Premier CHOC leukemia and immunotherapy conference draws international experts

A premier CHOC Children’s symposium centered around the complex issues facing pediatric leukemia patients drew more than 150 international leaders in the field of children’s leukemia treatment and research. This two-day conference had 33 speakers from various renowned institutions.

Building on the scientific foundation and exchange of information established in the gathering’s five-year history, attendees of the 2018 Society of Young Adult Oncology (SAYAO)/CHOC Children’s Leukemia Symposium shared the latest scientific and clinical advances in acute leukemia, specifically immunotherapy.

CHOC Children’s physician Dr. Van T. Huynh, chaired the symposium and presented her research on asparaginase therapy and silent inactivation.

Titled “From Pediatric to Adult Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia – The Age of Cellular Therapy,” the Nov. 5 and 6 symposia focused largely on CAR-T cell therapy and new agents for the treatment of acute leukemia. Specific topics included:

  • an update on CAR-T cell products and trials;
  • the future of CD 19, CD22 and NK CAR cell trials;
  • the economics of CAR-T cell therapy;
  • update on leukemia therapy for pediatrics and adolescent and young adults; and
  • supportive care and oncofertility for the leukemia patient.
The symposium drew more than 150 international pediatric leukemia leaders and 33 speakers from various renowned institutions.

The symposium was chaired by CHOC physician Dr. Van T. Huynh, who also presented her research on asparaginase therapy and silent inactivation. CHOC physician Dr. Carol Lin discussed toxicity and management of asparaginase therapy.

Learn more about referring a patient to the Hyundai Cancer Institute at CHOC Children’s.

CHOC Children’s PICU Earns Gold Beacon Award Recognizing Exceptional Patient Care for Third Time

The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) recently conferred a gold-level Beacon Award for Excellence in the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) at CHOC Children’s Hospital. This is the third time CHOC has earned the gold-level distinction.

The Beacon Award for Excellence recognizes unit caregivers who successfully improve patient outcomes and align practices with AACN’s six Healthy Work Environment Standards. Units that achieve this three-year, three-level award with gold, silver or bronze designations meet national criteria consistent with Magnet Recognition, the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award and the National Quality Healthcare Award.

“The Beacon Award for Excellence recognizes caregivers in stellar units whose consistent and systematic approach to evidence-based care optimizes patient outcomes,” explains AACN President, Clareen Wiencek, RN, PhD, ACNP, ACHPN. “Units that receive this national recognition serve as role models to others on their journey to excellent patient and family care.”

CHOC’s PICU earned a gold award, the highest designation, by meeting the following evidence-based Beacon Award for Excellence criteria:

  • leadership structures and systems;
  • appropriate staffing and staff engagement;
  • effective communication, knowledge management, learning and development;
  • evidence-based practice and processes; and
  • outcome measurement.

“This award is further validation of our entire pediatric intensive care team’s dedication to the highest standards of patient safety and care,” says Melanie Patterson, RN, MHA, DNP, vice president, patient care services and chief nursing officer, CHOC Children’s Hospital. “We are entrusted with caring for some of the sickest and most medically fragile patients, and our goal is to deliver the best possible outcomes for them and their families.”

About the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses: Founded in 1969 and based in Aliso Viejo, Calif., the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) is the largest specialty nursing organization in the world. AACN joins together the interests of more than 500,000 acute and critical care nurses and claims more than 235 chapters worldwide. The organization’s vision is to create a healthcare system driven by the needs of patients and their families in which acute and critical care nurses make their optimal contribution. To learn more about AACN, visit www.aacn.org.

Dr. Stanley Galant Recognized by the American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology

Dr. Stanley Galant, medical director of the CHOC Children’s Breathmobile has been recognized by the American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) with the 2019 AAAAI Outstanding Volunteer Clinical Faculty Award. This award is being presented to Dr. Galant for his outstanding contributions and diligent work in helping to advance knowledge in and treatment of allergic disease; specifically, in recognition of service to the University of California Irvine allergy/immunology training program as a teacher and mentor.

CHOC’s Breathmobile, the only mobile asthma clinic dedicated to serving preschool and school-aged children in Orange County, removes barriers for children and their families who may be unable to travel or pay for preventive asthma care.

Among Dr. Galant’s achievements, in 2017, he received the Robert M. Zweig, M.D., Memorial Award from the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) for his longtime work to help children with asthma in the community.

