Introducing CHOC’s Newest Physicians

Please join us in welcoming the newest members of CHOC Children’s medical staff.Chocobear Stethoscope Logo

Sahar Faghih, DO – Allergy & Immunology

Shehma Khan, MD – Emergency Medicine

Scott Nichols, MD – Hospitalist

Shahem Kawji, MD – Ophthalmology

Joshuam Siembieda, MD – Urgent Care

Haideh Mobarak, MD – Pediatrics

Tiffany Damikolas, MD – Pediatrics

Neal Nakra, MD – Pulmonology

Windy Olaya, MD – Plastic Surgery

Please click on a name above for contact information, profile and photo, if available.

iRounding For Real-Time Results

CHOC Children’s is the nation’s first pediatric hospital to implement iRounding, a digital survey tool on an iPad that allows staff to identify and respond to CHOC families’ needs in real time. CHOC received the 2014 Ventana Research Award for its pioneering use of this technology.

For years, hospitals have relied on paper surveys mailed home after a visit to assess patient satisfaction. While very important, this survey method also has limits. Paper surveys can only ask questions. But at CHOC, iRounding has started very important conversations.

“We want to know what is important to our patients and families, and iRounding is about so much more than checking boxes,” said Carmen Namenek, manager of CHOC Primary Care Clinic Operations and Community Education. “This portable, HIPAA-compliant tool allows our staff to engage with patients and families, and gather more robust data than we can with traditional survey methods. We may now also get information from populations previously not surveyed, such as adolescents.”

She said families’ top concerns are not always what the staff thinks they are. At one CHOC outpatient clinic, the staff thought waiting time was most important. But iRounding revealed that families would rather wait a little longer in order to see the same provider at each visit.

Automatic, real-time iRounding reports allow CHOC staff to act more quickly to resolve and follow up on opportunities for improvement. Positive comments may also be shared immediately with physicians and staff.

Further, iRounding allows staff to quickly spot trends and modify or add questions if the survey focus changes. And as issues are resolved, spot checks may be conducted with families to make sure the new changes are working. CHOC staff found iRounding an invaluable tool to assess family perceptions during recent changes to hospital parking and laboratory registration procedures.

“Eliminating the costly, time-consuming manual process of collecting data has freed our staff to do more of what they do best,” Namenek said.

Leading the Nation
Implemented in 2013 in part by a grant from Tustin Toyota, iRounding is now taking place at all CHOC locations, including CHOC Children’s at Mission Hospital. CHOC has expanded the web-based application to some private practices in the community.

“It’s an opportunity to share best practices with each other,” Namenek said. “We realize families may be seeing community physicians as well as specialists at CHOC, and the experience at all locations is important.”

Dr. Mark Colon, who practices at the CHOC Children’s Clinic, Santa Ana, at the Boys & Girls Club, quickly saw the benefits of real-time results.

“The thing I love about iRounding is that I don’t have to wait up to three months for the NRC Picker results,” Dr. Colon said. “If there is a negative comment or issue, my staff and I will see it right away, and address it right then and there. We can clear up any kind of misunderstanding before the family leaves the office.”

CHOC continues to participate with The Advisory Board Company, a national organization dedicated to sharing best practices and further leveraging iRounding technology within the pediatric healthcare setting. While CHOC was the very first pediatric organization to utilize iRounding, several pediatric hospitals have since followed suit.

“For many of them, CHOC was a big influence in the decision to use this product,” Namenek said. “They are looking to us as the leaders.”

California Medical Association Recognizes Dr. Sudeep Kukreja

Sudeep Kukreja M.D. A CHOC Children’s neonatologist has been recognized by the California Medical Association (CMA) for his extensive volunteer work.

Dr. Sudeep Kukreja has received the 2015 Presidents’ Forum Award, which recognizes CMA members or physician organizations that show altruism or volunteerism. Award recipients’ work benefits the CMA, the component medical society, or the general profession of medicine by promoting patients’ health, health care delivery and physician branding.

In addition to his role at CHOC, Dr. Kukreja founded Arpan Global Charities, a nonprofit volunteer medical organization that provides free health care, supplies and support to people in developing countries. In the past 10 years, he has organized 17 volunteer medical missions to nine countries, providing free medical care to more than 9,500 people in the most underserved areas. More than 700 major surgeries, 900 non-invasive procedures and 450 dental procedures have been performed. His next medical mission is slated for November.

At CHOC, Dr. Kukreja serves as medical director of the newborn hearing screening program, as well as associate medical director of the neonatal intensive care unit.

Locally, he also participates in charitable clinics and health fairs, and is the past president of the Orange County Medical Association.

Dr. Kukreja will be formally recognized in October at the Presidents’ Forum meeting, where he will also give a presentation about his volunteer work.

ICD-10 Conversion – Complete Education Modules by Oct. 1

CHOC Children’s has gone live with a new learning management tool, Healthstream, that is accessible to all CHOC physicians, non-physician providers and associates who have access to Cerner and CHOCPort. Through Healthstream, you can access modules to help prepare you with the transition to ICD-10.

Please note this important education must be completed by Oct. 1, 2015.

Access to this education is simple. Your login and password is the same as your current active directory password that you use for sign in to CHOCPort and Cerner.  The link to Healthstream is This link will also be available on and on PAWS intranet.

Once you are logged in, go to Weblinks, then Healthstream, to access the three brief courses.

For more information or a brief training, please contact Stephanie Murphy, ICD-10 education and training lead at CHOC, at 714-509-3196 or

Obesity, Metabolic Syndrome and Obstructive Sleep Apnea in Pediatrics

In this CHOC Children’s grand rounds video, Dr. Neal Nakra, pediatric pulmonologist and medical director of CHOC’s pediatric sleep program, addresses the topic of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and obesity in the pediatric population. In addition to discussing the trends in OSA, Dr. Nakra details the relationship between the condition and metabolic syndrome. Data, collected over the past decade, regarding the effects of OSA treatment on components of metabolic syndrome is also highlighted.

After watching this video, viewers should be able to

  • describe the screening process for OSA;
  • determine the possible mechanisms underlying the connection between OSA, obesity and metabolic syndrome; and
  • describe the possible effects of OSA treatment on obesity and metabolic syndrome.

For more information on upcoming clinical events at CHOC, visit