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Valerie Kirk

Valerie Kirk

Valerie Kirk, MD
Department of Pediatrics
Alberta Health Services, Canada

 

Biography

After 15 years of professional experience as a pediatric critical care nurse, Dr. Valerie G Kirk completed her medical training, residency, and respiratory fellowship training at the University of Calgary. Her pediatric sleep medicine training was obtained at McGill University under the supervision of Dr. R. Brouillette. She is the medical director of the Pediatric Sleep Service at the Alberta Children's Hospital and has an active clinical practice seeing pediatric sleep medicine patients. She currently holds several active grants for ongoing clinical projects in pediatric sleep medicine. From a leadership point of view, after six years as director for the Pediatric Clerkship Program at the University of Calgary, she took on a new role as deputy head for the Department of Pediatrics in January 2009. The Department of Pediatrics at the University of Calgary comprises approximately 250 physicians in 14 clinical sections. As deputy head, professional affairs, Dr. Kirk is responsible for three main areas: communication, professional wellness and mentorship. Since accepting this position, she has developed a number of innovative initiatives including the Department of Pediatrics website, a physician orientation program, a physician mentorship program, a professional development curriculum for faculty and a series of well-being/community building activities for the department. She is fortunate to work with a dynamic young faculty and a forward-thinking dDepartment head. Dr. Kirk has completed a number of PMI courses which have been highly beneficial for her own professional development as a physician leader.

Research Interest

Dr. Valerie G Kirk’s research interests are focused on the identification, treatment and consequences of sleep disorders in children. Modification and testing of home-based diagnostic equipment that could replace the current gold standard laboratory polysomnography test is ongoing. Treatment with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) in children is a relatively new area, and we are well established leaders in this area. Factors improving compliance with this treatment and the multidisciplinary approach to supporting families using this treatment for their children is another active area of research. The role of ancillary diagnostic testing, such as overnight oximetry, in the identification and surveillance of children with sleep apnea and the feasibility of using these results as predictors for surgical outcomes is being examined as well.

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