American Academy of Pediatrics - California Chapter 2
Grant Christman, MD, MACM, FAAP

2023 October Edition

President's Message

October has been a busy month so far for the chapter! We held our most recent chapter social event in beautiful San Luis Obispo, where I met with many pediatricians that are new to chapter activities, as well as longstanding friends and colleagues I’ve either not seen in many years or have only seen on video conferences.

It was also amazing to see how many regional child advocates were present, including representatives from First 5 SLO, the SLO County Department of Public Health, and even the mayor of San Luis Obispo. We discussed opportunities for collaboration on advocacy projects, town halls for pediatricians, and health education for our patients’ parents and caregivers.


We also discussed the challenges that pediatricians (especially those in private practice) are facing in San Luis Obispo. The message I was hearing there was very similar to what I’ve heard at previous chapter events; pediatricians are facing increasing struggles in working with health insurance providers, including inadequate payments and logistical challenges.


As I discussed in last month’s newsletter, the chapter is forming a pediatric council to help pediatricians and health insurance providers build stronger and more collaborative relationships, with the hope that we can work together to increase quality of care and address financial and logistical challenges.


I was excited to meet chapter members interested in participating in our pediatric council at the SLO event, but the chapter continues to need more volunteers from all seven counties. If you are interested, please contact our executive director, Tomas Torices, at


The chapter’s continued goal is to host social events in each of our counties, so that you have the opportunity to meet with fellow pediatricians, child advocates, health officials, and legislators in your own regions. Stay tuned for updates on upcoming events in San Bernardino, Riverside, and Santa Barbara Counties.


I would like to call attention to another upcoming opportunity for CME and networking coming up next month. The Updates in Hospital Pediatrics conference, previously a virtual conference but now in-person for the first time, will be held at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles on November 10-11. This conference is meant for any pediatrician who cares for children in the hospital setting, including hospitalists, general pediatricians, and pediatric subspecialists. There will also be a networking reception at the conclusion of sessions on November 10. More information and the registration link are located further down in today’s newsletter. I hope to see you at the conference!


This month’s member spotlight features Dr. Nisha AbdulCader of San Luis Obispo, one of the amazing pediatricians I had the pleasure of meeting at the SLO event. In the Trainees Corner we have Dr. Sahar Panjwani of UCLA presenting a case of Encephalitis as submitted for the 2023 research awards. I would like to thank Dr. Akhila Vadivelan for submitting an article to highlight cancer awareness month.


Check out The Quorum for Dr. Kamaal Jones’s report on the 2023-24 legislative session. He has been working hard with the other three California chapters to promote our legislative advocacy priorities in Sacramento! If you are interested in legislative advocacy, please consider joining the chapter’s Advocacy Committee, which meets monthly to discuss bills and other advocacy issues.


Finally, I would like to welcome our new chapter members and encourage them to get involved by joining a chapter committee. Information about our committees and other resources are available on our website, Your support makes the work of this chapter possible! 


Upcoming events in this month’s newsletter include:


  • October 20 & 27 LACDPH Vaccine Sessions
  • October 25 | Town Hall with Dr. Ken Saul
  • Nov 10/11 | CHLA 4th Annual Updates in Hospital Pediatrics
  • November 7 | LACDPH Pediatric Information Session
  • November 16 | TzieldTM Webinar. Potential to delay Stage 3 T1D
  • Nov 29 | Moving Away From the Precipice (Wellness webinar)


Best wishes,

Grant Christman, MD, MACM, FAAP

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Feature Article

October - Cancer Awareness Month!

Akhila Vadivelan, MD, FAAP

Pediatric Hematology Oncology Fellow, UCLA

Meeting those bald beautiful heads, with charming eyes and sunny smiles mark the beginning of my day. Sitting with them are their loved ones, smiling and supporting them through the hard days none the less they are anxious of the outcomes. Yes, I am talking about those kids with cancer! Read more ...

