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CHLA Grant Allows Expansion Of Services, Education On Primary Immune Deficiencies

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Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) will be able to expand diagnostic, research and physician education services for Primary Immunodeficiencies (PI) thanks to a grant from the Jeffrey Modell Foundation presented last week. This commitment will establish the hosptial’s Jeffrey Modell Diagnostic and Research Program for Primary Immunodeficiencies at the hospital.

The main objective of the grant is to obtain the earliest possible and most precise diagnosis for individuals who may have a PI. PIs are genetic disorders that result in a weakened immune system and an increased likelihood of developing severe, chronic or unusual infections. The grant will expand diagnostic and research capabilities, with a strong emphasis on a physician education and awareness campaign.

While effective treatment exists for patients affected by these diseases, many patients are undiagnosed and untreated because of a lack of awareness by physicians. The Jeffrey Modell Foundation is in its seventh year of a joint awareness and education campaign with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Complications of Primary Immunodeficiencies are typically caused by infections that may be life threatening or debilitating,” said Dr. Joseph Church, CHLA division head of clinical immunology and allergy. “Thanks to this gift from the Jeffrey Modell Foundation, we can expand services and education outreach so we can better identify and care for children who are stricken with these potentially devastating illnesses.”

The CHLA Jeffrey Modell Diagnostic and Research Program for Primary Immunodeficiencies will work to provide affected children and adolescents with leading-edge diagnosis and treatment options. Providing care for PIs is complex and requires a special set of expertise—all of which are offered at CHLA. Hospital doctors in clinical immunology and allergy, bone marrow transplant and research immunology, and pathology and laboratory medicine have extensive experience in PIs and work as a team to care for patients. All members of the care team, including nutritionists and social workers, are available onsite at the hospital.

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