Clinical Focus

  • Anesthesiology

Academic Appointments

Professional Education

  • Residency: Massachusetts General Hospital Anesthesiology Residency (2023) MA
  • Internship: Presbyterian St Luke's Medical Center Transitional Year (2020) CO
  • Medical Education: Stanford School of Medicine (2019) CA

All Publications

  • Improving Satisfaction with Pediatric Pain Management by Inviting the Conversation. Joint Commission journal on quality and patient safety Caruso, T. J., Kung, T. H., Good, J. n., Taylor, K. n., Ashland, M. n., Cunningham, C. n., Gonzalez, E. n., Wood, M. n., Sharek, P. n. 2018; 44 (4): 227–32


    Patient satisfaction with pain management is associated with improved patient adherence to medical management and efficient service utilization. Pediatric pain control is challenging, given the inability to elicit reliable histories, particularly in younger patients. Several studies have suggested that communication surrounding pain management can improve satisfaction, although there are limited data describing structured interventions with measurable outcomes. A quality improvement project was conducted to determine if reliably asking families about pain management was associated with improved patient satisfaction with pain management.In an academic pediatric hospital, nurse manager rounds were used to invite a conversation about pain management. The question, "Pain management is very important to us. Has your child's pain been well controlled?" was added to the established standard questions asked during nurse manager rounds. Effectiveness was measured using the preexisting Press Ganey survey question, "How well was your child's pain controlled?" Responses were compared between those patients who were and were not exposed to the rounding question.Data for 1,032 patients were used to establish baseline satisfaction with pain management scores. In the intervention period, 328 patients received nurse manager rounds and 121 did not. The median of the weighted mean patient survey satisfaction scores were baseline, 91.5%; receiving intervention, 94.2%; and not receiving intervention, 90.0%. Patients who received the intervention reported higher satisfaction with pain management than those who did not (p <0.0001).Hospitals seeking to improve satisfaction with pain management should encourage health care providers to reliably discuss pain control with pediatric patients.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jcjq.2017.10.003

    View details for PubMedID 29579448

  • Host physician perspectives to improve pre-departure training for global health electives. Medical education Kung, T. H. 2018; 52 (1): 3–5

    View details for DOI 10.1111/medu.13479

    View details for PubMedID 29265522

  • Host community perspectives on trainees participating in short-term experiences in global health. Medical education Kung, T. H., Richardson, E. T., Mabud, T. S., Heaney, C. A., Jones, E., Evert, J. 2016; 50 (11): 1122-1130


    High-income country (HIC) trainees are undertaking global health experiences in low- and middle-income country (LMIC) host communities in increasing numbers. Although the benefits for HIC trainees are well described, the benefits and drawbacks for LMIC host communities are not well captured.This study evaluated the perspectives of supervising physicians and local programme coordinators from LMIC host communities who engaged with HIC trainees in the context of the latter's short-term experiences in global health.Thirty-five semi-structured interviews were conducted with LMIC host community collaborators with a US-based, non-profit global health education organisation. Interviews took place in La Paz, Bolivia and New Delhi, India. Interview transcripts were assessed for recurrent themes using thematic analysis.Benefits for hosts included improvements in job satisfaction, local prestige, global connectedness, local networks, leadership skills, resources and sense of efficacy within their communities. Host collaborators called for improvements in HIC trainee attitudes and behaviours, and asked that trainees not make promises they would not fulfil. Findings also provided evidence of a desire for parity between the opportunities afforded to US-based staff and those available to LMIC-based partners.This study provides important insights into the perspectives of LMIC host community members in the context of short-term experiences in global health for HIC trainees. We hope to inform the behaviour of HIC trainees and institutions with regard to international partnerships and global health activities.

    View details for DOI 10.1111/medu.13106

    View details for PubMedID 27762010

  • South African healthcare provider perspectives on transitioning adolescents into adult HIV care. South African medical journal = Suid-Afrikaanse tydskrif vir geneeskunde Kung, T. H., Wallace, M. L., Snyder, K. L., Robson, V. K., Mabud, T. S., Kalombo, C. D., Bekker, L. 2016; 106 (8): 804-808


