Craig S Wong, MD | Albuquerque, New Mexico Translate
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Personal Statement


My research has focused on the study of chronic kidney disease (CKD) in children. Over the past 15 years I have been part of the ongoing NIH funded Prospective Study of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKiD) Study. The primary aims of the study are: 1) to identify the risk factors for progressive decline in kidney function in children with CKD, 2) correlate changes in cardiovascular risk factors with changes in kidney function, 3) correlate changes in neurocognition and behavior with decreased kidney function, and 4) identify the risk factors for abnormal growth in children with CKD. Since it’s inception in 2003, I have been a member of the scientific steering committee for CKiD, which oversees the overall conduct of the study across 33 pediatric nephrology centers across the US and Canada.
In addition to my activities for the CKiD study, I was funded by the NIH for an ambitious search for the genetic underpinnings for pediatric kidney disease. From this study, we and international collaborators identified the genetic drivers for kidney anomalies associated with DiGeorge Syndrome (Lopez-Riviera et al., NEJM, 2017), the genetic landscape contributing to congenital anomalies of the kidney and urinary tract (Verbitsky et al., Nature Genetics, 2019) as well as a number of associated genetic variants to pediatric kidney disease. In partnership with UNM collaborator Li Luo, PhD we continue to explore the associated gene variants responsible for why children develop kidney failure. Within the CKiD study, we are evaluating the ethical policies and public perception for large scale genetic research in children with the Chronic Kidney Disease in Children Study (Wong et al., AJKD, 2019).

The success in my scientific endeavors translates well to my work in the UNM Department of Pediatrics as Division Chief of Pediatric Nephrology and Rheumatology. The section of Pediatric Nephrology continues to be a strong section well represented clinically and academically within our institution, to which credit goes to John Brandt, MD MPH who had been Division Chief prior to my tenure. The success continues with strong partnership with my colleagues who also are leaders within the hospital, Amy Staples MD MPH as medical director for UNM Pediatric Kidney Transplant and Pediatric Specialty Care Unit, and John Brandt MD MPH who is Associate Chief Medical Officer for Children’s services. Our newest faculty, Candace Sheldon, MD is leading our center to be part of a multi-institutional collaborative application to the NIH to study acute kidney injury in neonates. In rheumatology, we have managed a transition from the departure of our prior rheumatologist to rebuilding the section with a new faculty member, Ioannis Kalampokis, MD MPH PhD. This had been quite challenging with having to train a new nurse practitioner and transitioning from a medical assistant-managed program to an RN-managed program. We currently have an advertisement for an additional pediatric rheumatology faculty to join the section of pediatric rheumatology. Managing the broad array of talent in the Division requires active collaboration and listening to the needs of my faculty and staff. A byproduct of that effort to collaborate and have frequent discussion is a high degree of teamwork and trust that makes this Division successful.

Building teams, fostering collaboration, being data driven are skills needed for research as well as in management. In collaboration with Dr. Cordova de Ortega, our Chair in Pediatrics, and Bobbi Jaramillo, our Department administrator, I have been assisting the Department of Pediatrics in my role as Clinical Process Improvement Director and Clinical Documentation Improvement lead. I have been part of a wonderful administrative team with our leadership as well as Joyce Chavez, our Chief Financial Office, and Patricia Queen, our senior practice managers to take on a number of projects that have helped improve the revenue cycle for the Department. Over the past two years, we have created and supported processes to help providers improve their documentation metrics. This along with improved collaboration with UNMH and UNMMG coders have capitalized on the improvements with the Huron initiative to bring the Department from a budget deficit from 4 years ago to a positive margin over the past 2 years. It is with this background that I am applying for the position of Vice Chair for Clinical Services in the Department of Pediatrics.

Education

Medical School
1994
University of Washington

Fellowship
Pediatric Nephrology
2000
Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center

Residency
Neonatology
1997
Oregon Health & Science University Hospital

Certification
American Board of Pediatrics
1997-10-08

Gender

Male