Families Affected by Hirschsprung Disease Will Convene at Shriners Hospitals for Children


Doctor meeting with young patient

Medical professionals and families affected by Hirschsprung Disease will convene at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Northern California on Saturday, September 15, for the 6th Annual REACH Symposium. The event is organized by REACH, a non-profit organization devoted to promoting research, education and awareness for children affected by Hirschsprung Disease, a birth disorder in which nerves are missing from parts of the intestine. Symptoms may include abdominal pain, diarrhea and slow growth.

Shriners Hospital pediatric surgeons participating in the event include Diana Farmer, M.D.Payam Saadai, M.D.Shinjiro Hirose, M.D., and Rebecca Stark, M.D.

“It is an honor for our Pediatric Colorectal Center at Shriners to be hosting the annual REACH symposium this year.  REACH is a wonderful organization that provides education and advocacy for families with Hirschsprung disease. The symposium has never been held on the west coast previously, and this is a fantastic opportunity for our Northern California families to learn more about Hirschsprung disease, ask questions in an open forum, and meet other families who are dealing with similar issues as themselves,” says Payam Saadai, M.D., who has been instrumental in bringing the symposium to Sacramento.

Presentations will cover everything from the genetics of Hirschsprung Disease to surgical issues and diet for improved outcomes. Shriners Hospital Child Life Specialist Katherine Davis will give a presentation on transitions from adolescence to adulthood and the hospital’s child life team will host a family mixer in the afternoon.