IMPACT Project Track

Improving Medicine: Pediatricians and Communities Together (IMPACT)

The IMPACT program is designed for those who are more interested in an in-depth and focused experience, which involves either a community-based intervention or policy work. Residents on the IMPACT track have dedicated time during all three years of residency to work on development and implementation of a single project. Residents can choose from three areas of emphasis:

  • Community Health Track
  • Global Health Track
  • Quality Improvement

Director: Susan Wu, MD

Care of children is becoming more complex. There is increasing recognition of social determinants of health and the need to address child health from a broader multi-disciplinary perspective. Traditional residency training focuses on improving child health through direct medical care. However, child health can be improved through various approaches including community education, physician-community partnerships, urban planning, research and policy change. The IMPACT Community Health Track assists residents in planning and implementing innovative interventions which tackle child health problems from a non-traditional, community-oriented perspective.

Goals of the IMPACT Community Health Track:

  • To provide trainees with the skills to plan and implement effective community-based child health interventions
  • To appreciate and be able to navigate the social, cultural, environmental, economic, political and human factors which affect the success of community-based interventions
  • To learn skills to lead a multidisciplinary team of academic and community providers
  • To understand the principles of community-based participatory research

IMPACT Community Health Track Curriculum

In addition to the core IMPACT curriculum, the Community Health Track includes:

  • Core public health curriculum
  • Community-based participatory research skills didactics
  • Team training and leadership training
  • Optional advanced media training
  • Optional advanced legislative advocacy training

Directors: Pia Pannaraj, MD, MPH and Alex Van Speybroeck, MD, MPH

The American Academy of Pediatrics recognizes global health as an important component of general pediatrics residency training. Geopolitical boundaries do not circumscribe health issues and nowhere is this more obvious than in Los Angeles. We serve immigrant and migrant families who cannot be separated from the diseases and social determinants of health that they bring from their native countries. In many ways, each day in the Children's Hospital Los Angeles wards or clinics, is a class in global health. However, global health is a discipline unto itself. 

Goals of the IMPACT Global Health Track:

  • To increase knowledge of the epidemiology, disease processes and management of key diagnoses with significant health impact in developing world countries
  • To challenge residents to critically investigate the economic, social and political challenges affecting healthcare delivery across varied resource-limited settings
  • To provide short-term and longitudinal experiences for residents to envision and incorporate global health into their future career plans

IMPACT Global Health Track Curriculum

In addition to the core IMPACT curriculum, the Global Health Track includes:

  • Formal didactics in core global health topics. 
  • Longitudinal project focused on global health. Global Health Track projects can be research, educational, or intervention-focused in scope. Residents are encouraged to partner with USC faculty and non-governmental organizations who are already doing work in the country
  • Minimum of one clinical or research rotation internationally during the PL-2 or PL-3 year. Residents will work with faculty mentors to plan the rotation, develop goals and expectations and complete appropriate pre-work. They are required to complete weekly blog entries and/or a post-rotation reflection paper
  • Journal club discussion group, lead by Global Health Track senior residents.

More for information, visit our page.

Director: Joyce Yang Koh, MD

Physicians have a professional responsibility to improve systems of care, not just to treat the individual patient. This concept has been affirmed by the American Board of Medical Specialties and the Institute of Medicine and is a required component for maintaining board licensure. One approach to improving health systems is using quality improvement science and tools, to reduce medical errors, improve efficiency and optimize the quality of care delivery.

Goals of the Quality Improvement Track:

  • To understand the quality improvement theory and principles
  • To become familiar with the use of various quality planning tools
  • To be able to apply basic biostatistical methods for analysis of quality data
  • To implement a longitudinal quality improvement project

IMPACT Quality Improvement Curriculum

In addition to the core IMPACT curriculum, the Quality Improvement Track includes:

  • Core biostatistics training
  • Core evidence-based medicine didactics
  • Core quality and safety skills didactics and skills sessions
  • Participation in hospital Quality Improvement committees and projects
  • Required development or revision of a multidisciplinary clinical practice guideline

During this time they work closely with IMPACT mentors to perform a needs assessment, design and implement their study or intervention, arrange meetings with key community partners and complete grant applications. At the end of the project period, residents will evaluate their project in a research framework and present their findings at an academic meeting and Grand Rounds.

IMPACT interns are required to attend a monthly noon conference series separate from the general residency program, focused on child health advocacy, community health, research skills and leadership. Examples of noon conference topics include:

  • Health disparities and inequality
  • Writing effective abstracts
  • Obtaining health data: using AskCHIS
  • Community asset mapping using Healthy City
  • Effective proposal writing
  • Planning program evaluation
  • Databases and data planning
  • Survey design and analysis

IMPACT residents and mentors also attend evening events three times a year which include a guest speaker and dinner, covering topics such as:

  • Child health coverage and access
  • Global health topics
  • Environmental health
  • Other current events

Many IMPACT residents have ideas for projects prior to joining, but many develop their ideas and interests during the core rotations. Some residents choose to start new projects while others choose to continue and/or expand projects from graduating residents. Examples of past and current projects include:

  • Preventing obesity in an East Los Angeles early childhood center
  • Assessing the impact of south L.A. hospital closures on access to pediatric services
  • Access to mental health services for foster youth
  • Improving special education resources for children with special needs
  • Anti-tobacco education program for minority fifth graders
  • 1st Year: Project Planning
  • 2nd Year: Project Implementation
  • 3rd Year: Program Evaluation
  • Two-week core skills rotation
  • Two to four weeks to work on project with mentors
  • Conduct focused needs assessment
  • Create logic model
  • Project timeline
  • IRB training
  • Poster presentation at The Saban Research Institute
  • Two to six weeks to work on project with mentors
  • Submit IRB application
  • Grant preparation and submission
  • Home Safe Home (home safety visits)
  • Poster presentation at The Saban Research Institute
  • Two to six weeks to work on project with mentors
  • Project evaluation
  • Core leadership training
  • Sacramento rotation
  • Preparation of abstract for national meeting
  • Preparation of manuscript
  • Present project at Grand Rounds

Meet the IMPACT Residents at Children's Hospital Los Angeles!

  • Class of 2012
  • Class of 2013
  • Class of 2014
  • Class of 2017
  • Class of 2018
  • Class of 2019

Alice Abrahamian

Undergraduate School: University of California Los Angeles
Graduate School: Master of Science, Boston University
Medical School: Boston University School of Medicine
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
Career plans: General Pediatrics
An inspirational person in your life: My father has been a big inspiration throughout my life. He has shown me that the best way to celebrate your own success is to be able to give back to your community. Through hard work and dedication he was able to create a successful business with only minimal formal education and has made it his life’s mission to provide support to young adults interested in continuing their education.
Personal interests: Dance, basketball, running, international health
Title of your project: Armenian Health Care Attitudes Survey
Community/CHLA partners: Armenian Directory 
A brief description of your project: There is a large population of Armenians that reside in and around Los Angeles. At Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, we interact with Armenian patients and families on a daily basis and have encountered many struggles while attempting to provide care for these patients. The Armenian Health Care Attitudes Survey is aimed at establishing data regarding important health care decisions made by the Armenian-Americans that reside in Los Angeles. The study will outline general trends of health care attitudes and decisions, including physician trust, effect of ethnicity of PMD and physician and factors that affect the decision making process regarding procedures and medication use.

