A Comprehensive Journey through Pediatric Allergy and Immunology with CHOP

May 28, 2024

Last week, from May 20 to 22, the OMI, in collaboration with the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, hosted another transformative seminar in Pediatrics: Pediatric Allergy and Immunology. The event brought together what we have the best to offer: medical expertise and the dissemination of knowledge that promises to reverberate across borders, impacting communities far and wide.

At the heart of the seminar was the OMI MEX spirit to foster collaboration among clinical educators and physicians from Latin America with a shared passion for medicine in their communities. Over the course of three days, more than 40 doctors from various states of Mexico, as well as backgrounds from Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras, and Ecuador, gathered in Mexico City to engage in a collective pursuit of knowledge.

For the course director, Dr. Rushani Saltzman, Associate Medical Director for Patient and Family Experience at CHOP, this represented more than just an academic exercise; it was a place of hope and empowerment.

“There is no greater gift than to be able to empower young physicians with the power of knowledge,” stated Saltzman. Indeed, the seminar served as a platform for the exchange of ideas, experiences, and best practices, with the goal of equipping these physicians to effect positive change within their communities.

Dr. Saltzman was joined by Dr. Terri F. Brown-Whitehorn, honoree of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Master Clinician Award; Dr. Jennifer Heimall, CHOP allergy and immunology fellowship training program director; and Dr. Omar Josué Saucedo Ramírez representing our Mexican faculty member, Assistant Professor of Allergy and Clinical Immunology of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México.

The seminar agenda was crafted to address key challenges and updates in pediatric Allergy and Immunology. Fellows delved into the nuances of asthma diagnosis and management, with a particular focus on navigating complex cases. A comprehensive review of immunodeficiency and food allergy provided attendees with insights into emerging trends and treatment modalities. Moreover, the seminar tackled the importance of addressing environmental allergies and common skin conditions prevalent in pediatrics. Discussions on atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, and urticaria were also addressed as strategies for effective management and patient care.

As the seminar came to an end, fellows engaged in round-table discussions, meaning thought-provoking dialogue on global healthcare systems. A comparative analysis of healthcare frameworks in the United States versus Latin America highlighted areas for collaboration and improvement, which truly illuminates one of OMI’s core beliefs: human connection for change.

The conclusion of the OMI MEX seminar symbolizes more than just the end of an event; it means the beginning of a new chapter in pediatric healthcare in each of the fellows’ work environments. As we reflect on the accomplishments of the past week, we remain strong in our commitment to advancing the health and well-being of children worldwide. Together, we have the power to shape a brighter and healthier future.

The faculty was so attentive and made sure that all of us were following the lectures in English, which made me feel comfortable and made me forget about the language barrier. I could focus more on what interested me the most, which was early management of diseases.
José Armando Rivera González, MD

OMI MEX fellow from Mexico

My favorite lectures were IgE Food Allergy (Including Anaphylaxis) by Dr. Saltzman and the Immunodeficiency lectures by Dr. Heimall. The lectures were so clear and well presented, and the faculty also encouraged me to actively participate. I learned different ways to treat conditions I can actually apply in my country. I am eager to replicate what I have learned back home.
Ana Albarracin, MD

OMI MEX fellow from Colombia

The seminar has helped me to better understand food allergies, when to test, and how to treat them. As the faculty also focused on asthma, I was able to see the way we need to make the diagnosis of severe cases clearer. I have many key take away messages, and one of them is the sooner the diagnosis, the better the treatment.
Norma Velásquez, MD

OMI MEX fellow from Honduras