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A Harbor-UCLA Dietitian Weighs in on Smart Snacks - 07/15/2013

Smart SnacksA few weeks ago the USDA released its new standards for snacks in schools that will go into effect next school year in 2014. These new guidelines will form the minimum required standard for nutritional options in cafeterias made available to children across the country. Christine Hoyer, a registered dietitian with Harbor-UCLA Medical Center had kind words to say about the new guidelines.

When asked, she said this is something she and other clinical dietitians have been clamoring for. "Myself and my other team members at Harbor are always trying to increase healthy foods in our patients diets, so these changes [in schools] are very welcome."

The USDA reviewed nearly 250,000 comments from parents, teachers, school food service professionals, and the food and beverage industry when coming up with the new guidelines.

Harbor-UCLA Welcomes Dr. Yang Lu - 07/11/2013

Dr. Yang LuAs the obesity epidemic continues to rage on, intrepid researchers are required to tackle this issue that looms over so many and threatens our prosperity. One such person stepping up to the job is new faculty member Yang Lu, PhD., who is joining us as a Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Principal Investigator.

Dr. Yang comes to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center by way of the University of Southern California where she was Assistant Professor of Research in the Department of Pediatrics and Price School of Public Policy, after being a Scholar-in-Residence. Prior to that, she received her PhD in Policy Analysis from Pardee RAND Graduate School where she became a Post-Doctoral Fellow.

When asked what attracted her to Harbor-UCLA, she cited the "supportive environment and the opportunity to develop a research program in health outcomes."

New Medical Genetics Experts Joining Harbor-UCLA Medical Center - 07/10/2013

Doctors Rotter, Taylor and ChenThe Department of Pediatrics is pleased to announce that this summer, a new team is joining our ranks to begin a new institute that is focused on improving the health of the diverse communities served by Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. Please join us in welcoming Jerome Rotter, M.D., Kent Taylor, Ph.D., Ida Chen, Ph.D., and Xiuqing Guo, Ph.D.

Dr. Rotter and his team are pioneers in their field, specializing in the study of the genetics of common chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension. Their research is hyper-focused on the effects of these diseases in Hispanics, African-Americans and Asians, facilitating a more personalized diagnosis for patients which reflect the diversity of Harbor-UCLA.

Dr. Rotter and his colleagues will found the LA BioMed Institute for Translational Genomics and Population Sciences. They will make use of core technologies used to analyze genomics – the entirety of a human’s genetic makeup.

Dr. Patricia Dickson Receives Grant for MPS I Research - 07/09/2013

Dr. Patricia DicksonDr. Patricia Dickson, Professor of Pediatrics, Division of Medical Genetics, is the recipient of a grant from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to study mucopolysaccharidosis I (MPS I).

The grant will provide funds for Dr. Dickson to test whether improved effectiveness resulting from early enzyme therapy for treatment of MPS I occurs because of a diminished humoral immune response against the enzyme.

MPS I, also called Hurler, Hurler-Scheie, or Scheie syndrome, causes physical and neurological damage, usually beginning in childhood and resulting in severe disability and early death. MPS I patients are partially treated via enzyme replacement therapy, requiring lifelong hospital visits for intravenous administration.

Congratulations to The Class of 2013 Graduates! - 07/05/2013

2013 Residency Graduates
The annual Pediatric Resident Graduation and Awards Dinner took place on June 15th at the Long Beach Hyatt Hotel.

Congratulations to all of our graduates!

Having a Fun and Safe Independence Day - 07/03/2013

Safe Independence DayTomorrow when we celebrate our Independence Day, many children will end up hospitalized from mishandling fireworks.

In 2011, U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated about 9,600 people for fireworks related injuries. In 2010, 61% of emergency room fireworks-related injuries were to the extremities and 34% were to the head. The risk of fireworks injury was highest for children ages 5-19.

Although we see fireworks stands on just about every corner, fireworks are not permitted everywhere. In fact, many cities have out-right banned fireworks for personal use. Be sure to check with your local police department to determine whether or not fireworks are allowed in your area.

As an alternative, consider taking your children to a professionally handled fireworks show. Kids can have just as much fun watching a spectacular show with fireworks reaching closer to the stars at a local park or any venue with professionals at hand.

Tips on Staying Safe

New USDA Standards Aim to Ensure Healthy School Foods - 07/03/2013

Smart Snacks"Smart Snacks" are coming to a school near you.

Nearly one third of children in America are at risk for preventable diseases like diabetes and heart disease due to being overweight or obese. If left unaddressed, health experts tell us that this generation may be the first to live shorter lives than their parents.

While the school lunches have their own criteria of health to measure up to, school snacks sold in vending machines can be just as detrimental to children's overall health. As a result, the Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 required the USDA to come up with new nutrition standards for all foods sold in schools, not just the federally-funded meals program. Smart Snacks in Schools will provide "healthy options throughout school cafeterias, vending machines, and snack bars will support their great efforts," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack."

Dr. Jennifer Yee Receives Grant to Begin Fitness Clinic - 07/02/2013

Dr. Jennifer YeeCongratulations are in order for Assistant Professor Jennifer Yee M.D. who has received a grant from UniHealth Foundation to begin The Be Forever Fit Program here at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center.

Dr. Yee plans to establish The Be Forever Fit Program as a pediatric weight management clinic that will be modeled after the ultra successful UCLA FIT Clinic, but this two-year project will be tailored to serve the more unique patient population of Harbor-UCLA.

The clinic will strengthen the primary care physician's role in obesity evaluation and management through resident education, and provide the community's other clinics with a resource for managing their own obese patients. Participants can expect such perks as referrals to their local YMCA.

Dr. Yee completed her pediatric endocrinology fellowship training here at Harbor-UCLA and became a faculty member in 2007. Her main research interest is in the mechanisms of the development of obesity.

Tools of the Trade: Mendeley - 07/01/2013

Mendeley Review

This review of Mendeley kicks off a new series called Tools of the Trade. We'll review technology that we find useful and share them with you. Our reviews are not bought or paid for.

Mendeley Review

Mendeley is a free reference managing service and software. Reference managing software enables automatic bibliography generation when writing papers, book chapters, articles, and grants. Mendeley is a web-based app and site that lets you access your library from anywhere. To start using Mendeley, you create an account on their website and install the Mendeley Desktop software. The software allows you to not only add citations, but also store and annotate your PDFs directly from within the program. Because Mendeley Desktop synchronizes with the website, you can then access your library and read your PDF files from anywhere by logging in to mendeley.com.

Lori West, MD, DPhil, Receives the First Harbor-UCLA Pediatrics Alumni Award for Professional Achievement - 06/14/2013

Lori West, M.D.

Lori West, MD, D.Phil, Professor of Pediatrics, Director, Canadian National Transplant Research Program and Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Cardiac Transplantation at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada, and Former President of the International Society of Heart and Lung Transplantation has been chosen as the first recipient of the Harbor-UCLA Department of Pediatrics' Alumni Award for Professional Achievement. This award honors a graduate of the Harbor-UCLA Pediatric Residency Program who has achieved excellence in research, education, or advocacy.