dr. Barsness to develop sophisticated, hands-on devices for physicians to improve their surgical skills before conducting high-risk surgeries on pediatric patients. Graduate medical education typically consists of observation and supervised surgery. However, while this has been the traditional approach, complex neonatal and pediatric surgical procedures may be accompanied by significant risks. Through the use of simulation models (such as a 3D print-out of a newborn’s chest cavity with a specific high-risk condition), physicians can practice performing a high-risk surgery in a safe, controlled environment before actually performing the surgery. Dr. Barsness and her team are conducting laboratory studies to assess the impact of simulation-based training on the reduction of medical errors and improvement in quality of care.
I have been a member of the Board for the past two years and a Special Events Co-Chair for the past year. Wexler Wallace has supported me in this endeavor by generously donating to the Board as a corporate sponsor. I believe it is often easy for lawyers to get lost in the daily grind of life, and I feel extremely lucky to be a part of the Board and part of a law firm that gives back to the community.