    The first generation of South African (SA) children perinatally infected with HIV is entering adulthood, and there is now a pressing need for systematised transfer of these patients from paediatric to adult care.Previous research has investigated the HIV healthcare transition in North America and Europe, yet none has been conducted in SA. Our study is the first to describe the perspectives of healthcare providers overseeing the transition in resource-limited settings.We approached healthcare providers working in government paediatric HIV clinics and hospitals in the Western Cape Province, SA. Seven physicians and counsellors in adolescent/paediatric care, representing five clinics, were interviewed, and 43 completed a written survey. Interviews addressed the current state of the transition, barriers and facilitators, and model components. Interviews were assessed for major themes using framework analysis, while logistic regression was applied to survey responses to identify associations with measured covariates.Analysis of interview transcripts revealed several overarching perspectives that were corroborated by survey responses. One barrier identified was the healthcare providers' difficulty in letting go of their relationships with the adolescent patients. Since healthcare providers regarded their patients as particularly vulnerable, they felt a strong and protective attachment towards them. A second barrier identified was a lack of structure and effective communication between adult and paediatric providers; accordingly, healthcare providers feared that they were transferring their adolescents unprepared, to a judgemental, depersonalised and overburdened environment. All interviewees and a majority of survey respondents (>80%) agreed that the formation of adolescent support groups in adult care clinics as well as a later transition age would improve the transition process.This study highlights the need for a systematic healthcare transition for HIV-positive adolescents cared for in the Western Cape, while acknowledging the limitations of the current healthcare infrastructure. Several feasible recommendations have been identified, including forming support groups and greater involvement of adolescent healthcare providers to facilitate the transition.

    View details for DOI 10.7196/SAMJ.2016.v106i8.10496

    View details for PubMedID 27499409

  • Gender inequality and HIV transmission: a global analysis. Journal of the International AIDS Society Richardson, E. T., Collins, S. E., Kung, T., Jones, J. H., Hoan Tram, K., Boggiano, V. L., Bekker, L., Zolopa, A. R. 2014; 17: 19035-?


    The HIV pandemic disproportionately impacts young women. Worldwide, young women aged 15-24 are infected with HIV at rates twice that of young men, and young women alone account for nearly a quarter of all new HIV infections. The incommensurate HIV incidence in young - often poor - women underscores how social and economic inequalities shape the HIV epidemic. Confluent social forces, including political and gender violence, poverty, racism, and sexism impede equal access to therapies and effective care, but most of all constrain the agency of women.HIV prevalence data was compiled from the 2010 UNAIDS Global Report. Gender inequality was assessed using the 2011 United Nations Human Development Report Gender Inequality Index (GII). Logistic regression models were created with predominant mode of transmission (heterosexual vs. MSM/IDU) as the dependent variable and GII, Muslim vs. non-Muslim, Democracy Index, male circumcision rate, log gross national income (GNI) per capita at purchasing power parity (PPP), and region as independent variables.There is a significant correlation between having a predominantly heterosexual epidemic and high gender inequality across all models. There is not a significant association between whether a country is predominantly Muslim, has a high/low GNI at PPP, has a high/low circumcision rate, and its primary mode of transmission. In addition, there are only three countries that have had a generalized epidemic in the past but no longer have one: Cambodia, Honduras, and Eritrea. GII data are available only for Cambodia and Honduras, and these countries showed a 37 and 34% improvement, respectively, in their Gender Inequality Indices between 1995 and 2011. During the same period, both countries reduced their HIV prevalence below the 1% threshold of a generalized epidemic. This represents limited but compelling evidence that improvements in gender inequality can lead to the abatement of generalized epidemics.Gender inequality is an important factor in the maintenance - and possibly in the establishment of - generalized HIV epidemics. We should view improvements in gender inequality as part of a broader public health strategy.

    View details for DOI 10.7448/IAS.17.1.19035

    View details for PubMedID 24976436

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4074603

  • T(H)1, T(H)2, and T(H)17 cells instruct monocytes to differentiate into specialized dendritic cell subsets BLOOD Alonso, M. N., Wong, M. T., Zhang, A. L., Winer, D., Suhoski, M. M., Tolentino, L. L., Gaitan, J., Davidson, M. G., Kung, T. H., Galel, D. M., Nadeau, K. C., Kim, J., Utz, P. J., Soederstroem, K., Engleman, E. G. 2011; 118 (12): 3311-3320


    Monocytes and T helper (T(H)) cells rapidly infiltrate inflamed tissues where monocytes differentiate into inflammatory dendritic cells (DCs) through undefined mechanisms. Our studies indicate that T(H) cells frequently interact with monocytes in inflamed skin and elicit the differentiation of specialized DC subsets characteristic of these lesions. In psoriasis lesions, T(H)1 and T(H)17 cells interact with monocytes and instruct these cells to differentiate into T(H)1- and T(H)17-promoting DCs, respectively. Correspondingly, in acute atopic dermatitis, T(H)2 cells interact with monocytes and elicit the formation of T(H)2-promoting DCs. DC formation requires GM-CSF and cell contact, whereas T(H) subset specific cytokines dictate DC function and the expression of DC subset specific surface molecules. Moreover, the phenotypes of T cell-induced DC subsets are maintained after subsequent stimulation with a panel of TLR agonists, suggesting that T(H)-derived signals outweigh downstream TLR signals in their influence on DC function. These findings indicate that T(H) cells govern the formation and function of specialized DC subsets.

    View details for DOI 10.1182/blood-2011-03-341065

    View details for Web of Science ID 000295120900018

    View details for PubMedID 21813450

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3179399