Summer Edition: 2022
Ronald Ford, MD
Chief Medical Officer

Welcome from Dr. Ford

Welcome to the Summer 2022 edition of the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital Physician
Newsletter. We have much to share and celebrate this edition. There’s our 30th anniversary, our upcoming four-story vertical expansion this fall, and impressive new physician leaders joining our team. We congratulate our Pediatric Residents on their way to top U.S. fellowship programs. This fall also brings our 31st Pediatric Symposium, which will be held at the beautiful oceanfront Diplomat Beach Resort. As always, thank you for your support.
JDCH Partners Update
Amanda Porro, MD
Medical Director of Clinical Effectiveness and Complex Care Programs
Strengthen your voice in decisions that affect our community’s kids. Join Our JDCH Partners Program: like-minded pediatricians, pediatric specialists and community providers maintaining their autonomy while participating in the clinical and administrative benefits typically available through a large health system. See all the benefits we offer you.
Community Corner
New alliance with Boston Children's Hospital.
You and your patients now gain access to an expanded network of leading pediatric specialists, resources and support — all in one seamless, holistic care experience. Learn more about our new alliance with Boston Children’s Hospital that helps you manage your patients’ rarest, most complex conditions, while keeping them close to home.
JDCH/BCH 2022 Symposium Save the date
“Teach By The Beach” November 12-13 Pediatric Symposium. You won’t want to miss Teach By The Beach”, our Pediatric Symposium hosted in collaboration with Boston Children’s Hospital. We’re pleased to announce it’s now back to an in-person event at the beautiful Diplomat Beach Resort. Further your expertise on the latest advances, leading-edge diagnoses and therapies from respected national leaders in seven different pediatric specialties. Get a preview of what’s planned here.
Meet the Physicians
Peter W. Guyon, MD
Pediatric and Congenital Interventional Cardiology
Dr. Guyon treats patients with all types of congenital heart disease, from relatively simple conditions like atrial septal defect (ASD) and patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) to complex conditions like hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) and transposition of the great arteries (TGA). He also performs interventions such as transcatheter valve replacement and is part of a team that cares for adults with congenital heart disease. Learn more about Dr Guyon’s background and specialized certifications.
We are pleased to introduce Dr. Forbes as our new Chief of Pediatric Cardiac Services. Dr. Forbes treats children with a variety of heart conditions and adult patients who were born with congenital heart defects and require further treatment. He specializes in a variety of heart procedures, including those to close holes in the upper chamber of the heart due to atrial septal defects (ASDs) and placement of valves in the right ventricular outflow tract, where the pulmonary valve would normally be present. Learn more about his R&D successes, patents, practice background and certifications.
Thomas Forbes, MD
Chief of Pediatric Cardiac Services
Jared Klein, MD, MPH
Pediatric Cardiac Imaging Specialist
Dr. Klein specializes in trans-thoracic and trans-esophageal echocardiography, as well as cardiac MRI. He cares for pediatric patients with a variety of heart conditions including those with Marfan syndrome, Tetralogy of Fallot and hypoplastic left heart syndrome. Learn more about Dr. Klein’s background and specialized certifications.
Dr. Diamond cares for children, adolescents, and teens with congenital heart disease and other heart conditions and concerns. She studied biomedical engineering in college and was always intrigued by the heart. Dr. Diamond continued with medical school to pursue a career in cardiology and focused on pediatric cardiology because it involves a vast array of pathology, from congenital heart defects to arrhythmia and cardiomyopathy. Learn more about Dr. Diamond's background and specialized certifications.
Melissa Diamond, MD Pediatric Cardiology
John Dentel, MD
Pediatric Cardiac Surgery, Congenital Heart Surgery
We welcome Dr. John Dentel to our Pediatric Cardiac Surgery team! Dr. Dentel’s Fellowships include Cardiothoracic Surgery at Indiana University and Congenital Cardiac Surgery at Washington University/Seattle Children’s Hospital.
We welcome Dr. Kenigsberg Fechter to our Pediatric Endocrinology team. Her training includes a Fellowship in Pediatric Endocrinology at Albert Einstein/Montefiore College of Medicine, as well as Pediatrics Residency at New York University School of Medicine.
Lisa Kenigsberg Fechter, MD
Pediatric Endocrinology
Stephen Plachta, MD Pediatric Orthopedic Surgery
We welcome Dr. Plachta to our Pediatric Orthopedic Surgery team! His training includes Fellowships in Orthopedic Surgery at Columbia University and Shriners, as well as a Fellowship in Spine Surgery at Pennsylvania Hospital/University of PA.
