pedROCCS 2019 Speaker Bios

Ashwin S. Kirshna, MD attended and graduated from Washington University with a B.A. in Philosophy and Biology in 2002. He graduated from University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Medicine in 20047 with his MD and went on to complete his Residency at Levine Children’s Hospital at Carolinas Medical Center in 2010. In 2013 he completed the Pediatric Critical Care Fellowship at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. Dr. Kirshna earned his MPH in 2018 from the University of Kentucky College if Public Health. He is Board Certified with the American Board of Pediatrics with a Critical Care subspecialty. Dr. Kirshna is currently Assistant Professor in the Division of Critical Care Medicine at the Deaprtment of Pediatrics with University of Kentucky College of Medicine. Not only is he currently a Fellow and Section on Critical Care Member with the Academy of Pediatrics, but he is also a member of the Society of Critical Care Medicine.

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Niraj R. Chavan attended and graduated with a Bachelors in Medicine and Surgery from Lokmanya Tilak Municipal College in 2007. He then attended and graduated with a Masters in Public Health from Harvard School of Public Heath in 2009. Following the completion of his Master’s, he then went on to complete his residency training in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Flushing Hospital Medical Center in 2014. Dr. Chavan completed his Fellowship in maternal Fetal Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynecology at University of Kentucky in 2017. He is currently a PhD candidate in Clinical and Translational Science at University of Kentucky Graduate School. Niraj was previously an instructor for the Division of Maternal Fetal Medicine at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology with the University of Kentucky College of Medicine until 2017, where is now the Assistant Professor . He currently works within that role on a multitude of research project with Drs. John M. O’Brien, Kristin Ashford and Kevin Pearson.

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Craig Carter, MD is an Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine and Pediatrics at University of Kentucky. Dr. Carter also serves a Medical Director at EM Advanced Practice Providers and PHI Air Medical, LLC for the eastern KY bases of operation. Additionally he is also Assistant Medical Director at Pediatric Emergency Medicine at University of Kentucky.


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Dr. D’Orazio is a Professor of Pediatrics and Interim Chief of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology at the University of Kentucky who actively treats pediatric patients with cancer and blood diseases. His particular interest is in inherited cancer syndromes that affect children and young adults. He earned MD and PhD degrees from the University of Miami before joining the pediatric residency program at Massachusetts General Hospital. After a year as Pediatric Chief Resident, Dr. D’Orazio joined the Hematology and Oncology Fellowship Program at Boston Children’s Hospital and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. He joined the University of Kentucky in 2004 where he direct an NIH-funded laboratory study melanoma inherited risk factors. His laboratory focuses on the melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R) which is a major determinant of lifetime melanoma risk. By understanding the molecular events that cause cancer, Dr. D’Orazio and his team strive to develop effective anti=melanoma therapies. Dr. D’Orazio hold the Drury Pediatric Research Endowed Chair and is Co-leader of the Markey Cancer Center’ Genetic Instability, Epigenetics and Metabolism Research Program. His has authored numerous scientific and clinical manuscripts as well as reviews and book chapter, and has presented data from his laboratory at regional, national an international scientific meetings.

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Following receipt of a B.A. in Chemistry from Dartmouth College in 1960, Dr. Rodgers received M.S and PhD. degrees in organic chemistry from Yale University. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Swiss Federal Institute and following the fellowship, he spend seven years working as a research chemist in the pharmaceutical industry. In 1972 Dr. Rodgers attended medical school at the University of New York, Upstate Medical Center when he received is M.D. degree in 1975. He then completed a residency in Pediatrics un Dr. Fran Oski at the University and joined the faculty following completion of his residency. In 1981, Dr. Rodgers moved to Louisville to join the University of Louisville School of Medicine, Pediatric Pharmacology/Toxicology and International Pediatrics. He continues to direct the divisions of International Pediatrics and Pediatric Pharmacology / Toxicology, both of which he founded, as as Associate Medical Director for the Kentucky Regional Poison Center. he also continues to work as a pediatric hospitalist. Dr. Rodgers is a former president of the American Association of Poison Control Centers and has served on many national and international committees relation to pediatrics and toxicology. In 2007, Prof. Rodgers was named the Humana Chair in International Pediatrics at the University of Louisville.

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Heidi Cooley-Cook graduated from The Metropolitan State College of Denver with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. While in Colorado, Heidi worked with adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Upon return to Kentucky, she continued working with adults with disabilities and children with autism. Her work with autistic individuals quickly developed into a passion and let Heidi to work as an in-home behavior interventionist for several families and their children with autism. Heidi brings over 15 years of experience working with individuals with disabilities and their families in various capacities including direct support, job coach, case manager, behavior interventionist, and advocate. while at the KATC, Heidi earned a Master’s Degree in Education in Counseling Psychology from the University of Louisville. In her current role at the KATC, Heidi provide direct training and technical assistance to families and other agencies. Current initiatives include training the Commonwealth’s first responders–Autism and First Responders, promotion of the Yellow Dot Program, and supporting arts groups and other in providing Sensory Friendly accommodations.

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Emily Turner, MSN, RN, CPNP-PC is a nurse in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit/Cardiac Intensive Care Unit at Kentucky Children’s Hospital where she has worked for the last six years. She graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing in 2012 from the University of Kentucky. She began her career in Somerset, Kentucky as a pediatric nurse at Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital. She returned to Lexington in 2013 to join the UK Healthcare Team as a nurse in the PICU. With the rebirth of the Pediatric Cardiac Surgery Program, she joined the Cardiac Care Team in the Fall of 2016 and trained at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit. Emily graduated with a Master’s of Science in Nursing, Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner in 2018 and is currently pursuing a Post Masters Certificate, Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner with intent to graduate in May 2019.

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Alice Carpenter received her Bachelors of Science in nursing from Eastern Kentucky University in 1988. She has spent her career working within the NICU at University of Kentucky and is currently RNC. She is an educator of many topics and certifications including ENPC, PALS, NRP, and ECMO educator. Alice is active in several committees including University of Kentucky’s Impact Team, NICU Transfusion Committee, NICU Tiny Baby Committee, NICU/OB Omni Service Line, NICU Nursing Practice Council, and NICU Design Team. She is also the recipient of the 2014 MJ Dickerson Award and recipient of NICU Daisy Team Award winner.

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