New Critical Care Chief Installed as First Professor of Critical Care Medicine

Children’s National on May 24 installed Michael J. Bell, MD, chief of the Division of Critical Care Medicine at Children’s National, as the first DC Lawyers Care for Children Professor of Critical Care Medicine. Endowed by the founders and sponsors of the DC Lawyers’ Golf Classic, the professorship supports Dr. Bell’s work as a nationally known expert in the field of pediatric neurocritical care and provides the foundation for the growth of the Division of Critical Care Medicine at Children’s National into one of the nation’s best.

As a critical care faculty member at Children’s National for 10 years, Dr. Bell helped to build one of the first clinical pediatric neurocritical care programs in the nation. His expertise then led him to Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, where he established a neurocritical care program and served as director of Pediatric Neurocritical Care and the Pediatric Neurotrauma Center. Children’s National welcomed Dr. Bell's return this year as chief of the Division of Critical Care Medicine, where he oversees both the pediatric intensive care unit and the region’s only pediatric-dedicated neuro-intensive care unit. “Dr. Bell is a tremendous clinician and researcher, and we were proud to previously have him on our team at Children’s National for 10 years,” said Kurt Newman, MD, president and CEO of Children’s National. “We are so pleased to welcome him back and honor him with this professorship.”

The professorship was established through funds raised by the DC Lawyers Golf Classic, which has raised $2 million over the past 14 years for this endowment. Established in 2002, the tournament emerged from the friendship between co-founders John Devaney and Jerry Stouck and their families’ experiences in the critical care unit at Children’s National. Together with Carter Phillips – who engaged his firm, Sidley Austin LLP, to become the tournament’s lead sponsor and create the endowed fund – they have grown the DC Lawyers Golf Classic into a signature event of the Washington legal community and helped raise awareness about Children’s National and the need to advance critical care medicine for children and their families. The 15th annual tournament will be held June 20.

Grateful parents of former patients, Mr. Devaney, Mr. Phillips, and Mr. Stouck reflected upon the circumstances that first brought their families to Children’s National, the growth of the tournament, and their joint mission to ensure every child can receive the critical care they need. “It was our hope that we could make a difference in the lives of those kids and families who we know are in this hospital at this very moment, battling each and every day,” said Mr. Devaney. “Dr. Bell, we are thrilled for your installation as the inaugural DC Lawyers Care for Children Professor of Critical Care Medicine, and we know you’re going to make a big difference in the lives of many, many people.”

In his remarks, Dr. Bell likened Children’s National to a mighty body of water that grew stronger with each new tributary, each new contribution that supported its mission, and thanked the many people—his predecessors and mentors at Children’s National, hospital leadership, his family, and others who have supported his work—who had contributed to the current and made the day possible. He recognized the group behind the DC Lawyers Golf Classic for their vision for the professorship and expressed gratitude for the opportunity it presented.

“It is an incredible honor to be the first recipient of the DC Lawyers Care for Children Professorship. I am deeply indebted to the DC Lawyers group led by Carter Phillips, John Devaney, and Jerry Stouck,” Dr. Bell said. “The sickest kids deserve our absolute best, and I pledge to work every day to build the best critical care division in the world to serve the children who need it most.”

An endowed professorship is one of the highest honors that can be bestowed on a faculty member and helps to recruit and retain the brightest clinicians and researchers at Children’s National. To learn about creating an endowed professorship at Children’s National, please contact us at [email protected].

Make a Difference

Your charitable donation changes children’s lives. Support exceptional health care and discoveries that offer hope, healing and brighter futures.