CHOC Children’s Level II NICU to Open at St. Joseph Hospital

For nearly 50 years, CHOC Children’s and St. Joseph Hospital have partnered to serve the healthcare needs of families in Orange County. Now, an exciting collaboration is underway to deliver the highest quality neonatal and mother-baby services in the region.

Artist Rendering: Front entrance to the new Level II NICU

Located adjacent to the recently unveiled St. Joseph Hospital Postpartum unit, the new CHOC Children’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at St. Joseph Hospital, scheduled to open in February 2013, will be staffed by CHOC’s premier team of neonatal experts. This 13-bed, level II NICU will keep parents and babies close together while providing a full spectrum of highly specialized newborn intensive care.

Moreover, the unit is designed to provide care to infants born 32 weeks or greater who are moderately ill or at moderate risk for developing complications as a result of prematurity or illness.


For more information on this exciting expansion, please contact Linda Glenn, MN, RNC, Director of the CHOC Children’s NICU, at

Curiosity Drives Infectious Diseases Research

A CHOC Children’s investigator-initiated trial into neonates with necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) has discovered key microbial and survival differences in patients who develop blood stream infections. These findings may help explain why premature infants with intestinal pathology experience more complications and higher mortality rates. CHOC Infectious Diseases Medical Director Antonio Arrieta, M.D., and his team have also described better outcome of bacteremia in full-term neonates when it is associated with urinary tract infections (UTI). This, they hope, will lead to changes in how both populations are managed.

Dr. Arrieta and CHOC Resident Jordan Fisher, M.D., presented their UTI data in November 2011 at the World Society of Pediatric Diseases in Melbourne. In May 2012, the data on NEC was presented to the European Society for Pediatric Infectious Diseases in Greece.

These are two of the many investigatorinitiated research trials Dr. Arrieta and his team conduct with CHOC residents to answer questions they hope will ultimately impact children everywhere.

“Our investigator-initiated trials are a small portion of the total research we do, but these are our ideas. We develop the concepts, write the protocols, seek funding, and hope to change the lives of children throughout the world.” — CHOC Infectious Diseases Medical Director Antonio Arrieta, M.D.

CHOC Infectious Diseases also participates in several collaborative pharmacokinetic (PK) trials to reassess the efficacy, safety and dosing of new antimicrobial agents. Many of these trials are industry-sponsored and focus on neonatal, oncology and cystic fibrosis patients. CHOC Infectious Diseases is also collaborating with Duke University in a Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development-funded grant to conduct PK trials for neonates, and with the University of California, Los Angeles on a NIH grant for pediatric HIV.

Training Tomorrow’s “Clinician Scientists”

During his medical training, Dr. Arrieta was taught to “always stay curious and answer questions with research.” He passes that philosophy on to CHOC residents by encouraging them to also participate in research and submit their results. As a bonus, the resident gets to present any accepted poster or paper. In recent years, CHOC residents have presented at meetings in Australia, Switzerland and France.

“We believe emphatically in training scientific doctors because answering questions through research is integral to being a clinician,” Dr. Arrieta said. “Without that, they will not be complete. Many CHOC residents have gone on to become scientists and teachers, and that makes us very proud of what we do.”

Preliminary Pneumococcal Vaccine Data Soon Available

CHOC Children’s Infectious Diseases is assessing the impact of a new vaccine in reducing invasive pneumococcal disease and pneumonia. Similar to previous work conducted after the introduction of the first pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, and published in the Journal of Pediatric Infectious Diseases in 2011, CHOC is conducting an annual three-year interim analysis and then a final five-year study. Initial results will be available soon to share with parents about the importance of immunization. To learn more about Research at CHOC, please visit

Construction of CHOC South Tower Close to Completion

Construction of CHOC Children’s seven-story patient care tower, set to open in Spring 2013, is proceeding on schedule with more than 90 percent completion. Several groups are working on activation plans including IT integration, staff on-boarding and training, and implementation of new services and equipment.

Currently, the build-out of CHOC’s new pediatric emergency department is taking place in the hospital’s existing main lobby. In mid-September 2012, Admitting and the front door entrance to the hospital will move from the current location on Pepper Street to the new CHOC South Tower main entrance on La Veta Avenue. The move will also include a new drive access in front of the new entrance to the visitor parking structure. In addition, the hospital will utilize a new front door address, 1201 W. La Veta Ave. CHOC is working on a comprehensive communication plan surrounding these changes, and is committed to keeping you and your patients informed in the coming months.

Featuring leading-edge advancements in patient safety and green building, as well as pediatric-focused patient care services, the new South Tower will position CHOC as one of the top hospitals in the nation.


