Erica G. Schmitt, MD, PhD
DEPARTMENT OF PEDIATRICS
Instructor in Pediatrics
2023 Dean’s Impact Award Recipient
Erica G. Schmitt, MD, PhD, played a critical role for the Division of Rheumatology and Immunology in the Department of Pediatrics during COVID-19. Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) was first noted in spring 2020 as a hyperinflammatory, dysregulated immune response to SARS-CoV-2 in children. Shortly thereafter, Schmitt helped develop the institution’s pediatric guidelines for the necessary interdisciplinary evaluation and management of MIS-C patients. She and colleagues regularly reviewed expert guidelines, the emerging literature and our own institutional experience to update subsequent versions of the WUSM guidelines. As of July 2022, Schmitt leads this working group, which represents a collaboration between the pediatric divisions of Rheumatology and Immunology, Infectious Diseases, Hospital Medicine, Critical Care Medicine, Cardiology, Hematology and Oncology, as well as the Emergency Department and pharmacy. Additionally, in December 2021, the FDA granted an emergency use authorization for Evusheld, a long-acting monoclonal antibody that offered pre-exposure prophylaxis to help protect immunocompromised patients, amongst others, against COVID-19. Initially, quantities of the medication were limited, and Schmitt worked to identify immune-suppressed and immune-deficient patients at highest risk within the department, drafted a letter and/or MyChart message to patients who qualified, and created a script to guide nurses and providers as they counseled patients and administered the medication. As access to the medication improved, Schmitt contacted additional patients at high risk in a tiered fashion, and eventually the department was able to offer the medication to all of those who qualified.