December 21, 2015
Adorable! Zahir sings his "fight song" to St. Chris staff.
December 15, 2015
In continuation of St. Chris' 140th birthday, the hospital hosted yesterday that educated attendees about what was happening at St. Chris from 1886-1895.
In 1886, St. Christopher’s became the first hospital in the region to offer neonatal care to critically ill infants. Dr. Jan Goplerud, neonatologist at St. Christopher’s, presented on the history of neonatology at St. Christopher’s. Attendees also enjoyed a snack from the decade, learned facts from those years, and viewed historical photos.
December 07, 2015
On Friday, Dec. 4, St. Christopher's continued its celebration of its 140th anniversary. Friday's event included a look at St. Chris' first decade (1875-1885), featured a guest speaker, and included photos and historical food from the era.
December 04, 2015
St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children celebrated its 140th birthday on Nov. 30. Since 1875, St. Christopher’s has been providing exceptional care to children in and around Philadelphia. The hospital started as a charitable ambulatory pediatric clinic in a small second story room at 552 Dauphin Street – the industrial area of Kensington, Philadelphia, with a population of about 100,000 working class people. Currently, St. Christopher’s is a 189-bed hospital that not only serves the children in the immediate Philadelphia area, but also throughout the Delaware Valley. The hospital has a full range of pediatric subspecialists who are experienced in their areas and dedicated to the children of the area. Some highly-acclaimed programs include the highest level of pediatric trauma care and neonatal care, a Heart Center, Oncology unit and the only dedicated pediatric burn center in the region. St. Christopher's also has one of the busiest emergency departments for children in the country, with over 70,000 annual visits. As a teaching hospital, St. Christopher’s also has a strong history of holding significant partnerships with some prestigious healthcare organizations throughout Philadelphia, including Drexel University College of Medicine, Temple University School of Medicine and Albert Einstein Medical Center.
Patients, families, and employees at St. Christopher’s celebrated the milestone on Monday by singing “Happy Birthday,” enjoying cake, and viewing historical presentations. The hospital will host 14 events from December through March in honor of its 140 year celebration; each event will feature a different decade at St. Christopher’s.
December 01, 2015
St. Christopher’s is pleased to announce that it has been recognized as a 2014 Top Performer on Key Quality Measures® for children’s asthma by The Joint Commission, the leading accreditor of health care organizations in the United States. St. Christopher’s is the only hospital in Pennsylvania to receive this particular recognition for 2013.
St. Christopher’s was recognized as part of The Joint Commission’s 2015 annual report “America’s Hospitals: Improving Quality and Safety,” for attaining and sustaining excellence in accountability measure performance for asthma in 2014. The hospital is one of 1,043 hospitals out of more than 3,300 eligible hospitals in the United States to achieve the 2014 Top Performer distinction.
The Top Performer program recognizes hospitals for improving performance on evidence-based interventions that increase the chances of healthy outcomes for patients with certain conditions, including heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia, surgical care, children’s asthma, stroke, venous thromboembolism and perinatal care, as well as for inpatient psychiatric services and immunizations.
This is the fourth year that St. Christopher’s has been recognized as a Top Performer; the hospital was also recognized in 2012, 2013 and 2014 (in 2012 with the 2011 award; in 2013 with the 2012 award; in 2014 with the 2013 award) for its performance on accountability measure data for children’s asthma.
“St. Christopher’s remains dedicated to providing high-quality, personalized care to our patients and their families in a safe and efficient way. We are proud to once again be named a Top Performer on Key Quality Measures ,” says J. Mark McLoone, FACHE, Chief Executive Officer at St. Christopher’s. “This recognition exemplifies the knowledge, dedication and teamwork that is seen in the staff throughout St. Christopher’s, especially in the area asthma care.”
Through St. Christopher’s A-HA Clinic (After Hospital Asthma), specialists at St. Christopher’s work to improve better asthma management and education, increase post-hospital follow-up visits, and decrease re-admissions and repeat visits to the emergency room for asthma.
To be a 2014 Top Performer, hospitals had to meet three performance criteria based on 2014 accountability measure data, including:
- Achieve cumulative performance of 95 percent or above across all reported accountability measures;
- Achieve performance of 95 percent or above on each and every reported accountability measure with at least 30 denominator cases; and
- Have at least one core measure set that had a composite rate of 95 percent or above, and within that measure set, achieve a performance rate of 95 percent or above on all applicable individual accountability measures.
Accountability measures address compliance with administration of asthma medications during the hospital stay, and with assuring patients receive a home management plan of care at the time of discharge. In 2012 and 2013, St. Christopher’s Hospital sustained 100% performance on asthma medication management, and in 2014, the hospital sustained 96.7% performance on asthma medication management.
For more information about the Top Performer program, visit http://www.jointcommission.org/accreditation/top_performers.aspx
November 30, 2015
Happy birthday to St. Christopher's! The hospital is 140 years old today. We will have a birthday celebration this afternoon at 2:30, followed by 14 mini-celebrations over the next few months. Each celebration will feature a different decade at St. Chris.
November 25, 2015
St. Christopher's Hospital for Children hosted the 6th annual Turkey Drive on Nov. 24. The hospital raised over $9,000, which was used to buy full Thanksgiving dinners for over 300 families.
November 20, 2015
St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, located at 160 East Erie Avenue in Philadelphia, is pleased to welcome six new physicians to various departments, including Erin Cipko, MD; Erica Cucinella, MD; Uta Lichter-Konecki, MD; Priya Patel, MD; Maryann Snyder, MD; and Jennifer Tingo, MD.
Erin Cipko, MD, is an attending physician in the section of neonatal-perinatal medicine at St. Christopher’s. Dr. Cipko is also a physician of neonatal-perinatal medicine at St. Luke's, Bethlehem/Allentown as part of St. Christopher's Onsite Pediatric Partners (SCOPP); she is a certified lactation consultant and will be helping St. Luke's move toward becoming a “baby- friendly” hospital. Dr. Cipko received her medical degree from Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia and completed her residency at the University of South Florida/All Children’s Hospital in Florida, followed by a fellowship at St. Christopher’s. Board-certified in pediatrics, Dr. Cipko’s clinical interests include breastfeeding medicine. She is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
A member of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Erica Cucinella, MD, is an attending physician in the section of pediatrics at St. Christopher’s. She received her medical degree from Ross University School of Medicine in the West Indies and completed her residency at Morristown Medical Center in New Jersey.
Board-certified in genetics, Uta Lichter-Konecki, MD, is the Director of the Metabolism Program in the section of neurology at St. Christopher’s. She received her medical degree from Ruprecht-Karls-University Heidelberg, Germany. She completed a residency in pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital of the University of Heidelberg, Germany. Dr. Lichter-Konecki completed a fellowship at the Children’s Hospital of the University of Heidelberg, followed by a fellowship in clinical and clinical-biochemical genetics at the National Institute of Health in Washington, D.C. Dr. Lichter-Konecki is a member of various professional organizations and societies, including the German Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine and the American Society of Human Genetics, Society for Pediatric Research. She is a fellow of the American College of Medical Genetics. Her clinical and research interests include inborn errors of metabolism, especially phenylketonuria, urea cycle disorders, and CNS complications of these disorders.
