ExecutiveDirector's blog

Dr Schonfeld; Supporting children and families in the aftermath of disaster

David J Schonfeld, MD, FAAP

Suzanne Dworak-Peck

School of Social Work and Pediatrics

University of Southern California and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles



Recent Fires in Northern California

Recent fires in Northern California killed at least 42 people, displaced over 100,000 people, destroyed nearly 9,000 homes and buildings and burned more than 200,000 acres. Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone affected. While the fires may now be under control, the disaster is still evolving with many questions about long term impact. Please see attached links to documents (smoke exposure, mental health, general info) that may be helpful as you address questions and concerns.

2017 NCE Presentation

The presentation was presented at the 2017 NCE as a plenary session on social media and health. It was entitled Snapshots for Social Justice: Bridging Images and Collective Action. My intention was to centre the larger public conversation regarding racism, white supremacy, Islamophobia, and violence and to challenge paediatricians to respond with empathy and collective action.

Supporting Immigrant Families


Governor Brown signed SB54 into law on Oct 5, 2017; this largely prohibits local law enforcement from sharing information with federal immigration authorities; and assures schools, hospitals, libraries and courthouses as safe and accessible spaces for everyone in California. The bill goes into effect on Jan 1, 2018.

Pediatric Puzzles - Dr. Rita Agarwal

Dr Agarwal is a Pediatric Anesthesiologist who went to medical school and completed her anesthesia residency at Baylor College of Medicine, with a fellowship in pediatric anesthesiology at Denver Children's Hospital. Her interests include pediatric acute pain management, regional anesthesia, ambulatory anesthesia and neuro-anesthesia and medical student, reisident fellow education. She was the Pediatric Anesthesia Program Director at the University of Colorado for 18 years and the Course Director for the Colorado Review of Anesthesiology for Surgicenters and Hospitals for 17.

The Most Important Questions We Won't Answer for You

For some, the white nationalist demonstration and tragic violence in Charlottesville was a wake-up call. As the nation considers how modern displays of anti-immigrant, anti-Semitic, and anti-Black sentiments betray our collective values, professionals committed to the well-being of families have the opportunity to reassert their own.

As pediatricians, this is an important moment to confront intolerance in practice and, more specifically, ask vital questions about how we may perpetuate racism and oppression ourselves.