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World experts: Recognizing the team dedicated to studying pediatric hip problems

They’re considered content experts in the area of pediatric hip conditions. Learn how BC Children’s Hospital's HIPpy Research Team helps children locally and around the world.
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​A few members of the HIPpy Research Team at BC Children's Hospital.

​Approximately one in 1,000 babies are born with hip dislocation, or development dysplasia of the hip (DDH). If properly diagnosed and detected within the first three months of a baby's life, the likelihood of complications and surgeries later on in life significantly diminishes. This goal is the heart of the research done by the HIPpy Research Team at BC Children's Hospital. 

The team's mission is to improve hip health, mobility, and quality of life in children with hip dysplasia. Comprised of researchers, epidemiologists, graduate students, cooperative education students and post-doctoral research fellows, the HIPpy Research Team is considered world experts in DDH and congenital hip dislocation based on their scientific contributions over the last 10 years. 

But what really sets the team apart is its ability to take local research and scale it globally. The team created the International Hip Dysplasia Registry (IHDR) in 2016, a research registry that now has 28 participating centres around the world.

"Children shouldn't have to experience pain and disability due to a treatable condition like DDH," says Dr. Kishore Mulpuri, HIPpy team lead, orthopedic surgeon at BC Children's, and head of the Department of Orthopaedics at UBC.  

"We have a great group of passionate and dedicated professionals who are truly committed to improving the lives of children with hip conditions. Their contributions are making an impact locally and globally." – Dr. Kishore Mulpuri

Dr. Mulpuri and several members of the team also support a clinical program for children with cerebral palsy at BC Children's. The Child Health BC Hip Surveillance Program for Children with Cerebral Palsy is North America's only province/state-wide hip surveillance program, and has helped children with this neuromuscular condition avoid salvage hip procedures for painful, dislocated hips.

We caught up with two HIPpy Research Team members to learn more about their work and what inspires them.

Dr. Emily Schaeffer

Can you tell us about your role on the HIPpy Research Team?

I'm the scientific lead for the HIPpy lab and registries, and I'm also the research director for orthopedic surgery at BC Children's. I've been working with Dr. Kishore Mulpuri on pediatric hip conditions for the past seven years.

What inspired you to get into this field?

I have a background in basic science and a PhD in experimental and molecular medicine. I enjoyed the lab work, but I really wanted my work to directly impact patients and families and improve their lives. Therefore, I sought out an opportunity to do my postdoctoral fellowship at BC Children's because I am passionate about doing clinical research here.

What makes your team successful?

Our team has a real openness to collaboration both within our organization and with colleagues around the world. 

"Our local-to-global focus helps the children of B.C. with research that is relevant and helpful to them, but also supports children globally. " – Dr. Emily Schaeffer

What is most rewarding about your job? What gets you out of bed each morning?

Tangibly seeing the work we do have impact on families here and around the world.

What is your proudest accomplishment to date?

The field of orthopedic work and research has traditionally been siloed. We've made a lot of effort to develop a global scope of collaborations which has resulted in a number of global research registries, including the International Hip Dysplasia Registry

There are now 28 centres from eight countries across five continents that contribute data. This has really broken down boundaries and barriers and has helped develop guidelines for clinical care best practices for pediatric hip conditions.

Joel Sloan

Can you tell us about your role on the HIPpy Research Team?

I'm the managing director for the orthopedic registry programs and I joined the team last year. I provide strategic and operational support to help the team launch new programs, registries and infrastructure for our global network of collaborators.

What inspired you to get into this field?

My daughter was born with a hip dysplasia risk factor, so our family received attention through the HIPpy Lab, and my daughter's friend also had extensive treatment for hip issues. 

"I saw how this research program contributes to the development of world-leading care and learned even more by volunteering with the HIPpy Lab. " – Joel Sloan

What makes your team successful?

Our theme of local relevance and ability to scale globally with international collaborators. Our team has really focused on developing collaborative relationships with world leaders in hip heath.

What is most rewarding about your job? What gets you out of bed each morning?

I enjoy bringing data to life and working with domain experts. The impact our work has on patients both locally and globally is phenomenal and there is so much more we aim to do. I'm earning some good karma by being a part of this team, so to speak.

What is your proudest accomplishment to date?

Helping to build out from the most comprehensive hip registry in the world, and one that has generated a lot of engagement from the global community of hip health leaders.

Please join us in celebrating the HIPpy team's recognition as world leaders in pediatric hip health.

 
 
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