Data Exchange Framework

How many times have you seen a patient in your clinic with mental health concerns and discovered at the end of the visit that they were already seeing a therapist? Or had a family come into the ER who can’t remember what medications the child has been taking for asthma? In response to the crisis of inadequate access to crucial medical information, California has created a ground-breaking new framework requiring all medical providers and hospitals to share confidential health information through a Data Exchange Framework. The Data Exchange Framework (DxF) is an opportunity to create equitable and affordable health information exchange, so that patients, providers, and other healthcare entities can access the health information they need, wherever they are and whenever they need it.

AAP-CA2 recently received a grant from California Human and Health Services to inform and support pediatric health care providers and systems in this transformative set of policies and procedures that will allow us to share health records electronically in a private and secure manner.

Learn about how you can support the Data Exchange Framework initiative by accessing the documents below:

Legislative Updates

The Quorum

Updates on Mental Health Policy

By Kamaal A. Jones, MD, FAAP

Policy and Legislative Affairs Analyst

Tuesday October 10th, 2023 was recognized around the globe as “World Mental Health Day”. This year, the theme was “Mental Health is a Universal Human Right”. As you may recall, mental health is one of the 3 key focuses for our chapter ... Read more

Medi-Cal Targeted Rate Increases - Codes List

tarting January 2024 there will be an increase in Medi-Cal payments to 87.5% of Medicare rates for primary care outpatient services in CA. The California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) has made public a list of codes chosen by the state for this targeted payment increase.

Please access the DCHS website to learn more, and be sure to review the Medi-Cal Targeted Rate Increase Codes List to verify the codes used in your practice are included.

Please contact the chapter if there are any missing codes for the services that you are providing. Our Chapter and District IX Government Affairs Committees will need to advocate immediately if any pediatric practice codes are left out.

Thank you to all who attended the San Luis Obispo Social on October 7th.


The AAP-CA2 San Luis Obispo County Chapter Social was held this past October 7th at the rooftop of SLO Hotel, hosted by San Luis Obispo County Representative Dr. René Bravo, chapter president Dr. Grant Christman, and executive director Tomás Torices. Attendees included pediatricians along with members of their family, pediatric subspecialists, city and county officials, and representatives from First 5 San Luis Obispo. Erica A. Stewart, San Luis Obispo City Mayor expressed the imperative need for more physicians in the county. Dr. Penny Borenstein, Health Officer of the San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department, who by the way was named physician of the year in 2020, shared some of her experiences during the recent pandemic. This event was an opportunity for retired and currently practicing pediatricians to gather socially, and network professionally. This was the inaugural Chapter 2 social event in San Luis Obispo.

QI Project | Anti-Vaping Champions at UCLA
Participate in Quality Improvement with Anti-Vaping Champions at UCLA!

AAP-CA2, in collaboration with Anti-Vaping Champions at UCLA, is recruiting practices interested in participating in a Quality Improvement project. The focus is to incorporate vaping screening, counseling, and treatment referrals during visits for pediatric patients.
Receive 25 points of ABP MOC Part 4 credit for your participation, $400 at the end of the 4th cycle, plus up to $300 for participating in the Clinic Learning Collaborative meetings every other month ($50 Amazon card per meeting attendance x 6).

Please contact or complete this Interest Form.

AAP Social Pedia Newsletter

October Social Pedia Newsletter

In this issue:

  • Updated COVID Vaccines & Flu Vaccine
  • New resources just in time for lu and RSV season
  • October is SIDS Awareness Month
  • Learning Differences/ ADHD Awareness Month
  • Halloween Safety
  • Teen Driver Safety

View all the details, Here

Trainees Corner

We'll Come To Your School or Hospital

Dear Medical Schools and Pediatric Residency Programs in AAP California Chapter 2, 

Are you interested in learning more about local advocacy efforts? Do you want to hear more about getting involved in AAP California Chapter 2? If yes, then please consider inviting our chapter leadership to your local pediatric interest group meeting, pediatric residency noon conference, or any other gathering. Our chapter leadership wants to connect with the trainees in the area so reach out to to schedule an event at your medical school / residency program!

