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Get to Know Dr. Graham - 05/05/2014

In 1965, 18-year-old John M. Graham, Jr. took first place in the International Science Fair in Zoology. His winning presentation: "Origin of Melanophores from the Neural Crest in the Chicken Embryo." His prize: $100 in scientific equipment or books of his choice. A half century later and he's still at it with the embryos. Only now he's working less with chickens and more with children.

When asked when he knew he wanted to be a medical geneticist, Dr. Graham confirmed what his first prize coup foretold. "I've been interested in embryos since high school. And in college I did research in embryology and eventually I realized that I was probably going to need to go to medical school to learn how to be a medical geneticist."

Super Heroes Gathering for Comic Giveaway - 04/30/2014

Before kids decide they want to be doctors or police officers, they spend their childhoods wholeheartedly ruminating on their future career as Superman and Batman, respectively. Ambitious career choices, indeed. And well-meaning, to be sure.

On Tuesday, May 6th, Child Life Services will promote their lofty goals by playing host to a cadre of some of the most popular Super Heroes. The Super Hero gathering will be from 11am to 1pm, beginning in Pediatric Outpatient Clinic before heading to the 6E Ward, NICU, PICU, and ED. Jun Goeku from Neurology, who owns The Comic Bug in Manhattan Beach, will be on hand to donate comic books to children and he may even have toys as well. All are encouraged to share in the Super Hero extravaganza – children who are not in the hospital can also catch the Super Heroes in clinic.

For more details, contact:
Melissa Hebron-Abo, CCLS
Director of Child Life Services
(310) 222-2130

Dr. Berkowitz Receives Ray E. Helfer Award - 04/25/2014

The Ray E. Helfer Society bestowed Dr. Carol D. Berkowitz with its highest honor, the 2014 Ray E. Helfer Award, for her outstanding work on behalf of children.

Dr. Berkowitz accepted the award this month at the society's annual meeting. Former and current fellows are pictured with Dr. Berkowitz: Catherine DeRidder MD, Gauri Kolhatkar MD, Carol Berkowitz MD, Melissa Egge MD, and Kelly Callahan MD.

Dr. Ray E. Helfer was a pediatrician and educator. He helped research the origins of abuse and neglect and also developed methods of detection, treatment and prevention. Recipients of his namesake award uphold his virtues by protecting the most vulnerable in our society.

Faculty and Graduates Recognized by LA Magazine as 2014 Southern California "Super Doctors" - 04/23/2014

Congratulations to 22 Harbor Pediatrics faculty members and graduates who were named 2014 Southern California "Super Doctors" in Los Angeles Magazine. The feature is a yearly survey that the magazine conducts. Harbor-UCLA Pediatrics usually has a strong presence in the feature, and this year is no exception in this year's iteration of the survey.

The physicians were chosen for this honor through a rigorous peer-review selection process that ensures that only the top 5 percent of the area's doctors would be recognized with this distinction. The "Super Doctors" are known as pioneers in their fields and all have a distinguished track record of professional excellence.

Among the many Harbor-UCLA physicians listed, 14 were from pediatrics:

Sudhir Anand, M.D., Division of Pediatric Nephrology
Carol Berkowitz, M.D., Division of General and Emergency Pediatrics
Charles Grob, M.D., Division of Child Psychiatry

Marianne Gausche-Hill, MD Receives 2014 National ACEP EMS Award - 04/21/2014

Congratulations to Marianne Gausche-Hill, MD, Chief of the Division of Pediatric Emergency Medicine and Vice Chair in our Department, for receiving the 2014 National EMS Award from the American College of Emergency Physicians.

This award is presented to a single individual who "has made an outstanding contribution in EMS of national significance or application" and recognizes Marianne’s multiple and substantial contributions to the care of children in the prehospital and emergency department domains.

Marianne was the lead investigator of the largest randomized trial ever conducted evaluating different methods of managing the airway and supporting ventilation for critically ill and injured children in the prehospital setting. This remarkable trial was published in JAMA back in 2000 and set the standard to this type of research.