Priya Patel, MD, is an attending physician in the section of pediatrics at St. Christopher’s. She attended medical school at Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia and completed a residency program at St. Christopher’s. Her clinical interests include early childhood literacy, children's oral health and social determinants of health. She is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Board-certified in pediatrics, Maryann Snyder, MD, is an attending physician in the section of emergency medicine at St. Christopher’s. Dr. Snyder received her medical degree from the Sidney Kimmel Medical College (previously Jefferson Medical College) in Philadelphia. Prior to joining St. Christopher’s, Dr. Snyder was the Associate Medical Director and General Pediatrician at the Newborn Nursery at The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Dr. Snyder is a member of both the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Pediatric Association.
Jennifer Tingo, MD, is an attending physician in the section of cardiology at St. Christopher’s and is a member of the American College of Cardiology. Dr. Tingo received her medical degree from Eastern Virginia Medical School in Virginia. She completed her residency at St. Christopher’s and a fellowship at Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center of New York in New York City. Dr. Tingo’s clinical interests include non-invasive imaging, fetal cardiology and general pediatric cardiology.
November 19, 2015
In honor of the Great American Smokeout today, St. Christopher's Dr. Blair Dickinson discusses what happens when children and parents smoke, and the services available at St. Christopher's.
When Children Smoke: Physicians are trained to ask about smoking status at every clinical encounter, whether that take place in the outpatient or inpatient setting. When pediatricians identify that a teen has started smoking, we employ motivational interviewing techniques to allow them to understand the reasoning behind the choice they have made and empower them to quit. At St. Christopher's, we refer adolescent smokers to the Pennsylvania QuitLine (1-800-QUITNOW) for counseling, and ensure follow-up visits with their pediatrician to provide continual support and encouragement.
When Parents Smoke: The effects of secondhand smoke on children's health are widely known: increased incidence of otitis media, lower respiratory diseases (including asthma and pneumonia), and the Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. When pregnant women smoke, their baby may be born prematurely or at a smaller weight. You may not know that children of parents who smoke also have higher rates of picking up the habit themselves. Recently, studies have shown that thirdhand smoke is also dangerous for children. Thirdhand smoke is the smoke which is left after a cigarette has been extinguished; particles from the smoke remain in hair, on clothes, furniture and other surfaces, like household walls and floors or car interiors. These particles can come back into the air over weeks to months and invade children's lungs, causing the same problems associated with secondhand smoke. Because of all of these concerns, we educate pediatricians at St. Chris to ask at every visit, both inpatient and outpatient, if a parent smokes, and we strongly advocate for "Smoke-Free Homes and Cars." This means that if you are not ready to quit smoking, you should always smoke outside and never around your child. You can also wear a "smoking jacket" that will catch some of the thirdhand smoke from staying on your hair or clothes.
If a parent smokes and IS ready to quit, we refer them to the PA Quitline (1800QUITNOW) that will offer counseling services via phone. We encourage the parent to select a "Quit Date" on which they will throw out all of their cigarettes and let their friends, family, and physicians know that they are free of tobacco! We can also write a prescription for the parent to use nicotine patches and/or gum once their Quit Date arrives.
Specific projects also in place at St. Chris include:
--St. Chris has had a "smoke-free campus" policy since 2009, but in recent years, resident physicians noticed that significant numbers of people were still smoking on campus, increasing the secondhand smoke exposure for any patient visiting the hospital. Through a quality improvement project in which they worked with hospital administration to increase awareness of the policy, pediatric residents were able to significantly reduce the amount of employees and visitors who smoke on the hospital's campus.
--In the inpatient setting, resources on smoking cessation are now given to every parent who identifies themselves as a smoker during their child's admission. Nurses communicate with the child's physician regarding the parent's smoking status, and appropriate referrals are made as described above.
November 04, 2015
By Harpreet Pall, MD
Chief, Section of Gastroenterology, Hepatology, andNutrition
Associate Chair for Clincial Affairs, Department of Pediatrics
St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in Philadelphia, Pa.
When you ask a kid what his or her favorite food is, some of the most popular answers tend to be ‘pizza’ or ‘spaghetti’ or a candy bar. And most kids I ask, have the answer right away.
But can you imagine what life is like for kids who have to worry about every food they eat because of an allergy or because of celiac disease?
An estimated 1 in 133 Americans or about 1 percent of the United States population has celiac disease, according to celiac central.
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease in which the body attacks the villi of the small intestine every time it consumes gluten.
If you’re part of the 1 percent of the population with celiac disease, you understand that it can be a burden at times. How frustrating is it to not be able to eat all of the foods you enjoy? And it’s definitely no fun watching your friends or family eat the things that you are not able to. It might even make you feel left out at times.
Although there are times when it may seem that it’s not fair that you can’t eat certain foods, it is important to remember the reasons why you’re on a gluten-free diet.
According to the Mayo Clinic, symptoms of celiac disease include:
- Acid reflex
- Anemia (iron deficiency)
- Balance problems
- Dental enamel damage
- Itchy, blistery rash
- Joint pain
- Loss of bone density
- Numbness/tingling in feet/hands
- Reduced functioning of the spleen
- Softening of bones
- Weight loss
The only treatment for celiac disease is a diet free from all forms of gluten, including barley, wheat, and rye. If you have celiac disease, eating even a small amount of gluten can cause you to suffer abdominal pain and diarrhea, so it’s important for you to stick to your diet.
And there are plenty of really great gluten free meals, snacks, and activities! Gluten-free foods include all kinds of fruit, many flavors of ice cream, potato chips, popcorn, nuts...If you keep your mind open, you’ll find there are more foods without gluten than with it.
Visit Our Locations page to find a location close to you or call 1-888-CHRISKIDS.
Board-certified in pediatric gastroenterology, Harpreet Pall, MD, is Chief of the section of Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition as well as Associate Chair for Clincial Affairs in the Department of Pediatrics at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in Philadelphia. He received his medical degree from McGill University in Montreal, Canada and completed his residency at the Janeway Child Health Center, Memorial University, St. John’s, Canada. He completed his GI fellowship at Children’s Hospital Boston/Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Mass. His specialties include gastroenterology, hepatology, nutrition, gastrointestinal endoscopy, and inflammatory bowel disease. He sees patients at both St. Chris’s main hospital in Philadelphia and at St. Chris Specialty Pediatrics at Bucks County.
October 20, 2015
By Francesco De Luca, Chief of the Section of Endocrinology and Diabetes at St. Christopher’sHospital for Children
If you’ve never cried over spilled milk, I’m about to give you a reason to: your children are probably not getting the right amount of calcium they need to build and maintain healthy bones. Here’s what you need to know:
A Calcium-Rich Diet
Milk and other dairy products provide your child with much-needed calcium for healthy bone development and growth. While you may not think of osteoporosis affecting children, it is a health problem that parents need to think about during infancy, childhood and adolescence. Boys and girls have 90% of their peak bone mass by the time they reach age 20, so the more you work on your child’s bone health now, the stronger his or her bones will be during adult years.
According to the National Institutes of Health, kids between 4 and 18 years of age should be getting between 1,000 and 1,300 milligrams of calcium a day. Here are some snacks that pack plenty of calcium that my patients tend to enjoy:
- Cheese cubes and string cheese
- Single-serving pudding
- Cereal with low-fat milk
- Calcium-fortified orange juice
- Individual-sized pizzas
- Ice hockey/field hockey
Another advantage of regularly eating these snacks is getting vitamin D. Vitamin D, along with calcium, is also very important to prevent osteoporosis and risk for fractures in kids.
Tone the Bones
Serving your child milk and these other calcium-rich snacks isn’t the only way to help strengthen bones. Exercise is also extremely important to proper bone development, especially exercise that involves weight-bearing activities. Some great bone-building activities that kids can easily get involved with are:
Eating healthy and exercising are staples of good health in general, but they are especially important for your child’s bone health during both childhood and adulthood. I recommend making your child’s bone health a priority now, and he or she may thank you later.
If you think your child’s skeletal system isn’t as strong as it should be, reach out to your pediatrician or call St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children at 1-888-CHRISKIDS (247-4754) to make an appointment.
Dr. Francesco De Luca is the Chief of the Section of Endocrinology and Diabetes, and attending endocrinologist at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children. Dr. De Luca is also a professor of pediatrics at Drexel University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in pediatrics and pediatric endocrinology. His clinical interests include growth disorders and osteoporosis.
October 15, 2015
The Continuing Medical Education(CME) Program at St. Christopher's, located in Philadelphia, Pa., will host the first annual Pediatric Gastroenterology (GI) Conference at the hospital on Saturday, October 31 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
The conference, led by the GI physicians at St. Christopher's, is designed to provide pediatric care providers with updated educational sessions on a number of topics within pediatric gastroenterology that have grown in prevalence. Educational sessions will include diagnosis and management of gluten sensitivities, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, functional abdominal pain, gastroesophageal reflux, chronic diarrhea, and feeding disorders in children.
"The program aims to address the topics in pediatric gastroenterology that we often get asked about as physicians at St. Christopher's," says StephanieAppleman, MD, MS, pediatric gastroenterologist at St. Christopher's. "We are addressing many of these topics every day and there have been developments and advancements in the diagnosis and treatment in several of these areas. The goal is that we can share our knowledge of these findings with our peers and also open up a discussion for further research and advancements."
Dr. Appleman, who is spearheading the GI conference, adds that the St. Christopher's CME program has a reputation for hosting educational conferences that bring together a multitude of medical professionals within St. Christopher's and throughout the region and nation to focus on different topics.
Through the CME Program, St. Christopher’s hosts weekly grand rounds every Friday that feature a different topic in pediatric medicine. The hospital also hosts several recurrent events, including SCAN, a Child Abuse & Neglect Training for Pennsylvania-licensed Mandated Reporters, and “A Day with the Newborn,” a symposium designed to provide practitioners who care for newborns with the most up-to-date knowledge of issues that are commonly encountered in critically ill neonates.
"St. Christopher's has been dedicated to physician education and training for more than 110 years, with the development of continuing medical education for nearly 60 years," says Jennifer Vodzak, MD, infectious diseases attending physician and assistant director of the CME Program at St. Christopher’s. "Our CME program has been shaped over the years by the wonderful influences of several historically renowned pediatricians, including Dr. William H. Bennett who founded St. Christopher’s, Dr. Waldo E. Nelson, who authored what is widely-known as THE pediatric textbook, and Dr. Angelo DiGeorge, who detailed DiGeorge Syndrome.. The GI Conference is just one example of how that passion for providing medical education to peers is still very much a focus of who we are today."
Grand rounds and other CME activities are open to St. Christopher's medical staff, as well as physicians and medical professionals from outside hospitals and practices. Upcoming events include the David S. Smith Visiting Professorship Grand Rounds in October with the AAP president-elect Dr. Bernard P. Dreyer, as well as the annual evening Waldo E. Nelson Lecture with pediatric radiologist Dr. Eric Faerber in November.
For more information about the CME program, upcoming events, or to register for the GI conference, please visit www.stchristophershospital.com/cme.
October 08, 2015
St. Chris nurses proudly being announced as second time Magnet designee. Many of us have great stories about the St. Chris nurses -- what are some of your favorite stories? #stchrisnursesrock #stchrisup
October 05, 2015
By Dr. Sarah Long, Chief of the section of Infectious Diseases at St. Christopher’s Hospital forChildren
I’ve been a physician for over 40 years, and I’m also a parent. I know that parents would do anything to protect their child. But you can’t follow your little one everywhere and save him or her from every calamity.
One of the easiest steps that you can take to protect your child is having him or her vaccinated.
Infants and children are especially vulnerable to infectious diseases from birth up to six years of age. That is why it is vitally important to have them vaccinated as soon as your doctor recommends in order to protect them from serious and even fatal diseases.
U.S. Statistics on Children & Vaccinations
While vaccinations can prevent fatal illnesses and have been proven to be extremely safe , yet millions of children remain unvaccinated. According to the Centers for Disease Control, in 2014:
- 83% of children received the diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis vaccine
- 93% of children received the polio vaccine
- 92% of children received the measles, mumps, rubella vaccine
- 82% of children received the Haemophilus influenzae type b vaccine
- 91% of children received the Hepatitis B vaccine
- 91% of children received the chickenpox vaccine
- 82% of children received the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine
When parents choose not to vaccinate their child, they may put their child at unnecessary risk, and increase the risk of a potential outbreak.
Vaccinated vs. Unvaccinated Children
Whenever parents ask me why they should have their child vaccinated, I can list several reasons in favor of vaccination, including:
- Vaccines prevent diseases, unlike most medicines, which treat illness
- Vaccinations prime immune systems to give long lasting protection against infections
- Unvaccinated children can infect healthy children, such as classmates
- Potential adverse effects to vaccinations tend to be minimal, mild and have no lingering effects
- Over time, vaccines can eradicate diseases, such as smallpox and (in the U.S.) polio
- Vaccines prevented over 300 million illnesses in children born in the last 20 years
I will always take the time to sit with parents and talk about the advantages of vaccinations with them. Once parents understand the benefits and potential risks for their child, they are better able to make an informed decision about vaccinations.
Dr. Sarah Long is chief and attending physician in the section of infectious diseases at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children. She received her medical degree from Jefferson Medical College, now the Sidney Kimmel Medical College, in Philadelphia and is board-certified in pediatric infectious diseases. Dr. Long is also a professor of pediatrics at Drexel University College of Medicine.
To learn more about vaccinations or St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, please call 1-888-CHRISKIDS (1-888-247-4754).
October 02, 2015
#FlashbackFriday old newspaper clippings of a St. Christopher's pharmacist and a patient. Anyone remember this? Is there more to these stories?
October 01, 2015
St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, St. Christopher’s Pediatric Associates and Drexel University College of Medicine are pleased to announce the appointment of Mary M. Moran, MD, to the positions of Pediatrician-in-Chief at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, Chief Executive Officer of St. Christopher’s Pediatric Associates, and Chair of the Department of Pediatrics of Drexel University. She will also serve as Drexel’s Associate Dean for the Pediatric Clinical Campus at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children. In these roles, Dr. Moran aims to bring together the best of academics and high-quality, high-value pediatric care.
