News and Events
Left 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.
Welcome the interns of 2014!
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.
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.
Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine
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.
Dr. Ruey-Kang Chang, pediatric cardiologist, was tired of seeing babies with a delayed diagnosis of heart disease. He decided to do something about it, and literally went to the drawing board to invent ways to help them.
A second baby has been found to be cured of HIV/AIDS at Miller Children's Hospital in Long Beach. Dr. Jag Batra, a pediatric infectious disease physician here at Harbor-UCLA and Miller Children's Hospital, is a part of the medical group that worked on the case.
Four hours after birth, the baby was tested for HIV and immediately started on a drug regimen -- a high dosage usually reserved for the amount that is used to treat the virus.
What is now apparent is that early treatment is what kills the virus before it is able to take root. Doctors caution that the word cure not be used because on-going treatment is still necessary for the baby. Doctors will consider pausing treatment at some point to see if the baby is still virus-free at age 2.
The mother of the now HIV-free baby is mentally ill and did not take the drugs prescribed to her that would have protected her baby.
Dr. Jerome Rotter has been featured in the February edition of American Health Journal on the topic of "Personalized Medicine." The segment, which airs February 28th at 5:30pm on KOCE/PBS SoCal Public Television, is on the topic of Personalized Medicine, and is also available online right now.
In the on-camera appearance, Dr. Rotter emphasizes the importance of personalized medicine representing the entire mosaic of patient populations, a similar chord he strummed in our interview of him this past October in which he praised the diverse patient population of Harbor-UCLA and cited it as a principle reason for his choosing to come to Harbor-UCLA.
On Tuesday February 11, Harbor Pediatrics received a much appreciated donation of books for our pediatric patients from the Westerly School in Long Beach. The books were donated and delivered by 4th and 5th grade students from Westerly.
The students said it did not take them long to gather the books. "We got all the books and organized them yesterday," said 4th grader Kaaya whose favorite book is "The Kingdom Keepers". Dr. Adam Jonas, Chair of Pediatrics, wondered who did "all the heavy lifting." "All of us," they chorused in perfect unison.
Fifth grader Samantha likes fantasy books; 5th grader Ivy likes the Hunger Games series; Tyler likes books with action, too. There were plenty of all those genres in the two large carts of books the students hauled in.
"Over one hundred," estimated Mr. David Perram, Director of Student Affairs at Westerly School who accompanied the students. The load skewed heavily towards fiction, including many classics, but also included a healthy number of useful encyclopedias, science, and history books as well.
Dr. Kenny Y.C. Kwong has a question directed at faculty, housestaff, nurse practitioners, and any other interested parties:
"Are you tired of seeing room after room of asthma kids in the ED? Getting tachy and cranky from second hand albuterol from a step down room full of wheezing patients? Feel like shouting 'WHY IS THERE SO MUCH ASTHMA?'"
Odds are, you have had that thought. Dr. Kwong is bringing in a guest lecturer to demystify asthma on February 20th.
Dr. Fernando Martinez from The University of Arizona will be presenting Grand Rounds "The Early Origins of Asthma: Insights from the 30th Anniversary of a Birth Cohort."
Dr. Martinez is a nationally and internationally renowned pediatric pulmonologist who has been pivotal in developing the current paradigms of asthma pathogenesis. He started the Tuscon respiratory cohort and Tuscon Respiratory study 30 years ago. Similar to other famous cohorts such as the Farmingham study, Dr. Martinez's cohort has been instrumental in developing the currently accepted theories of origins of asthma.
Several Harbor-UCLA pediatricians and LA BioMed faculty will be present and presenting at the 10th Annual WORLDSymposium 2014 which is being held in San Diego. The four day event brings together lysosomal storage disease researchers from across the world to share and discuss their various research and findings on the disease group.
Dr. Dickson, who has done impactful research on MPS I, will be co-chairing the Translational Research II portion of the symposium. During that time, LA BioMed researcher Shih-hsin Kan will be presenting on his collaboration for a new treatment on MPS III using Intracerebroventricular enzyme replacement therapy.
Pediatric patients on Monday morning who were up early for a hospital visit were greeted in the child life playroom by Girl Scouts and theater students in the guise of beloved Disney characters: Princess Jasmine, Merida from Brave, Megera from Hercules, Peter Pan, and the Fairy Godmother.
Sarah Strangeland, along with her classmates from Chino Hills High theater class came up with the idea for Princess Tea for her Girl Scout project. The princesses crowned patients with paper crowns and supplied plenty of arts and craft activities for the children.
I asked one of the visitors, who would only go by the name Cinderella, what she got out of the experience. "Playing with the kids is my favorite part," she said. "Making them smile hopefully makes them feel better. The feeling I get making these kids smile is indescribable."
In all, 48 bookmark crafts, 48 valentines day bear crafts, 48 paper crowns, and 100 princess stickers were donated.
Thanks to the following for dressing up and spreading Disney magic: