CHOC Children’s at Mission Hospital Celebrates 25 Years of Service to South Orange County Families

Today, we salute our outstanding physicians, nurses, associates and volunteers at CHOC Children’s at Mission Hospital for providing 25 years of compassionate, world-class care to South Orange County families.

Since its opening on July 15, 1993, CHOC Mission has nurtured, advanced and protected the health and well-being of children through its state-of-the-art facility and top-rated programs and services. As the only dedicated pediatric health care facility for families in south Orange County, the surrounding coastal areas and north San Diego County, CHOC Mission is a separately licensed 54-bed “hospital within a hospital” on the fifth floor of Mission Hospital.

Learn more about CHOC Children’s at Mission Hospital.

 

Meet Dr. Laura Totaro

CHOC Children’s wants its referring physicians to get to know its specialists. Today, meet Dr. Laura Totaro, a pediatric hospitalist at CHOC Children’s at Mission Hospital.

Dr. Laura Totaro

Q: What is your education and training?

A: I attended Loma Linda University Medical School and graduated in 2011. I then became part of the first UC Irvine/CHOC Children’s pediatric residency class and graduated from the program in 2014. I was board-certified in Pediatrics in 2014.

Q: What are your administrative appointments?

A: I am the hospitalist representative for both the CHOC Children’s at Mission Hospital Intensive Care Committee and the CHOC Children’s Infection Prevention Committee.

Q: What are your special clinical interests?

A: I am most interested in infectious disease and autoimmune disorders.

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

A: Two years.

Q: What are your most common diagnoses?

A: Seizures, asthma, bronchiolitis, pneumonia, and gastroenteritis/dehydration.

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

A: In an effort to better facilitate transfer of care, we now offer 24/7 hospitalist coverage at both CHOC campuses.

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

A: The CHOC community provides a unique focus on healthcare for kids that goes beyond just the basics. The entire care team including the doctors, nurses and additional staff who strive to provide personalized care that not only treats a physical illness but also addresses the needs of the entire family. I am inspired by the culture of physicians and nurses that are constantly learning and trying to provide the best care they possibly can. It is such a pleasure to work in a place where everyone seems to truly enjoy their job and are trying to find ways to be even better at them.

Q: Why did you decide to become a doctor?

A: I grew up in a healthcare-focused community where I was exposed to medicine from a young age. I was inspired by the doctors around me and was fascinated by the human body. I also wanted a career that would allow me to help others here in my immediate community and abroad.

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

A: I would run a travel blog and be a food critic.

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

A: Travel, exploring new restaurants, art, and music.

Q: What’s the funniest thing a patient has ever told you?

A: I was examining the mouth of my patient when he proudly showed me his loose tooth and whispered to me that his family had a secret. He then excitedly admitted that his mom was the tooth fairy!  His mother looked at me quizzically and then burst out laughing when she realized what had taken place. Earlier she had admitted to him that she played the role of tooth fairy at home but her son took this quite literally and believed it to actually be her secret full time job for all children.

Meet Dr. Gary Goodman

CHOC Children’s wants its referring physicians and patients to get to know its specialists.  Today, meet Dr. Gary Goodman, a pediatric critical care medicine specialist and medical director of the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at CHOC Children’s at Mission Hospital. After graduating from medical school at University of California, Irvine, he served his internship, residency and chief residency training in pediatrics at UC Davis Medical Center.  Dr. Goodman completed a pediatric critical care and pulmonary medicine fellowship at CHOC.

Dr. Gary Goodman

Q: What are your special clinical interests?

A: I am particularly interested in traumatic brain injury, concussions, respiratory failure and shock.

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

A: I have been on staff for 30 years.

Q: Are there any new programs within your specialty at CHOC you’d like to share?

A: We are now utilizing noninvasive ventilation and physiologic monitoring.  We have developed improved treatment of ARDS (acute respiratory distress syndrome).  We are also proud of our neuro-critical care team.

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

A: The division of pediatric critical care provides outstanding and personalized care for children and their families when their need is the highest. We strive to not only provide state-of-the-art medical care, but to also support the emotional needs of the patient and family. Our comprehensive, multi-disciplinary team works together to address every need and concern a patient and family might have.

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

A: For a pediatric specialist, there is no higher honor and privilege than working at a hospital dedicated to caring for children. I am always surrounded by and supported by other practitioners who share my passion for caring for children and who are all pediatric specialists themselves.

Q: When did you decide you wanted to be a doctor?

A: I wanted to be a doctor since I was 5 years old, inspired by black and white documentaries about medicine.

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

A: If I wasn’t a physician, I would be an architect. I am fascinated by design and how the environment we live and work in can have such positive and even healing effects on us.

Q: What are you hobbies and interests outside of medicine?

A: I enjoy listening to music (jazz and classical), cooking, photography, collecting watches and traveling.

Q: What was the funniest interaction you had with a patient?

A: Just recently, I had a patient, who has a mild developmental delay, call me “the boy.”  I would stop in the patient’s room each morning, at which point I’d get asked, “What do YOU want?”

Meet Dr. Kenneth Kwon

CHOC Children’s wants its referring physicians to get to know its specialists. Today, meet Dr. Kenneth Kwon, a pediatric emergency medicine specialist at CHOC Children’s at Mission Hospital.

Q: What is your education and training?
A:  I completed undergraduate studies at Cornell University, medical school at Columbia University, an internship at UCLA, a pediatric residency at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford University, and an emergency medicine residency at UC Irvine. I am board-certified in both pediatrics and emergency medicine.

Q: What are your administrative appointments?
A:  I am the Director of Pediatric Emergency Services and the current Chief of Staff elect at CHOC Children’s at Mission Hospital.

Q: What are your special clinical interests?
A: Pediatric trauma and injury prevention.

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

Q: What are your most common diagnoses?
A: Fractures, head injuries, lacerations, febrile illnesses, and abdominal pain.

Q: What would you most like community/referring providers to know about you/your division at CHOC?
A: We are a comprehensive general ED and trauma center with an emphasis on pediatric and family-centered care. We have pediatric-friendly facilities including a pediatric waiting area and child life services, and we have the resources of a children’s hospital in our building and at our fingertips.

Q:  What inspires you most about the care being delivered here at CHOC?
A: CHOC is on the forefront regionally and nationally when it comes to patient safety and quality care, and that is not more evident than in the emergency department. I have worked in over ten emergency departments in my career, and I can safely say that the ED at CHOC at Mission is top-notch when it comes to timeliness and scope of care, facilities and staff.

Q: Why did you decide to become an emergency medicine physician?

A: During pediatric residency, I was particularly interested in high acuity care. I was deciding between neonatal/pediatric intensive care and pediatric emergency medicine. But I missed treating adults and the elderly, so I decided to pursue a second residency in emergency medicine. Now I get the best of both worlds, which is treating high acuity patients of all ages, with a particular emphasis on children.

Q: If you weren’t a physician, what would you be and why?
A: I would have become a music producer. I’ve always loved music and even dabbled as a disc jockey in college. I was never good at singing or dancing.

Q: What are your hobbies/interests outside of work?
A: Golf, family time, listening to obscure 80’s one-hit wonders, and sampling local microbrews.

Q: What was the funniest thing a patient told you?
A: An adage in pediatric emergency care is when a child comes in with a nosebleed, you don’t ask if he picks his nose, you ask him which finger he uses. When I asked this question to one of my pint-sized patients, he answered that he used all of them, and then proceeded to demonstrate by sticking each of his 10 fingers in his nose individually. It was priceless.

Meet Dr. Perry Eisner

CHOC Children’s wants its referring physicians to get to know its specialists. Today, meet Dr. Perry Eisner, a pediatric anesthesiologist at CHOC Children’s at Mission Hospital.

Dr. Perry Eisner

Q: What is your education and training?
A: I attended the Ohio State University School of Medicine. My internship was in pediatrics at UC Irvine and with all of my rotations spent at CHOC. When UC Irvine no longer had their pediatric residents at CHOC, I transferred to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, where I completed my pediatric training. I then became board-certified in pediatrics, and in 1988, I began a specialized program at the main UCLA campus in Westwood that combined general anesthesiology residency with a fellowship in pediatric anesthesia and pediatric critical care medicine.

Q: Administrative appointments:
A: I have been the chief of surgery at CHOC Children’s at Mission Hospital for the past six years.

Q: What are your special clinical interests?

A: My interest is in making surgery as stress-free as possible for both my pediatric patients and their families.

Q: How long have you been on staff at CHOC
?
A: Twenty-one years

Q: What are your most common diagnoses?

A: My patients have a range of conditions. We have everything from trauma patients with brain injuries or children with orthopaedic injuries to kids with head and neck problems. It runs the gamut.

Q: What would you most like community/referring providers to know about you/your division at CHOC?
A: At CHOC at Mission, we have four fellowship-trained pediatric anesthesiologists and ensure that children undergoing surgery have not only the safest but also the best experience possible. There is not a hospital in the county that provides a higher level of care.

Q: What inspires you most about the care being delivered here at CHOC?
A: What inspires me the most is the dedication of the entire team that CHOC Children’s has assembled to care for pediatric surgical patients. From the surgeons and the nurses to the critical care physicians and the hospital-based physicians, it is a team that cannot be matched. We have practitioners that were trained in the finest facilities in the country and who care not only about delivering state-of-the-art care, but also care equally about reducing the stress of an illness or surgery for both our patients and their families.

Q: Why did you decide to become a doctor?
A: I became fascinated with medicine when I was in high school and worked in an emergency room in downtown Cleveland as an orderly. I have also loved interacting with children. I found that when one works with kids, you can take a horrifying and stressful situation and transform it into a minor event. That is my goal each day in the operating room.

Q: If you weren’t a physician, what would you be and why?
A: Honestly, I don’t know. It’s all I’ve ever wanted. I didn’t have a back-up plan. It’s not something I’d recommend, but it’s not something that I did. I didn’t have a plan B.

Q: What are your hobbies/interests outside of work?
A: My hobby is playing racquetball. I began playing 40 years ago and play two to three times per week.

Q: What have you learned from your patients?
A: With kids, when they’re going through something stressful, I find that if you can divert their attention by doing something that they think is funny or makes them laugh. I’ve learned though that this works for adults too. It seems so natural with kids, but it works just as well with adults as kids. When there’s something stressful going on, if you can divert your attention to something light or funny, it can get you through anything.