This article originally appeared in Star Chronicle, a newsletter
published for the Children's Medical Center.
Balancing patient care and clinical research is a challenge the Division of
Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes is mastering. "Through our academic
partnership with UMass Medical School and a team that has grown extensively,
research is an important part of our overall effort to provide excellent patient
care," explained Mary Lee, MD, chief of pediatric endocrinology.
Currently, six pediatric endocrinologists follow more than 2,000
endocrinology patients; 600 are diagnosed with diabetes. "We offer our patients
a team approach to care and integrate a treatment plan that involves the child
and family," said Dr. Lee.
The focus on teamwork and family runs parallel in both hospital care and
research. For example, current diabetes research initiatives include a screening
and prevention trial for at-risk relatives of children with type 1 diabetes, a
sibling study on psychosocial family dynamics, a pilot program utilizing new
tools to educate parents, and comparing treatments for children with type 2
The team is also involved with the Barton Center for Diabetes Education in
Oxford. Dr. Lee is a trustee and camp medical director, while other team members
serve as camp physicians. Meanwhile, a collaborative effort with Taniya de
Silva, MD, adult endocrinologist, helps teens transition from pediatric to adult
Michael Stalvey, MD, is one of a few pediatric endocrinologists in the
country who specializes in endocrine disorders affecting cystic fibrosis (CF)
patients. "Because endocrine disorders become more prevalent as CF patients grow
older, it is critical that we study secondary conditions affecting them," said
Other research interests include vitamin D and inflammation in obesity,
effects of environmental chemicals on children, and newer treatments for
problems with growth and puberty.