Expert Care for Children and Families – Closer to Home

expert care for children

The beds in the Pediatric Emergency Room at MidHudson Regional Hospital are kid-friendly, just like the colorful mural below.

WMCHealth offers expanding pediatric services and specialized expertise to children and families across the Hudson Valley.

By Lisa Cesarano

As part of our commitment to care for children across the Hudson Valley region, WMCHealth continues to expand the recently opened pediatric services offered at MidHudson Regional Hospital, in Poughkeepsie, a member of WMCHealth. These specialized offerings are provided under the auspices of Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital, in Valhalla.

Additionally, enhanced children’s Emergency Department services are available at Good Samaritan Hospital, in Suffern, also a member of WMCHealth.

“This expansion benefits families by providing a seamless approach to care, starting in the pediatrician’s or family care professional’s office and including the advanced care pediatric subspecialist, especially for children facing complex health conditions,” says Michael Gewitz, MD, Executive Director and William Russell McCurdy, Physician-in-Chief at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital. “This will result in more effective diagnosis and management of childhood medical problems via specialized expertise, early diagnosis, better coordination of care and greater convenience for families.”

“Ideally, children should be treated by medical professionals who are well versed and specifically trained in pediatric healthcare,” adds Dylan Stewart, MD, Chief of Pediatric Surgery at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital. “That’s why we’re excited to provide these advanced services to families in areas that have had limited access to advanced pediatric care.”


SPECIALTY PEDIATRIC SERVICES PROVIDED AT MARIA FARERI CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL

ADOLESCENT MEDICINE
CARDIOLOGY
CARDIOTHORACIC SURGERY
CRITICAL CARE
EAR, NOSE AND THROAT/OTOLARYNGOLOGY
GASTROENTEROLOGY AND NUTRITION
GENETICS AND METABOLIC DISEASE
HEMATOLOGY/ONCOLOGY
INFECTIOUS DISEASES
NEONATOLOGY (RNICU)
NEPHROLOGY NEUROSCIENCES (NEUROLOGY & NEUROSURGERY)
ORTHOPEDICS
PULMONOLOGY, ALLERGY, IMMUNOLOGY
RHEUMATOLOGY
SLEEP MEDICINE
GENERAL SURGERY
UROLOGY


Maria Fareri Children’s Healthcare Services at MidHudson Regional Hospital

Pediatric Surgical Services

Marking the first time general surgery provided specifically by pediatric specialists has been available in Dutchess County, services have begun with relatively minor procedures that may at most require a one-night hospital stay, such as hernias, skin lesion removals and various types of biopsies. “Still, these interventions require anesthesia and demand a high level of team competence when dealing with the unique issues of children,” says Dr. Stewart.

“As part of the overall growth of pediatric services, we’re hoping to add other surgical specialties in early 2022, such as pediatric orthopedics,” says Dr. Gewitz. “Our goal is to serve as many children as we can locally, while more complex cases will be treated at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital.”

Surgical Consultation

Pediatric surgeons from Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital hold regularly scheduled office hours on-site, in MidHudson Regional Hospital’s newly designed Pediatric specialty suite, for consultation and for post-operative follow-up care. This service alone, notes Dr. Stewart, provides great value to families. “Even if a child is ultimately transferred to Westchester, he or she can receive pre- and post-op consultations locally and decrease the burden of travel on families.” These services are in addition to the ongoing Pediatric medical subspecialty office hours available at the Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital Pediatric ambulatory center.

epilepsy center

LEVEL 4 EPILEPSY CENTER ACCREDITATION

Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital has recently been accredited as a Level 4 Epilepsy Center by the National Association of Epilepsy Centers (NAEC), recognizing “the professional expertise and facilities to provide the highest-level medical and surgical evaluation and treatment for patients with complex epilepsy.”

The hospital’s comprehensive diagnostic and surgical epilepsy program includes a multidisciplinary team of specialists, including pediatric neurosurgeons, pediatric neurologists (epileptologists), a neuropsychologist, neuroradiologists and other subspecialists who together develop personalized treatment courses for each patient.

Enhanced Capabilities, Expanding Inpatient “Neighborhood”

As part of our expansion, Maria Fareri Children’s Healthcare Services at MidHudson Regional Hospital doubled current pediatric inpatient capacity while enhancing such areas as radiology and respiratory services, to enable comfortable, competent care for children. The new “Farming Neighborhood” — our term for the children’s inpatient unit — provides comfortable, spacious, single-occupancy rooms for children and their parents in an entirely remodeled area.

The Pediatric Emergency Department at Good Samaritan Hospital

Good Samaritan Hospital established dedicated pediatric services in its Emergency Department (ED) last year. Located within the main ED, pediatric emergency medicine specialists are available on-site to treat children from birth to age 21. In adherence with this hospital’s “30-Minute Pledge,” patients will be seen by a provider within a half-hour of completing registration at the ED.

“Pediatric emergency care should be very different from adult care,” says Dr. Stewart. “It’s a huge advantage to the community to have specially trained pediatric ED staff to care for children, applying the highest standards of pediatric care.”

In sum, Dr. Gewitz notes, “We are always driven by the time-honored recognition that “children are not little adults.” When faced with medical and surgical problems, children have unique issues and considerations that require experienced providers to understand. In addition, children are connected to a family who must be brought into the diagnostic and treatment processes for successful care to be given. We’re committed to treating as many children as possible, closer to home, with the least possible stress on their loved ones.”

“It’s a huge burden to travel a lot when your child is sick,” says Dr. Stewart, “and we are gratified to advance the time-honored tradition of ‘bringing doctor to patient.’”

TO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT FOR PEDIATRIC SURGICAL CONSULTATION, CONTACT WMCHEALTH PHYSICIANS DIVISION OF PEDIATRIC SURGERY AT 914.775.KIDS (5437). THE MEDICAL GENETICS PROGRAM CAN BE REACHED AT 913.304.4280.


The Medical Genetics Program

Medical Genetics at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital addresses birth defects, growth problems and abnormal development of children and adolescents. The hospital is home to one of the few approved Designated Newborn Screening Referral Centers in the state, where children with inherited metabolic disorders can be diagnosed and treated.

“We offer genetic screening, diagnosis and counseling services for children and adults,” says David Kronn, MD, Director of WMCHealth Physicians Advanced Medical Genetics program. “Using advanced technologies, we can evaluate patients to provide evidence-based, highly personalized treatments.” We also have a comprehensive Lysosomal Disease Program, where we offer advanced enzyme replacement therapies for a growing list of disorders.

Adds Dr. Gewitz: “Since so many disorders of childhood are genetically based, we are pleased to provide these important consultation services for patients and their physicians at MidHudson Regional Hospital, as well as at other sites in the lower Hudson Valley.”