Christine Bottrell

Undergraduate School: UC Berkeley
Graduate Degree: MPH, Harvard School of Public Health
Medical School: UCSF
Hometown: Glendale, CA
Career plans: Neonatology Fellowship with research focus in neurodevelopmental outcomes
An inspirational person in your life: Bob Dylan
Personal interests: Yoga, running, outdoors
Title of your project: LATCH NOW (Lactation, Advocacy and Teaching at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center and Network of WICs)
Community/CHLA partners: Lactation Team, PCS Education Council, Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center, PHFE WIC, Breastfeeding Taskforce of Greater Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, USC University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD) and AAP California Chapter 2
A brief description of your project: It started as an investigation as to why our neighborhood birthing hospitals have such poor exclusive breastfeeding rates (as low as five percent) and why Children’s Hospital Los Angeles has a reputation of having infants enter the hospital breastfeeding and leave bottle feeding. That led to a multi-disciplinary collaboration that has resulted in: obtaining a half-million dollar grant for Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center to become Baby-Friendly, creating the LATCH NOW Coalition which brings multiple disciplines within Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and in our catchment area together to address barriers to breastfeeding. The Lactation Team has lead to: a) hiring a full-time lactation consultant, b) creating a policy for breastfeeding employees, c) increasing physician involvement in lactation team activities, d) partnering with the LA County Department of Public Health SPA 3 and 4 Breastfeeding Collaborating, and more. Current activities include: 1) working towards implementing a nursing and ancillary staff breastfeeding curriculum created by Dr. Megan Mariner to be required for all hospital employees, 2) working to implement prenatal classes in the community, 3) reaching out to community pediatricians and OB/GYNs to increase their breastfeeding education, and 4) formally studying breastfeeding rates and changes over time. We have been awarded an AAP CATCH Grant, Krieger Award for Pediatric Advocacy and an AAP Chapter 2 Resident Research Award.

Patty Rae Castillo

Undergraduate School: University of San Francisco
Medical School: Loyola University of Chicago, Stritch School of Medicine
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
Career plans : General Pediatrics
An inspirational person in your life: My grandmother, at almost 80, has lived through it all & still looks great!
Personal interests: Community advocacy, dance, travel, foodie destinations, adrenaline rushes
Title of your project: Una Vida Saludable II
Community/CHLA partners: Proyecto Pastoral and the Dolores Mission Women’s Cooperative in Boyle Heights, CA including Centro de Alegria early education center & IMPACTO after school program and BodyWorks program, sponsored by the U.S Department of Health.
A brief description of your project: Our study is an extension of a previously developed Children’s Hospital Los Angeles advocacy project: Una Vida Saludable. Through this project, residents held monthly workshops in health and fitness education for parents at center in Boyle Heights. We have expanded this education and are enabling community members to participate in the Bodyworks Program designed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The program consists of 10 week sessions that provide participants with knowledge, information and tools to make specific behavior changes to prevent obesity and help maintain a healthy weight. The objective of the course is to institute behavioral change and enable the community to fully sustain the program in absence of our project. Furthermore, we are collecting data via surveys and biometric information to better understand how we can overcome obesity in our communities.

Jonathan Goldfinger

Graduate Degree: MPH, Mount Sinai School of Medicine
Undergraduate School: Columbia College
Medical School: Mount Sinai School of Medicine
Hometown: Woodmere, NY
Career plans: I hope to work on large-scale public health projects for underserved populations, either in a public health agency or as a consultant, while practicing in a general pediatrics clinic in my spare time.
An inspirational person in your life: My mother, who always taught me to love and respect all people as God's creatures.
Personal interests: In my spare time I work on multiple public health projects, hike throughout Los Angeles and watch football (I LOVE THE JETS!). My favorite color is green and I can often be found watering a sizable garden on my patio. I also enjoy spending time with interesting groups of people.
Title of your project: LATCH NOW (Lactation, Advocacy and Teaching at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center and Network of WICs)
Community/CHLA partners : Children’s Hospital Los Angeles partners include the Lactation Team, nursing educators throughout the hospital and the PCS Education Council. Other community partners include The Breastfeeding Taskforce of Greater Los Angeles, various OB clinics and soon the California Perinatal Services Program.
A brief description of your project: Exclusive breastfeeding is undeniably the healthiest form of infant nutrition. Unfortunately, Los Angeles County and the communities served by Children’s Hospital Los Angeles have some of the lowest exclusive breastfeeding rates in the country. This led four Children’s Hospital Los Angeles residents to start LATCH NOW. In the last two years LATCH NOW has successfully: 1) built an ever-expanding, multidisciplinary, multi-institutional breastfeeding coalition, 2) helped to transform the culture at HPMC toward Baby-Friendly practice, 3) increased awareness at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles about the importance of improving breastfeeding support for patients, 4) helped to increase lactation staffing, 5) collaborated on education for hospital nurses, residents and faculty, 6) received an American Academy of Pediatrics CATCH Grant for coalition building and establishing reimbursable prenatal classes for expecting parents in the community, 7) received an American Academy of Pediatrics Resident-Research award, 8) received Children’s Hospital Los Angeles Gary F. Krieger, M.D. Pediatric Advocacy Award. Currently, institutional interest and buy-in are as high as they’ve been at both HPMC and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, including outpatient clinics. The entire third-year Pediatric Residency class is now engaged in a lactation support quality improvement initiative. LATCH NOW is also working with stakeholders and collaborators including the LA County Department of Public Health and numerous Los Angeles hospitals to improve breastfeeding support among community providers. LATCH NOW plans to spearhead a provider outreach campaign and an educational conference that will empower providers throughout L.A. County to support breastfeeding in their clinics and communities.

Megan Mariner

Undergraduate School: University of Washington
Medical School:  University of Washington School of Medicine
Hometown: Bothell, WA
Career plans: NICU Fellowship
An inspirational person in your life: I am consistently inspired by my co-residents with their dedication to advocacy and improving patient care in our community.
Personal interests: Baking, photography, travel
Title of your project: LATCH NOW
Community/CHLA partners: Christine Bottrell, Jonathan Goldfinger, Jessica Tenney, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles Lactation, WIC
A brief description of your project: LATCH NOW is a resident created group that works to improve the rates of breastfeeding in both the community and within the hospital setting. The project includes health care worker education, community education, coalition building and political advocacy.

Maureen Villasenor 

Undergraduate School: UCLA
Medical School: Drew/UCLA School of Medicine
Hometown: Santa Ana, CA
Career plans: Chief resident 2012-2013, then academic general pediatrics or hospital medicine
An inspirational person in your life: My project mentors Dr. Joyce Javier and Larry Yin and my New Century Scholars Mentor Dr. Matilde Irigoyen
Personal interests: Community advocacy, dance, travel, fashion
Title of your project: Una Vida Saludable II
Community/CHLA partners: Proyecto Pastoral and the Dolores Mission Women’s Cooperative in Boyle Heights, CA including Centro de Alegria early education center and IMPACTO after school program and the BodyWorks program, sponsored by the U.S Department of Health.
A brief description of your project: Our study is an extension of a previously developed Children’s Hospital Los Angeles advocacy project: Una Vida Saludable. Through this project, residents held monthly workshops in health and fitness education for parents at a center in Boyle Heights. We expanded education and are enabling community members to participate in the Bodyworks Program designed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The program consists of 10 weeks of sessions providing participants with knowledge, information and tools to make specific behavior changes to prevent obesity and help maintain a healthy weight. We are collecting data via surveys and biometric information to help better understand how we can overcome obesity in our communities. The objective of this course is to institute lasting change and enable the community to fully sustain the program in absence of our project.

Lukas Austin-Page

Undergraduate School: Emory University
Medical School: Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Hometown: New York, NY
Career plans: Undecided as to specialty, but plan to incorporate work with high-risk youth and global health into my career.
An inspirational person in your life: Paul Farmer
Title of your project: Health Care Utilization Among Homeless GLBT Youth in Hollywood
Community/CHLA partners: Department of Adolescent Medicine, Hollywood Homeless Youth Partnership
A brief description of your project: Through the use of focus groups and targeted surveys conducted with homeless GLBT youth in Hollywood, my project aims to identify barriers in health care access faced by this severely underserved and high-risk population. Once these obstacles have been identified and their impact quantified, a targeted educational curriculum for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles residents will be created and piloted in an attempt to rectify any provider related barriers in health care access and improve the overall ability of GLBT youth to utilize the medical services available to them.

Jackie Quach

Undergraduate School: University of California, San Diego
Medical School: The Ohio State University College of Medicine
Hometown: San Diego
Career plans: General Pediatrics
An inspirational person in your life: My high school English teacher
Personal interests: Cooking, hiking, camping, buying gifts
Title of your project: Mental Health Problems in Foster Children
Community/CHLA partners: Foster HUB
A brief description of your project: The goal of my project is to create educational resources for pediatricians and parents on common mental health problems in foster children. 

Liza Green-Golan

Undergraduate School: Emory University
Medical School: Temple University
Hometown: Boston, MA
Career plans: Still undecided, since I am only 3 months into residency. I love general pediatrics right now, but still very open minded about fellowships and ways to incorporate advocacy into my every day practice (perhaps in some policy or administrative realm).
An inspirational person in your life: There are so many
Personal interests: Spin, hike, beach, listen to country music with the windows wide open 

Dania Molla Hosseini

Undergraduate School: University of Arizona
Medical School: University of Arizona School of Medicine
Hometown: Scottsdale, AZ
Career plans: Possibly pursuing a GI fellowship. Whatever I choose to pursue, I hope to continue incorporating advocacy into my chosen practice/specialty. 
An inspirational person in your life: My mother: Chaza Abdul Hai, PhD -- she persevered through the hardship of being a foreigner in the United States to succeed as a professional member of society. She constantly demonstrates inspiring work ethics and dedication while being a mother and raising three children.
Personal interests: I enjoy trotting the globe! I love visiting new places, learning about new cultures, and of course, I always enjoy visiting my family in the Middle East, France and Canada. Outside of work, I love hiking, going to the beach, dancing, arts and crafts. When it comes to advocacy, I really enjoy working towards developing innovative ways of improving health care whether it is in regards to prevention or patient education. In medical school, I was involved with the T-Health Institute, a telemedicine program at the University of Arizona, where I developed strategies to improve our medical curriculum by using modern technology.

Joanna Jean Parga

Undergraduate School: Harvard
Medical School: The Mount Sinai School of Medicine
Hometown: Syosset, NY
Career plans: Neonatology
An inspirational person in your life: My boyfriend, Danny
Personal interests: Writing, media in medicine, reading, yoga
Title of your project: Obstetrician perceptions regarding the safety of birth at various gestational ages
Community/CHLA partners: The March of Dimes
A brief description of your project: Looking at attitudes towards the idea of birth planning and why there is an increase in preterm birth in the United States.

Charitha D. Reddy

Undergraduate School: Rice University
Medical School: UC Irvine School of Medicine
Hometown: Fremont, CA
Career plans: Still deciding!
An inspirational person in your life: My aunt, a pediatrician in India
Personal interests: Painting, reading

Alicia Sheen

Undergraduate School: Stanford University
Medical School: University of California, Irvine School of Medicine
Hometown: Knoxville, Tennessee
Career plans: I love working with kids who have a diverse range of medical and social issues; therefore, I'm interested in pursuing a career in general pediatrics or rheumatology. I have not fully decided, but I am looking forward to the journey!
An inspirational person in your life: My mother, who was a family medicine physician that touched the lives of many and pursued the greater good of the community.
Personal interests: I am interested in giving back to the community through many different ways. In the past, I worked with homeless children and families at the Village of Hope at the Orange County Rescue Mission. I hope to continue similar work in the future in working with kids with special needs. I would like to partner closely with the community to provide help, resources and mentorship for children in need.

Ali Arastu

Undergraduate School: University of Southern California
Medical School: University of Southern California
Project Title: House of Stoked 
Description: Development of House of Stoked:

House of Stoked is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that utilizes the wilderness as a platform to deliver health interventions for vulnerable youth.

The vulnerability of the youth stems from a wide array of issues, including socio-economic disadvantage, chronic health issues and/or past trauma. Physicians and educators tailor the wilderness health intervention to address the global health needs of the specific youth group. While exploring the inspiring and novel environment of the wilderness, physicians and educators address the socioeconomic determinants of health, relay preventative health principles and promote understanding of chronic health issues.

Through these innovative wilderness programs, the House of Stoked is committed to providing vulnerable youth with tools for both healthy living and environment stewardship.

Community Partners: New Earth, LA Fathers, Covenant House

Caryn Cassidy

Undergraduate School: University of California, Los Angeles
Medical School: University of Southern California
Home Town: Orange County, CA
Career Plans: General pediatrics private practice
Personal Interests: Travel
Project Title: Reducing riskey business: a mindfulness interventin with at-risk youth in Los Angeles
Description: We taught mindfulness, meditation and yoga to 11th and 12th readers at Hollywood High School to help deal with the stressors in their lives. The interventions would be once or twice a year moving forward and would consist of meditation, mindfulness and yoga workshops
Community Partners: LA Fathers, Covenant House, Hollywood High School

Kameela Gateau

Undergraduate School: University of California, Irvine
Graduate School: Stanford University
Medical School: University of California, San Diego
Home Town: Murrieta, CA
Career Plans: Neonatology
An Inspirational Person: My mother because she personifies grace, gratitude and perseverance all of which I aspire to have.
Personal Interests: Working to ensure equality and opportunity for all, appreciating each sunrise and sunset, and working each day to realize my potential.
Project Title: Improving triage of children with acute respiratory illness in Haiti using WHO Integrated Management of Childhood Illness distant learning module
Description: Use one of the WHO's Integrated Management of Childhood Illness distance education tools, the cough and fast breathing training module, to train triage non-medical triage personnel at  L'Hôpital de l'Université d'État (HUEH) in Port au Prince to classify the respiratory distress of children from 2 months to 59 months. Triage personnel were pre-tested on their knowledge of signs of respiratory distress; they then completed the training and took a post test. Triage forms based on the IMCI training were used to triage. Once implemented this training can enable more appropriate allocation of resources to patients, and ultimately help combat one of the barriers in preventing under-five mortality from this leading cause.
Community Partners: Haitian Medical Education Project

Samantha Hunter

Undergraduate School: University of Michigan
Medical School: University of Southern California
Home Town: Chicago, IL                 
Career Plans: General pediatrics
Project Title: Impact of air pollution on child health
Description: Ulaanbaatar, the capital city of Mongolia sees one of the world's most extreme seasonal climate and air pollution changes.  In the winter months, particulate matter and gaseous pollutant concentrations can be more than 20 times higher than WHO standards, and temperatures can between −36 and −40 °C. While in summer, air pollution levels are low and temperature extremes can reach up to +33 °C. This cross-sectional study examines whether there are seasonal variations in prenatal growth patterns on fetal ultrasound evaluations.
Community Partners: National Center for Maternal and Child Health, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

Marie Lafortune

Undergraduate School: Lewis and Clark College
Medical School: Northwestern University
Home Town: Portland, OR
Career Plans: Unclear
Project Title: LARC first: developing a curriculum for pediatricians in training
Project Description: We sought to increase resident pediatricians’ knowledge and comfort around contraception counseling as well as LARC initiation through different educational mediums including procedural conferences and lectures. With their new knowledge, we hoped to see a change in residents’ counseling practices and see a rise in the recommendation of LARCs for our patients.
Community Partners: AltaMed, CHLA

Kacey O’Malley

Undergraduate School: Elon University
Medical School: Marshall University
Home Town: Morgantown, WV
Career Plans: General pediatrics
An Inspirational Person: My family & friends - they all make the world a better place.
Project Title: LARC first: developing a curriculum for pediatricians in training
Project Description: We sought to increase resident pediatricians’ knowledge and comfort around contraception counseling as well as LARC initiation through different educational mediums including procedural conferences and lectures. With their new knowledge, we hoped to see a change in residents’ counseling practices and see a rise in the recommendation of LARCs for our patients.
Community Partners: AltaMed, CHLA

Rachel Marano

Undergraduate School: New York University
Medical School: Brown University
Home Town: Dix Hills, NY
Career Plans: Academic general pediatrics or emergency medicine
An Inspirational Person: My mom, who is a strong, driven woman and a feminist.
Personal Interests: Italian food, biking, hiking, and live music.
Project Title: LARC first: developing a curriculum for pediatricians in training
Project Description: We sought to increase resident pediatricians’ knowledge and comfort around contraception counseling as well as LARC initiation through different educational mediums including procedural conferences and lectures. With their new knowledge, we hoped to see a change in residents’ counseling practices and see a rise in the recommendation of LARCs for our patients.
Community Partners: AltaMed, CHLA

Hilary Ong

Undergraduate School: University of California, Berkeley
Medical School: University of California, San Francisco
Home Town: San Francisco, CA
Career Plans: Pediatric emergency medicine fellowship
Personal Interests: Swimming and cooking.
Project Title: Impact of air pollution on child health
Description: Ulaanbaatar, the capital city of Mongolia sees one of the world's most extreme seasonal climate and air pollution changes.  In the winter months, particulate matter and gaseous pollutant concentrations can be more than 20 times higher than WHO standards, and temperatures can between −36 and −40 °C. While in summer, air pollution levels are low and temperature extremes can reach up to +33 °C. This cross-sectional study examines whether there are seasonal variations in prenatal growth patterns on fetal ultrasound evaluations.
Community Partners: National Center for Maternal and Child Health, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

An Pham

Undergraduate School: University of California, Los Angeles
Medical School: Ben Gurion University of the Negev
Home Town: Huntington Beach, CA
Career Plans: Transgender youth medicine
An Inspirational Person: Ruth Bader Ginsburg because she is a strong female leader at the forefront of social justice.
Personal Interests: FOOD, traveling, music/concerts, and spoken word.
Project title: Assessing maternal mental health in rural Ghana 
Project Description: I found and validated a tool to assess/screen mental health in women of a low literacy, Twi speaking rural community in Ghana.
Community Partners: Ghana Health and Education Institute

That Nam Tran Ton

Undergraduate School: University of Hawaii
Medical School: University of Hawaii
Home Town: Ewa Beach, HI
Career Plans: Nephrology
An Inspirational Person: Parents. They fled Vietnam and crossed the ocean together, eventually making their new home in Canada and then repeating it again in Hawaii.  They are an unconditionally loving couple who helped make the best out of nothing.
Personal Interests: Eating and to balance that out, I climb and do ClassPass.
Project Title: Sickle cell written action plans in the outpatient setting 
Description: Our project is focused on empowering families and children with sickle cell hemogloinopathies to prevent and manage sickle cell mediated vaso-occlusive crises.  We created a written action plan individualized for each child/teen with sickle cell that informs the symptoms of vaso-occlusive crises, the appropriate pain medications and respective doses, maneuvers and adjunct pain management strategies.  Our quality improvement project focuses on adopting the written action plan into routine outpatient visits and measuring its effectiveness in improving education about vaso-occlusive management.
Community Partners: Dr. Jacquelyn Baskins, Dr. Thomas Hofstra

Molly Weisert

Undergraduate School: University of California, Santa Barbara
Graduate School: Drexel University
Medical School: St. Louis University
Home Town: Riverside, CA
Career Plans: Cardiology
An Inspirational Person: My sister has had multiple traumatic experiences throughout the last few years, but has continually found strength and faith to push through them and overcome obstacles in her life. She is a constant reminder to me to never lose hope and to always persevere.
Personal Interests: I love being active and being outdoors
Project Title: School-based health center to improve sexual healthy and violence exposure among adolescents
Project Description: The goals of our project were to increase student utilization of the school based wellness center as well as increase student knowledge of intimate partner violence and sexually transmitted infections. We partnered with Hollywood High School. We implemented a three part curriculum in their health class that involved a tour of the wellness center, as well as lessons on intimate partner violence and STI’s. This year we are working to expand the curriculum as well as incorporate the teaching sessions into the resident Adolescent rotation to create a long-term partnership with the school and CHLA. The curriculum will expand to include sessions on mindfulness and nutrition.
Community Partners: Hollywood High School, CHLA Adolescent Medicine Department

Jessica Zak

Undergraduate School: University at Buffalo
Graduate School: Georgetown University
Medical School: University at Buffalo
Home Town: Buffalo, NY
Career Plans: General pediatrics
An Inspirational Person: My parents. They're the hardest working, supportive and caring people I know.
Personal Interests: Hiking, surfing, being at the beach, brunch, and cooking.
Project Title: Reducing risky business: a mindfulness intervention with at-risk youth in Los Angeles
Description: We taught mindfulness, meditation and yoga to 11th and 12th readers at Hollywood High School to help deal with the stressors in their lives. The interventions would be once or twice a year moving forward and would consist of meditation, mindfulness and yoga workshops
Community Partners: LA Fathers, Covenant House, Hollywood High School

