From the effects of toxic stress during early childhood to developmental issues related to balance and gait. From infection risk in pediatric cancer patients to the mining of big data to reduce hospital readmissions.

Across a range of research projects, the connections between Chapman University and Children’s Health of Orange County (CHOC) grow stronger every day. But beyond the lab bench and the bedside, there are more links in the chain of collaboration between Chapman and CHOC.

One way the connection changes lives is through the Thompson Autism Center at CHOC, where families, agencies and others learn to navigate the complexities of the education system. The center and Chapman’s Thompson Policy Institute assist families and schools through their partnership program: Families, Agencies and Schools Together (FAST).

Another manifestation of the bond is the Chapman-CHOC pathway to careers, as CHOC provides Chapman students with internship opportunities and, in turn, the hospital Thinks Chapman First when it has job openings. CHOC is among the top employers of Chapman graduates. Louis Ehwerhemuepha (MS ’13, Ph.D. ’15) knows every step on the journey between Chapman and CHOC. After starting at the hospital as an intern, he is now a senior data scientist at CHOC, and he also returns to teach classes at Chapman. In addition, he continues to collaborate on research with Chapman faculty members, including his mentor, Cyril Rakovski, associate professor of statistics and computational science in the Schmid College of Science and Technology.

“Chapman gave me the tools to succeed, and Dr. Rakovski connected me to the providers at CHOC, where advances in care are built on collaboration across all roles,” says Ehwerhemuepha, one of the first graduates of Chapman’s Ph.D. program in computational and data sciences.

“The opportunity to improve the care of children is at the heart of everything we do,” he adds. “Whether in the lab, on the floor providing care or working with data, our job is to save lives.” You can explore a handful of the projects that connect CHOC and Chapman in the new issue of Forward Magazine. Visit