Dr. Felice Adler-Shohet Discusses Whooping Cough

Whooping cough is a contagious illness caused by a bacteria that prompts uncontrollable coughing fits, Dr. Felice Adler-Shohet, director of director of outpatient services for the division of infectious diseases at CHOC Children’s, tells “American Health Journal.”

Also known as pertussis, whooping cough gets its nickname because when those infected gasp for air after coughing, they emit a “whooping” noise, says Dr. Adler-Shohet. Pertussis is the only infectious disease for which Americans routinely vaccinate their children, she adds.

Learn more about symptoms and treatment of whooping cough in “American Health Journal,” a television program that airs on PBS and other national network affiliates that reach more than 30 million households.

Each 30-minute episode features six segments with a diverse range of medical specialists discussing a full spectrum of health topics. For more information, visit www.discoverhealth.tv.


Felice Adler-Shohet, M.D., received her medical degree from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville. She completed her internship and residency training at the Vanderbilt University Children’s Hospital. Dr. Adler-Shohet completed her fellowship training in pediatric infectious diseases at Miller Children’s Hospital, Long Beach and UC Irvine School of Medicine.

Get more information about referring patients to CHOC, including a referral information directory, services directory and referral guidelines.

First Annual Society of Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology Conference Emphasizes Unique Needs of Underserved Patient Population

CHOC Children’s recently partnered with the Society of Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology (SAYAO) to host the first-ever national conference for healthcare professionals who are focused on improving care and outcomes for patients between the ages of 15-39.

“While survival rates for pediatric cancer have increased dramatically, survival rates for adolescents and young adults (AYA) with cancer have not improved in almost 30 years due to the limited research available,” said Dr. Leonard Sender, medical director of the Hyundai Cancer Institute at CHOC Children’s, who leads the hospital’s AYA program and who founded SAYAO . “By creating an AYA healthcare professional community, we can increase clinical trial participation, accelerate research and improve quality of life.”

While 70,000 adolescents and young adults are diagnosed with cancer each year, only 2 percent of AYA patients are treated in clinical trials versus 60 percent of children under age 15.

During the SAYAO conference, experts, working closely with Dr. Sender, revealed two new innovative tools for AYA patients: a mobile app for physicians and patients that will help increase oncology clinical trial participation and an online video and eBook support guide. Speakers included Dr. Roni Zeiger, former chief health strategist at Google and founder/CEO of SmartPatients.com, the largest social community for patients and caregivers, and Ryan Panchadsaram, senior advisor in the Office of Science and Technology Policy at the White House.  

“This event is yet another historic milestone for the young adult cancer movement,” said Matthew Zachary, Founder/CEO at Stupid Cancer, the nation’s dominant AYA cancer charity. “As a young adult survivor myself, It’s exciting to see such open collaboration and innovation between medical professionals, AYA advocates and industry experts in the same place at the same time.”

During the conference, Huffington Post reporter Emily Drake interviewed Dr. Sender about the future of the AYA cancer movement and his contributions to the field. Her three-part blog series can be viewed by clicking here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/emily-drake/the-future-of-the-aya-can_b_4379652.html#

CHOC Children’s Named One of the Safest Hospitals in the Nation by the Leapfrog Group

Did you hear our good news? CHOC Children’s Hospital has earned the “Top Hospital” designation from The Leapfrog Group for providing the safest and highest quality health care services to patients.  CHOC is one of only 13 children’s hospitals in the nation named to the “2013 Leapfrog Top Hospitals” list, based on results from The Leapfrog Group’s national survey.

A record number 1,324 hospitals participated in the survey, which measured performance in patient safety and quality.  Specifically, the survey focused on three critical areas of hospital care: how patients fare; resource use; and management structures in place to prevent errors. Demonstrating the highest standards in quality of care and resource use, Top Hospitals have lower infection rates, higher survival rates for high-risk procedures, decreased length of stay and fewer readmissions.

In the Spotlight: Antoine Khoury, M.D. – Pediatric Urologist Brings World-Class Care, Fellowships to CHOC Children’s

Antoine Khoury, M.D., medical director of pediatric urology at CHOC Children’s
Antoine Khoury, M.D., medical director of pediatric urology at CHOC Children’s

In the relatively short time that Dr. Antoine “Tony” Khoury, medical director of pediatric urology at CHOC Children’s and professor of urology at the UC Irvine School of Medicine, has led the CHOC Children’s Urology Center, it has become a nationally recognized center of excellence in the subspecialty of pediatric urology.

Dr. Khoury came to CHOC in 2008 and brought leading-edge pediatric urology services to Orange County with the opening of the center in 2010. The center provides comprehensive care for children, from the most common conditions such as hernias and urinary infections to the most complex congenital abnormalities, such as bladder and cloacal exstrophy.

Recently, CHOC was nationally ranked in six specialties –one of them pediatric urology – in the 2013-14 U.S. News & World ranking of Best Children’s Hospitals. In addition, the number of patients the center helps continues to grow.