Rammy Assaf

Undergraduate School: University of California, San Diego
Graduate School: University of Geneva
Medical School: University of Miami
Home Town: La Crescenta, CA
Career Plans: PICU, international organizations
An Inspirational Person: Bernie Sanders, because he never backs down.
Personal Interests: Traveling, painting, live music, CA outdoor sports, Muay Thai, motorcycle trips, book and cinema club, and social justice projects.
Project Title: Caregiving youth study & intervention
Project Description: The Caregiving Youth Project seeks to identify children who perform under recognized caregiving tasks at home, often for our patients with chronic disease. They are mature, compassionate individuals yet are at risk for exhaustion and mental health problems similar to adult caregivers, from which most data is derived. A telephone survey is used to collect information on caregiver demographics, tasks, time commitment and mental health. A collaborative caregiver skills building workshop planned with nursing, child life, and social work will then build on caregiver practical skills, time/stress management and home social needs. This is the first project of its kind at CHLA and is meant to raise awareness on Caregiving youth, while laying the groundwork for sustainable interventions to support this young, unique yet hidden population
Community Partners: American Association for Caregiving Youth

Ryan Carpenter

Undergraduate School: University of Dayton
Medical School: Georgetown University
Home Town: Canton, OH
Career Plans: Neonatology
An Inspirational Person: My high school coach and history teacher.  He was the first to inspire that the process is rewarding.
Personal Interests: Rock climbing, making bread, and surfing.
Project Title: Impacting food insecurity in a federally qualified health center
Project Description: We are implementing universal screening for food insecurity in our clinic.  We know that our patients are at risk from population data both nationally and specific to LA county, leading to detrimental health effects.  Resources that are proven to help families both obtain food security and improve health outcomes are underutilized.  We will screen and connect families to the appropriate resources while educating providers and staff.
Community Partners: Social work, Muriel Barton, AltaMed, CHLA

Millie Chang

Undergraduate School: Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia
Graduate School: Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia
Medical School: Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia
Home Town: Lima, Peru
Career Plans: Neonatology fellowship, global health
An Inspirational Person: My dad. Always do what you love and fight for your dreams. Never give up and always try to be a better person.
Personal Interests: Music, art and crafts, and playing guitar.
Project Title: Characterization of the breast milk, infant oral and gut microbiomes in multiple geographic locations; role in immune development and response to oral rotavirus vaccine in Peru
Project Description: Rotaviruses (RV) are the leading cause of gastroenteritis, resulting in over 450,000 deaths annually among children <5 years of age. Seroconversion for rotavirus vaccine averages 86.0% in high-income countries compared to 66.7% in Peru. Gut microbiome of infants and children have been shown to differ in low and high-income countries. Immunogenicity of oral vaccines varies may be affected by the oral and gut microbiome.
Objectives:
(1) Characterize differences in the oral and gut microbiome between Peru and U.S. infant cohorts. (2) Evaluate differences in RV vaccine serologic among the geographically different cohorts and correlate with gut microbial composition and diversity.
Community Partners: Hospital Nacional Cayetano Heredia

Chelsea Garnett

Undergraduate School: Stanford University
Medical School: Columbia University
Home Town: Venice, CA
Career Plans: Adolescent medicine or general pediatrics
An Inspirational Person: My mom! She was a high school counselor which I think is what first sparked my interest in working with teens and lead to my interest in adolescent medicine/health.
Personal Interests: Dance, musicals, and hiking.
Project Title: Opportunistic immunization of adolescent patients with the HPV vaccine 
Project Description: Our project is aimed at increasing rates of HPV vaccination through opportunistic immunization of inpatient adolescents. In the first phase of our project, we conducted a needs assessment by administering a survey to CHLA residents to see how comfortable they are with discussing and offering the HPV vaccine. We found that while residents felt comfortable and confident discussing the HPV vaccine, very few were addressing the vaccine on the inpatient wards. In the second phase of our project, we discussed these results with residents and introduced a series of standard-of-care interventions (i.e. smart phrase for EMR, posters in workroom, etc.) to encourage documentation of HPV vaccine status. We are continually auditing the EMR to track rates of discussion/documentation of HPV vaccination and have seen an increase since introducing these interventions. The third phase of our project entails partnering with VFC to provide the HPV vaccine to our inpatient adolescents. We are very excited to report that the vaccine is currently available to be ordered on our inpatient resident teams! Future directions for this project include implementation of additional interventions to encourage resident discussion/provision of the HPV vaccine, future surveys to compare practices regarding HPV vaccine with other childhood and teen vaccines, as well as policy work to use our project's experience to advocate for a state-wide universal vaccination program.
Community Partners: American Academy of Pediatrics, Spina Bifida Clinic, Los Angeles County Vaccines for Children Program

Justin Jones

Undergraduate School: Southern Adventist University
Medical School: Loma Linda University
Project Title: Child trafficking in the Philippines: a needs assessment of social services in Cebu
Description: We are working in the Philippines in concert with the local government, NGO’s, and health care service providers on the issue of child trafficking and protection. Initially, we conducted a needs assessment during an exploratory conference hosted by the government. We identified several opportunities for project development at the prevention and intervention levels. Our first intervention was driven by a strong desire amongst local providers to have focused trauma-informed care trainings for those directly working with children affected by trafficking and abuse. We are currently working to bring together social workers and trainers from Los Angeles to the Philippines to initiate trainings with local service providers. Our goal is to create a sustainable training program and develop an ongoing relationship between service providers in the Philippines and our colleagues at CHLA and USC that will help build capacity and empower service providers. There are other potential interventions and projects that are in the works. We welcome our resident colleagues to join our coalition.
Community Partners: Cebu Provincial Women's Commission

Ruksana Khambaty

Undergraduate School: Stony Brook University
Medical School: Stony Brook School of Medicine
Home Town: Queens, NY
Career Plans: General pediatrics
Personal Interests: Traveling, hiking, and exploring new cuisines.
Project Title: Case management scoring system for children with special health care needs
Project Description: CHLA has the largest Patient Centered Medical Home which was constructed to improve access and to help coordinate medical care for the medically complex. An important component of providing effective and efficient care is identifying the medical needs of the patient as well as understanding the socioeconomic factors affecting the family. This information can then be applied to identifying the level of involvement needed by the team within Medical Home. This process has been translated into a Medical Home Referral Form in our clinic to help tier the level of medical management needed based on the patient’s medical and socioeconomic needs. This project is targeted to validate this form as a screening tool to help case management tier the level of involvement needed for those referred to Medical Home.
Community Partners: AltaMed, CHLA

Yendi Linares

Undergraduate School: Emory University
Medical School: Temple University School of Medicine
Home Town: Bronx, NY
Career Plans: Pediatric Hospital Medicine
An Inspirational Person: My mother is a strong, caring person who puts other before her. She put aside her career goals so that her children could accomplish theirs.
Personal Interests: Health Disparities, Diversity in Medical Education, Social Determinants of Health, Dance
Project Title: Impacting food insecurity in a federally qualified health center
Project Description: We are implementing universal screening for food insecurity in our clinic.  We know that our patients are at risk from population data both nationally and specific to LA county, leading to detrimental health effects.  Resources that are proven to help families both obtain food security and improve health outcomes are underutilized.  We will screen and connect families to the appropriate resources while educating providers and staff.
Community Partners: Social work, Muriel Barton, AltaMed, CHLA

