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The Center for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs

Our pediatric primary care team ​cares for children and youth with special health care needs including children and youth who utilize technology such as tracheostomies, oxygen, ventilators, or feeding tubes, cerebral palsy, global development delay, autism, itellectual disability, physical limitations, congenital heart conditions, VP shunts, as well as those with complex illnesses such as genetic syndromes, Down Syndrome or Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. 

Comprehensive Care

The Center for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs accepts infants, children and youth from newborns to 21 years old. Our Next Steps Program helps infants who have been in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) transition back to home and provide them with a primary care medical home. As your child grows into a young adult, our team can help you transition him or her to adult-oriented programs, too. 

The Center for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs has one mission — to provide you and your family with ongoing, coordinated, comprehensive, family-centered medical care that improves access to services, community resources and advocacy. We work closely with specialists, and with community providers and agencies to ensure that your child maximizes his or her potential using every available resource. 

A Multidisciplinary Approach

The team at St. Christopher’s uses a family-centered, medical home approach to care for infants and children. We work in partnership with you, your child and your child’s pediatric care team to ensure that his or her needs are being met. Our specialists address preventive, acute and chronic care. 

The Center for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs includes an expertly trained team of physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurse care coordinators, triage nurses, social workers, health navigators, and dieticians. We also offer an outpatient service coordinator to work with you to find appropriate and timely medical appointments and assist with obtaining referrals. Our care coordinators and social workers can also help you locate services and navigate the community resources including the educational system and assist you with insurance companies to ensure you get what you need to care for your child.  

A Medical Home

The pediatric care team at The Center for Children with Special Health Care Needs will work as partners with your family to assure that all of the medical and non-medical needs of your child are met and provide high quality patient and family centered care.

Through this partnership, we will help your family access, coordinate, and understand specialty care, educational services, out-of-home care, family support,home nursing services, medical daycare, medical equipmentand other public and private community services that are important for the overall health of your child and family.

The American Academy of Pediatrics believes that all children should have a medical home where care is accessible, family-centered, coordinated, continuous, comprehensive, compassionate, and culturally-effective.

Our team at The Center for Children with Special Health Care Needs believes in this approach and will provide your family care with high quality care. We want to help your child and family achieve their maximum potential and work with you as partners in caring for your children and youth.   The team is led by Renee Turchi, MD, MPH, FAAP, Medical Director of The Center for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs.  To view a list of our specialists, click here.

Special Programs 

  • Down Syndrome Program
    • Comprehensive primary care for children with Down Syndrome
  • Next Steps Program
    • Primary care interdisciplinary team providing care for graduates from the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
  • Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Program
    • Multi-disciplinary team with a pediatrician, neuropsychologist, school psychologist, speech pathologist, occupational therapist, social worker and care coordinator to work with children and families to diagnose and treat children with FASD. 
  • Autism Screening Study 
    • Our practice participates in multiple studies including one with the Autism Institute offering more in depth screening and timely evaluations for children who demonstrate risk factors for autism.
  • Transition to adulthood
    • We offer community resources, specialized social work support and guardianship support for youth transitioning to adult oriented systems
  • Dental services
    • Our team partners with the Dentists at St. Chris by providing screening and timely access and referral to the dental program caring for CYSHCN.

If you have a child who would benefit from the services of The Center for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs, call (215) 427-8363 to schedule an appointment.
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