In the News
Carolina Miranda Torres, MD
Pediatric Pulmonology, Cystic Fibrosis
May was Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Month
Learn more about this amazing story in medicine, including significant milestones achieved, recent COVID impact, newborn screening importance, and breakthroughs still ahead. Our center assures you and your teams the latest access to research discoveries, clinical research trials and evidencebased clinical management.
August is National Immunization Awareness Month
Now more than ever, it’s critical to highlight vaccination importance for people of all ages. It’s especially timely, as we reflect on the pandemic’s impacts to the healthcare system, with respect to vaccine coverage and vaccine misinformation. See where we stand as a nation; how important your influence is in helping us to stop the harmful spread of false information and myths; and effective ways to reassure your patients.
Nicole Akar-Ghibril, MD
Pediatric Immunology and Allergy
Unanimous Senate Passage: SB292 Cytomegalovirus Screening Legislation. Just how common is cCMV? It affects 1 out of every 200 babies born in the U.S. and is more common than Down Syndrome, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Spina Bifida. More than 90% of babies born with cCMV appear normal at birth and only 9% of pregnant women have even heard of cCMV. It’s the leading cause of infectious birth defects worldwide and the most common cause of non-genetic congenital hearing loss. Read more about recent Florida legislation to assure cCMV screenings are provided for all infants in Florida who fail the newborn hearing screening.
Torticollis Education
Valentina Bolanos, DPT
Just A Head Tilt - Or Torticollis? Left untreated, torticollis can result in asymmetrical strength, decreased bimanual skills, feeding challenges, visual impairments, sensory processing impairments, postural impairments and developmental delays. The good news: 90-99% of cases of acquired torticollis can be corrected with early referral and treatment. Learn what’s driving the increase in cases and how you can help parents prevent torticollis. Review the symptoms; diagnosis methods; and the correlation between age of referral, length of time of treatment intervention and gains in range of motion of the cervical spine.
JDCH New Program
Six New Pediatric Specialty Services in Miramar. We’re excited to announce the 2023 expansion of our Pediatric Specialty Services, encompassing a full dedicated floor at the new Memorial Hospital Miramar Medical Pavilion. New services debuting in 2023 include: Pediatric Otolaryngology; Pediatric Physiatry; Pediatric Allergy and Immunology; Adolescent Medicine and Gynecology; Pediatric Complex Gastroenterology; and Pediatric Cardiology.
Health Living
Orhan Kilinc, MD Pediatric Electrophysiology, Pediatric Cardiology
Benefits and limitations of Pre-participation Electrocardiogram Screening for School Athletes. Pre-participation ECG screenings can be a very reasonable approach to identify people at risk of sports related cardiac arrest and to potentially prevent death. Despite its effectiveness in decreasing sports-related sudden cardiac arrest in certain settings, it continues to be somewhat controversial. Who should be screened and what are the limitations? Review these key aspects every physician should consider.
Resident's Corner
Taylor Taskey, DO
I’ve been officially bitten by the advocacy bug! As a first-year pediatric resident at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, I’m training to become a “tiny human doctor”. Advocacy, in particular, was one of the first things that compelled me to pursue pediatrics. At the start of my residency, I could not wait to meet with other advocates and local leaders to make a difference. However, I had no idea where to start. Then, I received an email.
Congratulations to our JDCH Residents: they’re on their way to top national fellowships!
Leading the Way
Larry Latson, MD
Medical Director, Pediatric & Congenital Interventional Cardiology Program; Co-Medical Director, Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program; National Study Co-Principal Investigator
Joe DiMaggio Heart Surgeons participate in a pivotal ASD treatment trial. On behalf of our pediatric cardiac team, I’m excited to announce successful treatment of a patient with atrial septal defects (ASD), using the first transcatheter ASD occluder with a metal-free frame. We implanted the novel device, as part of the ASCENT ASD U.S. Investigational Device Exemption (IDE) pivotal trial, which will evaluate the safety and efficacy of the transcatheter reSept ASD Occluder in patients with clinically significant secundum ASDs. Trials like these can transform the way we treat congenital heart disease in the future.
Awards and Accolades
Congratulations To Our Team & Two Miracle of Life Award Nominees. Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital received formal recognition during the 2021 Organ Donations & Lives Saved committee meeting with Life Alliance: we were noted for our outstanding process and readiness “with all hands on deck” during the most challenging times. Congratulations to two team members, in particular, who were nominated for these prestigious honors:
Physician Of The Year
Pediatric Critical Care Medicine
Staff Member Of The Year
Dina Weiss, LCSW
Case Manager – Social Work