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The Center for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs

What do you do when your child has health or related problems requiring more than just a routine pediatric visit? Many families turn to the team at The Center for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children for a medical home and care coordination designed for children and youth with special health care needs.

Comprehensive Care
Our team accepts patients ranging in age from newborn to age 21. We help parents care for children and youth who are dependent on technology such as tracheotomies or feeding tubes as well as those with complex illnesses such as Down syndrome or fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. We have a follow-up program for infants who have been in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) to assist them as they transition to our practice as their medical home. As children get older, we can help families transition these children to adult-oriented programs.

Our mission is to work with families of children with special health care needs to provide ongoing, coordinated, comprehensive, family-centered medical care that improves access to services, community resources and advocacy to assure that children obtain optimal support through life stages and promote their independence with dignity and respect. We partner with community providers and agencies to ensure that patients maximize their potential with available resources.

Our Multidisciplinary Approach
We use a family-centered, medical home approach to caring for our patients. We work in partnership with the child, family, specialists, community partners and pediatric care team to ensure that the patient’s needs are being met. We address preventive, acute and chronic care for our patients.

The Center for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs has six pediatricians on staff. Our team also includes a nurse practitioner, three care coordinators, one social worker and two medical assistants. Two outpatient service coordinators work with families to find appropriate and timely medical appointments and assist with obtaining referrals. Our care coordinators and social worker help families locate services and navigate the educational system, work with insurance companies, and link families with important resources.  The care coordinators can also arrange ambulance transportation as needed (upon request). Some of our parents work with our hospital Parent Advisory Council and with our social worker to ensure we are meeting our families’ needs.

Our Programs include:
• Down Syndrome Program
• Next Steps Neonatology Program: This program consists of a multidisciplinary team including a neonatologist, pediatrician, pulmonologist, nurse practitioner and nurse coordinator, providing primary care and a medical home for children discharged from Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs).
• Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Program: We offer a team with a geneticist, pediatrician, neuropsychologist, school psychologist, speech pathologist, occupational therapist and care coordinator to work with children and families to diagnose and treat children with FASD.

To Schedule an Appointment
If you have a child who would benefit from the services of The Center for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs, please call 215-427-8363 for a new patient intake and to schedule an appointment.

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