Meet Dr. Perry Eisner

CHOC Children’s wants its referring physicians to get to know its specialists. Today, meet Dr. Perry Eisner, a pediatric anesthesiologist at CHOC Children’s at Mission Hospital.

Dr. Perry Eisner

Q: What is your education and training?
A: I attended the Ohio State University School of Medicine. My internship was in pediatrics at UC Irvine and with all of my rotations spent at CHOC. When UC Irvine no longer had their pediatric residents at CHOC, I transferred to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, where I completed my pediatric training. I then became board-certified in pediatrics, and in 1988, I began a specialized program at the main UCLA campus in Westwood that combined general anesthesiology residency with a fellowship in pediatric anesthesia and pediatric critical care medicine.

Q: Administrative appointments:
A: I have been the chief of surgery at CHOC Children’s at Mission Hospital for the past six years.

Q: What are your special clinical interests?

A: My interest is in making surgery as stress-free as possible for both my pediatric patients and their families.

Q: How long have you been on staff at CHOC
?
A: Twenty-one years

Q: What are your most common diagnoses?

A: My patients have a range of conditions. We have everything from trauma patients with brain injuries or children with orthopaedic injuries to kids with head and neck problems. It runs the gamut.

Q: What would you most like community/referring providers to know about you/your division at CHOC?
A: At CHOC at Mission, we have four fellowship-trained pediatric anesthesiologists and ensure that children undergoing surgery have not only the safest but also the best experience possible. There is not a hospital in the county that provides a higher level of care.

Q: What inspires you most about the care being delivered here at CHOC?
A: What inspires me the most is the dedication of the entire team that CHOC Children’s has assembled to care for pediatric surgical patients. From the surgeons and the nurses to the critical care physicians and the hospital-based physicians, it is a team that cannot be matched. We have practitioners that were trained in the finest facilities in the country and who care not only about delivering state-of-the-art care, but also care equally about reducing the stress of an illness or surgery for both our patients and their families.

Q: Why did you decide to become a doctor?
A: I became fascinated with medicine when I was in high school and worked in an emergency room in downtown Cleveland as an orderly. I have also loved interacting with children. I found that when one works with kids, you can take a horrifying and stressful situation and transform it into a minor event. That is my goal each day in the operating room.

Q: If you weren’t a physician, what would you be and why?
A: Honestly, I don’t know. It’s all I’ve ever wanted. I didn’t have a back-up plan. It’s not something I’d recommend, but it’s not something that I did. I didn’t have a plan B.

Q: What are your hobbies/interests outside of work?
A: My hobby is playing racquetball. I began playing 40 years ago and play two to three times per week.

Q: What have you learned from your patients?
A: With kids, when they’re going through something stressful, I find that if you can divert their attention by doing something that they think is funny or makes them laugh. I’ve learned though that this works for adults too. It seems so natural with kids, but it works just as well with adults as kids. When there’s something stressful going on, if you can divert your attention to something light or funny, it can get you through anything.

CHOC Opens Wing for Adolescent, Young Adult Cancer Patients

A new wing at the Hyundai Cancer Institute at CHOC Children’s will provide a customizable healing experience tailored for adolescent and young adult (AYA) patients.

The new AYA wing features a lounge area and four specially outfitted rooms dedicated to this unique patient population. Patient room amenities include vibrant paint colors and customizable wall art.

Dr. Leonard Sender, medical director of CHOC Children's Hyundai Cancer Institute, Kara Noskoff, CHOC child life specialist and Kimberly Chavalas Cripe, CHOC president and chief executive officer celebrate the opening of the inpatient infusionarium and lounge.
Dr. Leonard Sender, medical director of CHOC Children’s Hyundai Cancer Institute, Kara Noskoff, CHOC child life specialist, and Kimberly Chavalas Cripe, CHOC president and chief executive officer celebrate the opening of the inpatient infusionarium and lounge.

Taking a cue from the Infusionarium, which opened in 2014 inside CHOC’s outpatient infusion center, the lounge features large, vertically oriented television screens that create a similar immersive, healing environment for patients.

There, AYA patients have a dedicated place to play video games, watch television and movies, or just hang out with their peers. The lounge was developed by Reimagine Well, a company that uses emerging technologies and digital media to create immersive healing environments tailored to patients’ requests.

