Meet Dr. Amy Harrison

CHOC Children’s wants its referring physicians to get to know its specialists. Today, meet Dr. Amy Harrison, a pediatric pulmonologist.

Amy Harrison, M.D.
Amy Harrison, M.D.

 

Q: What is your education and training?

A: I attended Indiana University School of Medicine. I completed both my pediatrics residency and fellowship in pediatric pulmonology at the University of Minnesota Children’s Hospital.

Q: What are your administrative appointments?

A: I am the co-director of CHOC’s Cystic Fibrosis Center.

Q: What are your special clinical interests?

A:  Cystic fibrosis (CF), muscle weakness (muscular dystrophy and spinal muscular atrophy), asthma and general pulmonary health, chronic disease.

Q: Are you working on any current research?

A: Our CF program was awarded the CF Fundamentals Learning and Leadership Collaborative in June 2015, which has allowed us to improve our CF care processes and clinical outcomes for people with cystic fibrosis.  We are currently studying ways to improve our patients’ knowledge of, and adherence to, prescribed pulmonary therapies.

 Q: How long have you been on staff at CHOC?

A: 5 years.

Q: Are there any new programs or developments within your specialty?

A:  Our CF program was awarded a mental health grant through the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation to develop and implement a depression and anxiety screening program for patients with CF and their caregivers. Funds will enable the team to expand its social worker’s availability and have a designated psychologist to help patients and caregivers. They will provide screenings, evidence-based guidelines and follow-up care for depression and anxiety, as well as develop a community referral network of mental health providers. CHOC’s CF model, if successful, could be replicated in other specialty clinics.

In addition, we are excited to offer many cutting-edge therapies for CF patients including Orkambi and Kalydeco, medications that help the defective protein in CF function more normally, thus treating the underlying cause of CF.

Q: What are your most common diagnoses?

A: I see patients with a range of conditions, including asthma, chronic cough, recurrent pneumonia, cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy and spinal muscular atrophy.

Q: What would you most like community/referring providers to know about you/your division at CHOC?

A: The pulmonary division at CHOC offers comprehensive care for all patients with lung disease and sleep disorders from extensive lung function testing to sleep studies and diagnostic procedures such as bronchoscopy. We also have comprehensive services for patients with sleep apnea, sleep breathing disorders including apnea monitors and BIPAP data analysis for clinical management. In addition, we also offer services in Huntington Beach, Mission Viejo, Corona and Pomona Valley.

Q: What inspires you most about the care being delivered here at CHOC?  

A: I enjoy caring for children with chronic conditions and helping them to find ways of living normal fulfilling lives.  I take great pride in my patient’s accomplishments and find their stories inspiring.  I most enjoy creating a true partnership with my patients and their families to find ways to improve their care.

 Q: Why did you decide to become a pediatric pulmonologist?

A: I was always interested in science from a very young age and pursued a medical education due to my own fascination with learning more about how our bodies work.  During my training, I developed asthma myself and found my strong relationships with my own medical professionals enormously helpful in empowering me to deal with a chronic disease.

Q: If you weren’t a physician, what would you be and why?  

A: I would probably set up my own Etsy shop and sell things I create! I often make homemade gifts for friends and family members for birthdays and holidays.  I also love to travel and exposing my children to new cultures.

Q: What are your hobbies/interests outside of work?

A: I love spending time with my family and my three children, ages 2, 6 and 10.  In addition, I enjoy reading, visiting museums and traveling.

Q: What have you learned from your patients?

A:  I am continuously amazed by how strong and resilient my patients can be. I learn so much from them, and I have now had three patients tell me they were inspired to pursue a career in medicine because of our relationship and their disease.

 

CHOC PICU Honored for Exceptional Patient Care

The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) recently conferred a gold-level Beacon Award for Excellence on the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) at CHOC Children’s Hospital. This is the second time CHOC has earned the gold-level distinction.b logo-edit yr 09-10 1fThe Beacon Award for Excellence— honoring exceptional patient care and healthy work environments—recognizes PICU 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.

Beacon Award logo

Beacon logo“The Beacon Award for Excellence recognizes caregivers in stellar units whose consistent and systematic approach to evidence-based care optimizes patient outcomes. Units that receive this national recognition serve as role models to others on their journey to excellent patient and family care,” explains AACN President Karen McQuillan, RN, MS, CNS-BC, CCRN, CNRN, FAAN.

CHOC’s PICU earned a gold award 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
  • Outcome measurement

About the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses: Founded in 1969, 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.

Drs. Nick Anas and Mitchell Katz Discuss Success of CHOC’s Clinical Leadership Council  

Dr. Nick Anas, CHOC’s pediatrician-in-chief, sat down with Dr. Mitchell Katz, director of CHOC’s Multidisciplinary Feeding Program and pediatric GI lab services, to talk about CHOC’s Clinical Leadership Council (CLC), and how it has benefited programs like the feeding program.

