Harbor-UCLA Pediatrics

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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."

Join The Fight Against Heart Disease: Walk, Design, and Donate! - 10/01/2013

Join in the fight against Heart Disease on November 10th, 2013 when Harbor Pediatrics joins Los Angeles County and the American Heart Association in Heart Walk 2013.

There are three ways to participate:


Join Patty Quan's team and thousands of others as they walk to raise awareness and money for research. Nine spots remain. Click here to join.

Dr. Dickson and Team Awarded NIH Grant for MPS 1 Research - 09/27/2013

Dr. Patricia DicksonPatricia Dickson, MD, has been awarded a grant for her research on mucopolysaccharidosis I (MPS I).

The National Institutes of Health (NIH), through the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, has provided a five-year grant totaling $1.5 million. Leading a team of five from universities across the country, Dr. Dickson will use the very latest in brain imaging technology to study the brains of models with MPS I.

MPS I, also called Hurler, Hurler-Scheie, or Scheie syndrome, causes physical and neurological damage. It usually begins at childhood and results in severe disability and early death.

Child Life Halloween 2013 Needs Donations - 09/17/2013

Halloween is nearly upon us and Child Life Services is in need of donations for its annual festivities. This year, Child Life Halloween will be celebrated on Halloween, Thursday, October 31st, with our hospitalized children on 6E Ward and Pediatric Clinic. CoachArt will be providing Halloween themed activities for our kids in the clinic.

Due to strict dietary restrictions, we kindly ask that any non-edible donations be put in trick-or-treat bags. We ask for a quantity to accommodate approximately 50 patients.

Here are some gift ideas:

  • Stickers
  • Notepads
  • Journals
  • Erasers
  • Hand-held electronic games
  • Matchbox Cars
  • Pencils
  • Markers
  • Activity/Coloring books
  • Rattles
  • CDs
  • We don't want to forget our infants and teen population
  • Gift Cards to nearby food chains for Older Teen/Adults patients

Summer Project: Summer Fellow Records Beating Heart Cells - 09/17/2013

Every summer, the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA (LA BioMed) recruits recent high-school graduates from around the area to participate in their Summer Fellowship program. (LA BioMed is where Harbor-UCLA Pediatrics faculty conduct their research).

Michelina Iacovino, Ph.D.This year, a student in the laboratory of Principal Investigator Michelina Iacovino, Ph.D., recorded an experiment of a dish of contracting cardiomyocytes generated from embryonic stem cells from mice. In the video, you can see the cells contracting in a coordinated manner all at the same time.

The purpose of this, Dr. Iacovino says, is to understand how a transcription factor, called HoxA3, affects the production of cardiomyocytes.

Dr. Tom Kallay & The Simulation and Skills Center Take Center Stage - 09/10/2013

Dr. Tom Kallay on LA NOW

Tom Kallay, M.D. and the Harbor-UCLA Simulation and Skills Center were recently showcased on LA Now, the Los Angeles County regional news program. Dr. Kallay is the director of the center, which provides skills training with simulations using high fidelity mannequins.

The mission of the Center is to promote patient safety and clinical outcomes by integrating simulation technology into the current educational curriculum for all healthcare practitioners and students at Harbor-UCLA.

NICHD Interviews Dr. Rehan Regarding Transgenerational Asthma - 08/29/2013

Virender Rehan, M.D.Dr. Virender Rehan and a team of collaborators recently published a landmark study using laboratory rats, showing that the risk of asthma is not only limited to the children of women who smoke but also passes to grandchildren and even great-grandchildren.

The NICHD interviewed Dr. Rehan about the discovery as part of their series of conversations they do with NICHD scientists and grantees.

"...a large body of evidence suggests that nicotine might be a key ingredient in cigarette smoke that accounts for childhood asthma following smoke exposure during pregnancy. Supporting this, there is strong experimental and clinical evidence showing that, on exposure of the developing fetus, nicotine crosses the human placenta with minimal biotransformation."

- Dr. Virender Rehan in NIH interview

Stuttering Not Deeply Harmful to Children, Says Study - 08/26/2013

Kid talking to adultConcerned parents file into the offices of pediatricians for a multitude of reasons. Many of those reasons are serious, some less so. According to a new study, stuttering should fall into the latter category.

Done by public health researchers in Australia in a study published online today and in print by Pediatrics of AAP in September, the study showed that contrary to what was previously believed, kids who stutter have a higher aptitude in verbal and non-verbal tests than their non-stuttering counterparts. Furthermore, kids who stutter have no ascertainable social impediments.

Study: Delayed Diagnosis for Latino Children with Autism - 08/19/2013

According to a study to be published in the September issue of AAP Pediatrics, Latino children are more likely to get a delayed diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Two hundred and sixty-seven California primary care pediatricians were surveyed on the topic of identifying Latino children with ASD. Ninety percent of the surveyed pediatricians did not do the recommended developmental screenings for ASD in Spanish.

When pressed for reasons for the poor identification rates, pediatricians cited menial access, bad communication, and cultural barriers.

While language barriers are an obvious contributor to the late diagnoses, the most frequent hurdle to timely ASD identification for Latino children was access to developmental specialists. Most surveyed pediatricians believed that parents of Latino children were less knowledgeable about ASDs than white parents.

Even when surveys were done as recommended in Spanish for Latino children, pediatricians said they experienced greater difficulty assessing for ASD, compared to white children.