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2 new pediatric surgeons coming to Niswonger, ETSU med school

Johnson City Press • Updated May 15, 2020 at 2:48 PM

A move that health officials expect will improve children’s access to medical care locally, Niswonger Children’s Hospital and East Tennessee State University announced Friday the recruitment of two new pediatric surgeons to the area, marking the first time the region will benefit from as many as three pediatric surgeons.

Recruited through a joint effort between ETSU and Ballad Health, surgeons Michael Allshouse and Brad Feltis have agreed to join the faculty at ETSU’s Quillen College of Medicine and the team at Niswonger Children’s Hospital. They will begin practicing in July and will join Dr. Lesli Taylor in the ETSU Division of Pediatric Surgery.

Ballad Health said in a press release Friday that the physicians’ recruitment is part an ongoing effort to attract highly qualified specialists to support and enhance current programs plus provide previously unavailable pediatric surgical services to the Appalachian Highlands region. It’s supported in part by Tennessee Governor Bill Lee’s proposed budget to create additional faculty positions at the Quillen College of Medicine for training in pediatric surgery.

Allhouse most recently served as the medical director of the pediatric surgery and trauma programs at Valley Children’s Hospital and as an associate clinical professor for the Department of Pediatrics at the University of California San Francisco.

“I lived in the Tri-Cities of the Appalachian Highlands previously,” Allshouse said in the news release. “I feel as if I am coming home, and am delighted to be able to work with my colleagues at ETSU and Niswonger Children’s Hospital to build and develop the pediatric surgery and trauma programs for the region.”

Feltis, meanwhile, most recently served as a pediatric surgeon and partner with Pediatric Surgical Associates in Minneapolis, as well as the Carol Ann Wells Chair in Fetal Surgery, and the director of the Midwest Fetal Care Center, Children’s Minnesota and Allina Heath. He’s also worked as a pediatric surgeon for a private medical group.

“We are very fortunate to have Dr. Feltis joining the leadership within the Department of Surgery at ETSU,” said William Block, Dean of the James Quillen College of Medicine, in the release. “He has a vision that goes beyond pediatric surgery. His genuine excitement at being involved with the Accountable Care Community’s efforts to focus on the well-being of children will further integrate the efforts of ETSU, Ballad Health and our region’s leaders as we seek to enhance the quality of life for our region and the states we serve.”

Ballad Health Chairman and CEO Alan Levine said in the release that the partnership between ETSU, Ballad Health and the State of Tennessee is one example of the benefits that have resulted from the merger between Mountain States Health Alliance and Wellmont Health System.

“Ballad Health has recruited 200 new providers to the region since its creation in 2018,” Levine said. “These new pediatric surgeons are just more evidence of the quality of people Ballad Health and ETSU are able to attract when we are working so closely together.”

Below is a news release from Ballad Health. Updates to follow.

Niswonger Children’s Hospital and East Tennessee State University announced today the successful recruitment of two distinguished pediatric surgeons to the region. This marks the first time the region will benefit from as many as three pediatric surgeons, providing the capability to enhance surgical programs and trauma services for children.

Michael Allshouse, DO, and Brad Feltis, MD, PhD, recently agreed to join the faculty at ETSU’s Quillen College of Medicine and the team at Niswonger Children’s Hospital, bringing with them impressive credentials in pediatric trauma care, pediatric general surgery and fetal surgery.

The physicians were recruited through a joint effort between ETSU and Ballad Health in an ongoing effort to attract highly qualified specialists to support and enhance current programs, as well as to provide previously unavailable pediatric surgical services to the Appalachian Highlands region. They will be joining Dr. Lesli Taylor in the Division of Pediatric Surgery at ETSU.

The recruitment is part of an effort to enhance the training of physicians and clinical professionals in the area of children’s healthcare, and is supported in part by Tennessee Governor Bill Lee’s proposed budget, which was approved by the Tennessee Legislature, to create additional faculty positions at the Quillen College of Medicine for training in pediatric surgery. Ballad Health is providing additional funding to ensure sustainability of the clinical practice of the surgeons.

“Providing healthcare access to our children in rural communities is a priority for my administration, and it is why I’m delighted we were able to support the efforts of Ballad Health and ETSU to bring these distinguished pediatric surgeons to serve the region,” said Governor Lee. “This will enhance training of new doctors, create a more sustainable trauma program for children and provide more continuity of care for children, whether they live in Tennessee, Virginia, Kentucky or Western North Carolina.

“Drs Allshouse and Feltis are both excellent and experienced surgeons with critical skills,” said Lisa Carter, chief executive officer of Niswonger Children’s Hospital and vice president of women’s and children’s services for Ballad Health. “Their leadership and expertise complement our trauma program already in place, and will help us continue to build a robust pediatric surgery program, which will greatly benefit the children and babies of this region.”

Michael Allshouse, DO, most recently served as the medical director of the pediatric surgery and trauma programs at Valley Children’s Hospital, as well as an associate clinical professor for the Department of Pediatrics at the University of California San Francisco. He earned his undergraduate degree from the U.S. Naval Academy and Allegheny College, and his medical degree from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. He completed his residency in surgery at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Oakland, California, a fellowship in pediatric trauma and burn treatment at the Children’s National Medical Center in Washington DC, and his residency at The Children’s Hospital, University of Colorado School of Medicine.

“I lived in the Tri-Cities of the Appalachian Highlands previously,” Allshouse said. “I feel as if I am coming home, and am delighted to be able to work with my colleagues at ETSU and Niswonger Children’s Hospital to build and develop the pediatric surgery and trauma programs for the region.”

Brad Feltis, MD, PhD, most recently served as a pediatric surgeon and partner with Pediatric Surgical Associates in Minneapolis, as well as the Carol Ann Wells Chair in Fetal Surgery, and the director of the Midwest Fetal Care Center, Children’s Minnesota and Allina Health. Prior to this role, he served as a pediatric surgeon with a private medical group. He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Minnesota, and his M.D. from the University of Minnesota, School of Medicine. He went on to receive his Ph.D. in Surgical Sciences from the University of Minnesota, Department of Surgery. Dr. Feltis has held a number of fellowship appointments, including fetal surgery, operative fetoscopy and pediatric surgery.

“I’m eager to expand our current capabilities to achieve an advanced newborn surgical care system so people in the Appalachian Highlands won’t need to leave home to receive those services,” Feltis said. “The team at Niswonger Children’s Hospital has a compelling vision of creating a comprehensive advanced pediatric surgical program, and I’m thrilled to be a part of it. I am also heartened by the vision of Ballad Health to create a healthy community through the Accountable Care Community and their united efforts to ensure children are healthier and have the opportunity to thrive.”

Dr. Feltis will serve as Division Director of the ETSU Quillen College of Medicine’s Division of Pediatric Surgery.

“We are very fortunate to have Dr. Feltis joining the leadership within the Department of Surgery at ETSU,” said Dr. William Block, Dean of the James Quillen College of Medicine. “He has a vision that goes beyond pediatric surgery. His genuine excitement at being involved with the Accountable Care Community’s efforts to focus on the well-being of children will further integrate the efforts of ETSU, Ballad Health and our region’s leaders as we seek to enhance the quality of life for our region and the states we serve.”

Drs. Allshouse and Feltis will begin practicing at Niswonger Children’s Hospital and ETSU in July.

“We are thrilled to welcome such distinguished physicians whom we know will contribute to the success of Ballad Health’s trauma program, including enhancements in the partnership between our Level 1 Trauma Center, the Children’s Hospital and our academic training programs,” said J. Bracken Burns, Jr. DO, FACOS, professor of surgery, ETSU’s James Quillen School of Medicine and Corporate Trauma Medical Director and Director of the Level 1 Trauma Center. “Dr. Allshouse brings with him robust experience in pediatric trauma surgery, as well as his experience in treating burns. Dr. Feltis’ leadership and experience in research, education, and fetal surgical science will be a tremendous asset to our team and our ability to move the program forward.”

“This partnership between ETSU, Ballad Health and the State of Tennessee is an example of the benefit of bringing these great health systems together,” said Ballad Health Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Alan Levine. “Ballad Health has recruited 200 new providers to the region since its creation in 2018. These new pediatric surgeons are just more evidence of the quality of people Ballad Health and ETSU are able to attract when we are working so closely together.”

For more information about pediatric surgery at Niswonger Children’s Hospital, please visit https://www.balladhealth.org/hospitals/niswonger-childrens or Ballad Health’s trauma network, https://www.balladhealth.org/medical-services/trauma.

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