Dr. Moran received her medical degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and completed her residency and chief residency in pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. Following her residency, she joined the medical staff of St. Christopher’s and became a founding member of the Diagnostic Referral Center. She has played pivotal roles in the past both in the school and the hospital as Associate Director of the Residency Program, Director of the Pediatrics Clerkship, Assistant Dean for Clinical Education, Associate Dean for Faculty Development and most recently as Vice Dean for Faculty Affairs and Professional Development and Vice President of Medical Affairs.
Dr. Moran has served as Interim Chair and Pediatrician-in-Chief at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children since January 2015. She is Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Drexel University and has been a member of the Department of Pediatrics since 1998. She has been recognized repeatedly locally and nationally as an outstanding clinician, educator, and leader. She is a 2008 graduate of Drexel’s Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM) Program.
“I am pleased that Dr. Moran will be an integral part of our leadership team here at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children,” says J. Mark McLoone, FACHE, CEO of St. Christopher’s. “Dr. Moran brings a deep sense of commitment to our organization, a passion for our mission and a skill set which includes the ability to lead through an understanding of the complexities of children’s health issues, academic medicine and the challenges of our business environment. I look forward to working with Dr. Moran in her new roles.”
As Vice President of Medical Affairs and Vice Dean for Faculty Affairs and Professional Development and Interim Chair and Pediatrician-in-Chief of the Department of Pediatrics of Drexel University College of Medicine at St. Christopher’s Hospital, Dr. Moran has demonstrated leadership that is reflective of both great institutions.
“Dr. Moran’s experience in pediatrics and her excellent rapport with the medical community and leaders will be beneficial as St. Christopher’s and Drexel continue to grow,” says Warren Stowell, Vice President, Physician Practice Management, Tenet Physician Resources. “I have great confidence in Dr. Moran as she embarks on these new roles.”
Daniel V. Schidlow, MD, Annenberg Dean and Senior Vice President of Medical Affairs at Drexel University College of Medicine, says, “It is with pleasure and anticipation that I look forward to Dr. Moran’s stewardship of the pediatric faculty as Chair of the College’s Department of Pediatrics and Associate Dean for the Pediatric Campus at SCHC. She brings to the job a wealth of experience in academics, and outstanding skills as a mentor, communicator and advocate for the faculty. She will play an important role in strengthening the collaboration and academic ties between the college, the hospital and the pediatric faculty at large.”
September 29, 2015
St. Christopher's Pediatric Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Rosenblatt and one of his patients, athlete Dasyn, were recently featured in South Jersey Magazine's "Trails of Triumph." Great story!
September 28, 2015
Dr. Evan Weiner, director of St. Christopher's pediatric emergency room, offers tips on how to avoid bites and scratches from pets and what to do should one occur.
September 22, 2015
More than 200 books, aimed for children ages 0 to 6 months, were donated to the families of St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) by the employees of Dräger, a medical technology company with U.S. headquarters in the Philadelphia region. The books were donated through St. Christopher’s Reach Out and Read Program and will be given to families as they leave the NICU.
Through Reach Out and Read, each child who is seen at St. Christopher’s for a well visit is given a new book to take home. Traditionally, the program has promoted reading aloud to children ages 6 months to five years. The program recently expanded its mission to promote reading to children aged 0 to 6 months.
“This new initiative to promote reading to children younger than six months is being implemented because of recent findings that support the fact that children begin developing language during the first six months of life,” says Hans Kersten, MD, director of the Grow Clinic at St. Christopher’s and organizer of the Reach Out and Read Program at St. Christopher’s. “By reading aloud to children at this age, it improves language and literacy and leads to a higher likelihood that they will read later in life.”
This is the second year that Dräger has collected books for the Reach Out and Read Program at St. Christopher’s, but the first time that the books are specifically for families in the NICU.
September 17, 2015
On Sept. 17, patients at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children accepted the ceremonial 1 millionth pillowcase by Ryan’s Case for Smiles, a 501(c) 3 organization solely dedicated to helping sick children cope with the stress of their illnesses and injuries. Case for Smiles volunteers provide sick children across North America with whimsical pillowcases that give hospitalized children an emotional boost and remind them they are not defined by their illness.
Cindy Kerr, Founder and CEO of Case of Smiles, began making pillowcases for her son Ryan more than a decade ago to brighten his hospital room and put a smile on his face during his cancer treatment. On September 17, 2015 Ryan’s Case for Smiles volunteers will deliver the ceremonial 1-millionth pillowcase to a hospitalized child in each of its 120 chapters across North America. In Philadelphia, St. Christopher’s is a proud recipient of one of the ceremonial 1 millionth pillowcases.
September 16, 2015
Dr. Evan Weiner, director of St. Christopher's pediatric emergency room, says that he cannot stress enough how careful parents need to be when it comes to household chemicals and children. He has several tips on keeping kids safe and products that parents should be particularly mindful of.
September 14, 2015
A new school year can provide fresh opportunities for kids to make new friends, participate in a club, or join a sports team. Beyond the prep that goes into any of these new hobbies, gearing up properly for a sport is crucial. Whether your child is a seasoned pro or just picked up that field hockey stick for the first time there are certain things to keep in mind. Dr. Michael Wolf, attending sports medicine physician at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children provides tips to keep parents prepared:
- Make sure athlete's yearly pre-participation physical is up to date and be sure to follow up on any of your physician's recommendations
- Be sure to focus on hydration, especially during hot and humid day
- Make sure safety equipment (helmets, mouth guards, padding) is in good condition and fits properly
- Remind coaches and school officials of athlete's medical history, medications, allergies, and parental and physician contact information
- Know how to recognize a concussion, as the fall sport season is peak concussion season. Learn the signs and immediately stop play if there is any concern a concussion has been sustained
- Help kids gradually increase the intensity and volume of training before returning to previous levels of activity, especially if there has been a summer break from significant athletic activity
To learn more, click here!
August 31, 2015
St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, located at 160 East Erie Avenue in Philadelphia, welcomes three new physicians to the emergency medical department, including Luis Gamboa, MD; Eric Lusinski, MD; and Katie Tran, MD.
Luis Gamboa, MD, is an attending physician in the section of emergency medicine at St. Christopher’s. Dr. Gamboa received his medical degree from St. George’s University School of Medicine in Grenada, West Indies and completed his pediatric residency at the Inova Fairfax Hospital for Children in Falls Church, Va. Dr. Gamboa also just recently completed his fellowship in Pediatric Emergency Medicine at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children. Board-certified in general pediatrics, Dr. Gamboa is a member of several associations, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association and the American College of Emergency Physicians. His clinical interests include resident and medical student education.
