In recognition of Doctors’ Day, we would like to take the opportunity to recognize our physicians for their dedication to the children we serve. Each day they offer hope and healing through their compassionate and world-class care.

A luncheon, themed “CHOC Docs Lift Us Up,” will be held on:

April 8, 2016

11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

CHOC Children’s Hospital

1201 W. La Veta Ave., Orange, Ca 92868

Bill Holmes Tower, second floor outdoor patio

Recognition ceremony begins promptly at noon.

Please note: If you need a professional head shot, there will be a photographer available on site to take photos.

Please RSVP by March 25 at, or call Cristen Frost, in business development at CHOC, at 714-509-4807.

A luncheon at Mission Hospital will be held on:

March 30, 2016

11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Mission Hospital

27700 Medical Center Rd., Mission Viejo, Ca  92691

Tent outside tower 2

No RSVP is required.

CHOC Joins National Pediatrics Consortium to Fight Childhood Cancer


Announced this week, the Cancer Institute is among 10 founding members of the Cancer MoonShot 2020 Pediatrics Consortium, the pediatric arm of a collaborative initiative launched earlier this year involving academic institutions, insurers and pharmaceutical companies working to create a new paradigm in cancer treatment. Cancer MoonShot 2020 aims to initiate randomized Phase II trials in 20,000 patients with 20 tumor types of all stages within three years. Those findings would inform Phase III trials and the development of a vaccine-based immunotherapy by the year 2020.

Moonshot 2020’s Quantitative Integrative Lifelong Trial (QUILT) program will allow Pediatrics Consortium participants to apply the most comprehensive cancer molecular diagnostic testing available, as well as leverage proven and promising combination immunotherapies and clinical trials. Additionally, infrastructure established by MoonShot 2020 will allow for real-time data sharing to accelerate clinical learning and insight among participants.

“The Pediatric Cancer MoonShot 2020 is so visionary and, at the same time, has the capacity to disrupt the cancer health care industrial complex,” says Dr. Leonard Sender, medical director of the Cancer Institute. “The Cancer MoonShot will attempt to cure all the numerous types of pediatric cancers with the least toxicity by harnessing the patients’ own immune systems and using the tumors’ unique genomic mutations to create individualized cancer vaccines.”

The work to be accelerated by Cancer MoonShot dovetails with existing efforts around genomic sequencing, precision medicine, bioinformatics and research at CHOC’s Cancer Institute. CHOC has been named a Caris Center of Excellence for its commitment to precision medicine, and participates in the California Kids Cancer Comparison, which brings big data bioinformatics to patients. CHOC has also recently enrolled its first patient in a multi-center clinical study for the treatment of relapsed or refractory acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) with investigational immunotherapy.

“Our Center has studied the value of whole genome sequencing for several years and has recognized the enormous value in such a test to assist in clinical decision making,” Dr. Sender says. “Now with the availability of the next evolution of molecular diagnostics from the genome to the proteome, we are excited by the acceleration of knowledge that this system will provide and are honored to be a founding member of such an important initiative.”

20140916_2712The formation of the Cancer Moonshot 2020 Pediatrics Consortium was shaped by three underlying drivers:

  1. Treatment of cancer – a heterogeneous disease shaped by multiple variables – requires a more personalized and precise approach. The Pediatrics Consortium will lead and use next-generation precision clinical genomic-proteomics enabling doctors and patients to get the most comprehensive molecular diagnosis in the market.
  2. The collaboration across industry and the medical and scientific community, as well as whole genomic and proteomic sequencing and clinical trials established under Cancer MoonShot, will help reduce barriers in the battle against pediatric cancer.
  3. The benefits afforded by a real-time data sharing infrastructure established by Cancer MoonShot 2020, combined with multiple participation from pharmaceutical companies, have not previously been available to individual pediatric cancer centers.

In addition to CHOC, the other founding members of the Consortium are Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago; Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Aflac Cancer & Blood Disorders Center; Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia; Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC; Duke Department of Pediatrics – Duke University School of Medicine;  Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center; Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah and Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital; Phoenix Children’s Hospital; and Sanford Health.



CHOC Children’s Grand Rounds Video: Optic Neuritis in Pediatric Patients

In this CHOC Children’s grand rounds video, Dr. Chantal Boisvert, neuro-ophthalmologist, addresses optic neuritis in pediatric patients.  Specifically, she discusses how the presentation and outcome can be different for children compared to adults. Pediatric optic neuritis is often bilateral and tends to occur within one to two weeks after a known or presumed viral infection/vaccination. Children with optic neuritis are also at lower risk of developing MS compared to the adult population.

Dr. Boisvert also shares some of the challenges associated with diagnosing and treating optic nerve problems.  Sudden inflammation of the nerve, which carries visual information from the eye to the brain, can cause acute vision loss. Most cases will improve after a few weeks, but injury to the nerve fibers can sometimes result in permanent loss of vision. Physicians need to know when to refer to neuro-ophthalmologists. Neuro-ophthalmologists are familiar with all aspects of both optic nerve and brain disorders, and will be able to provide up-to-date recommendations on complex treatment issues and follow-up.

