Division of Academic Pediatrics

Advocacy for the needs of all children, but particularly for the underserved, is a major focus of Saint Louis University's Division of General Academic Pediatrics.

Through quality patient care, innovative education, creative research and vigorous advocacy, the Division of General Academic Pediatrics of the Saint Louis University School of Medicine partners with patients, parents and the community to assure that the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of this and future generations of children will be met with competence, dignity, justice and compassion.


Ken Haller, M.D. is chairman of the Department of Pediatrics Advocacy Committee. Our division members also serve on countless community boards, including Catholic Charities, the St. Louis Special School District, Head Start, and many others. Sandy McKay, M.D., supervises a model program for immersion of residents in the community, through the Community Health Elective. Heidi Sallee, M.D., and Shahida Naseer, M.D., are actively involved in curriculum development related to screening for Intimate Partner Violence. And Jennifer Ladage, M.D., offers International Adoption Medicine Consultation Services through the FACES Program.

Leadership Roles

General academic pediatric faculty members play key roles in both Saint Louis University and SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital administration. Susan Heaney, M.D., serves as vice president for medical affairs for Cardinal Glennon and chair of SLU's Faculty Affairs Committee in the School of Medicine. Timothy Fete, M.D., is the vice-chair for clinical affairs for SLU's Department of Pediatrics and is a member of the Executive Committee of the SLUCare Physician Group.

Medical Education

Our faculty members are recognized for their interest and expertise in the education of students at all levels, including prospective physician assistants, medical students, residents and community physicians. The division has won eight of the last eleven Golden Apple Awards by the graduating classes from the School of Medicine.

Members of the division have also been awarded innumerable teaching awards by the residents in pediatrics, and have been cited as excellent teachers by several other disciplines.

Teaching is provided at Danis Pediatrics, on the general ward services, in the well baby nursery at SSM Health St. Mary’s Medical Center, through formal and informal conferences for students and residents, and in specialty clinics staffed by general academic pediatrics faculty.

Mark Eddy, M.D., coordinates continuing medical education (CME) for community physicians. Jay Noffsinger, M.D., is the director of the medical student preceptorship in pediatrics and Heidi Sallee, M.D, serves as the program director for the pediatric residency at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital.


Our division members provide a wide variety of medical services to patients at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital. Danis Pediatric Center is the primary care practice of SLU's Department of Pediatrics, serving as the medical home for approximately 10,000 patients with 16,000 visits per year.

The patients cared for at Danis Pediatric Center often have more serious acute and chronic medical problems and more social/economic problems than patients in a typical pediatric practice. The general academic pediatrics faculty, including the hospitalists in the division, provide general pediatric attending inpatient coverage for the general pediatric inpatient teams. 

The division also provides attending physician coverage for the well baby nursery at SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital. The Medical Diagnostic Clinic, a consultation service for referring physicians, is also offered by our faculty.

Our division members have broad expertise, with special interest in failure to thrive, adoption medicine, community pediatrics, advocacy, urinary tract infections, voiding dysfunction, adolescent health care, sports medicine, the effect of media on children, health care needs of gay and lesbian youth, international child health, endocrinology, developmental delay, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, newborn medicine, neurofibromatosis and care of the child with special health care needs.

Core Services

  • The Happy Mothers, Healthy Families Program provides counseling services, phone follow-up, supportive text messaging and case management to St. Louis mothers of infants 0-6 months of age identified to be at risk for postpartum depression or anxiety.
  • The Positive Parenting Program provides child diagnostic assessment, child and family case management assistance, four session intervention for parents/primary caregivers, 20-minute rapid response parent/primary caregiver consultations, and supportive text messaging for the primary caregivers of St. Louis children between  2-12 years old with disruptive behaviors.
  • Psychology services offer diagnostic assessment and 20-minute rapid response parent or child consultations for children ages 2-16 years old. Behavioral health services at Danis Pediatrics are provided by an integrated team of pediatricians, nurses, psychologists, social workers and parent educators.
  • Pediatric hospitalist medicine implements change and pursues excellence via hospital administration and community outreach. Our hospitalist team consults, collaborates with the emergency room and pediatrician updates throughout a child's stay, discharges and coordinates follow-up care.

Division Members

Research Highlights

The Division of General Academic Pediatrics is involved in a broad array of research projects, collaborating with investigators from other divisions within the Department of Pediatrics, other disciplines within Saint Louis University and with researchers from other institutions.

Matthew A. Broom, M.D.

Matthew A. Broom, M.D., is the principal investigator on a privately-funded three-year grant ($461,403) via the Maternal Child and Family Health Coalition entitled Happy Mothers, Healthy Families aimed at improving the identification, evaluation, treatment and referral of St. Louis City mothers with postpartum depression.