Eric Lusinski, MD FAAP, is an attending physician in the section of emergency medicine at St. Christopher’s and is board certified in general pediatrics. Dr. Lusinski attended Ross University School of Medicine in the West Indies. He completed his residency at Goryeb Children’s Hospital in Morristown, NJ, and he completed a fellowship at St. Christopher’s. For the past two years Dr. Lusinski has worked for St. Christopher’s critical care transport team and recently became the assistant medical director. Dr. Lusinski’s clinical interests include clinical informatics and its use in improving ER flow and patient safety.
Board-eligible in pediatrics, Katie Tran, MD, is an attending physician in the section of emergency medicine at St. Christopher’s. She received her medical degree from the Texas A&M University Health Science Center in Round Rock, Texas and completed her residency at St. Christopher’s. A member of the American Academy of Pediatrics as well as the Academic Pediatric Society, Dr. Tran’s clinical interests include health literacy and obesity prevention.
In addition to these three physicians, St. Christopher’s also welcomes nine other physicians in July to a variety of departments, including neonatal care, anesthesiology, and radiology.
August 27, 2015
If you've been to the pediatrician with your child lately, you know that keeping him or her calm isn't always seamless. Dr. Katie McPeak, medical director of the CUC at St. Christopher's, discusses on WHYY how she helps keep children calm during visits.
August 26, 2015
As an emergency medicine physician, I see a good amount of children come through St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children’s Emergency Room with an injury that is a result of a motor vehicle accident. While it’s my job to treat these injuries, I also work hard to remind patients and families of the importance of practicing car safety.
Some tips to keep in mind:
- Holidays – Fourth of July, Labor Day Weekend, Thanksgiving, Christmas – tend to create an influx of traffic. Be mindful of this and give yourself enough time to get where you are going so that you are not rushing and possibly ignoring traffic rules that could result in an accident. Be extra observant of other drivers who may be in a rush, as well
- Use the right car seat for your child. Children under two years old and weighing less than 35 pounds should be in rear-facing infant seats. Children between two and four years of age and weighing less than 40 pounds should be in forward-facing child safety seats. Children under 13 and weighing less than 80 pounds should be in booster seats
- Ensure that car seats are properly secure. A study published by the American Academy of Pediatrics showed that 93% of families with newborns make at least one error when securing the child’s car seat. A properly secured car seat can help protect a child should an accident occur
- Never use cellphones or other devices while driving. The brain’s ability to process moving images decreases by one-third when talking on the phone, according to the National Safety Council (nsc.org)
- Never drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Drugs and alcohol impair judgment of speed and distance, blur and distort vision, and slow reaction time, all of which mess with the ability to drive safely
- Maintain the speed limit unless driving slower because of weather, traffic, or limited visibility. Do not drive above the speed limit just because everyone else is. The speed limit is the speed limit for a reason
Click here to find a location close to you or call 1-888-CHRISKIDS.
Board-certified in pediatrics and pediatric emergency medicine, Evan Weiner, MD, FAAP, is the director of the Department of Emergency Medicine at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in Philadelphia. He received his medical degree from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Camden, N.J. and completed his residency at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, Pa. and at A.I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Del. He also completed his fellowship at the University of Florida Health Science Center in Jacksonville, Fla. His specialty is emergency medicine. He sees patients at St. Chris’s main hospital in Philadelphia.
August 25, 2015
On August 26, 2015, the Child Life Department at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children will host an end of summer carnival for patients and their friends and family. The carnival will take place from 2 to 3:30 p.m. at the hospital, located at 160 East Erie Avenue in Philadelphia.
The goal of the carnival is to offer children and their friends and family at St. Christopher’s the opportunity to have an enjoyable way to end summer.
“Some of the kids here rarely get the opportunity to attend common summer events outside of the hospital,” says Grace Duffy, child life specialist at St. Christopher’s. “We want to host something playful and entertaining that will get the kids excited to go back to school and make it a positive afternoon.”
According to Duffy, there are several “hospital-themed” activities planned for the day, as well as face painting, carnival games, food, and arts and crafts.
Duffy adds that all of the materials that will be used during the carnival are extra or unusable resources, safe for children, and are a part of the medical play concept that the child life specialists practice every day during the hospital.
“On a daily basis, we are teaching kids and their siblings in the hospital that the materials that are used here are not scary,” says Duffy. “We want them to have a general understanding of why they will need an IV, for example, and to not be intimated by it. The carnival will be a blast for kids and it will also be a good learning opportunity.”
August 20, 2015
It's another hot day! Dr. Evan Weiner, director of St. Christopher's pediatric emergency room, sees a lot of children come to the ER for a heat-related conditions. Here are some helpful tips to avoid heat-related illnesses in kids.
August 19, 2015
The female ENT surgeons at St. Christopher's inspire us everyday! Who inspires you? #ilooklikeasurgeon
August 18, 2015
St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, located at 160 East Erie Avenue in Philadelphia, welcomes three new physicians to the department of neonatal care, including Andy Wang, MD; Kelley Kovatis, MD; and Keri Fugarolas, MD.
Andy Wang, MD, is an attending physician in the section of neonatal medicine at St. Christopher’s and is a Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatrics. He received his medical degree from the American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine in the Netherlands Antilles. Dr. Wang completed his residency at Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia, Pa., and completed a fellowship in neonatal-perinatal medicine at St. Christopher’s. He also served as a pediatric attending hospitalist at St. Christopher’s. Dr. Wang is a member of several associations including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Eastern Society for Pediatric Research, and the American Medical Association.
Kelley Kovatis, MD, is an attending physician in the section of neonatal medicine at St. Christopher's. She received her medical degree from Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia, Pa. Dr. Kovatis completed a residency at the University of Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville, Va., followed by a fellowship at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Pa. She is board certified by the American Board of Pediatrics. Her clinical interests include neonatal apnea, infection prevention, and medical education.
Board-certified in pediatrics and board-eligible in neonatal-perinatal medicine, Keri Fugarolas, MD, is an attending physician in the section of neonatal medicine at St. Christopher’s. She received her medical degree from Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia, Pa., and completed both her residency and fellowship programs at St. Christopher’s. Prior to joining St. Christopher’s, Dr. Fugarolas was a clinical instructor in the Department of Pediatrics at Drexel University College of Medicine.
In addition to these three physicians, St. Christopher’s also welcomes nine other physicians in July in a variety of departments, including emergency medicine, anesthesiology and pulmonology.
August 13, 2015
In St. Christopher's pediatric emergency room, Dr. Evan Weiner sees a lot of accidents and injuries during the summer. Here are some helpful tips on beach safety for kids.
August 11, 2015
It’s hard to come across a 16 year old girl who doesn’t have at least one insecurity.
“I didn’t really notice until I was a teenager that I had a pretty big indent in my chest,” says Erica Yi, of Huntington Valley, Pa. “And it made me really self-conscious – I always tried to keep it covered and never wanted to be in a bathing suit.”
Erica was 16 at the time and her general physician had also noticed the indent. She recommended that Erica visit St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children to be evaluated.
“When Erica came to see me, it was clear that she was suffering from a significant case of pectus excavatum,” says Rajeev Prasad, MD, Pediatric Surgeon and Director of the Minimally Invasive Surgery Center at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children. “It’s a common abnormality of the anterior wall of the chest, in which the sternum and several adjacent ribs grow abnormally. This produces a ‘caved-in’ look to the chest. Alternatively, some patients develop pectus carinatum, where the chest protrudes abnormally.”