Tower Overview by Floors

  • Lower Level—Physician on-call rooms, laboratory services, building command center and other mechanical and support services
  • 1st Floor—Main lobby, Admitting, ED, Radiology, and satellite pharmacy
  • 2nd Floor—Public space, patient and family amenities, in-house radio station and multi-media center, outdoor play area, gift shop, library, physician dining area
  • 3rd Floor—Surgery, Cardiac, GI, Endo, other major procedural areas
  • 5th Floor—Hematology and Oncology, including 28 new beds
  • 4th, 6th, 7th Floor— Shelled space for future needs

For more information about CHOC’s expansion, please visit

Disneyland Resort donates $5 million to “Change CHOC, Change the World”

CHOC Children’s has received steady, generous Disney support ever since Walt Disney became personally involved with the hospital’s founding executive council. From designing the original “Choco” bear logo to hosting CHOC’s largest annual fundraiser, “CHOC Walk In The Park,” Disney is interwoven into the hospital’s history.

In February, the Disneyland Resort contributed $5 million to the “Change CHOC, Change the World” campaign. This generous gift, which has helped push CHOC’s $125 million campaign past the $100 million milestone, includes naming the second-flfloor lobby and designing a Disney-themed interactive element.

“Change CHOC, Change The World” concludes June 2013

CHOC may have entered the home stretch, but there’s still time to participate in this transformative, once-ina- lifetime opportunity.

“We are so grateful to everyone who has contributed to this success,” said Jennie Wagner, CHOC Foundation campaign manager. “It is a great accomplishment to have reached this point of the campaign because it really reflflects the dedication of the community in supporting our children’s healthcare, as well as CHOC’s vision and values.”

For more information, including naming opportunities, please contact Jennie Wagner, Campaign Manager, CHOC Foundation, (714) 289-4017.


Graig R. Eastin, Vice President, CHOC Children’s Foundation

With more than 24 years in higher education and health-related development plus a master’s in psychology, Graig Eastin brings highly specialized experience to the CHOC Foundation. Most recently, Eastin worked for eight years at the University of California, San Diego in various executive positions, including associate vice chancellor for development.

Prior to UC San Diego, he led fundraising efforts for Harbor-UCLA Research and Educational Institute, The Scripps Whittier Institute for Diabetes, and the University of San Diego Moore Cancer Center. He was also director of major gifts for the University of Southern California/ Kenneth Norris Jr. Comprehensive Cancer Center and Hospital.

Eastin has a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara and a master’s from the University of Southern California.

“Physicians who give back philanthropically to their organizations send an important, powerful message to the community,” Eastin said. “I am pleased to be leading efforts to open up new avenues for community support, strengthening relationships with key communities, and being part of such a transformative period in our hospital’s history.”

In the Spotlight: Jon Kramer, M.D.

The term “hospitalist” was virtually unknown anywhere else in the country in 1986. But that was the solution CHOC pediatrician Jon Kramer, M.D., developed to fill the two-year interim between the end of the UC Irvine residency program with a CHOC rotation and the development of the CHOC residency program.

Dr. Kramer was a member of the final UC Irvine residency class that rotated through CHOC. He stayed on and worked with then-Medical Director Harriet Opfell, M.D., to hire 16 pediatricians from across the country to staff the CHOC Clinic, assist in the ICU and NICU, admit patients, and cover overnight shifts.

His efforts filled the vacancies left by the departing residents and helped CHOC successfully bridge a very crucial time. And although Dr. Kramer left CHOC for private practice in 1988, mutual warm feelings persist.

“I still have a warm place in my heart for CHOC because of the residency and working there those two years,” he said. “It still has a special meaning to me.”

“Sending kids off to college you saw the day they were born—that is the fun of this. Signing their college physical forms, going back into the chart, and remembering when you saw them as newborns. You realize all the ups and downs these families have had for 18 years, and you helped them through it.”

Old-School care For New-Generation Families

A native New Yorker, Dr. Kramer graduated from New York Medical College, in Valhalla, and completed both his internship and residency at the University of California, Irvine. After implementing the CHOC hospitalist program, he became the sole pediatrician for an independent medical group in Anaheim Hills. That group grew along with the North Orange County community, and was acquired by St. Jude Medical Group in 1996. Dr. Kramer now works with five pediatricians at his Yorba Linda office.

Dr. Kramer is quick to attribute the success of his practice to his loyal staff, many of whom have worked with him for almost 20 years. They share his philosophy of personalized care, from the warm, friendly voice of his triage nurse, to Dr. Kramer, himself, who handles many of the phone calls and follow-up.

“New parents get so much false information from the Internet, friends and family,” Dr. Kramer said. “I think it is part of a pediatrician’s job to be the authority for correct information. It takes more time, but I know my patients’ parents appreciate it.”

His medical group recently implemented an online patient access program, and Dr. Kramer is curious to see what the results will be a year from now. Will younger parents embrace the technology and prefer getting answers online? Or will they still want a live, friendly voice?

Dr. Kramer certainly has an impressive record for making new ideas work. But whatever the parents choose, he’ll never be more than a phone call away.

Jon Kramer, M.D., is a board-certified pediatrician located at 4300 Rose Drive, Suite E, in Yorba Linda. To contact him, please call (714) 577-6677.