Harbor-UCLA Pediatrics

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Pediatric Resident Kelly Vasant Accepts Hospitalist Position at UCLA - 12/06/2013

Third year pediatric resident Kelly Vasant, MD, has recently accepted a position at UCLA to be a pediatric hospitalist.

Dr. Vasant reminisced on her time at Harbor Pediatrics as she prepared to embark on a new phase of her career.

"I was applying for Match in 2011, but I got lucky when someone from Harbor was leaving and they asked me to start early."

Kelly joined Harbor Pediatrics in January 2011 after graduating from Ross University School of Medicine. She completed her undergraduate degree at UC San Diego in Psychology and Health Care/Social Issues.

When asked what her experience at Harbor Pediatrics has taught her, she mentioned her role as doctor and advocate. "Going the extra mile for all your patients on a daily basis really has shown me how important and influential I am in the lives of patients," Vasant said. "I've written letters to immigration services to help mothers keep their immigration status to keep them from getting deported."

Harley Club Toy Ride Cycling in Christmas Cheer - 12/03/2013

Mark your calendars for Saturday, December 14th as Child Life Services hosts the Pinoy Harley Riders Club for the second year in a row when they make their 3rd Annual Toy Run Ride.

60 motorcycle riders will meet at Azon's Restaurant and ride (in style) to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center parking lot C on the corner of Carson and Vermont.

This event is only for our Harbor-UCLA pediatric patients. Patients and families from our CHP clinic will await the bikers ad they haul in donated toys. There, each child will receive a gift. And Santa won't forget the kids in the Ward unable to come down. Santa and kids will go upstairs to the 6E ward to carol and give toys to the kids who weren't able to go to the parking lot. And expect to see Harley in the ward as well!

This year is expected to be bigger and better than last year. Please encourage your staff to show support to our donors.

Reminder: This is not a public event. It is for hospitalized children and families. Harbor-UCLA pediatric patients only.

2 Santas
50 Harley Motorcycles
Gifts and Caroling


10 Questions: Alexander Lau, M.D. - 11/15/2013

In a new series being kicked off today, the interns of 2013 were asked 10 questions. Some of them are serious, others less so. Each brings us closer to knowing the inner-most workings of the doctor.


When did you know you wanted to be a pediatrician?
I knew I wanted to be a pediatrician when... I was about two weeks into my third year peds rotation.

If money were no object, what would you buy?
Since things of intangible value can't be directly purchased, I like fun socks, so maybe a few more pairs of those...also, one of those oversized jars of Nutella that are on display at every creperie storefront across Europe and a spare iPhone charger for night shifts.

What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?
Flying sans jet pack.

What product do you never go cheap on, for the sake of quality?
Food...not fancy food necessarily, but I try to avoid fast food as much as possible.

Alarm clock goes off in the morning…do you hit snooze?

Child Life Halloween 2013: A Great Success - 11/07/2013

Halloween was a success! There were costumed heroes, blood-sucking villains and a beautiful, breath-taking princess!

Thanks to Child Life Services for the awesome job they did in bringing Halloween to the pediatrics department. Kids dressed in provided costumes such as surgeon outfits and went trick-or-treating to various offices to receive gifts. Thank you to all who donated.

Harbor-UCLA Pediatricians in LA Business Journal - 11/04/2013

If you pick up a recent copy of Los Angeles Business Journal, you'll see some familiar names and faces.

Drs. Ruey-Kang Chang, Paul Lee, and Laszlo Boros are each featured prominently in the November 4-10 print issue of LA Business Journal. The article highlights the business acumen of these Harbor-UCLA pediatricians who each have turned their inventions and discoveries into profit in the private sector.

Dr. Ruey-Kan Chang is the chief executive officer of QT Medical, a company he founded that will commercialize Dr. Chang's inventions; among them is a baby monitor that prevents Sudden Infant Death Syndrom (SIDS).

