Dr. Juan Alejos M.D. – President and Founder
Juan C. Alejos, MD, received his medical degree from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and completed an internship, residency, and fellowship at the UCLA Medical Center. He joined the faculty of the Mattel Children’s Hospital at UCLA in 1993. He is an Associate Clinical Professor at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA in Pediatric Cardiology. His work has been published in several medical journals including American Journal of Cardiology, Annals of Thoracic Surgery, Journal of the American College of Cardiology, Heart and Lung Transplantation, Advances in Cardiac Surgery, Journal of Pediatrics and numerous others.
Dr. Alejos currently serves as the Medical Director of the Pediatric Heart Transplant/Cardiomyopathy Program. He also serves as Medical Director of the Pediatric Cardiothoracic Intensive Care Unit, Director of the Pediatric Cardiac Catheterization Lab at UCLA and is the Director of the Pediatric Pulmonary Vascular Diseases program.
Christian M. Eisenring was born in Bern Switzerland. His family emigrated to the U.S. in 1962, residing initially in the Bahamas, Florida, and then Southern California. After High School he attended California State University Dominquez Hills where he received his Bachelors degree in Nursing. After working for several years in the emergency room and intensive care, he decided to focus on cardiothoracic surgery. He started at UCLA in 1991 in the cardiothoracic intensive care working with both adults and pediatrics and went on to complete his graduate training at UCLA, receiving a Masters degree. Christian now works in the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, assisting surgeons with repairs of complex congenital heart disease.
Christian developed a collaborative relationship with Dr. Juan Alejos and went on his first mission with Hearts With Hope in1998. He has since been involved on many more missions. Christian has remained focused on the perioperative, intraoperative and postoperative aspects of care for children undergoing complex cardiac surgery. He has had the distinct privilege of working directly with world-renowned cardiac surgeons and his focus remains on continually assessing the logistics involved in providing the necessary materials to perform these life saving operations.
Born in New Jersey, Dr. Levi graduated from Stanford University with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and earned his medical degree at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). He did his internship and residency in Pediatrics at UCSF and then moved to UCLA for fellowship training in pediatric cardiology in 2000. After fellowship, Dr. Levi trained in interventional pediatric cardiology for an additional year with Dr. John Moore.
Since 2003, Dr. Levi has been on the pediatric cardiology faculty at Mattel Children’s Hospital at UCLA. His primary interest is in pediatric interventional cardiology and in biomedical engineering research. Dr. Levi is the medical director of the Active Materials Laboratory at UCLA for transcatheter device design from “smart materials”. Additionally, Dr. Levi serves as the Director of the Pediatric Cardiology Fellowship. Dr. Levi joined the Ahmanson ACHD faculty as the primary interventional cardiologist for transcatheter procedures in adult patients with a wide range of congenital heart disease.
Dr. Levi’s specific research interest is in thin film nitinol devices. His research is supported by grants from the NIH, SCAI/Cordis, Atrium Medical, Today’s and Tomorrow’s Childrens Fund and the Dylan Foundation. Dr. Levi has published numerous articles and abstracts and has made presentations at national and international meetings on his thin film nitinol catheter-based devices.
Swati Patel received her medical degree from the Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She completed an internship at Santa Clara Medical Center in Santa Clara, California and an Anesthesiology residency at UCLA. She then spent time at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital completing a fellowship in Pediatric Anesthesiology. She joined the faculty of the Mattel Children’s Hospital at UCLA in 1997. She is a Clinical Professor at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA in Anesthesiology and was appointed Chief of the Division of Pediatric Anesthesiology in 1999 and Assistant clinical Director of the Department of Anesthesiology in 2010. She continues to be active in both roles.
Dr. Patel spends approximately 4 weeks per year on volunteer mission trips with several organizations providing free medical care to pediatric patients around the world. She has traveled to Guatemala, Romania, China, Argentina and the Dominican Republic to perform neurosurgical procedures for children with brain and spine tumors as well as numerous trips to India, Tanzania and Guatemala to provide anesthesia care for the repair of cleft lips and palates. She has also participated in multiple medical missions with Corazones Con Esperanza to Arequipa and Lima, Peru and has plans to continue her active role in this humanitarian organization.
Andrea Boddicker graduated from the University of Iowa in 1991 with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in finance. She worked for 15 years as project manager for an international company, handling over 30 projects with budgets in excess of $1,000,000. In 1999 she founded the Heart to Heart Children’s Foundation which collected used clothing, toys, educational items, etc. through numerous clothing & toy drives held throughout Los Angeles. Approximately 2 tons of this merchandise has been shipped to the Instituto de Salud del Nino in Lima, Peru over the past 4 years.
She has been co-leader and treasurer of a local Girl Scout troop for 8 years and was awarded the Angeles Girl Scout Council’s “Girl Scout Spirit Award” in 1999. She is founder and chairperson of the “UCLA Pediatric Heart Transplant Holiday Party” which hosts an annual Holiday party for over 250 people. In addition, Andrea is founder and chairperson of the “Adopt-a-Family” holiday program which provides financial relief to families of children with congenital heart disease during the Christmas / holiday season.
She has also managed and coached over 200 young women in ladies fast pitch softball at both the recreational and tournament level for 10 years. Andrea is Director of Fundraising & Volunteer Services for “Corazones Con Esperanza” (Hearts With Hope) Foundation, a 501 (c) (3) organization established in 2003 that provides Latin American families the access to medical care and other necessities for their children with congenital heart disease.
Dr. Isabel-Jones is a pediatric cardiologist, a professor emeritus of pediatrics and an assistant dean of student affairs at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. She attained her M.D. from Meharry Medical College in 1964. While at Meharry Medical College, she was the recipient of several scholarships and honors including election into Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society. After an internship at D. C. General Hospital in Washington, D.C., she completed her residency in pediatrics at the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Memphis. She subsequently completed fellowship in pediatric cardiology at UCLA and took a position on the faculty.
In addition to her faculty responsibilities, she has served on advisory boards of national professional institutions and organizations including the National Institutes of Health and the American Heart Association. She has served on the executive boards of the Association of Black Women Physicians and the Charles R. Drew Medical Society. Throughout her career she has received numerous honors and awards including: Alumna of the Year from LeMoyne College, the Ruth Temple, M.D. Community Service Award from the Association of Black Women Physicians, The Minority Health Award for Community Service, and the UCLA Medical Alumni Association’s Distinguished Service Award. She was the recipient of the 1997 Sherman M. Mellinkoff Faculty Award from the UCLA School of Medicine. This very prestigious award, named for Dean Emeritus Sherman M. Mellinkoff who was dean of the school for over 25 years, is given to the faculty member “whose teaching exemplifies the individual’s dedication to the art of medicine and to the finest doctor-patient relationships”. Dr. Isabel-Jones was selected from a faculty of over 1700 members. She has also been honored with the Fair & Open Academic Environment Award by UCLA Academic Senate Committee on Diversity & Equal Opportunity. She is cited by many graduates of UCLA School of Medicine as a role model in the development and success of their careers.
Dr. Isabel-Jones has had a long-standing interest in medical mission work. As a senior student in medical school she volunteered for 6 weeks to help provide medical care in a poor rural area, Mt. Bayou, Mississippi. For several years (1970s-1980s) she volunteered her services as a pediatric cardiologist at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Hospital serving indigent children with congenital heart disease in South Central Los Angeles. She served as advisor to public health and medical students, recruited other physicians, and traveled with the team to the Old Mutare Mission of Zimbabwe in 1992. She has made numerous trips to Peru as part of the Hearts with Hope medical and humanitarian team.
Dr. Isabel-Jones’ passion for the welfare of young people extends beyond her profession as a pediatrician to her many years of teaching Sunday school and of mentoring and career counseling through local schools and youth programs. She and husband, Earl, have enjoyed raising their four children and now enjoy the company of their four grandchildren. They have also enjoyed each other’s company through the years in church work, traveling, bicycling, bowling, tennis, dancing, and playing softball.
Earl Monroe Jones was born in New Orleans and grew up in Los Angeles where he was the product of Los Angeles city schools, Los Angeles City College, and California State University of Los Angeles. He was always involved in sports, playing football and baseball in junior high, high school, and college. He also played trombone in his junior high school band.
