Volunteer Spotlight: Dr. Jaime Phalen

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It is with deep appreciation for the time, commitment, and passion of our dedicated advocates and volunteers that Feeding Matters is launching a monthly Q & A series. They help with events, participate on committees, and coach in our Power of Two program. The advocate and volunteer spotlights will share the stories of our growing network of change agents, the driving force behind our vision to create a world where children with pediatric feeding disorders will thrive.

 

In addition to his work as a developmental-behavioral pediatrician with University Health System in San Antonio, Texas and as an adjunct professor of pediatrics at UT Health San Antonio, Dr. Jaime Phalen graciously volunteers his time to serve as Feeding Matters’ medical director. In the role, Dr. Phalen assists with the ongoing expansion of our Medical Professional Council to facilitate deeper levels of educational opportunities and to provide a platform for sharing research.

 

  1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

    I grew up in Chandler and graduated from ASU with a BS in biology in 1987. The following year, I married Melissa LaVoy and joined the US Air Force. Our oldest daughter, Devyn, was born at our first assignment, at Torrejón Air Base, Madrid, Spain. Our second daughter, Brooke, was born while I attended medical school at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland. I graduated in 1996, then attended pediatric residency at Keesler AFB, Biloxi, Mississippi until 1999. From then through 2002, I was a general pediatrician at Sheppard Air Force Base, Wichita Falls, Texas. From there, we moved to Denver, Colorado, where I attended developmental-behavioral pediatrics fellowship at The Children’s Hospital. After graduating in 2005, we moved to San Antonio, Texas, where I was stationed at JBSA Lackland. I remained there until retiring in 2016, after 28 years of service. My duties included being chief of several interdisciplinary teams, teaching medical students and pediatric residents, and serving as the Chief Consultant for Developmental Pediatrics to the AF Surgeon General. In 2016, I began working for University Health System, in San Antonio, as their sole developmental pediatrician. My personal interests include collecting and cellaring fine wine, listening to music and attending concerts, traveling with my wife, and enjoying her amazing cooking.

 

  1. How long have you been a volunteer with Feeding Matters?

    Since 2014.

 

  1. In which volunteer activities have you participated?

    PFD Alliance (formerly the Medical Professional Council) and the International Pediatric Feeding Conference. Most recently, I’ve volunteered as Feeding Matters’ first medical director.

 

  1. What motivated you to become involved?

    A pediatric gastroenterologist who was on the MPC read an article on pediatric feeding disorders that I published in Pediatrics in Review in 2013.  He reached out to me to tell me about the organization.

 

  1. What has been your favorite part of volunteering with Feeding Matters?

    Working with a great group of professionals and parents who have a passion for children with pediatric feeding disorder.

 

  1. In your opinion, what sets Feeding Matters apart from other organizations?

 

Founded by parents, Feeding Matters has always involved medical professionals.  This unique arrangement fosters open communication and mutual respect.  As a result, we all learn from each other.  More importantly, we help children with PFD and their families.