Early Career Leadership Alliance (ECLA)

Introducing a New Leadership Training Program for ECPs! | Apply by 11/12

Dear SOECP Members,

The AAP Section on Early Career Physicians (SOECP) is thrilled to announce the launch of our leadership program designed to empower and inspire future leaders: Early Career Leadership Alliance (ECLA)!

What is the Early Career Leadership Alliance? 

 In line with Goal 3 of the AAP Equity Agenda, ECLA is a 2-year training initiative crafted to cultivate leaders and foster a community of leadership among physicians, with a particular emphasis on supporting our members that are underrepresented in medicine (URIM). Learn more and Apply ...

2023 AAP-CA2 Research Awards

The AAP California Chapter 2 sent out a call for abstracts on scholarly projects by trainees in the Southern California counties of Kern, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura. The accepted abstracts were showcased at the 2023 Advances in Pediatrics Virtual Symposium. We would like to recognize each finalist and their abstract in our chapter newsletter. Thank you to everyone who participated in this year's research awards.

Anti-CASPR2 Antibody Autoimmune Encephalitis in a 2-year-old Female with Elevated Mercury Levels and COVID-19

Sahar Panjwani, MD; Richard Kizzee, MD; Taylor Shannon, MD; Kelli Kaneta, MD (CHLA)

We present a case of a 2-year-old female with elevated serum mercury levels and acute COVID-19 who was admitted to our hospital with worsening chills, insomnia, full body rash (Fig 1), hand and foot swelling.. Read more

Member Spotlight

Name: Nisha AbdulCader

Practice location: San Luis Obispo

Number of years in practice: 28 years

I am fortunate to call home the beautiful county of San Luis Obispo, where I have raised three children with my husband, Dr. Rushdi AbdulCader, an Emergency Physician.  I have had the privilege of working with some of San Luis Obispo County's most vulnerable children for over 20 years ... Read more

The Member Spotlight is written to highlight our chapter membership. Chapter members can submit personal narratives about themselves with a focus on how they maintain their physician wellness in the face of everyday struggles and challenges. Authors may also choose to highlight a practice, volunteer activities, QI projects, etc. The purpose of the spotlight series is to encourage and foster unity and support within the chapter.

Please complete THIS FORM to be considered for a future Member Spotlight in the AAP-CA2 Newsletter!

Reach Out & Read Inland Empire

Reach Out and Read Expanding Collaboration and Common Causes!

By Delesa Barnes

Reach Out and Read Inland Empire Program Coordinator

Reach Out and Read Inland Empire (RORIE) advocates are no strangers to our mission to amplify early childhood literacy education and all of the benefits for families and caregivers that come along with intentionally engaging in reading with children starting at birth. Our latest efforts ... Read more.

LAC DPH | Vaccine Preventable Diseases Control Program

Guidance on Protection from Seasonal Respiratory Viruses (October Update)  

Public health expects to see high levels of circulating respiratory viruses this fall and winter, including influenza, COVID-19, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). Vaccines are the best protection for seasonal viruses. Providers have shared questions regarding vaccine cost and reimbursement, and we have tried to provide additional information below to address these questions.

Click Here for the October Update

Welcome New Chapter Members

Welcome NEW members who joined the Chapter in September.

Thank you for your support!

Gary Anderson, MD, FAAP - Long Beach

Jackyln Chan, MD, FAAP - West Covina

Daniel Cho, MD, FAAP - Irvine

Julie DiMundo, DO, FAAP - La Canada

Nefretiti Garrison-North, MD, FAAP - Murrieta

George Segura, MD, FAAP - Los Angeles

Shigeo Sumida, MD, FAAP - Apple Valley

Stephen Treiman, MD, FAAP - Arcadia

District IX EDI Champion | Applications Open Now

District IX (The four AAP chapters in the sate of California) is seeking a pediatrician to hold the position of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Champion for the term 2024 - 2028. The application process is open now and will close on November 9 at 10 PM. The term for this position will begin January 1, 2024.