Earl pursued a career in business, having 30 years of experience in pharmaceutical and liquor sales and over 10 years as owner/manager of a restaurant and a supermarket. He received many awards for his outstanding performance in sales and several awards as a business owner for his contributions to the community. In his retirement he enjoys work as an extra in TV productions, movies, and commercials with well over a hundred appearances.
Earl has been involved in community service over the years, especially in his work with youth. He served as a camp counselor for UCLA’s UniCamp for underprivileged children, as a coach and official for Little League Baseball, and as a youth advisor and coordinator at his church. He continues to be a supporter and fan to several youngsters in high school sports.
Earl has sung in his church choir for 35 years, including performances at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and in concerts in Vienna, Austria. His recreational interests and hobbies include softball, bowling, dancing, drawing and photography. He takes great joy in photography and uses it as a way of giving of himself to so many others as can be seen by the marvelous photographs he has taken on his many missions with Hearts With Hope. He and his wife, Jo, have enjoyed raising their 4 children and now enjoy the company of their five grandchildren. They have travelled throughout the United States, Europe, China, the Middle East, Egypt, Africa, Central and South America.
Dawn Umemoto PhD
Dr. Dawn Umemoto was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. She received her Doctorate in Clinical, Counseling and Child Psychology with an emphasis on Counseling Psychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara. During her career, she focused on a Cognitive Behavioral approach while helping clients work through depression, anxiety and eating disorders. She taught Vocational Psychology and Statistical Analysis to undergraduate and graduate students. Her research has focused on a Social Networks influences on seeking Mental Health Services and Loss of Face issues for Asian Americans seeking Psychotherpy.
Currently, Dawn is enjoying raising her two children in Los Angeles, California. She has been involved with Hearts With Hope for several years and she hopes to use her educational background and organizational skills to help the foundation fulfill their mission of helping children access critical medical needs.
Maria Young was born in Miraflores, Peru. After completing her secondary education she attended nursing school at Escuela Nacional de Enfermeras where she received her nursing degree. While there she met Dr. Guillermo Young, a pediatric cardiologist, and also a Peruvian native. After they married they relocated to the United States and eventually ended up in Los Angeles. Since 1976 Maria has worked alongside her husband in his thriving Los Angeles private practice. She single-handedly keeps the office functioning while wearing the hats of nurse, social worker, and office manager. In addition, Maria has raised two children and is the proud grandparent of five grandchildren. Maria has accompanied Hearts with Hope on previous missions to Arequipa, Peru and serves as the in-house volunteer team leader. Maria’s passions for her native Peru, its people and children, and especially for pediatric cardiology, shine through as she continues to lend her expertise, compassion and dedication to Hearts with Hope Foundation.
Eric Sung DDS
Eric Sung received his dental degree at UCLA School of Dentistry. He also completed a Hospital Dentistry/General Practice Residency at UCLA. Since that time, he has been on staff at Childrens Hospital in Los Angeles, City of Hope National Medical Center, VA Greater Los Angeles Health Care System, Kaiser Permanente, and at UCLA. Currently, he is the program director and chair of UCLA’s hospital dentistry program.
During his time with Hearts With Hope, Dr. Sung’s dental and outreach groups have seen thousands of kids and addressed many of their basic medical and dental needs. Dentally, they have made much progress with basic dental care and have offered much advanced care with the aid of the medical team.
Dr. Andranik Madikians
Dr. Madikians attended medical school in the Dominican Republic and subsequently did his pediatric residency at Bronx Lebanon Hospital Center in Bronx, New York. Following his residency, he trained as a Pediatric Critical Care physician both at Montefiore Medical Center and Mattel Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles. Andy, affectionately known as “Booboo” to friends and colleagues, is currently a Clinical Professor at Mattel Children’s Hospital and Medical Director of the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Santa Monica- UCLA. Andy has a passion for helping those less fortunate and has participated in medical missions to Guatemala and Armenia as well as multiple missions with Hearts with Hope. Andy was a natural selection for the Hearts with Hope Board of Directors with his demonstration of strong clinical skills, dedication to providing the best clinical care to all children and compassion for the underprivileged population.