Alexandra Mihalek

Undergraduate School: Harvard University
Medical School: University of Southern California
Home Town: Plattsburgh, NY
Career Plans: Hospital medicine
An Inspirational Person: My parents! They have always supported me and are great advocates/community service role models.
Personal Interests: Running, travel, cooking, and spending time outside.
Project Title: Opportunistic immunization of adolescent patients with the HPV vaccine
Project Description: Our project is aimed at increasing rates of HPV vaccination through opportunistic immunization of inpatient adolescents. In the first phase of our project, we conducted a needs assessment by administering a survey to CHLA residents to see how comfortable they are with discussing and offering the HPV vaccine. We found that while residents felt comfortable and confident discussing the HPV vaccine, very few were addressing the vaccine on the inpatient wards. In the second phase of our project, we discussed these results with residents and introduced a series of standard-of-care interventions (i.e. smart phrase for EMR, posters in workroom, etc.) to encourage documentation of HPV vaccine status. We are continually auditing the EMR to track rates of discussion/documentation of HPV vaccination and have seen an increase since introducing these interventions. The third phase of our project entails partnering with VFC to provide the HPV vaccine to our inpatient adolescents. We are very excited to report that the vaccine is currently available to be ordered on our inpatient resident teams! Future directions for this project include implementation of additional interventions to encourage resident discussion/provision of the HPV vaccine, future surveys to compare practices regarding HPV vaccine with other childhood and teen vaccines, as well as policy work to use our project's experience to advocate for a state-wide universal vaccination program.
Community Partners: American Academy of Pediatrics, Spina Bifida Clinic, Los Angeles County Vaccines for Children Program

Ngoc Thien Nguyen

Undergraduate School: University of Washington
Graduate School: Drexel University School of Public Health
Medical School: University of Washington
Home Town: Seattle, WA
Career Plans: Academic medicine, community health, public health
An Inspirational Person: My mother is the definition of a hard working woman. She is intelligent, driven and resourceful. She has sacrificed so much in order for all her children to pursue their dreams, at times giving up the things that she wants for herself. I owe her everything.
Personal Interests: Education, traveling, languages, reading, aerial arts, and teaching.
Project Title: Child trafficking in the Philippines: a needs assessment of social services in Cebu
Description: We are working in the Philippines in concert with the local government, NGO’s, and health care service providers on the issue of child trafficking and protection. Initially, we conducted a needs assessment during an exploratory conference hosted by the government. We identified several opportunities for project development at the prevention and intervention levels. Our first intervention was driven by a strong desire amongst local providers to have focused trauma-informed care trainings for those directly working with children affected by trafficking and abuse. We are currently working to bring together social workers and trainers from Los Angeles to the Philippines to initiate trainings with local service providers. Our goal is to create a sustainable training program and develop an ongoing relationship between service providers in the Philippines and our colleagues at CHLA and USC that will help build capacity and empower service providers. There are other potential interventions and projects that are in the works. We welcome our resident colleagues to join our coalition.
Community Partners: Cebu Provincial Women's Commission

Kim Petko

Undergraduate School: Tufts University
Graduate School: Tufts University
Medical School: Tufts University
Project Title: Child trafficking in the Philippines: a needs assessment of social services in Cebu
Description: We are working in the Philippines in concert with the local government, NGO’s, and health care service providers on the issue of child trafficking and protection. Initially, we conducted a needs assessment during an exploratory conference hosted by the government. We identified several opportunities for project development at the prevention and intervention levels. Our first intervention was driven by a strong desire amongst local providers to have focused trauma-informed care trainings for those directly working with children affected by trafficking and abuse. We are currently working to bring together social workers and trainers from Los Angeles to the Philippines to initiate trainings with local service providers. Our goal is to create a sustainable training program and develop an ongoing relationship between service providers in the Philippines and our colleagues at CHLA and USC that will help build capacity and empower service providers. There are other potential interventions and projects that are in the works. We welcome our resident colleagues to join our coalition.
Community Partners: Cebu Provincial Women's Commission

Nora Pfaff

Undergraduate School: University of California, Berkeley
Medical School: Case Western Reserve University
Home Town: Sacramento, CA
Career Plans: Hospital medicine and advocacy work
Personal Interests: Medical: vaccines and legislative advocacy; Non-medical: writing/reading, painting, hiking/camping, and yoga.
Project Title: Opportunistic immunization of adolescent patients with the HPV vaccine
Project Description: Our project is aimed at increasing rates of HPV vaccination through opportunistic immunization of inpatient adolescents. In the first phase of our project, we conducted a needs assessment by administering a survey to CHLA residents to see how comfortable they are with discussing and offering the HPV vaccine. We found that while residents felt comfortable and confident discussing the HPV vaccine, very few were addressing the vaccine on the inpatient wards. In the second phase of our project, we discussed these results with residents and introduced a series of standard-of-care interventions (i.e. smart phrase for EMR, posters in workroom, etc.) to encourage documentation of HPV vaccine status. We are continually auditing the EMR to track rates of discussion/documentation of HPV vaccination and have seen an increase since introducing these interventions. The third phase of our project entails partnering with VFC to provide the HPV vaccine to our inpatient adolescents. We are very excited to report that the vaccine is currently available to be ordered on our inpatient resident teams! Future directions for this project include implementation of additional interventions to encourage resident discussion/provision of the HPV vaccine, future surveys to compare practices regarding HPV vaccine with other childhood and teen vaccines, as well as policy work to use our project's experience to advocate for a state-wide universal vaccination program.
Community Partners: American Academy of Pediatrics, Spina Bifida Clinic, Los Angeles County Vaccines for Children Program

Lauren Rissman

Undergraduate School: University of Southern California
Medical School: Tufts University
Home Town: Chicago, IL
Project Title: Hand hygiene at an orphanage in rural Malawi
Description: I collected preliminary data on the incidence of disease at a local orphanage as it relates to pneumonia and diarrhea. Also, I documented initial knowledge, attitudes and practices regarding hand hygiene and disease transmission. Then, I introduced a hand hygiene intervention and am currently continuing to collect post intervention data.
Community Partners: All Saints Mtunthama Anglican Orphanage, St. Andrew’s Hospital   

Stephanie Colantonio

Undergraduate School: Yale University
Medical School: Hofstra North Shore – LIJ School of Medicine
Home Town: Boston, MA
Career Plans: Child neurology
An Inspirational Person: Oliver Sacks was a neurologist who’s thoughtful, empathetic, and realistic writing about his medical practice and his life has influenced the way that I approach my patients and myself.
Personal Interests: Writing, yoga, hiking, travel, and bhangra dance.
Project Title: Does screening and early neuropsychologic intervention affect prognosis for adolescents with concussion
Project Description: This study will aim to identify adolescent patients at risk for depression/anxiety at initial presentation to the concussion clinic as well as the ED.  Patients who are at high risk will be randomly assigned to a control group and a treatment group. The control group will receive the standard practice of care. The treatment group will receive an intervention, such as two 15 minute phone sessions with a psychologist for initial anchor therapy to help shift attention away from symptoms and towards recovery.

