Eric Reflects

As we arrive back in UB after 5 wonderful days in the Mongolia countryside, I want to reflect on last weeks adventures at the NCMCH. I think this was the best of all our trips to the hospital. Patients, parents and staff welcomed us with open arms and absolute excitement about our collaboration. I have seen so many changes at the Children’s Hospital over the last 6 years. Although there is still a long way to go, the care provided to these children has improved dramatically and the doctors seem tireless in their pursuit of cure for their patients. Old patients who we had met previously came back to say hello and I have gotten permission from Wolfson Children’s Hospital  to bring a new patient to Jacksonville for life-saving care that would not be available here in Mongolia at this time. This is what we do at Wolfson, at Nemours, at UFPTI and at UF-Jacksonville. We try to provide the best care for everyone whose path we cross to the best of our ability. And the Jacksonville community rallies around our Pediatric programs to offer the generous support that they can. I am so proud to be a part of this community.



Eric Update


Well we just returned from a great dinner with our Ulaanbaatar family. The week has flown by. It has been so wonderful to see all the great changes that have happened since I first started coming here in 2012. Overall mortality has decreased from 18% to 6.2% and the outcomes for leukemia continue to improve every year. The formulary has expanded for chemotherapy as well as supportive care medications and all solid tumors have been moved to the Children’s Hospital where they can receive the best care from pediatric oncologists. The doctors report that the incidence of transfusion related hepatitis C has decreased dramatically thanks to new blood donor screening. Of course, their is still a lot to do but every visit things are better. The team here is so motivated to improve the care of their patients, it is a pleasure to work with them.

Big thank you to Dr. Rita and Dr. Bryant. When Dr. Bryant was unable to come at the last moment- Dr. Rita pitched in and saw almost 50 cardiology patients who had come from the countryside. She transmitted their data to Dr. Bryant and he then meet with the cardiology team here by telemedicine to answer questions about the patients and deliver lectures to the cardiology team. Another big shout-out to our friend Tim Shi and the GlobalMD team who are delivering a new telemedicine platform to the hospital to continue our ongoing collaboration. And of course to Wolfson Children’s Hospital and the Soud family for facilitating this ongoing collaboration.

Hard to believe that tomorrow will be our last day at the NCMCH and then off to the countryside!


First day 2018

Well although we had some technical glitches and lost some team members along the way,  we made it to UB on Saturday night. When we arrived, Doogii was there to meet us as always. We spent Sunday seeing the city and had lunch with Dr. Ogi and her beautiful family. We then met up with Dr. Rita to catch up. Today spent our first day at the hospital. The H/O unit is busy as can be. They now see all the children with hematology/oncology issues for the entire country and have expanded to 3 floors of the new wing and 30 beds. A wide range of patients from Intermediate risk neuroblastoma, to M6 leukemia to Diamond Blackfan anemia, refractory to steroids,  and everything in between. Dr. Cheek was kept very busy reviewing slides on the patients we were seeing and working with the lab staff. Tomorrow it is consulting on outpatients, lectures and reviewing protocols. So good to be with many old friends.


2018 Eric

Hard to believe that we are once again off to Mongolia in a short 2 weeks; visit #6. I am most excited about the great team joining me on this trip: Dr. Brad Cheek, pediatric pathology; Dr. Samuel Stephenson, emergency medicine; Dr. Solange Benjamin-Thorpe, intensive care; Dr. Randy Bryant, cardiology and Dana Collins, RN. As we were unable to go last year, I look forward to seeing old friends and making new ones, learning and teaching and seeing all the progress that has been made at the Children’s Hospital since our last visit. GlobalMD, one of our collaborators in China will also be delivering a new telemedicine platform while we are there which will further help in ongoing collaboration! As always thank you to Wolfson Children’s Hospital, Nemours Children’s Specialty Care, the Soud family and our Jacksonville community for making this mission possible.



Day One 2015 -Eric

Well we just spent our first day at the Women and Children’s Hospital. There have been some exciting changes since our last visit. The new oncology center has opened after several years of construction- it is really quite beautiful and well equipped. They even have a play room in the unit which is great to see. They also have several rooms which are devoted to the care of children post bone marrow transplant. The plan is that transplant will be done in the adult transplant facility (also a brand new program) and then transferred back to the children’s hospital for recovery. A scary thought since none of the current docs have any experience with transplant patients. I hope a plan will be developed for this transition. The other new and exciting thing is that starting in January, all the children with solid tumors, who are now taken care of at the National Cancer Center, will be cared for at the Children’s hospital. This is something we have been hoping to see for several years- but rather then a gradual transition, the plan now is for a complete change on January 1. The docs are excited but quite concerned as they have never taken care of any of these types of cancer nor do they know what the plan will be for more staff with a more then doubling of their patient volume. They are also very concerned about pathology support. It is both rewarding to see the small part we have played in helping to improve medical care for children here in Mongolia but also highlights the importance of keeping up our efforts to help.  This makes me more determined then ever to develop a more structured exchange system where we can bring the young oncology staff as well as pathologists to the US for 1-2 month observerships as well as have more frequent and consistent consultation by our team about diagnosis and treatment. 
To the Soud family- Jonathon’s legacy is clearly changing a small part of the world every day and thank you for letting us be a part of that legacy!