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Children's National Anesthesiologist Named Joseph E. Robert Jr., Professor of Anesthesiology

February 25, 2016
Eugenie Heitmiller

Washington, DC – Children’s National Health System named Eugenie Heitmiller, MD, FAAP, Division Chief of Anesthesiology, Pain, and Perioperative Medicine, as the Joseph E. Robert Jr., Professor of Anesthesiology . The professorship is one of three funded by the estate of the late Joseph E. Robert Jr., a humanitarian, business leader, and advocate for children and families, who’s philanthropic support led to the creation of the Joseph E. Robert Jr., Center for Surgical Care and the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation.

The professorship will allow Dr. Heitmiller and her team to strive toward a number of perioperative improvements including the development of an anesthetic technique that has less risk of neurotoxicity, and making the process less stressful for kids. Her team also focuses on making accommodations for children with special needs and assessing the perioperative pain management differences in Spanish-speaking children.

“Genie Heitmiller has dedicated her life to making sure kids experience less pain and anxiety when facing surgery, and has remained at the frontlines of the movement to improve patient safety and healthcare quality,” said Mark L. Batshaw, MD, Executive Vice President, Chief Academic Officer and Physician-In-Chief. “I am honored to welcome her to the distinguished legacy that Joe Robert left behind as she launches innovative, bold initiatives in anesthesiology for children around the world.”

A graduate of the Georgetown School of Medicine, Dr. Heitmiller came to Children’s as a nationally recognized leader in pediatric anesthesiology with three decades of experience working at Johns Hopkins Hospital building programs, mentoring faculty, and improving patient care. While at Hopkins, Dr. Heitmiller focused on cardiac anesthesia, and has published work on topics covering the management of patients with compromised airways, and system issues surrounding anesthesia, leading to the development and implementation of new quality control processes. Dr. Heitmiller was a founding charter member of the Congenital Cardiac Anesthesia Society, and helped found the federally certified patient safety organization, “Wake-Up Safe.” Dr. Heitmiller is also a Chair of the Quality and Safety Committee for the Society of Pediatric Anesthesia.

“Although I was not able to meet Joe Robert, I am honored to be given the opportunity to serve as a Professor of Anesthesiology, in his name. I share Joe Robert’s vision of children’s health and innovation, and hope to work toward that in the spirit of forward thinking and leadership.” 

In 2014, Diego Preciado, MD, PhD, was installed as the inaugural Joseph E. Robert Jr., Professor of Pediatric Otolaryngology, which allowed him to dedicate time to develop research, and break ground with innovative methods to treat middle ear infections, one of the most common conditions that require children to have surgery.

 Contact: Leah Parker at 202-476-4500


About Children's National Health System

Children’s National Health System, based in Washington, D.C., has served the nation’s children since 1870. Children’s National is one of the nation’s Top 5 pediatric hospitals and, for a second straight year, is ranked No. 1 in newborn care, as well as ranked in all specialties evaluated by U.S. News & World Report. It has been designated two times as a Magnet® hospital, a designation given to hospitals that demonstrate the highest standards of nursing and patient care delivery. This pediatric academic health system offers expert care through a convenient, community-based primary care network and specialty outpatient centers in the D.C. Metropolitan area, including the Maryland suburbs and Northern Virginia. Home to the Children’s Research Institute and the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation, Children’s National is the seventh-highest NIH-funded pediatric institution in the nation. Children’s National is recognized for its expertise and innovation in pediatric care and as a strong voice for children through advocacy at the local, regional and national levels. 

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