Jenna Essakow

Undergraduate School: University of California, Berkeley
Medical School: Sackler School of Medicine
Home Town: San Diego, CA
Career Plans: Critical care with some global involvement
An Inspirational Person: My Father. There is no limit with him. When he puts his mind towards something there is no stopping him. He is so passionate and persistent about everything he takes on and I think these are vital qualities to have. I have seen him accomplish so much and I'm inspired by all he does.
Personal Interests: I'm really interested in critical care management. I also love working with adolescents. Outside of medicine I love exploring and adventuring. I’m the biggest tourist you know. I also love trying and partaking in all different workout classes.
Project Title: Promoting early infant male circumcision as part of an HIV prevention strategy 
Description: Multiple randomized control trials have shown that male circumcision reduces the transmission of HIV by 60%.  Accordingly, the WHO recommends simultaneous implementation of both adolescent/adult voluntary male circumcision (VMMC) and early infant male circumcision (EIMC) with the goal of ultimately transitioning programs to EIMC given it cost effectiveness over VMMC.

Recognizing the importance of finding sustainable and long-term HIV prevention methods this project aims to promote Early Infant Male Circumcision in Uganda.  In the first year of the project, the co-directors will conduct a barrier analysis with the goal to identify the various social/ cultural, political and economic barriers to providing/utilizing EIMC services at an individual and national level in Uganda.  In order to accomplish this, the co-directors will conduct focus groups and key informant interviews with stakeholders and interest groups including the healthcare providers such as midwives, nurses and physicians, NGOs, national government, as well as individuals and households in Uganda.  Following this, the co-directors will analyze how these barriers can be addressed with the resources available and will design a pilot project for EIMC services that respond to these issues.  The ultimate goal of the project is to demonstrate ways to incorporate EIMC services alongside VMMC services in Uganda, in order to pave the way for sustainable HIV prevention services in the future in similar low resource settings.
Community Partners: Dr. Sabrina Kitaka in Kampala at Mulago Hospital

Abbey Freed

Undergraduate School: University of California, Santa Barbara
Medical School: Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine
Home Town: Santa Barbara, CA
Career Plans: Child neurologist
Personal Interests: Skiing, hiking, and exploring LA.
Project Title: Safe infant sleep in the hospital 
Project Description: Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is the most common cause of death in infants under 1 year of age. Hospitals are required by law to practice safe sleep and educate parents. The goal of my QI project is to improve safe sleep compliance and education in the hospital setting. The interventions include educational events for residents/nurses, adding a sleep history to the H&P, adding safe sleep discharge instructions, etc. I will track my interventions through crib audits and parent surveys. The hope is that through proper modeling behavior and reinforcement, families will practice safe sleep hygiene when they go home.

Olivia Hoang-Kelada

Undergraduate School: University of California, San Diego
Medical School: University of Virginia
Home Town: Huntington Beach, CA
Career Plans: Hospital medicine or general pediatrics
An Inspirational Person: My husband because he is always looking for opportunities to help abroad and how he can be politically involved.
Personal Interests: Traveling and learning about new cultures and different ways of living.
Project Title: Effect of modified WHO's Emergency Triage Assessment and Treatment course on pediatric morbidity and mortaliry in Manthali, Nepal 
Project Description: Excessive pediatric morbidity and mortality continues to be an issue in low and middle-income countries, especially where patient volume is high and medical staff is limited, which often leads to patients being seen on a first-come basis leading to delayed medical care and higher mortality rates. We will be implementing a portion of the World Health's Organization's (WHO) Emergency Triage Assessment and Treatment (ETAT) Course at Tamakoshi Co-operative Hospital in Manthali, Nepal in order to help train hospital staff how to identify patients who need more urgent medical care. This WHO ETAT course has been used in other low and middle-income countries with demonstrated success. While prior studies have used the entire WHO ETAT course to demonstrate improvement in pediatric morbidity and mortality, we will be focusing on one portion of the course addressing how to triage (Module 1) in hopes to show that quick and efficient triage can easily be taught and carried out in a low resource setting. We hypothesize that teaching and implementing basic triage through the established WHO ETAT course with focus on module 1 will decrease pediatric morbidity and mortality at the Tamakoshi Cooperative Hospital in Manthali in comparison to their prior first-come first-serve method of seeing pediatric patients.
Community Partners: Tamakoshi Cooperative Hospital in Manthali, Nepal

Evie Huang

Undergraduate School: University of California, Berkeley
Medical School: Chicago Medical School
Home Town: San Jose, CA
Career Plans: Allergy and immunology
An Inspirational Person: My grandpa! He was super hardworking and always intellectually curious. He always had a project in mind and would work to complete whatever goal or project he set out to do. He loved to spend time with his grandchildren and cook us delicious meals too!
Personal Interests: For academics - asthma, food allergies, and eczema; For fun - eating, ice cream, exercising, hiking, ice-skating, and watching movies!
Project Title: Needs assessment survey of families with asthma 
Project Description: I will be focusing on screening families and patients with asthma in our AltaMed clinics (at CHLA and perhaps community AltaMed clinics) on why our patients utilize the ED for their asthma care. Specifically, I want to conduct a needs assessment survey to find out what is lacking in our patient's asthma prevention care and regimen that is allowing their asthma to significantly worsen to the point where A) they have to go to the ED or B) they are showing up at AltaMed clinic in need of STAT albuterol treatments.
Community Partners: AltaMed, CHLA

Erin Lee

Undergraduate School: University of Southern California
Medical School: University of California, Davis
Home Town: Los Angeles, CA
Career Plans: General pediatrics
An Inspirational Person: My grandmother. She survived countless obstacles on her own and raised 3 generations of children; the most resilient and persistent woman I know.
Personal Interests: Dining around LA, music, corny jokes, research/academic interests: addressing toxic stress in children, and mindfulness.
Project Title: Mindfulness curriculum for elementary school students
Project Description: Children today are exposed to a variety of different stressors, ranging from the inherent stress of normal daily life and social interaction to traumatic adverse experiences, which may have detrimental effects on long term health. A cumulative burden of adverse experiences has been shown to cause negative effects on physiological, cognitive, behavioral, and psychological functions. Specifically, studies regarding these adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and toxic stress emphasize the importance of prevention and addressing trauma across all systems, from the primary care setting to schools. A promising tool that has been shown to promote resiliency has been mindfulness training. Specifically, it has been shown to help elementary students improve their cognitive control, stress physiology, empathy, emotional control, optimism, school self-concept, and mindfulness with decrease in symptoms of depression and peer-rated aggression. Through collaboration between Dr. Sammy Lee Medical and Health Science Magnet Elementary School and CHLA, we will be implementing a 1-year mindfulness curriculum for over 600 kindergarteners through fifth grade students to build healthy coping mechanisms and resilience. We hope to conduct a bimodal study with quantitative and qualitative data. Pre and post intervention surveys will be utilized at three time points to measure mindfulness, stress perception, and resilience. We aim to (1) implement a large scale mindfulness based health curriculum at the elementary school level, (2) evaluate the feasibility and effectiveness of such curriculum, and while (3) strengthening the community relationship between CHLA and Sammy Lee.
Community Partners: Tools for Peace, Sammy Lee Elementary