Dr. Prasad adds that pectus abnormalities present at around the time of birth in some patients or around the onset of puberty in others. He sees about 25 patients a year for both conditions and comments that almost all of the patients he sees express that they have some level of embarrassment over their appearance.
According to Dr. Prasad, the previously common method for correcting severe cases of pectus excavatum and carinatum required a large incision on the front of the chest and removal of portions of multiple ribs to correct the abnormal position of the sternum. He says that this older technique takes several hours to complete and results in a significant scar on the front of the chest.
For patients with pectus excavatum, Dr. Prasad has now mastered a minimally invasive technique called the Nuss Procedure, which he recommends to patients like Erica. In this operation, a curved metal bar, custom shaped for each patient, is placed under the sternum through small incisions on the side of the chest using a long telescope to guide placement.
Dr. Prasad says that by using this minimally invasive approach, patients typically benefit from:
- A much shorter time under anesthesia than the older operation
- A short hospital stay of about 3-4 days and a faster recovery time than the traditional method
- Return to movement or activity soon after surgery
- Pain that is well-controlled using an epidural catheter initially followed by oral medications at discharge
- Less scarring due to smaller incisions that are hidden on the side of the ches
- Correction of the pectus abnormality
“Patients require a second even less invasive operation to remove the implanted bar 2-3 years later,” says Dr. Prasad. “For pectus carinatum, surgery is rarely performed nowadays as complete correction can be attained using a chest brace, again avoiding both a big operation as well as an unsightly scar.”
Erica’s first surgery took place when she was 16 years old; her second at age 19.
“I was terrified before my first surgery,” says Erica. “And it took some getting used to, but after only a few weeks, I hardly noticed that the bar was in my chest. And I immediately noticed less of indent after surgery.”
For Erica, the recent procedure for bar removal was just a small step but also the last in this entire process.
“I’m happy that I went through the procedure in the first place,” says Erica. “I’m more confident now and the scars from the incisions are so small that I can hardly see them. Plus, I learned so much about the entire process, which is cool to tell people about.”
So cool, in fact, that Erica has decided to pursue a career in medicine. She is currently a sophomore at the University of Pittsburgh.
As an expert in Pediatric Minimally Invasive Surgery, Dr. Prasad has performed the Nuss Procedure on nearly 100 patients. To learn more about minimally invasive surgery or to make an appointment with Dr. Prasad at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in Philadelphia or one its convenient satellite locations in Pennsylvania or New Jersey, call 1-888-CHRISKIDS (1-888-247-4754) or click here.
August 06, 2015
In St. Christopher's pediatric emergency room, Dr. Evan Weiner sees a lot of accidents and injuries during the summer. He offers some helpful tips to parents and families.
July 30, 2015
By Dr. Nadja Peter, pediatrician at St. Christopher’sHospital for Children
As a parent, you’ve likely become accustomed to worrying about your kids. And as they mature into adolescence, alcohol use might move toward the top of your list of worries.
Statistics about Teens & Drinking
According to the Center for Disease Control:
- 66% of high school students reported ever drinking alcohol
- 35% of high school students had drunk alcohol at least once in the past month
- 21% of high school students reported having five drinks in a row at least once in the past month
- 22% of teens reported riding in a car with someone who had been drinking in the past month
- 10% of teen drivers reported driving after drinking alcohol at least once in the past month
While your teen could encounter serious legal trouble if caught drinking, there may also be serious negative health effects. According to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism:
- Teens are much more likely to binge drink
- 5,000 people under age 21 years die each year related to alcohol related suicides, accidents, drowning, falls and alcohol poisoning
- 190,000 people under age 21 years went to an Emergency Department for an alcohol related injury in 2008
- Alcohol increases a teen’s risk for being a victim of physical or sexual assault
- Frequent alcohol use as a teen has been linked to health problems as adults including obesity and hypertension
Protecting Your Teen
Oftentimes teens know the harms associated with underage drinking. So why do they continue to put themselves at risk? There are many reasons—sometimes they want to seem more adult-like, or they yearn for an increase in social confidence or they may succumb to peer pressure. Teens may also turn to alcohol because they have a psychological problem or genetic and family influences. And sometimes, they may just be curious.
Regardless the reason, it’s your job to try to protect them. Here’s what I typically recommend to parents:
- Keep communication open—talk to your teen about alcohol
- Listen closely—the important information your teen wants to tell you is often hiding between less important details
- Model safe drinking behavior
- Use teachable moments—if you hear in the news or from a friend that something happened to a teen related to alcohol, talk to your adolescent about it
- Have rules against drinking and establish clear consequences
- Get to know your kids’ friends
- Encourage teens’ participation in activities that don’t involve drinking, or point out activities that could be negatively impacted by drinking, such as sports
- Talk to your teen about face-saving strategies to avoid drinking alcohol
- Be home and awake when your teen gets home at night
It’s important to realize that despite all of the above methods, it can be difficult to completely prevent a teen from experimenting with alcohol. You should still continue to model responsible drinking and make a safety plan with your teen. For example, make an agreement that if your teen and the person who is supposed to be driving have been drinking, your teen can call you at any time to pick him or her up.
Signs of Alcohol Use and Intervention
When it comes to your teen and drinking, there are some tell-take signs to be aware of:
- Decline in school performance
- Decreased interest in usual activities or school
- Avoids you or other family members, especially after being out with friends
- Change in personality—more irritable, depressed, problems with attention
- Change in friends
- Smell alcohol on breath or clothes
- Speech slurred or problems with balance or coordination
If you think that your teen has an alcohol problem, proper intervention may be required, including getting a medical evaluation to diagnose the problem, checking the teen into a rehabilitation program, seeking mental health treatment for any other underlying psychological problems, and establishing a good social support network.
There is no easy way to address this topic, but you are the parent and it’s crucial that you teach your teens responsible behavior and keep open communication with them. If they feel like they can come to you with their insecurities or questions, it will make addressing alcohol use a lot easier for both of you.
To learn more about St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children or Dr. Nadja Peter, please call 1-888-CHRISKIDS (1-888-247-4754) or visit www.stchristophershospital.com.
July 29, 2015
In St. Christopher's pediatric emergency room, Dr. Evan Weiner sees a lot of accidents and injuries during the summer. He offers some helpful tips to parents and families.
July 28, 2015
St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children is pleased to welcome Nicholas Stamatiades as Regional Director, Operations Finance, Tenet Physician Resources. In this role, he will be working collaboratively with Laura Irwin, St. Christopher’s Senior Regional Director, Practice Plan Operations, in leading the operational financial performance and strategic growth objectives for the Philadelphia Market Practices at both St. Christopher’s and Hahnemann Hospitals.
“Nicholas is a wonderful addition to St. Christopher’s and Hahnemann, with nearly 20 years of healthcare experience,” says Irwin. “We are excited to have him join our team and I am confident that his experience, insight and leadership skills will be an asset as we continue to grow and expand.”