Please see the EDI Champion Role Description. Email us at or call (818)422-9877 if you are interested.

CMA | Resources

Equity and Practice Transformation (EPT) Provider Directed Payment Program 

The California Medical Association (CMA) has been working closely with DHCS to assist independent practices to apply for the following programs:

EPT Grant

Data Sharing Agreement Grant

DSA Grant

  • Funds available for installing/upgrading tech and staff training supporting data sharing agreement compliance and/or expansion of data exchange e.g. lab connections
  • Round 3 opens October 16.
  • Up to $50K for individual practices
  • There is still about $40M of funding available
  • More resources found on CMA DxF microsite

For more information, contact Jeff Nguyen, Sr. Director of Physician Services at CMA

(310) 773-5105   |   |

Gasol Foundation | Free Programs for kids 6 - 12
Gasol Foundation (founded by NBA Champions Pau and Marc Gasol) is a nonprofit that works through evidence-based programming, evaluation and research, and advocacy to promote children’s wellness, with a focus on eliminating childhood obesity.
Every Gasol Foundation program incorporates physical activity, healthy eating, sleep, and emotional well-being to improve the health of our children and their overall development.

View our fall programming map
Job Board
Faculty Position description
The Department of Pediatrics, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital seeks a faculty member to join the Department of Pediatrics Health Science Series in the Division of General Pediatrics. Academic rank will be commensurate with experience. Duties include patient care, teaching of fellows and residents, and participation in research or other scholarly endeavors that will lead to academic promotion. Read more...

Los Angeles County Department of Health Services
LA County Health Services is seeking 5 pediatricians/nurse practitioners for its Antelope Valley clinics, for full- or part-time work. Pay is competitive. Hours are flexible. There is no weekend or overnight call. We are an evidence-based practice, with stellar clinicians that work with multidisciplinary teams. We have on site radiology, and multiple sub-specialties. Contact Amy Shekarchi for inquiries/interest:
Compliance: The New Immunization Registry Requirement

New Registry Requirement to Submit Immunization and TB Data 


AB 1797, a new California bill effective January 1, 2023, requires providers to enter immunizations and TB tests they administer, as well as a patient’s race and ethnicity, into a California immunization registry (CAIR OR RIDE/Healthy Futures).


This reporting requirement includes newly recommended immunizations, such as

  • Nirsevimab to prevent severe RSV disease for infants and toddlers  


Many of your questions can be answered by visiting the AB 1797 Immunization Registry FAQs page.


Not Yet Enrolled? Enroll Now!

Watch on our YouTube Channel
Upcoming Events

October 20 and 27 @ 1:00 PM |  Vaccine Sessions

LACDPH 2023 Flu, RSV, & COVID Vaccine Updates Sessions 

You are invited to join our upcoming vaccine update sessions. 1.0 CEU credit will be provided. Trainings will be virtual using Microsoft Teams. 

Registration is required: 

October 25th @ 6:30 PM |  Town Hall Meeting

Join Dr. Ken Saul for another educational town hall, October 25th @ the Maggiano's in Woodland Hills. This event will include a discussion on the top issues effecting practicing Pediatricians today, including hot topics in Dermatology, Ophthalmology, ENT, and more! The featured speaker will be Dr. Jerome Sigua, a Senior Medical Science Liaison with US Medical Affairs.

Download Flier

Meeting Time: October 25th @ 6:30PM

Location: Maggiano’s - 6100 Topanga Canyon Blvd, Woodland Hills

November 10 & 11th |  Updates in Hospital Pediatrics


4th Annual Updates in Hospital Pediatrics (UHP)

In-Person Conference

November 10, 2023

8:00 AM – 5:00 PM

November 11, 2023

8:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Visit the Event Page

Click to view Flier

November 7th @ 12 PM | Pediatric Information Session

LAC DPH-AAP Pediatric Information Session 

Tuesday, November 7th at 12:00 pm.