“We’re seeing 600 outpatients a month from the greater area, from Corona and Long Beach to as far east as Loma Linda and Riverside.  “In addition, we perform 80-100 surgical procedures a month,” Dr. Khoury said.

“The children are getting world-class care. We are now getting some international patients. We just operated on a patient from Israel who came here after having two unsuccessful surgeries.”

Born and raised in Egypt, Dr. Khoury attended Ain Shams University Medical School in Cairo and is board-certified in urology. He completed his residency in urology at the University of Toronto in Canada and a clinical fellowship and a research fellowship in pediatric urology at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. He followed this with a research fellowship at the University of Calgary in Canada, in the area of biomaterial-related infections.

Dr. Khoury didn’t initially plan to become a pediatric urologist; he thought he’d become a surgeon for adults. He fell in love with the field during his residency and noted that pediatric urology was very different than urology for adults.

“Our patients are obviously much smaller and require advanced surgical expertise. Additionally, the majority of our procedures are reconstructive in nature, requiring imagination and constant surgical innovation.”

Fellowship and Clinical Research Innovations

Under Dr. Khoury’s leadership, CHOC offers a two-year fellowship in pediatric urology and several research and academic programs are underway. The fellowship program was accredited this year by the American College for Graduate Medical Education and 2013 marked the first time that CHOC, in partnership with UC Irvine, has offered an accredited pediatric urology fellowship.

Dr. Khoury is also proud of the clinical research innovations CHOC has accomplished in recent years in pediatric urology. For example, his team developed a highly regarded new bladder-to-kidney reflux risk calculator designed to help define the best treatment options for children with vesicoureteric reflux. The reflux of urine from the bladder back up into the kidneys is a common problem in children and can lead to infections and scar formation in the kidneys.

“We developed an app that takes into account all the risk factors involved in kidney infections so that the treating physician can determine the risk of a child developing a kidney infection within two years of treatment,” Dr. Khoury said. Patients are categorized into three specific risk categories and then treatment options are evaluated based on the risk.

On the academic front, Dr. Khoury and his colleagues are involved in multiple research projects, including one project for children born without a functioning bladder that involves bladder reconstruction using cell culture techniques. “We’re working on developing this in the lab and hoping to take this to clinical application in a few years. We’ve had three publications on that already. That work has won research prizes at national and international meetings,” he said.

Dr. Khoury’s pediatric urology colleagues and research associates include Dr. Gordon A. McLorie, Dr. Irene McAleer and Dr. Elias Wehbi. All three also have extensive academic and research credentials.


CHOC Children’s Urology Center 

The CHOC Children’s Urology Center is a state-of-the-art, one-stop facility where children with urological issues are tested, diagnosed and treated all in one place, without having to make multiple visits to different physicians and labs. CHOC’s highly specialized physicians diagnose and treat a wide range of urological conditions, including:

• Ureteral reflux, in which urine flows the wrong way

• Bladder and urinary tract infections

• Bedwetting (nocturnal enuresis), incontinence or loss of bladder control

• Kidney stones

• Tumors of the kidney, bladder or testes

• Hernias

• Neurogenic conditions caused by birth defects like spina bifida

• Genital anomalies

• Perinatal urology

To learn more about Dr. Khoury and the CHOC Children’s Urology Center, please click here: http://www.choc.org/urology/index.cfm?id=P00973

CHOC Visitor Restrictions Effective Jan. 6

Due to anticipated cases of the influenza virus and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) in the community, and for the safety of our patients, families and staff at CHOC Children’s Hospital, we will be implementing visitor restrictions from Jan. 6, 2014 to March 30, 2014 (these dates may change due to early or late circulation of virus).

Please communicate the following guidelines to your staff, as well as your patients and families being admitted to CHOC:

• Only two parents/guardians who are well will be permitted to visit during Jan. 6 – March 30, 2014.

• For hospitalizations extending beyond two weeks, parents may complete a visitor restriction exemption form, listing two surrogate names. This form will be provided by your CHOC nurse, who will assist you in completing it.

• The use of masks, gowns and gloves will be enforced as appropriate. Proper hand washing is necessary each time you enter and exit your child’s room.

• Patients in isolation and their parents/guardians will not be allowed to enter the playrooms or visit other patient rooms. Child life specialists have activities that can be brought to the isolation rooms.

• When your child is visiting public areas in the hospital (given approval from your child’s physician and nurse), please remember to use good hand hygiene and stay 3 feet away from others.

In addition, all physicians visiting a patient at CHOC will need to show proof of influenza vaccination or will be required to wear a surgical mask. For physicians who have privileges at CHOC and have a CHOC ID badge, the 2013-2014 green flu sticker on your badge will be sufficient proof.

Thank you in advance for your valued partnership and support in helping us to protect the well being and safety of the children and families we serve.