Stamatiades comes to St. Christopher’s and Hahnemann from Cooper University Health Care in Camden, NJ, where he spent 18 years. He has extensive experience in healthcare financial management and operations, most of which was has been focused on physician practice finances, practice operations, and physician compensation.
During his time at Cooper, Stamatiades served in leadership roles within the department of medicine, Cooper University Physicians, physician compensation plan, and most recently held the position of senior director of finance and operations for the MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper. Stamatiades had many accomplishments while at Cooper, one his most notable being the development and administration of the first Variable Physician Compensation Plan.
Stamatiades earned his Bachelor of Science in Accounting and received a Master of Business Administration, with a specialization in finance from Rutgers University in New Jersey. He also completed an intensive one-year certification program in leadership through The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Stamatiades attended Villanova University for training in Lean Six Sigma and is a Certified LSS Green Belt and Certified Change Agent.
July 24, 2015
St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children and Drexel University want to be sure that both patients and local children end their summers with smiles on their faces. To end summer on a high note, the Special Needs Department, at St. Christopher’s, supported by funding from Drexel University, will host its fifth annual Back to School Carnival rain or shine on August 7 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Lighthouse Field, located at 199 E. Erie Avenue in Philadelphia (across the street from the hospital). The free event is sponsored by Drexel University College of Medicine and the Center for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children.
Upon arrival school age children will receive backpacks stuffed with school essentials, including notebooks, pencils and folders, while quantities last. Younger children will receive a toy novelty.
Leading the carnival for the fifth year is Renee Turchi, MD, MPH attending physician and director of the Center for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs at St. Christopher’s Hospital and associate professor of pediatrics at Drexel University College of Medicine/School of Public Health
“Year after year, families look forward to the Back to School Carnival,” says Dr. Turchi. “It is a fun-filled day for all of the kids and families, and because we are able to provide these school supplies, the parents of our patients have one less thing to worry about. It’s just one more way for us to take care of our patients, while also serving the local community. It is great to see so many of our patients and families having fun on a summer afternoon!”
While the carnival has been successful in regards to preparing children for the school year, it is also a day packed with amusements. This year kids of all ages can enjoy food and drinks, a DJ, a game truck, face painters, an appearance by the Philly Phanatic, and other child-friendly entertainment.
Dr. Turchi, along with numerous health and social service agencies from across the Philadelphia area, will be on the grounds offering tips and expert information on children’s health, including injury prevention, local resources and services at St. Christopher’s, as well as materials explaining why education is an essential part of a child’s wellbeing. For more information, please contact Katie Feehan (Katie.firstname.lastname@example.org)
Since the carnival’s inception, the free event has entertained nearly 11,000 children and their families, and provided school supplies to almost 7,000 children.
The Center for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs provides primary care to patients from newborn through 21 years of age. The Center sees children and youth who utilize medical technology such as tracheotomies or feeding tubes, as well as those with complex medical conditions such as Down Syndrome or Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.
July 22, 2015
St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children is pleased to announce its partnership with Philadelphia Freedom Valley YMCA as the organization’s first Youth Development Pillar sponsor.
The partnership officially began on July 1, 2015 and will span for three years. This is the first time that St. Christopher’s has been a sponsor of the YMCA and the first pediatric hospital to take on a pillar sponsorship for the YMCA.
Through the partnership, St. Christopher’s will be present in over 90 Child Care locations, KidZones at the Philadelphia Freedom Valley YMCA’s 17 branches, Camp Speers YMCA in the Poconos, Summer Day Camp, Camp Olympics, and will participate in several outreach initiatives, including providing helpful educational resources to the families of the YMCA.
Throughout the year, St. Christopher’s will also conduct screenings, such as sports physicals, dental van and eye mobile screenings, and hearing and speech screenings.
Additionally, St. Christopher’s plans to participate in several of the YMCA’s community events, including Splash Week and Healthy Kids Day. St. Christopher’s staff will also work with coaches and participants in youth sports at the Y, serving as a resource when it comes to athletic injuries.
“We’re thrilled to begin this partnership with the Philadelphia Freedom Valley YMCA,” says Mark McLoone, St. Christopher’s newly-appointed CEO. “St. Christopher’s and the YMCA have a strong history of providing quality and family-centered care and services to children and families in and around Philadelphia. Both organizations are committed to providing the resources children need to live healthy and strong lives. We’re honored to partner with an organization that shares our dedication to the community and look forward to supporting the many activities at the YMCA.”
The Freedom Valley YMCA is comprised of 20 YMCA facilities located throughout the Delaware Valley. For more information, please visit philaymca.org
July 21, 2015
In St. Christopher's pediatric emergency room, Dr. Evan Weiner sees a lot of accidents and injuries during the summer. He offers some helpful tips to parents and families.
Call 1-888-CHRISKIDS (1-888-247-4754) or visit www.stchristophershospital.com for more information on St. Christopher's or its pediatric emergency room in Philadelphia, PA, or pediatric urgent care location in Abington, PA.
July 20, 2015
Blog post contributed by Kathleen Carickhoff, RD, LDN
Clinical Dietitian, Department of ClinicalNutrition at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children
All athletes want to have a competitive edge. Some try to achieve that edge by practicing long hours or by taking nutritional supplements. Rarely do we hear about athletes changing their eating habits to help them achieve that competitive edge. Young athletes may not be aware of the impact of proper nutrition and hydration on overall health and athletic performance. This doesn’t mean just eating well prior to your event, this means developing healthy eating habits and sticking with them!
Young athletes not only need to fuel their body for performance, they also need to fuel their body for proper growth and development. Athletes with poor diets won’t have the adequate energy required to get them through their event and maximize their performance. The type and amount of foods (i.e. carbohydrates, proteins and fats) is crucial to keep the body working efficiently. Carbohydrates are the body’s main source of energy and are stored as glycogen and utilized by the cells. Protein is key for building and repairing muscle. Fats provide a concentrated energy source as well as essential fatty acids which aids in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins (i.e. vitamins A, D, E, K).
However, it is important to realize that all carbohydrates, proteins and fats are NOT created equal. Carbohydrates should be complex such as whole wheat bread, brown rice, quinoa, low-fat milk and yogurt, fruits and vegetables. Lean proteins are the best choice such as chicken, turkey, fish and lean pork. Be sure to focus on healthy fats such as nuts, nut butters, avocados and olive oils.
When planning meals try using the My Plate Method created by the USDA. Aim for ½ of your plate to be vegetables and fruits, ¼ to be lean protein and ¼ to be whole grains. By limiting processed foods and focusing on a rainbow of fresh fruits, vegetables and lean proteins you will be fueling your body for optimal health and performance. Don’t skip meals, eat throughout the day and drink plenty of water!
Proper nutrition provides the athlete’s body with the energy necessary to improve strength and endurance and prevent dehydration. By making nutrition a priority young athletes will not only succeed in their performance they will also become winners by developing lifelong healthy eating habits.
At St. Chris Sports, our staff is available to help develop an eating plan for athletes. If you have specific questions/concerns, contact your physician or other health care provider. Learn more about our St. Chris Sports: Therapy for the Young Athlete services and St. Christopher's many locations.