Jennifer Min

Undergraduate School: University of California, Los Angeles
Medical School: University of Arizona College of Medicine
Home Town: Sierra Vista, AZ
Career Plans: ED or PICU fellowship
An Inspirational Person: My dad because he is the most motivated, hardworking, and big-hearted person I know. He immigrated to this country on his own without anything and worked hard to provide for his family. He reminds to me always be thankful and be a hard worker.
Personal Interests: Yoga, travelling, hiking, playing with my cat and dog, and eating.
Project Title: Effect of modified WHO's Emergency Triage Assessment and Treatment course on pediatric morbidity and mortality in Manthali, Nepal
Project Description: Excessive pediatric morbidity and mortality continues to be an issue in low and middle-income countries, especially where patient volume is high and medical staff is limited, which often leads to patients being seen on a first-come basis leading to delayed medical care and higher mortality rates. We will be implementing a portion of the World Health's Organization's (WHO) Emergency Triage Assessment and Treatment (ETAT) Course at Tamakoshi Co-operative Hospital in Manthali, Nepal in order to help train hospital staff how to identify patients who need more urgent medical care. This WHO ETAT course has been used in other low and middle-income countries with demonstrated success. While prior studies have used the entire WHO ETAT course to demonstrate improvement in pediatric morbidity and mortality, we will be focusing on one portion of the course addressing how to triage (Module 1) in hopes to show that quick and efficient triage can easily be taught and carried out in a low resource setting. We hypothesize that teaching and implementing basic triage through the established WHO ETAT course with focus on module 1 will decrease pediatric morbidity and mortality at the Tamakoshi Cooperative Hospital in Manthali in comparison to their prior first-come first-serve method of seeing pediatric patients.
Community Partners: Tamakoshi Cooperative Hospital in Manthali, Nepal

Gabriela Morel

Undergraduate School: University of Notre Dame
Graduate School: University of Notre Dame
Medical School: University of Southern California
Home Town: Los Angeles, CA
Career Plans: Pediatric emergency medicine fellowship
An Inspirational Person: My Dad is my biggest role model. With only a high school diploma, he never gave up on his dream of serving the community through law enforcement no matter what barriers stood in his way. His qualities of perseverance through adversity, leadership, and dedication to service are what I hope to achieve with my own career goals.
Personal Interests: Traveling, both locally and abroad, trying out new restaurants, trail running, hikes, beach trips, and pretty much anything outdoors.
Project Title: Characterization of the breast milk, infant oral and gut microbiomes in multiple geographic locations; role in immune development and response to oral rotavirus vaccine in Panama 
Project Description: Rotaviruses are the leading cause of gastroenteritis in infants and children worldwide, resulting in over 450,000 deaths annually among children less than 5 years of age.  The WHO recommends the rotavirus vaccine for all children worldwide, but studies have shown a lower vaccine efficacy in low and middle-income countries compared to high-income countries. The development of vaccine response within various socioeconomic levels in a given country or city is likely a multifactorial process. Our study investigates the potential role of the infant gut microbiota on the developing immune system and how it may differ according to socioeconomic status and therefore affect vaccine efficacy. The goal of this study is to investigate the role of gut microbiome in rotavirus vaccine response by characterizing the differences in breast milk, infant oral and gut microbiome between mother-infant cohorts in the Los Angeles and Panama City. We plan to evaluate the differences in RV vaccine serologic response among the geographically different cohorts and correlate with gut microbial composition and diversity. Infant oral, stool, and blood as well as breast milk microbiota will be examined over a several month period postnatally. Within this larger scope microbiome product, I will also implement an educational intervention to increase the level of awareness of the many short and long-term benefits of exclusive breastfeeding during the first six months of life, including decreased rates of diarrheal illness such as rotavirus infection.
Community Partners: Instituto Conmemorativo Gorgas de Estudios en Salud Panamá, Panama City, Panama.

Caitlin Newhouse

Undergraduate School: Harvard University
Medical School: Georgetown University
Home Town: Altadena, CA
Career Plans: Infectious disease
An Inspirational Person: My grandfather has been one of the most inspiring people I know. Because of his love of learning and curiosity, he traveled extensively during his life and his intellectual curiosity and values have inspired me and all of my siblings and cousins to be interested in the global community and constantly striving to learn more from all the interesting people around us.
Personal Interests: Hiking, running, beach volleyball, and spending time outdoors.
Project Title: Promoting early infant male circumcision as part of an HIV prevention strategy
Description: Multiple randomized control trials have shown that male circumcision reduces the transmission of HIV by 60%.  Accordingly, the WHO recommends simultaneous implementation of both adolescent/adult voluntary male circumcision (VMMC) and early infant male circumcision (EIMC) with the goal of ultimately transitioning programs to EIMC given it cost effectiveness over VMMC.

Recognizing the importance of finding sustainable and long-term HIV prevention methods this project aims to promote Early Infant Male Circumcision in Uganda.  In the first year of the project, the co-directors will conduct a barrier analysis with the goal to identify the various social/ cultural, political and economic barriers to providing/utilizing EIMC services at an individual and national level in Uganda.  In order to accomplish this, the co-directors will conduct focus groups and key informant interviews with stakeholders and interest groups including the healthcare providers such as midwives, nurses and physicians, NGOs, national government, as well as individuals and households in Uganda.  Following this, the co-directors will analyze how these barriers can be addressed with the resources available and will design a pilot project for EIMC services that respond to these issues.  The ultimate goal of the project is to demonstrate ways to incorporate EIMC services alongside VMMC services in Uganda, in order to pave the way for sustainable HIV prevention services in the future in similar low resource settings.
Community Partners: Dr. Sabrina Kitaka in Kampala at Mulago Hospital

Elizabeth Van Dyke

Undergraduate School: University of Notre Dame
Medical School: Columbia University
Home Town: Bainbridge Island, WA
Career Plans: General pediatrics or adolescent medicine, global health
An Inspirational Person: Frida Kahlo, I've been really interested and inspired by her story ever since I learned about her and had the opportunity to visit her home with Mexico City.
Personal Interests: Yoga, knitting, fancy LA ice cream, and hiking.
Project Title: Support groups of unaccompanied minors in Los Angeles high schools 
Project Description: My project is a school-based group therapy program to provide support for Unaccompanied Minors in the LA area. Unaccompanied Minors in the LA area are typically children from Central American who immigrated to the USA without their parents, typically fleeing an unsafe environment. The curriculum for this program is called FUERTE, and was initially developed by UCSF Child and Adolescent Psychiatry staff and has been piloted in San Francisco Unified School District high school students as part of a resident project by UCSF pediatrics residents. The program focuses on building resiliency in recently-immigrated Latino youth and helping them navigate the process of reunification with family members after prolonged separation. The curriculum utilizes art projects, narrative therapy and mindfulness exercises in addition to group discussion and basic behavioral therapy to promote healthy coping skills. The original curriculum is set to run over 5 separate hour-long sessions, run by mental health specialists who are fluent in Spanish.  I plan to organize and train bilingual mental health providers to implement similar support group for unaccompanied minors, possibly within LA high schools or in support groups in other settings. I will also possibly make modifications
Community Partners: Los Angeles Unified School District

Yin Zhou

Undergraduate School: Duke University
Medical School: Baylor College of Medicine
Home Town: Houston, TX
Career Plans: Hospital medicine, QI, administration
Project Title: Discharge contingency planning 
Project Description: When patients get discharged from their hospital stay, many caretakers don't know how to care for their child at home especially if their original symptoms worsen. Despite receiving discharge instructions, parents don't know which physicians to contact if their child worsens at home. Therefore appropriate care is delayed and patients often get readmitted unnecessarily. I am trying to design different methods to reinforce and improve the way we teach contingency planning at discharge.