Meet the Team

The CHOC Children’s Eosinophilic Esophagitis Clinic is proud to offer a multidisciplinary team approach to the treatment of eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE). The team collaborates to meet the unique needs of each patient and family by developing specific treatment plans that are individualized for each patient.

Gastroenterology Doctor and Nurse Practitioner

Many of the first symptoms patients with EoE experience are in the gastrointestinal area of the body, also known as the digestive system. Because of this, a member of the gastroenterology team has usually seen most patients before they are diagnosed with EoE. Once an upper endoscopy is completed and the gastroenterology doctor confirms the signs of EoE, patients are referred to our clinic. Our nurse practitioner coordinates the care between the gastroenterology physicians and the remainder of the team. She sees every patient at every clinic visit and regularly communicates all information regarding each patient to the physician who originally saw the patient.

Allergist

EoE is an allergic disease. The allergist is essential in figuring out which allergy is causing the EoE symptoms. An allergist performs the initial allergy work-up and testing. Once all the testing is finished, the allergist works with the patient, his or her family and the clinic’s dietitian on food elimination and reintroduction.

Dietitian

Because food elimination is necessary to determine which specific foods are causing a child’s EoE, our dietitian closely monitors our patients to ensure they are getting the proper nutrition they need to grow and develop. The dietitian provides education and support while following elimination or elemental diet therapies and suggests alternative foods or specialized formulas to meet the child’s nutritional needs.

Medical Assistant

The medical assistant helps administer allergy testing in the clinic and assists the physician in interpreting the results. She provides allergy and asthma education to patients and their families, which includes instructions about environmental changes as well as the use of prescribed medications and information on action plans prepared by the physician. The medical assistant has also been very important in the success in obtaining authorizations and coverage for elemental formulas.

 

Anup J Patel

Anup J Patel, MD
Pediatric Gastroenterologist

As an expert in pediatric gastroenterology, Dr. Patel has a special interest in eosinophilic esophagitis and has given numerous presentations and written journal articles regarding the topic. He holds awards from Stanford University for Transplant and Tissue Engineering Endowment and is an Alan M. Krensky Endowed Clinical Fellow.

Dedicated to clinical excellence, Dr. Patel is board certified in pediatrics and pediatric gastroenterology. He attended medical school at Albany Medical College in New York. He completed his pediatric residency training at University of Nevada School of Medicine in Las Vegas, followed by a fellowship in pediatric gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California.  He currently practices pediatric gastroenterology at CHOC Children’s and serves as a co-medical director of CHOC’s EoE Clinic.

Sarah Samimi Field

Sarah Samimi Field, MD, FAAAAI
Pediatric and adult allergy, asthma and immunology

Dedicated to clinical excellence, Dr. Field’s clinical focus is pediatric and adult allergy, asthma and immunology.  Dr. Field treats both adult and pediatric patients with EoE and is a co-medical director of CHOC’s multidisciplinary EoE clinic.  She is board certified in internal medicine and allergy and immunology. Prior to joining CHOC Children’s, Dr. Field attended medical school at the St. Louis University School of Medicine. She served her residency training in internal medicine and completed her fellowship training in allergy and immunology at the University of Kansas Medical Center.

Ellen Schonfeld

Ellen Schonfeld, RN, MN, CPNP
Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

Ellen is a board-certified pediatric nurse practitioner. She received a Master of Science in Nursing degree in pediatrics from UCLA and has over a decade of allergy and asthma experience, as well as a decade of gastrointestinal experience. As coordinator of the EoE clinic, she sees patients at every visit, coordinates their upper endoscopy procedures and is a resource for parents. Ellen understands how difficult it can be to manage EoE, and she is passionate about providing families the support they need at every step.

Shonda Brown

Shonda Brown, RD, CSP, CNSC, CEDRD
Clinical Dietitian

Shonda received her BS in Nutritional Sciences with a concentration in Exercise Science from Cornell University. She also has credentials in Nutrition Support (CNSC) and Pediatric Nutrition (CSP). Shonda has been working at CHOC Children’s as a clinical dietitian since 2007. In 2008, she helped develop CHOC’s multidisciplinary EoE clinic and over the past seven years, has specialized in the nutritional management of pediatric EoE providing nutrition assessment and counseling services to patients and families attending CHOC’s EoE clinic. She was influential in creating CHOC’s EoE website that provides patients and families with educational resources and support materials ranging from treatment options to SFED sample menus to guidelines for working with problem feeders. Shonda also specializes in eating disorders and the Feeding Program.

Alexia Hall, RDN, Food Allergy Management Certified
Clinical Dietitian

Alexia has been working at CHOC Children’s as a Clinical Dietitian since 2016 and also leads their Culinary Medicine Program. She is passionate about managing food allergies and has extensive experience teaching nutrition concepts for GI ailments associated with allergy including Celiac, GERD and IBS/IBD. Alexia is dedicated to helping each patient in our clinic thrive and is available to provide individualized nutrition prescriptions, education and resources. She received her BS in Dietetics from Sacramento State University, completed her Dietetic internship at UC Davis Medical Center and holds a certification in Food Allergy Management through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Carla Brizuela, LCSW
Social Worker

Carla is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who provides a full range of social work services and assists in meeting the psycho-social needs of patients and their families. Carla’s experience includes individual/group counseling services and management of non-profit health services. Carla understands the complexity of EoE and advocates for and assists in the achievement of optimal health, access to care and utilization of appropriate resources.