View previous grand rounds videos.

CHOC to Host Conference on Growth and Growth Disorders

Criteria for evaluating and treating a short statured child, and theDr. Amrit Bhangoo
ability to understand growth hormone resistance and treatment with insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) are among the topics featured at an upcoming CHOC Children’s conference. We spoke with Dr. Amrit Bhangoo, pediatric endocrinologist, about what guests can expect on March 19.

Q: What is the importance of the “Growth and Growth Disorders in Children” conference?

A: This conference will give pediatricians, family medicine physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and other pediatric health care providers a unique opportunity to learn about short stature. CHOC’s endocrine team will share our experiences working with pediatric patients with short stature, both from the primary care providers’ role and the endocrine specialists’ role.  In addition, we will discuss treatment of patients with growth hormone (GH) therapy.

 Q: What excites you most about the conference?

A: It is exciting to be able to bring together such a diverse group of specialists with a focus to educate and share their expertise with the community. Most of the speakers at the conference are faculty members at CHOC and UC Irvine. Further, this forum provides an opportunity for community providers to interact with the endocrinologists on a more intimate level. They will be able to ask members of the endocrine team questions and learn from the clinical scenarios presented during panel discussions.

Q: What is growth hormone deficiency (GHD) and what would you like attendees to take away from your presentation?

A: Growth hormone deficiency causes severe short stature in children. It is due to deficiency of growth hormone production or secretion from the pituitary gland. Prevalence is about 1 in 1,000, and it can present with multiple pituitary hormonal deficiencies and mid-line facial defects. The presentations in the conference will extensively review this condition. Additionally, we will discuss a diagnosis of precocious puberty.

Q: What is the latest technology tied to GHD?

A: Technology is rapidly evolving in the treatment of GHD.  Currently the only way to treat a child with GHD is to give GH injections on a daily basis, which has limitations for long-term compliance and successful outcomes.  Most of the newer therapies are centered on the development of long acting GH analogs that may act to eliminate the need for daily dosing. New therapies are currently being developed and are under the FDA review process.

 Q: Is CHOC endocrinology involved in other upcoming GHD-related presentations, research or special projects?

A: We are involved in several studies at CHOC that are evaluating the use of growth hormone in the pediatric population. Specifically we are involved in the Novo Nordisk registry to follow up and monitor the acute and long-term side effects of GH therapy.  We are also just beginning a new study with Genentech/Roche, a Phase 4 open label study on the use of GH therapy in pediatric patients with GH deficiency.

In addition to our research endeavors, we also provide monthly community education at our Orange campus through a growth lecture for those families who have been referred to us.  This lecture provides a basic overview on topics surrounding normal growth from birth to adult, the evaluation of a child with short stature, and treatment options for pediatric patients.

 Q: When should a pediatrician refer a patient to an endocrinologist regarding a growth disorder?

A: Referral guidelines are available to our community physicians (pages 11-14) at:

The “Growth and Growth Disorders in Children” conference will be held on March 19, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at CHOC Children’s Hospital, in the Harold Wade Education Center.

Learn more and register here


How to Manage Your Professional Online Reputation

Today’s physicians are practicing medicine in an era of transparency, where information for consumers is a mouse click away.  Approximately seven out of 10 Internet users are accessing health-related information online, including researching physicians.  If you haven’t googled yourself, you’re missing out on learning what your patients and their families are finding out about you — accurate or not.  Being smart about social media and other digital platforms places you in charge of your online reputation.  Below are a few tips to help you.

  • Google yourself using different variations of your name, e.g.: John Smith, MD, Dr. Jonathan Smith, John K. Smith, MD.  Your search will likely reveal listings on third-party rating or review sites. There are roughly 50 or more of these sites, which pull information from licensing databases and other public sources, including the National Physician Index.  Information may be incorrect or outdated.  To correct information, you must claim the listings.  Specifics for doing so differ among sites, as do methods of authentication.  Before you proceed down this path, note the process can be tedious.
  • Create a professional profile on Linkedin. These profiles tend to show high in search results, enhanced by frequent updates, including sharing appropriate professional content.
  • Claim your Doxmity profile. The site feeds the US News “Find a Doctor” directory, and its members are invited participants in the “Best Hospitals’” reputation survey. Note the site’s membership is limited to physicians.  CHOC’s marketing and communications department can send you instructions for claiming and/or updating your profile.
  • Partner with CHOC’s marketing and communications department to update your physician profile on These profiles come up high in searches for individual physicians, even more so for physicians with updated, comprehensive bios.   Additionally, work with the department to create and distribute useful content:  blog posts, podcasts, news articles, infographics, presentations, etc.  This digital content can help push the public listings and/or other irrelevant, erroneous content further in the search rankings, possibly never to be seen by the majority of searchers.
  • Encourage, when appropriate, patients and families to share positive reviews and engage with CHOC on CHOC’s social media

Patients and their families are often getting to know their physicians online before meeting them in their offices.  Take control of that first digital impression.