In addition to a situation update on seasonal viruses, special guest presenter Dr. G. Kaliah Salas, PsyD, Mental Health Clinical Program Manager at Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health (LACDMH), will be sharing a free screening tool available to primary care providers and presenting on the referral process for LACDMH. 1.0 CEU credit will be provided.  

Click here to register for the session 

November 16th @ 12:15PM |  TZIELDTM Webcast

Provention Bio invites you to attend a Webcast program titled TZIELDTM: Potential to Delay Stage 3 T1D. This event will take place on November 16th @ 12:15PM! This event will give attendees more information about the drug TZIELDTM. Learn more below!

Download Flier

Click To RSVP

November 29th @ 6 PM |  Moving Away from the Precipice through Enhanced Professional and Personal Wellness

Join us for an upcoming webinar with Dr. Thomas Demaria, a clinical psychologist who has worked in hospital, corporate and academic settings during his thirty-five-year career. Dr. Demaria will be presenting on "Moving Away from the Precipice through Enhanced Professional and Personal Wellness."

Learning Objectives:

1. Evaluate factors associated with professional burnout and fatigue

2. Identify the direct and indirect impacts of stress on patient care and practice management

3. Develop new professional and personal wellness strategies which enhance growth and satisfaction.

Download Flier

Click To RSVP

April 27, 2024 |  Save the Date!

AAP-CA2 35th Annual Advances In Pediatrics Symposium

35th Annual Advances In Pediatrics Symposium
A date has been set for next year's Pediatric Symposium, hosted at UCLA. Next year's event will be on April 27th, so make sure to mark your calendars! More details to come.
Fridays - Miller Children's Grand Rounds
Pediatric Grand Rounds
Fridays at 8 AM

Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 924 5224 4153
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  • Help Me Grow LA website: 
  • Help Me Grow LA Call Center phone number: (833) 903-3972 
You can help improve the system by partnering with Help Me Grow LA to make sure all young children in your care are supported and provided resources to benefit their development. 
Contact Help Me Grow LA leadership via email: We look forward to working with you!

Membership Options | Large Groups
Enterprise Membership - Did you know?
Signing up your entire practice (clinical and non-clinical staff) qualifies for a 20% discount on Chapter membership dues. Contact us for details.
Los Angeles County Immigrant Youth Resource Toolkit

The Immigrant Youth Task Force (IYTF) at UCLA and the American Academy of Pediatrics California Chapter 2 (AAP-CA2) invite you to visit The Los Angeles County Immigrant Youth Resource Toolkit, a website consolidating community resources in the greater LA area for immigrant youth and families. Our goal is to help professionals from all disciplines address the needs of their immigrant youth patients/clients with regards to health care, legal services, education, social services, and more. As our toolkit continues to evolve, we encourage you to explore and use it in your practice going forward.
Chapter Committees and Sections
Chapter committees are great opportunities to get involved in areas that interest you the most. Furthermore, if you are a Fellow member (FAAP), local involvement could position you for leadership opportunities at National AAP. To learn more about our various Committees and Sections, and to sign up, please visit

Advertise in Our Newsletter
AAP-CA2 invites you to advertise in our newsletter
AAP-CA2 publishes its electronic newsletter, Peds@CA2, which is emailed to its 1,500+ members on the second weekend every month. Chapter members and non-profit organizations receive a 50% discount. Please follow the link below for more information.

For advertisement rates and guidelines, please click here.
If you are interested in advertising, please email the Chapter.
Article Submissions
Article submissions will be reviewed on a rolling basis. The newsletter is published the second Sunday of each month.
Please view all Newsletter issues online at
You may direct questions and article submissions to the "American Academy of Pediatrics - CA Chapter 2" <>.

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Established in July 2020 to highlight educational content and resources of value to chapter members, and to showcase our chapter membership.
AAP-CA2 Board of Directors 2022-2024
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