Provide CHOC Your Feedback, Complete the Physician Engagement Survey by May 26

CHOC Children’s 2015 Physician Engagement Survey will take place from April 27 to May 26. We highly encourage your participation in this brief online survey. Your valuable feedback will allow us to enhance our programs and services to better meet your needs and the needs of our patients and families.

Please look for a survey invitation via e-mail from Press Ganey, who is conducting the survey on behalf of CHOC. The e-mail contains the survey link and your individually assigned password. Please be assured all individual responses and comments are confidential. Your responses will be consolidated and reported in aggregate.

In appreciation of completing the survey, all participants will be eligible to win a raffle prize for each of the four weeks. Raffle prizes include: week 1 – Apple iPad mini; week 2 – $250 gift card to Ritz-Carlton; week 3 – $200 gift card to Mastro’s Restaurants; and week 4 – $100 gift card to Roger Dunn Golf Shops.

Should you have any questions, or to provide your preferred e-mail, please contact Leslie Castelo, CHOC Children’s business development manager, at 714-509-4329 or

Thank you in advance for your participation and continued support of CHOC Children’s.

See “CHOCAGO” April 2-4, benefiting CHOC Children’s

Follies-2Known as one of Orange County’s most beloved events, the CHOC Follies is coming soon with their newest musical production, “CHOCAGO: An Orange County Vaudeville of Dudes, Dames and Debutantes!” benefiting CHOC Children’s. The show will be held April 2-4, at the Robert B. Moore Theater at Orange Coast College, 2701 Fairview Rd., in Costa Mesa.

Each year, more than 100 cast members, including social and business leaders in the community, donate their time and energy rehearsing for the show and fundraising in support of CHOC. The humorous musical spoof of some of Broadway’s and television’s biggest hits is sure to be a crowd pleaser again this year.

For tickets and more information, please visit the CHOC Follies website, or call the CHOC Children’s Foundation at 714-509-8690.

In the Spotlight: Jason Toranto, MD

Jason Toranto, MDAfter completing his extensive training, Dr. Jason Toranto had clear ideas about the kind of hospital where he wanted to practice craniofacial, plastic and orthognathic surgery. He found exactly what he was looking for at CHOC Children’s.

Dr. Toranto says he can feel it the moment he steps into a children’s hospital. Either the hospital has the heartfelt, compassionate environment he wants for his patients — or it doesn’t. For him, the patient experience is just as important as the surgical skill he brings into the operating room.

Dr. Toranto immediately knew he was in the right place when he arrived at CHOC.

“CHOC is filled with warm, caring people who have the human touch. It is the type of environment I wanted to practice in and the type of environment that provides the best care for my patients,” Dr. Toranto said.

In return, Dr. Toranto considers it his responsibility to give back to CHOC and build the hospital’s programs for craniofacial disorders. And he has set his own professional bar very high. His goal is to collaborate with CHOC specialists and ultimately redefine the gold standard of care.

Since joining the CHOC medical staff in 2013, Dr. Toranto has become a part of the hospital’s neonatal mandibular distraction program. He also added new surgical capabilities:


  • Neonatal mandibular distraction
  • Monobloc/facial bipartition
  • Fronto-orbital advancement
  • Facial fractures


  • Le Fort I
  • Mandibular surgery

Pediatric Plastic

  • Cleft lip and palate repair
  • Cleft rhinoplasty
  • Alveolar bone grafting
  • Tissue expansion

Dr. Toranto also has strong research interests and is the co-director of research for the UC Irvine department of plastic surgery. At CHOC, he is an integral part of a monthly, multidisciplinary meeting of specialists, including neonatologists, otolaryngologists, geneticists, anesthesiologists, pulmonologists and gastroenterologists. In fact, this research group has recently had two posters on neonatal mandibular distraction accepted for presentation. One was presented at the California Association of Neonatologists conference held February 2015 in San Diego. The second poster was recently presented at the National Advanced Practice Neonatal Nurses Conference in Chicago.