Dr. Patricia Dickson Featured in The Daily Breeze for Work on Rare Disease - 11/04/2013

Dr. Patricia Dickson was recently featured in The Daily Breeze. The story highlights the work being done at Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center (LA BioMed) to treat MPS I, a rare disease that ravages the body of its victims.

The article chronicles the nightmare the Dant family went through when 3-year-old Ryan Dant was diagnosed with MPS I, and the hope they cling to after Ryan, now a college student, received Enzyme therapy developed atLA BioMed.

I still have this mental picture of my 3½-year-old son wiping the tears off my wife’s face as the doctor told us that Ryan had this disease for sure and that he would die by the time he was 10, absolutely by the time he was 15. And then he would be in a lot of pain before he died, possibly blind or deaf, mentally challenged, more than likely in a wheelchair.

- Mark Dant in The Daily Breeze

Harbor Pediatrics Gets Recognition at 27th Annual Productivity and Quality Awards - 10/23/2013

Harbor-UCLA Pediatrics received Certificates of Recognition on Oct. 16th at the 27th Annual Productivity and Quality Awards Program. The awards were given to two programs: Preventing Infant Death Thru Safe Sleep Promotion and Child Life Donors Support Harbor-UCLA Pediatric Patients.

The annual awards program is a time for the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, Chief Executive Office, and Quality and Productivity Commission to honor the work and dedication of County employees. As the project leaders for the two programs, Dr. Berkowitz attended the gala event which was held at the Dorothy Chandler Pavillion in Downtown Los Angeles. As director of Child Life Services, Melissa Hebron also attended the awards program.

Sixty-five departments from around the county submitted entries for recognition and members of the Productivity Managers Network and the Commission read and evaluated each proposal to identify the very best projects.

Harbor-UCLA Pediatrics: Inside Genomic Outcomes - 10/15/2013

Hanley-Hardison Research Center (HHRC) stands as a tall and modern building adjacent to smaller, decidedly more historic buildings. The division of Genomic Outcomes has made the lab its home base, doing truly impactful research.

The Genomic Outcomes team joined us this summer. It is directed by Jerome I. Rotter, MD, FACP, FACMG. He came to Harbor with a suite of geneticists including Kent Taylor, PhD, Ida Chen, PhD, and Xiuqing Guo, PhD.

Proud Parents: Drs. Suzy Rizi and Maritza Ruiz Welcome New Additions - 10/11/2013

Congratulations to alumnae Dr. Suzy Rizi, pediatric hospital medicine fellow at HarborPeds, and Dr. Maritza Ruiz, pediatric hematology/oncology fellow at CHOC, who each brought new babies into the world last month.

Delara Rose Mokhtari, was born September 1st at 5pm, weighing in at 6lbs and 4 ounces, 19.5 inches long, to proud parents Suzy and Dr. Rod Mokhtari.

Maxson Anthony Nguyen, was born September 2nd, weighing 7 pounds and 5 ounces, 19.7 inches long to proud parents Maritza and Dr. Son Nguyen.

Congratulations to all!

Music Therapy Sessions with Child Life Services - 10/08/2013

On a Tuesday morning, children should be in school or at home with their family. This isn't the reality for hospitalized children. In addition to not feeling well they are in an unfamiliar location visited by many stangers responsible for their care. They are teathered to IV machines and are often getting frequent blood draws and other procedures. This can cause a lot of anxiety for these children.

On the first Thursday of October, kids hospitalized on the pediatric ward are offered a small reprieve from the stress of being ill. Stacie Shewmake, MT-BC, a board certified music therapist, introduces the kids to the power of music.

For thirty minutes, the kids played along with Stacie making use of percussion drums, maracas, and the always popular triangle, among other instruments.

When asked what she tries to accomplish during music therapy sessions, Stacie said that she tries to alleviate stress.

"A hospital can be scary, so just being someone that comes in and doesn't want anything from them except some smiles and as much energy as they can muster."