By Anonymous - August 26, 2015

Shortly before this year’s May 2015 commencement exercises, Dr. Mariam Ischander, MD, pediatric pulmonologist and director of the LLUH Home Vent Clinic, asked Bonnie Nelson, DDS’88, chair, Department of Pediatric Dentistry, if the residents from the Advanced Specialty Education Program in Pediatric Dentistry could provide her special needs patients with dental care. (Approximately one third of the compromised Home Vent patients are on Medi-Cal and are School of Dentistry pediatric patients.)

Faculty, residents, and assistants from the Pediatric Dental Clinic

Since 1995, LLUH Home Vent has been a pulmonary oriented team now under the direction (since 2013) of Dr. Ischander. The home ventilator program patients suffer from a cross-section of debilitating conditions that include: chronic lung disease of prematurity, bronchopulmonary dysplasia, interstitial lung disease, pulmonary hypoplasia, neuromuscular disease (Duchenne muscular dystrophy, SMA, diaphragm paralysis), central hypoventilation syndromes, congenital airways abnormalities, spinal cord injury, obstructive sleep apnea, severe scoliosis and abnormal thorax, severe congenital heart disease, and central nervous system diseases that include head trauma, asphexia infections, and severe cerebral palsy.



"Here is what you get when you are finished" (all stuffed animals courtesy of Dr. Ischander).

Ordinarily these patients face a long wait, but with Dr. Nelson’s facilitation, all eight of the pediatric dentistry residents, along with nurses, program coordinators, respiratory therapists, and clinical instructors, spent four Wednesday mornings (May 10, May 27, June 3, and June 10) providing all 143 of Dr. Ischander’s patients dental care that included teeth cleanings, scaling, restorations, and extractions. “ldquo;We have nurses, coordinators, and respiratory therapists here to help and we have a lot of fun,” said Dr. Nelson, as she held a bored and distracted young patient sibling. “The experience helps our residents acquire experience treating special needs patients.”





Dr. Nelson preoccupies a patient’s sibling.

The Advanced Specialty Education in Pediatric Dentistry residents who treated the Home Vent patients were —    

2nd year pediatric residents



  • Minh-Ky Young, DDS
  • Adi Genish, DDS
  • Pooyan Nasibi, DDS
  • Ava Chung, DDS

1st year pediatric dentistry residents

  • Ryan Baker, DMD
  • Xuan Lam, DMD
  • Amanda Zenthoefer, DDS
  • Adriana Cuellar, DDS


Amanda Zenthoefer, DDS’14, first-year resident, Advanced Specialty Education Program in Pediatric Dentistry, treats a special needs youngster from the Home Vent program.

Along with many parents, Dr. Ischander is effusive in her thanks to Dr. Nelson and the pediatric dentistry residents “for the amazing love and care that was provided for our Home Ventilator patients.”