To develop these virtual scenarios, the company posed a question to patients: Where would you want to heal?

Nick Meza, a 20-year-old patient, immediately knew his answer. As a lifelong Californian and committed Eagle Scout, his life was dotted with dips in the pool, canoe adventures along the river, and seaside snorkeling expeditions before being diagnosed with cancer two years ago.

“It is when I am in the water that I find the serenity and courage to stay positive and focus on what is right with the world,” Nick says. “When I am in, around or close to a body of water, I forget about troubles and my life’s struggles and suddenly water becomes my life, my strength and my healing place.”

A young cinematographer was then paired with Nick to create an immersive film capturing life under the sea; additional videos explored healing scenarios suggested by other patients.

These films will be broadcasted on the large screens in the lounge, as well as on smaller-scale, portable multimedia stations in each of the wing’s patient rooms. The mobile units will also have access to educational, “cancer survival” videos and eBooks that feature CHOC experts.

The AYA wing dovetails with the Cancer Institute’s recognition that teens and young adult patients with cancer have unique needs. In fact, CHOC’s is among the few pediatric cancer programs in the country with dedicated services for this patient population.

“When it comes to treating an adolescent or young adult with cancer, their medical needs are unique – but so are their psychosocial needs,” says Dr. Leonard Sender, medical director of the Hyundai Cancer Institute at CHOC Children’s. “The AYA wing will give these patients a venue to heal on their own terms and a place to call their own.”

 

Join us May 21 for Orthopaedic Medicine: What Every Pediatrician Should Know

Education on performing routine exams on knees, back and hips; diagnosing common upper and lower extremity issues; and ways to improve the patient referral process from PCP to orthopaedic specialists are among the topics featured at an upcoming conference hosted by CHOC Children’s. We spoke with Dr. Afshin Aminian, medical director of the CHOC Children’s Orthopaedic Institute, about what guests can expect on May 21.

Q: What is the importance of the “Orthopaedic Medicine: What Every Pediatrician Should Know” conference?  

A: Orthopaedic injuries and musculoskeletal problems are common problems that our general practitioners see on a routine basis. They range from newborn hip screening exams to diagnosis of overuse athletic inures and scoliosis screening exams, among other common issues. We hope that we can partner with our attendees to provide them some valuable, interactive education so that they feel confident when facing these issues with their patients.

Q: What will attendees be able to take away from your presentation on the management of back pain and scoliosis?

A: The incidence of back pain is on the rise in adolescents, and scoliosis is very prevalent in adolescent females. Our attendees will develop an algorithm for diagnosis and management of back pain in children and be able to succesfully perform a scoliosis screening exam.

Q: What can attendees expect at the breakout sessions?

A: The break out sessions will feature hands-on training on performing musculoskeletal exams and a chance for one-on-one tutorials with the expert group leaders.

Q: When should a pediatrician refer a patient to a pediatric orthopaedic specialist? 

A: Referral guidelines will be discussed in an open forum style with audience participation and input. The referral guidelines currently on the CHOC website, will then be updated for ease of access to our referring physicians.


An internationally-recognized and sought-after expert in pediatric orthopaedics, Dr. Aminian has presented at numerous conferences and meetings in the United States and abroad. His clinical interests include scoliosis surgery, treating spinal deformities in children, and assessing surgical correction in relationship to patient outcome in radiographic parameters. Dr. Aminian is board certified in orthopaedic surgery, and is affiliated with the Pediatric Orthopedic Society of North America, the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgery and the Scoliosis Research Society.


“Orthopaedic Medicine: What Every Pediatrician Should Know” will be held on May 21, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., at CHOC Children’s Hospital, in the Harold Wade Education Center.

CHOC designates this live activity for a maximum of 7.25 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™. 

Click here to register and learn more.   

Join us for CHOC Charity Golf Classic, April 25

An annual golf tournament, “CHOC Charity Classic” benefiting CHOC Children’s is set for April 25, at The Resort at Pelican Hill golf course.

Presented by Cigna, the popular event attracts our community’s leading business leaders and golf enthusiasts in support of children and the future of their health and well being.

