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.

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.


CHOC Physician Engagement Survey Starts April 27

The 2015 CHOC Children’s Physician Engagement Survey kicks off April 27, 2015. Please don’t miss this opportunity to provide us with your valuable input, which will allow CHOC to further strengthen and improve our programs and services, to better serve you and your patients!

In the coming weeks, you will receive additional information about the survey including your link to the survey and password. Please be assured that your responses will remain confidential.

Should you have any questions, please contact Leslie Castelo, manager business development, CHOC Children’s, at 714-509-4329 or

Thank you in advance for your participation and continued support.




CHOC Appoints Chief Intelligence and Innovation Officer

Anthony Chang, MD, MBA, MPH, Chief Intelligence and Innovation Officer, Sharon Disney Lund Medical and Innovation Institute at CHOC
Anthony Chang, MD, MBA, MPH,
Chief Intelligence and Innovation Officer,
Sharon Disney Lund
Medical and Innovation Institute at CHOC

Dr. Anthony Chang, who helped establish the Sharon Disney Lund Medical and Innovation Institute at CHOC, has been appointed chief intelligence and innovation officer for the pediatric healthcare system.

Innovation has been a long-held organizational value at CHOC and now, with Dr. Chang’s leadership, vision and focus, along with the generous support of the Sharon Disney Lund Foundation, innovation will drive creative solutions that improve pediatric medicine in Orange County and abroad today and in the years ahead. We recently sat down with Dr. Chang to discuss the ways in which innovation is part of the hospital’s culture and to learn more about his vision for the future.

1) Innovation is becoming a trend at hospitals, such as Boston Children’s. What is CHOC doing different?

Innovation is simply solving problems with creativity and execution.

I do not feel that any children’s hospital should be competing with another in this culture of innovation, which promotes inter-institutional collaboration. What is truly inspiring is that we are already working very closely with a group of about 35 children’s hospitals in an innovation coalition (preliminarily called the international Society for Pediatric Innovation, or iSPI). This effort was a direct result of our Pediatrics2040: Trends and Innovations in the Next 25 Years meeting October 2013 here in Orange County.

2) What is CHOC doing to support a culture of innovation?

CHOC has embraced innovation in the past two years with the formation of the Medical Intelligence and Innovation Institute (MI3) with its monthly meetings and summer internship program. In addition, with the support for a chief intelligence and innovation officer, CHOC is investing in its future in both data analytics/ artificial intelligence as well as innovation in pediatric medicine. Throughout the next year or so, there will be group efforts to bring about a transformational change at CHOC to understand innovation and embed this in our institutional DNA.

3) What innovations are currently underway at CHOC to improve pediatric care?

We are very early in the process of innovation projects, but a few CHOC physicians and employees are being considered for MI3 innovation grants to provide time for creative solutions to problems. A few of the earliest innovations that are being explored at CHOC include: a new heart medication for babies; a new way to look at hospital patient data; a new way to predict heart failure in children with cancer who had chemotherapy; and a few devices in pediatric surgery. We are also organizing a quarterly CHOC Innovation Forum to engage all of our employees who like being creative!

4) What is your vision for the future?

I’d like to see an intellectual venue where all the pediatric stakeholders (doctors, nurses, allied professionals, parents, industry, etc) can come together to share and exchange innovations as well as growing iSPI, encouraging all the children’s hospitals to meet on a regular basis to discuss and practice pediatric innovation.

5) How can doctors and others interested in innovation outside of CHOC support this effort?

We welcome physicians and other pediatric stakeholders to support innovations in pediatric medicine by joining iSPI or attending our monthly MI3 meetings. Collaboration across multiple organizations and communities can lead to greater solutions to problems, positively impacting children here and across the globe.

Monthly MI3 Meetings

Meetings are held the third Monday of the month and feature updates on genomic medicine, regenerative medicine, nanotechnology, medical devices, artificial intelligence and robotics. For more information, contact Dr. Chang.

Doctor’s Day Appreciation Luncheon

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

An appreciation luncheon, themed “Our doctors, our heroes”  will be held on:

March 27, 2015
11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
CHOC Children’s Hospital
Bill Holmes Tower, 2nd floor
Physician dining room and patio

Recognition ceremony begins promptly at noon.

A photographer will be available on site to take professional head shots.

Please RSVP by March 18 to Susan Schwamb in CHOC Business Development, at or 714-509-4363.

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A luncheon at Mission Hospital will be held on:

March 30, 2015
11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Mission Hospital
Tent outside Tower 2

Free lab draws including measles titre, ppd and tdap, will be available from 7 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. in the Pavilion conference room. No RSVP is required.