Dr. Galant will be recognized at an awards luncheon held at the 2019 AAAAI Annual Meeting in San Francisco on February 23.

CHOC Children’s Hospital Achieves Magnet® Recognition Again

CHOC Children’s Hospital has again attained Magnet recognition, a testament to its continued dedication to high-quality nursing practice.

The American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Magnet Recognition Program® distinguishes healthcare organizations that meet rigorous standards for nursing excellence. This credential is the highest national honor for professional nursing practice.

Receiving Magnet recognition for the third time marks a significant achievement for CHOC Orange as it continues to proudly belong to the global community of Magnet-recognized organizations. Currently, fewer than 500 U.S. healthcare organizations out of more than 6,300 U.S. hospitals have achieved Magnet recognition.

“Magnet recognition is a tremendous honor and reflects our commitment to delivering the highest quality of care to Orange County and beyond,” said Melanie Patterson, CHOC’s vice president of patient care services and chief nursing officer. “To earn Magnet recognition once was a great accomplishment and an incredible source of pride for our nurses, but our repeated achievement of this credential underscores the foundation of excellence and values that drive our entire staff to strive harder each day to meet the healthcare needs of the patients and families we serve.”

Research demonstrates that Magnet recognition provides specific benefits to healthcare organizations and their communities, such as:

◾higher patient satisfaction with nurse communication, availability of help, and receipt of discharge information;

◾lower risk of 30-day mortality and lower failure to rescue rates;

◾higher job satisfaction among nurses; and

◾lower nurse reports of intentions to leave their positions.

Magnet recognition is the gold standard for nursing excellence and is a factor when the public judges health care organizations. U.S. News & World Report’s annual showcase of “America’s Best Hospitals” includes Magnet recognition in its ranking criteria for quality of inpatient care.

The Magnet Model provides a framework for nursing practice, research, and measurement of outcomes. Through this framework, ANCC evaluates applicants across several components and dimensions to gauge an organization’s nursing excellence.

The foundation of this model comprises various elements deemed essential to delivering superior patient care. These include the quality of nursing leadership and coordination and collaboration across specialties, as well as processes for measuring and improving the quality and delivery of care.

To achieve initial Magnet recognition, organizations must pass a rigorous and lengthy process that demands widespread participation from leadership and staff. This process includes an electronic application, written patient care documentation, an on-site visit, and a review by the Commission on Magnet Recognition.

Healthcare organizations must reapply for Magnet recognition every four years based on adherence to Magnet concepts and demonstrated improvements in patient care and quality. An organization reapplying for Magnet recognition must provide documented evidence to demonstrate how staff members sustained and improved Magnet concepts, performance and quality over the four-year period since the organization received its most recent recognition.

“We’re a better organization today because of the Magnet recognition,” Patterson said. “Magnet recognition raised the bar for patient care and inspired every member of our team to achieve excellence every day. It is this commitment to providing our community with high-quality care that helped us become a Magnet-recognized organization, and it’s why we continue to pursue and maintain Magnet recognition.”

Using Imagination to Help Heal Through Guided Imagery – Helpful Tips for your Patients

Guided imagery, a therapeutic technique that has been used for centuries, involves creating images in the mind which can help reduce pain, stress, and other symptoms associated with a patient’s condition. Further, the technique includes envisioning a certain goal to help cope with health problems or the task or skill a child is trying to learn or master.

Guided imagery is offered at CHOC Children’s as part of our integrative health services. The experts at CHOC teach patients to imagine sights, sounds, smells, tastes or other sensations to create a kind of daydream that “removes” them from or gives them control over their present situation.

Your patients can practice the technique with these six useful tips:

  1. Close your eyes.
  2. Take 3-5 deep belly breaths.
  3. It’s time to imagine you are going to your special place. Where would you like to go? If you could be anywhere in the world at this moment, where would you be?
  4. When you have picked out a place, picture yourself there. Through your mind, you can be at this place as if this were really happening.
  5. Use your daydreaming skills and think about every little thing that makes this place and experience just as you like it. What do you see, taste, touch, hear and smell?
  6. Be aware of how comfortable your body feels when you imagine yourself in this place. You may notice your breathing slow down and your muscles feel looser as your whole body starts to relax.

Click here for more tips, including audio clips from CHOC’s pediatric psychologists that help guide patients through scenarios to help them feel better.