Autism Spectrum Disorder Prevalance Now Up to 1-in-68 - 04/16/2014

April is Autism Awareness month. A small torrent of studies has recently been released, the most recent and most chilling among them is the report by the AAP -- "Autism prevalence now 1 in 68, varies by sex, race/ethnic group." -- makes the spreading of awareness all the more important.

The jump in prevalence represents a 30% increase, according to the survey, leading many researchers to now describe the occurrence of autism spectrum as common.

The study found the following:

  • Intellectual ability of children with ASD varies greatly. About half of the children have average or above-average intellectual ability (i.e., IQ above 85) compared to only one-third 10 years ago.
  • Boys remain more likely to be identified with ASD with one in 42 diagnosed compared with one in 189 girls.
  • Prevalence also varied by racial/ethnic group, with non-Hispanic white children 30% more likely to be identified than non-Hispanic black children and 50% more likely than Hispanic children

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month - 04/09/2014

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. This month and throughout the year, everyone is encouraged to play a role in making Harbor Pediatrics a better place for children and families. By ensuring that parents have the knowledge, skills, and resources they need to care for their children, we can help promote children's social and emotional well-being and prevent child maltreatment within families and communities.

Research shows that when parents possess six protective factors, the risk for neglect and abuse diminish and optimal outcomes for children, youth, and families are promoted. The six protective factors are:

• Nurturing and attachment: Encouraging nurturing and strong attachment relationships between children and their caregivers.
• Knowledge of parenting and of child and youth development: Enhancing skills in positive parenting/teaching (disciplining) and in understanding child development
• Parental resilience: Asking screening questions to parents about mental health and safety

Harbor-UCLA Pediatrics "Resident Spotlight" on Drs Karandikar, Gotesman, and Mehra - 04/07/2014

Drs. Mehra, Gotesman, Karandikar, Dasgupta, and Mrs. DasguptaLeft to Right: Drs. Mehra, Gotesman, Karandikar, Dasgupta, and Mrs. Dasgupta

For the denizens of rural Guatemala, access to medicine is sparse, and more advanced medicine like surgeries are out of reach. The resources that are available, such as the state-of-the-art facilities in Guatemala City, are not accessed by enough people due to the lack of traveling means. Many aren't even even aware the facilities exist. Including the usual sicknesses that people contract, the people of Guatemala face the highest rate of chronic child malnutrition in the Western hemisphere, with rates often higher than 80% in rural areas.

Since 2007, Dr. Shom Dasgupta has been going to Guatemala as a fieldworker and staff physician for the non-profit organization Wuqu' Kawoq. We profiled his work here in a Resident Spotlight in 2011.

Meet the 2014 Interns - 03/24/2014

Welcome the interns of 2014!

Anita Baghaee
Oregon Health & Science University School of Medicine
B.A. in Biology from University of California, Los Angeles

While at OHSU, Dr. Baghaee contributed to a study that revealed multiple barriers to autism screening and diagnosis in Latino children. She also participated in many volunteer activities in the OHSU community. Her hobbies are cooking, hiking and kayaking.

Diana Chen
Chicago Medical School at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine & Science
B.A. in Molecular Biology

She is an Albert Schweitzer Fellow doing work with PrimeCare. During medical school, she spent a summer in China as a student intern. She has been inducted in the Golden Humanism Medical Society at her school. Her hobbies include tennis, piano and knitting.

Joel Eidelson
Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine

Dr. Rohit Passi to join Division of Neonatology - 03/20/2014

Rohit Passi, MD, has accepted a faculty position in the Division of Neonatology. Dr. Passi is currently completing his fellowship at Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital and plans to begin at Harbor-UCLA Pediatrics in July of 2014.

Dr. Passi's research interests include the physiologic effects of grounding preterm infants in the NICU, which he presented last year at the American Academy of Pediatrics' 36th Mid-Atlantic Conference on Perinatal Research in Charlottesville, Virginia.