CCANN’s Virtual Fall Conference in Endocrinology


CCANN was proud to present its first virtual conference, “Neonatal Endocrinology Pearls” on Saturday, October 24th. The speakers were outstanding, the presentation was well-organized and, thankfully, we did not experience any technological glitches! Thank you for all who registered and participated. 3 CEUs were offered for this 3 hour conference. The $1,800 raised from this event were donated to the Red Cross towards the relief from the recent California fires. CCANN co-presidents Kamela Loo, NNP and Gil-da Aum, RN as well as the emcee for the event, Rachel Isaac, RN kicked off the conference with a powerpoint Kamela presented showcasing this 2020 year of CCANN. Following that slideshow, we were very fortunate to have three wonderful pediatric endocrinologists from Valley Children’s Hospital presenting for our association.

Our first speaker was Dr. Omar Ali who joined the VCH team in 2018. In addition to his long list of accomplishments, Dr. Ali has been a reviewer as well as published in a variety of medical journals. His presentation topic was on Congenital Hypothyroidism (CH). He reviewed thyroid anatomy and physiology, the impact of primary CH, and how we diagnose and treat that disease state. Dr. Ali shared the clinical outcomes as well as case studies at the end of his educational presentation. His slides included interesting statistics, diagrams, as well as pictures of babies with typical signs of CH that we could be seeing in the NICU.

The second speaker was Dr. Meenal Mendiratta, who joined the VCH team in 2017. She is also published and worked as an assistant professor at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. Dr. Mendiratta presented on the topic of neonatal hypocalcemia. She started off with a case study, and then continued to discuss the
role of calcium in the body and how it’s metabolized. She defined hypocalcemia, reviewed the various causes, and explained how to evaluate and manage hypocalcemia in the NICU. Dr. Mendiratta finished with the same case study, examining how maternal history can be very important in figuring out the diagnosis as well.

Our final guest presenter for the morning was Dr. Isra Abugroun, who joined the VCH team this year. She has presented at a variety of events, including the International Meeting of Pediatric Endocrinology, where she presented on improving glycemic control in children and adolescents with Type 1 Diabetes
Mellitus. Last year, she provided education on pediatric endocrinology to local medical students at Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia. For our conference, Dr. Abugroun shared her knowledge of neonatal hypoglycemia. She included the pathophysiology, glucose metabolism, physiology, etiology and mechanism of disease, as well as treatment. She detailed the rationale for the various NICU stat critical labs ordered for those hypoglycemic infants.

During the short breaks, we had our vendors present their products. Jennifer Montoya, the US Silentia Representative and our special event sponsor, advertised the company’s privacy screen system. Silentia’s reliable, sturdy product replaces dirty hospital curtains and other mobile privacy screens. Ame Heinemeyer of Prolacta Bioscience presented from Thousand Oaks to promote the company’s human milk nutritional products for NICU babies. Ross Nicholls from Mead Johnson Nutritional showcased the company’s innovative liquid human milk fortifier bottles to be used in place of the 5 milliliter packets.

CCANN would like to thank these vendors, as well as Kentec Medical and Syneos, for all of their support during this Covid pandemic. We would also like to send a special shout-out to Tim Goranson, the General Manager of US Silenita Inc., who put this Zoom virtual conference together, making it possible for all of us to enjoy and learn together from the comfort of our own homes!