“We are so grateful to all our donors and participants that come together in support of CHOC and the families we are privileged to serve,” says Zachariah L. Abrams, director of special events, CHOC Children’s Foundation. “The tournament promises a relaxing day of world-class golf with ocean views and a one-of-a-kind opportunity to support a great cause.”

Participants will enjoy 18 championship holes on Pelican Hill’s north and south courses, a TravisMathew golf shirt, continental breakfast, box lunch, raffle, and a brief barbecue reception.

Click here for the entry form, sponsorship opportunities and more. 

Depression and Anxiety in Cystic Fibrosis Patients and Parents

A recent study of over 6,000 cystic fibrosis patients 12 years through adulthood, and over 4,000 parents, found that depression and anxiety were two to three times more elevated in patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) and in parents of children with CF. Although depression and anxiety are common in CF, the stigma associated with mental health issues often make people less likely to talk to about them.

To address this issue, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CF Foundation) announced newly developed guidelines for screening and treating depression and anxiety. These guidelines are not a mandate from the CF Foundation to care centers, and they recognize that it will take time and effort for care center teams to adopt the recommendations.

CHOC Children’s  —  one of only a few affiliated care centers of the CF Foundation in Southern California and the only CF treatment center in Orange County — is one of the first care centers to adopt the recommended guidelines. At CHOC, we understand that living with CF and other chronic diseases can be emotionally challenging. We also know that depression and anxiety can have negative effects on physical health and the ability to follow a recommended treatment plan.

Dr. Amy Harrison, CHOC pulmonologist and CF specialist.
Dr. Amy Harrison, CHOC pulmonologist and CF specialist.

“The psychology component of our cystic fibrosis program really makes CHOC stand out,” said Amy Harrison, pulmonologist and CF specialist at CHOC. “Our multidisciplinary approach allows our care team to manage all aspects of CF from diagnosis to physical and mental health.”

CHOC is committed to ensure that every child in Orange County has access to mental health treatment without stigma or barriers, and we are pleased to be a recipient of the CF Foundation’s grant, Implementation of the Depression and Anxiety Guidelines: Award for a Mental Health Coordinator. The grant was offered to qualified care centers and allows the CF Foundation to collect best practices and disseminate them among all care centers.

The grant provides CHOC the opportunity to have a psychologist at every CF clinic to help patients and families. They will provide annual screenings, evidence-based interventions and follow-up care for depression and anxiety, as well as develop a community referral network of mental health providers.

Guideline Recommendations

The guidelines propose that just as measuring height, weight and PFTs are part of CF care, screening and treating depression and anxiety should become a routine part of CF care too. The screening consists of completing a couple of short questionnaires and is completely voluntary.

Recommendations include:

  • All patients 12 years and older should receive annual screening for depression and anxiety.
  • Parents of caregivers of patients aged 0-17 years should be offered annual screening for depression and anxiety.
  • A stepped process for prevention, screening, assessment and intervention. This can include talk therapy, medication or a combination of the two.

Referral to the CHOC Cystic Fibrosis Center

When a child is diagnosed or is suspected to have CF, a referral to an accredited CF care center can ensure that the child gets diagnosed properly, lives a long and healthy life, and receives treatment based on the most advanced research available. With access to a full range of CHOC pediatric subspecialists, the CHOC Cystic Fibrosis Center offers a number of life-enhancing technologies and treatments.

Our multidisciplinary CF clinic includes a board-certified pulmonologist and gastroenterologist, respiratory and physical therapist, nutritionist, nurse specialists, social worker and a psychologist. An endocrinologist and other specialists are also available to attend the appointment, if needed. Genetic testing and counseling can also be provided.

If you have a patient diagnosed with CF, or who has symptoms of CF, a pre-referral sweat test can be ordered at CHOC to confirm the diagnosis and refer for treatment. (CF Foundation guidelines recommend diagnosis confirmation by an approved CF Foundation care center.)

For appointments, please call the Patient Access Center at 888-770-2462 (888-770-CHOC).

Complete the CHOC Children’s Specialists Pulmonology Referral Request form located at http://www.choc.org/referralguidelines.

Fax ALL pertinent medical records to 855-246-2329 (855-CHOC-FAX).

To speak with a CHOC Children’s Specialists in Pulmonology, please call 714-509-8622.