Caring for children and their families is a unique privilege we have as pediatricians and a strong partnership is essential. By listening, collaborating, and learning about the patient and their family, we can help guide families understanding of disease processes and understand various treatment options. We are able to provide support in the management of a wide spectrum of lung problems from common childhood conditions to complicated rare lung diseases. Whether in the inpatient or outpatient setting, we are fortunate to be a part of children's journey to health and wellness. UC Davis offers a dedicated team of physician subspecialists, nurses, respiratory specialists, child life specialists, and social works all prioritizing pediatric health. I am honored to work with this inspiring group of individuals and with the patients and families in our community to optimize the management of respiratory diseases in children.
Dr. Willen is a board certified provider in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology as well as Pediatric Pulmonology. She has a clinical interest in asthma, obstructive sleep apnea, and pulmonary vascular diseases as well as lung complications for patients with sickle cell disease such as acute chest syndrome, pulmonary hypertension, and chronic lung disease of sickle cell.
Dr. Willen's research focuses on improving the care for children with pulmonary complications of sickle cell disease, specifically the management of asthma and identification of risk factors for acute chest syndrome. She also has interest in lung changes and complications following chemotherapy and radiation treatments.
B.S., Human & Organizational Development, Vanderbilt University, Nashville TN 2004
M.D., Albany Medical College, Albany NY 2011
Pediatrics, Duke University, Durham NC 2011-2012
Pediatrics, Duke University, Durham NC 2012-2014
Pediatric Pulmonology, UC San Francisco, San Francisco CA 2019-2021
Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, Vanderbilt University, Nashville TN 2015-2018
Willen SM, Klings ES, Mandel J, Vichinsky E, Hollingsworth H, Tirnauer J. Overview of the pulmonary complications of sickle cell disease. UpToDate. 2020 Apr. Review.
Willen SM, McNeil JB, Rodeghier M, Kerchberger VE, Shaver CM, Bastarache JA, Steinberg MH, DeBaun MR, Ware LB. Haptoglobin genotype predicts severe acute vaso-occlusive pain episodes in children with sickle cell anemia. Am J Hematol. 2020 Apr;95(4):E92-E95. doi:10.1002/ajh.25728. Epub 2020 Jan 30. PMID:31919880.
Willen SM, Rodeghier M, DeBaun MR. Asthma in children with sickle cell disease. Curr Opin Pediatr. 2019 Jun;31(3):349-356. doi:10.1097/MOP.0000000000000756. PMID:31090576.
Stewart JT, Willen SM, Cohen R, Rodeghier M, Kirkham F, Redline SS, Rosen C, Kirkby J, DeBaun MR. BMI percentile is an independent predictor of increase in lung function in children with sickle cell anemia. Am J Hematol. 2019 May;94(5):E136-E138. doi:10.1002/ajh.25433. Epub 2019 Feb 23. PMID:30734355.
Willen SM, DeBaun MR. The Epidemiology and Management of Lung Diseases in Sickle Cell Disease: Lessons Learned from Acute and Chronic Lung Disease in Cystic Fibrosis. Pediatr Clin North Am. 2018 Jun;65(3):481-493. doi:10.1016/j.pcl.2018.01.007. PMID:29803278.
Willen SM, Rodeghier M, Strunk RC, Bacharier LB, Rosen CL, Kirkham FJ, DeBaun MR, Cohen RT. Aeroallergen sensitization predicts acute chest syndrome in children with sickle cell anaemia. Br J Haematol. 2018 Feb;180(4):571-577. doi:10.1111/bjh.15076. Epub 2018 Jan 24. PMID:29363738.
Vance Utset L, Ivy Z, Willen SM, Rodeghier M, Watt A, Schilling L, Jenkins CL, Pepper S, Speller-Brown B, Darbari DS, Majumdar S, Adisa O, DeBaun MR. Inhaled corticosteroid use to prevent severe vaso-occlusive episode recurrence in children between 1 and 4 years of age with sickle cell disease: a multicenter feasibility trial. Am J Hematol. 2018 Aug;93(4):E101-E103. doi:10.1002/ajh.25033. Epub 2018 Feb 5. PMID:29322539.
Willen SM, Rodeghier M, Rosen CL, DeBaun MR. Sleep disordered breathing does not predict acute severe pain episodes in children with sickle cell anemia. Am J Hematol. 2018 Aug;93(4):478-485. doi:10.1002/ajh.25013. Epub 2018 Jan 25. PMID:29266432.
Willen SM, Cohen R, Rodeghier M, Kirkham F, Redline SS, Rosen C, Kirkby J, DeBaun MR. Age is a predictor of a small decrease in lung function in children with sickle cell anemia. Am J Hematol. 2018 Mar;93(3):408-415. doi:10.1002/ajh.25003. Epub 2018 Jan 25. PMID:29226507.
Willen SM, Gladwin MT. What is the role of screening for pulmonary hypertension in adults and children with sickle cell disease? Hematology Am Soc Hematol Educ Program. 2017 Dec 8;2017(1):431-434. doi:10.1182/asheducation-2017.1.431. PMID:29222289.