The Children’s Hospital of Orange County, or CHOC as its more commonly known in the local area, is approximately 1.7 miles away from Schmid College’s main hub in Hashinger Science Center on Chapman’s main campus . The two institutions’ relationship is much deeper than just geographic proximity though, and for the last several years CHOC and Schmid College have had a healthy and robust academic and working relationship.

“Our relationship with (Chief Intelligence and Innovation Officer) Anthony Chang and CHOC started a few years ago when Anthony was taking an online statistics class through Stanford,” says Dr. Michael Fahy, Associate Dean of Schmid College. “He was looking for help with one of his assignments and one of his student interns, Adam Kalawi (a Chapman student at the time) brought him to Von Neumann Hall to meet with Dr. Cyril Rakovski.  Anthony was very impressed with how Cyril was able to help him and this inspired him to explore further connections with Chapman.“


Dr. Michael Fahy speaking on an AIMed panel.

Since then, Schmid College has had a wonderful working relationship with the CHOC, one that has stretched over a number of different capacities including careers for alumni, internships for current students, and professional collaborations between the two institutions. At the current time of writing, five students from a variety of different disciplines, including Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Software Engineering, Environmental Science, Computer Science and Physics, all intern for CHOC, and three current alumni have garnered flourishing careers there.

In addition to student success, the relationship has also lead to a variety of Schmid partnerships including a monthly Medical Intelligence and Medical Innovation series that has featured notable Chapman faculty members and students, including Dr. Erik Linstead and Dean Andrew Lyon.

But there is no better example of Schmid’s ever-growing relationship with CHOC than the AIMed conference. Branded as “The first international multidisciplinary symposium on artificial intelligence in medicine,” the AIMed became an obvious conference for Schmid to participate in.


Dr. Anthony Chang presents the award for best Data Sharing and Cloud Computing abstract to Chapman Grad student Nick LaHaye on behalf of Dr. Hesham ElAskary

“Anthony approached me during the summer and asked me to be on the Program Committee for AIMed,” says Dr. Fahy. On top of serving as a Chapman representative during the planning stages of the conference, Dr. Fahy also served as a reviewer of the nearly 100 abstracts that were submitted to be presented. Fifteen Chapman-related abstracts were accepted and two of them won “Best Abstract” awards in their categories (There were six categories).

Nick LaHaye, a PhD student at Chapman University studying Computational and Data Sciences, had a chance to speak at the AIMed Conference in December, a conference that is sponsored by both Schmid College and CHOC. In seven minutes, LaHaye, speaking on behalf of Schmid’s own Dr. Hesham El-Askary, covered Kawasaki disease and the impact that dust transport can have on the spread of it. LaHaye was praised for fusing his earth science background and environmental effects into the analysis of the disease and ended up winning an award for Best Data Sharing and Cloud Computing Abstract at the conference. “I noticed the conference isn’t necessarily my background,” said LaHaye. “It was interesting to cross scientific boundaries.”

The AIMed conference represents a high point in the short but exciting history between these two institutions. You can learn more about CHOC and AIMed on their website, and learn more about the research presented here.