“It is in the interface between the different specialties that you find the most groundbreaking research and progressive ideas,” he said. “At CHOC, I am surrounded by tremendous talent everywhere I look.”

Board-certified in both general and plastic surgery, Dr. Toranto graduated from the University of Michigan Medical School. He completed his general surgery internship and residency at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He continued his plastic surgery residency training at Duke University, and completed a craniofacial and pediatric plastic surgery fellowship at University of Southern California.

During his medical training, Dr. Toranto was a Regan Fellow for Operation Smile in Jamshedpur, India. He also spent two years in Argentina and is fluent in Spanish.

Dr. Toranto’s office is located at 200 S. Manchester Ave., Suite 650, in Orange.

For more information, please contact him at 714-456-3077.

CHOC Children’s Neuroscience Center Open House – April 16

Please join us for an open house showcasing the CHOC Children’s Neuroscience Center, on April 16, from 5 to 7 p.m., in the CHOC Commerce building: 505 S. Main Street, Suite 350, in Orange.

Information on several CHOC Neuroscience programs will be available throughout the evening.

The spacious new location features 15 exam rooms with large monitors for viewing test results; several team conference areas; a patient and family-friendly reception area with learning and gaming centers; and wider hallways and a plate- push front door in consideration of our patients and families using wheelchairs. The expanded space allows for future growth, including the launch of our tuberous sclerosis program.

For questions about the CHOC Neuroscience Center, please call 714-509-7601.

Inpatient Feeding Disorders Program Publishes High Success Rate

The nationally recognized CHOC Children’s Multidisciplinary Feeding Program continues to grow in both size and prominence. A recent study published in the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition showed that 90 percent of patients admitted into the hospital’s 19-day inpatient program for serious feeding disorders were successfully weaned from gastrostomy tube feeding by discharge.

CHOC Children's Multidisciplinary Feeding Program

Demand for the CHOC Children’s Multidisciplinary Feeding Program — the only one of its kind on the West Coast — continues to grow. The program, which is known for providing a positive, holistic approach to feeding disorders, receives referrals from throughout the country and recently moved into an expanded treatment space on the third floor of the CHOC North Tower. In June 2015, a third team of physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, occupational therapists, speech pathologists, social workers, developmental psychologists and dietitians will be added to the program.

CHOC has been presenting at medical conferences and publishing results in peer-reviewed journals for the last few years. In the June 2014 Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, the CHOC team showed how 90 percent of patients who had previously failed outpatient treatment were successfully weaned from gastrostomy tube feeding during the 19-day inpatient program. During that time, patients maintained weight and 83 percent remained fully weaned a year later.

Another study, which the team hopes to publish this year, found how the weaning process might be complicated by such underlying medical conditions as acid reflux, food allergies and gastritis. Of 65 patients evaluated for disordered eating or gastrostomy tube dependence without an explanation, 57 percent had an underlying gastrointestinal disorder:

  • 31 percent had untreated acid reflux
  • 14 percent had eosinophilic esophagitis
  • 12 percent had gastritis

The study confirmed what pediatric gastroenterologist Dr. Mitchell Katz has suspected all along: Successful weaning requires a multidisciplinary medical and behavioral approach. new20150204_choc_00463

“Children do not automatically grow out of severe feeding disorders, but they can get better with direction and guidance,” said Dr. Katz, who directs the program. “First, we work on resolving the medical part of the puzzle, and then we focus on the behavioral aspects and work through the child’s fear and anxiety. We only provide positive reinforcement.”

A parent is required to be present throughout the 19-day inpatient program, and receives parenting and behavioral skills designed to improve the quality of life for the entire family. The program’s expanded treatment space now includes two feeding therapy treatment rooms, plus a central area equipped with audio visual equipment, where families and staff may remotely watch therapy sessions in real time. The system also includes an audio feed, allowing therapists to provide advice and coaching when parents are alone in the room with their child.

Outpatient services are also available. For more information or to schedule an evaluation, please visit or call (714) 509-4884.