3rd Year Fellow
Bibiana Restrepo, MD
2nd Year Fellow
Amel Alawami, MD
I am a Saudi pediatrician who joined the Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics Fellowship Program in July 2015, expected to graduate June 2018. I founded "Ousraty' Arab family support group for Arab families with children with special needs. I am working on finishing a paper exploring the feasibility and effectiveness of M-CHAT as a screener for Autism in toddlers in the Saudi population. I am also researching the cultural barriers that Arab family faces while accessing care for their children with autism. During the year 2016-2017, I joined Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) fellowship and Master of Public Administration (MPA) program. My main interest is early identification and intervention, and parental education. I am going back to Saudi after my completion of training to establish a developmental unit at Johns Hopkins Aramco Healthcare Center, start a Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics Fellowship and continue on community outreach services.
Kathleen Pitterle, DO
I currently provide care to medically complex and fragile children and young adults at New England Pediatric Care. I have previous publications on multimodal interventions for childhood apraxia of speech and social pragmatic interventions for ASD and social communication disorders. My research interests include my fellowship research project on an investigation of factors affecting resiliency and thriving in children with attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder.
1st Year Fellow
Modar Sukkariah, MD
I am very interested in the development of healthy attachment between newborns and their caretakers, and how that affects the newborn's development as well as the caretakers' experience. There is a growing body of research showing the positive effects a good attachment has on newborns (e.g. decreased stress response, improved resilience) and on the primary care taker (e.g. decreased risk of postpartum depression, increased confidence in the transition to parenthood). I currently demonstrate to pediatric interns at Floating Hospital for Children how to foster and promote this bond by teaching parents to read the subtle ways in which their newborn tries to communicate with them. I am also evaluating how this education affects the residents' confidence in counseling parents on the care and well-being of newborns.
Before coming to Floating Hospital, I worked with under-served populations in east Los Angeles and then in Northern California. In both locations, I was very moved by the prevalence of drug abuse in mothers, and how early intervention can have a positive butterfly effect on the future of every member in the family.