Co-investigators on the project include Beth Rhyne, RN, CPNP, Ashley Borawski, RN, CPNP, Rashmi Narayan, M.D., Gene LaBarge, M.D. and Donna Halloran, M.D., MSMPH. He has applied for additional funding to further the reach of the current program into St. Louis County.

Dr. Broom is the principal investigator evaluating a novel, online professionalism curriculum (Professional Bioethics in Graduate Medical Education), for which he receives funding as an Adjunct Professor via the Albert Gnaegi Center for Health Care Ethics. He is also the principal investigator on an internally-funded program evaluating a unique, knowledge-based text messaging curriculum among pediatric residents (Text4Peds: Integrating a Text Messaging Curriculum into Pediatric Resident Education).

He is the co-investigator (PI Stuart Slavin, MD, MEd) on a nationally-funded two-year project via the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation and the Institute on Medicine as a Profession entitled An Integrated Approach to Enhancing Resident and Medical Student Professionalism at Saint Louis University School of Medicine. He is also a co-investigator (PI Rashmi Narayan, MD) on an internally-funded project entitled Text4Teens: Preference and feasibility evaluation of text messaging as a therapeutic intervention among obese adolescents. Additionally he is developing a program to evaluate the use of an integrated audience-response system as teaching tool among pediatric residents and medical students.

Mark C. Eddy, M.D.

Mark C. Eddy, M.D., is a co-investigator on several studies related to the management of short stature with growth hormone, including small for gestational age children and growth hormone deficient children.

Donna R. Halloran, M.D., MSPH

Donna R. Halloran, M.D., MSPH, has a secondary appointment in the SLU Center for Outcomes Research to complete projects related to claims data from WellPoint, the largest private health insurer in the State of Missouri, and Medicaid. She is collaborating with faculty from SLUCOR, assessing perinatal outcomes using pharmacy and medical claims linked to birth certificates. She is also examining the effects of maternal obesity and post-term deliveries on perinatal complications. She is working with a junior faculty member, Dr. Nadim Kanafani, to explore the predictors of infant obesity and has recruited 50 patients from the Danis Pediatrics clinic for a two-year study.

M. Susan Heaney, M.D., M.P.H.

M. Susan Heaney, M.D., MPH, has been the site investigator for the nationwide multistate American Academy of Pediatrics Bright Futures Preventive Services Improvement Project to examine and improve the primary care provided to children at the nine month and 24-month visits. She is also the site investigator for another practice-based research project with CORNET (Continuity Research Network), “Adolescent Vaccination in the Medical Home – Implementation of Intervention Strategy.”

Dr. Heaney is also the pediatric member of the steering committee for the HRSA funded Academic Administrative Units in Primary Care Grant. The purpose of the proposed project, the Saint Louis University (SLU) Primary Care Training Center is to form a collaborative between Family Medicine, Internal Medicine and Pediatrics. The overarching goal of this collaboration is to increase the numbers of medical students and residents choosing primary care as their profession.

This proposal has four primary objectives: a) development of a collaborative primary care program, b) development of a systematic approach to primary care scholarship and clinical research, c) development of the Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) as the clinical laboratory for the conduct of primary care scholarship and clinical research, and d) provide exposure to and evaluation of the Interprofessional education model within primary care settings. 

Marta King, M.D., MED

Marta King, M.D., MED, has published case reports for case-based medical education and has facilitated case reports by medical students at national meetings. She has also presented her work on curriculum development in medical education.

Gene LaBarge, M.D.

Gene LaBarge, M.D., is a co-investigator on funded grants to identify and treat postpartum depression in mothers in the city of St. Louis  and to determine the feasibility of using text messaging as a therapeutic intervention among obese adolescents.

Jennifer Ladage, M.D.

Jennifer Ladage, M.D., has submitted a special projects grant to provide comprehensive health care to refugee children in St. Louis. She has published her work in the area of medical care for foreign adoptees.

Shahida R. Naseer, M.D.

Shahida R. Naseer, M.D., has been actively involved in a multicenter educational study, “Breast-feeding Promotion in Physician Office Practices: Phase III Residency Curriculum Pilot Study” and has collaborated with the SLU Department of Psychology in educational research related to screening for Intimate Partner and Teen Dating Violence Screening in the Pediatric Office setting.

Dr. Naseer also cooperates with Knights of Columbus in clinical research evaluating early red flags for Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Heidi M. Sallee, M.D.

Heidi M. Sallee, M.D., has collaborated with the SLU Department of Psychology in educational research related to screening for intimate partner and teen dating violence in the pediatric office setting. In addition, she has participated with Dr. Heaney on a national (C0RNET) resident education in oral health research project. She is currently collaborating with faculty at the School of Public Health, developing and testing a child safety intervention.

David Wathen, D.O.

David Wathen, D.O., has collaborated with Michelle Mitchell, M.D., in investigating the role of blood culture and other ancillary testing use in the diagnosis of cellulitis. He also has been active in improving inpatient medical care, including obtained private funding for Safe Sleep for infants in the hospital setting.