CHOC’s Multidisciplinary Feeding Program is one of a few specialty feeding programs in the country to offer comprehensive outpatient consultation and inpatient programs. With the support and success of CLC’s process, the feeding program has grown tremendously and increased the number of patients it can treat.

Watch this brief video to learn more about CLC and the feeding program.

Meet Dr. Andrew Mower

CHOC Children’s wants its referring physicians to get to know its specialists. Today, meet Dr. Andrew Mower, a pediatric neurologist.

Dr.Andrew_Mower_0699_2

Q: What is your education and training?
A: I attended medical school at St. George’s University School of Medicine in Grenada, West Indies. My residency in pediatrics was at Maimonides Medical Center in New York.  My residency in child neurology was at State University of New York Downstate (SUNY Downstate) in New York. My fellowship in clinical neurophysiology was at Columbia University in New York.

Q: What are your administrative appointments?
A: Quality Improvement Committee since 2016; Ancillary and Diagnostic services since 2015.

Q: What are your special clinical interests?
A: Epilepsy and epilepsy surgery

Q: How long have you been on staff at CHOC?
A: Two years

Q: What are some new programs or developments within your specialty?
A: Stereotactic EEG for epilepsy surgery

Q: What are your most common diagnoses?
A: Epilepsy and headaches

Q: What would you most like community/referring providers to know about you or your division at CHOC?
A: We take on the most challenging epilepsy cases to search for cures, and, if not, at least an improvement in the child and family’s quality of life. We work together as a team to use all of our expertise to help the child and family.

Q:  What inspires you most about the care being delivered here at CHOC?
A: I feel that we offer families hope when hope had been abandoned before.

Q: Why did you decide to become a doctor?
A: I decided to become a doctor to help people in need. I chose neurology as my specialty because I had a fascination with the nervous system and wanted to break misperceptions that little can be done for patients with neurological problems.

Q: If you weren’t a physician, what would you be and why?
A: Farmer. I love the accomplishment of creating a garden and growing produce.

Q: What are your hobbies/interests outside of work?
A: Gardening, running and hiking

Q: What was the funniest thing a patient told you?
A: “I don’t eat apples, doctor.”

“Why?”

“Because they keep the doctor away, and I like you, Dr. Mower.”

Meet Dr. Maryam Gholizadeh

CHOC Children’s wants its referring physicians to get to know its specialists. Today, meet Dr. Maryam Gholizadeh, a pediatric surgeon.

Dr. Maryam Gholizadeh

Q: What is your education and training?

A: I attended medical school at George Washington University, and completed my residency at Eastern Virginia Medical School. I completed a pediatric surgery fellowship at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington D.C., and a pediatric surgical oncology fellowship at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York.

Q: What are your administrative appointments?

A: Pediatric surgery chief; chief of department of surgery; member of credentialing committee; member of medical executive committee and member of medical staff performance committee.

Q: What are your special clinical interests?

A: All aspects of pediatric and neonatal surgery, surgical oncology and minimal invasive surgery.

Q: How long have you been on staff at CHOC?

A: 13 years.

Q: What are your most common diagnoses?

A: Appendicitis, hernias, lumps and bumps, as well as complex congenital pediatric and neonatal conditions.

Q: What would you most like community/referring providers to know about your division at CHOC?

A: As a general pediatric surgery division, we can take care of a variety of conditions such as hernias, hydroceles, gastrointestinal conditions requiring surgery, thoracic conditions, oncological problems requiring surgery such as neuroblastoma, Wilms’ tumor and teratomas.

Q: What inspires you most about the care being delivered here at CHOC?

A: We have a great group of specialists at CHOC who can deliver a high quality of care to our patients.

Q: Why did you decide to become a pediatric surgeon?

A: I decided to become a pediatric surgeon when I was a third year surgical resident on pediatric surgery rotation. Pediatric general surgery is the only field where you are able to take care of a variety of conditions. I found this field extremely rewarding, at the same time challenging.

Q: If you weren’t a physician, what would you be and why?

A: An athlete. I love the challenge, the discipline, and the fact you are always trying to do your best.

Q: What are your hobbies/interests outside of work?

A: Running, cycling, skiing and playing with my dogs.

Q: What was the funniest thing a patient told you?

A: There was a young child around 8-9 years old and we were going to remove his appendix with laparoscopy. I was standing on his left side because with laparoscopy we make our incision on the left side. Just before he went to sleep he looked up at me and said, “Why are you standing on my left? My appendix is on the right.” I was amazed at how knowledgeable this kid was!