July 16, 2015
#TBT filming heartwarming vignettes & videos with Andrew, a former St. Chris patient, who is celebrating 10 years cancer free. Don't miss his remarkable story, which will be released next Wednesday, 7/22.
July 13, 2015
Stress in Teenagers
By Katie McPeak, MD
Medical Director, General Pediatrics; Pediatrician at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in Philadelphia, Pa.
Feeling stressed out? Think your parents just don’t get it? You aren’t wrong.
A study by the American Psychological Association revealed that teens are under a greater amount of stress than adults. And school was the number one cause of stress in teenagers’ lives.
So what can you do? While it’s next to impossible for teens (or anyone!) to eliminate all sources of stress from their lives, there are things you can do to help yourself feel less stressed out.
When you find yourself feeling overwhelmed the first thing to do is stop whatever you are doing and concentrate on taking deep, slow breaths. Then, divert your attention into another activity.
Exercise is a great way to work off extra stress. The chemicals released during exercise can naturally help boost your mood.
Write in a journal. Sometimes seeing your problems on a page makes you realize they aren’t so big or can help you figure out a way to solve them.
Watch a funny movie or TV show. Nothing takes your mind off your problems like a good comedy.
And share your problems with someone else. This can be a friend, a family member, or another trusted adult (like your doctor). Many burdens feel much lighter when someone else helps you carry the load.
to find a location close to you or call 1-888-CHRISKIDS.
Board-certified in pediatrics Katie McPeak, MD, is the Medical Director, General Pediatrics; Pediatrician at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in Philadelphia. She received her medical degree from MCP Hahnemann School of Medicine in Philadelphia and completed her residency at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver, CO. Her specialty is pediatrics. She sees patients at St. Chris’ main hospital in Philadelphia.
July 01, 2015
To celebrate National Breastfeeding Awareness Month in August, St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children will host a breastfeeding awareness week August 3-7, 2015 at the hospital. This is the second year that St. Christopher’s is hosting events in honor of the nationally-recognized month.
The events will help raise awareness for the importance of breastfeeding and provide helpful information to hospital employees, patients, and the community. Throughout the week, tables with educational materials on breastfeeding, staffed by St. Christopher’s employees, will be set up in two locations: the Upper Atrium at the main hospital and the lobby of the new Center for the Urban Child, located across the parking lot from the hospital.
St. Christopher’s currently has a hospital-based breastfeeding group, comprised of physicians, nurses, and Certified Breastfeeding Counselors (CBC), a person who receives training and competency verification in breastfeeding, including helping a baby latch on, knowledge of milk production, prevention and management of sore nipples, feeding difficulties, counseling mothers, handling and storage of breast milk and practical feeding. The group assists NICUmothers who are learning to breastfeed, as well as provides support and education to mothers throughout the hospital.
Recently, this group collaborated with social workers from Ronald McDonald House, located on the campus of St. Christopher’s, to obtain hospital grade breast pumps to be available at the Ronald McDonald House.
According to Amanda Ring, RN, MSN, CRNP, NICU Nurse Educator at St. Christopher’s, establishing a full milk supply in the first ten days is critical to the success of long term breastfeeding, and without a hospital grade pump it can be very difficult.
In addition to providing support to inpatient babies, St. Christopher’s provides breastfeeding support for outpatient newborns.
“Currently, our group sees about 140-160 newborns per month and about 75% are breastfeeding or dual feeding [formula and breastfeeding,” says Deborah Sandrock, MD, International Board-Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), physician at St. Christopher’s. “We assist moms in obtaining personal items to help with breastfeeding and work closely with home care visiting nurses who are involved with our patients. We also have a MILK hotline that provides breastfeeding support to moms if they have questions or concerns between appointments.”
The purpose of the breastfeeding group at St. Christopher’s is to increase the rates of breastfeeding at St. Christopher’s and to raise awareness of its benefits.
“Breastfeeding may help to lower the risk of SIDS in babies, as well as reduce the risk of Type 2 Diabetes, Childhood Leukemia, ear infections, obesity and asthma,” says Dr. Sandrock. “Breast milk is also easier to digest than formula and is rich in nutrients and antibodies.”
Dr. Sandrock adds that breastfeeding may also lower the risk of Type 2 Diabetes, breast cancer, ovarian cancer and postpartum depression in women.
June 30, 2015
Dr. Michael Wolf, sports medicine physician at St. Christopher's, provides tips for staying safe during summer sports and activities in this colorful infograph.
Learn more about St. Christopher's Orthopedic Care
and the locations it's available.
June 26, 2015
U.S. News & World Report has ranked St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in nephrology and gastroenterology and GI surgery in the new 2015-16 Best Children’s Hospitals rankings.
The Best Children’s Hospitals rankings highlight U.S. News’s top 50 U.S. pediatric facilities in cancer, cardiology & heart surgery, diabetes & endocrinology, gastroenterology & GI surgery, neonatology, nephrology, neurology & neurosurgery, orthopedics, pulmonology and urology. Based on a combination of clinical data and reputation surveys of pediatric specialists, 83 hospitals ranked in at least one specialty.
“At St. Christopher’s, we remain committed to the health and well-being of the children in and around the Philadelphia area. Having our nephrology and gastroenterology (GI) & GI surgery departments ranked in the U.S. News & World Report’s 2015-16 Best Children’s Hospitals truly exemplifies this dedication,” says St. Christopher’s newly-appointed CEO Mark McLoone. “It is this commitment and others that drive us to continue to expand and find new ways to meet the pediatric healthcare needs of the children we serve.”
U.S. News introduced the Best Children’s Hospitals rankings in 2007 to help families of children with rare or life-threatening illnesses find the best medical care available. The rankings open the door to an array of detailed information about each hospital’s performance.
Most of each hospital’s score relied on patient outcomes and care-related resources. U.S. News garnered clinical data from a detailed questionnaire sent to 184 pediatric hospitals. A sixth of the score came from annual surveys of pediatric specialists and subspecialists in each specialty in 2013, 2014 and 2015. They were asked where they would send the sickest children in their specialty, setting aside considerations of location and expense.
“The pediatric centers that are ranked in Best Children’s Hospitals deserve our congratulations,” said U.S. News Health Rankings Editor Avery Comarow. “Children with life-threatening or rare conditions need the kind of care that these hospitals deliver day after day.”
Survival rates, adequacy of nurse staffing, procedure volume and much more can be viewed on http://health.usnews.com/best-hospitals/pediatric-rankings and will be published in the U.S. News “Best Hospitals 2016” guidebook, which will be available September 1.
June 24, 2015
St. Christopher's Pediatric Urgent Care Center in Abington will see your kids whenever your doctor can't. With walk-in care on nights, weekends & holidays, our pediatric urgent care center is designed to get your kids seen, get them stable, and get them back home -- typically with shorter waits and lower copays than an emergency room.
June 23, 2015
Congratulations to the Health Tech students who graduated from the program at St. Christopher's on Friday. Health Tech is a a school-to-career program sponsored by St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, Communities In Schools of Philadelphia, Inc., the Philadelphia Youth Network and the St. Christopher’s Foundation for Children.
June 23, 2015
Dr. Shannon Safier, orthopedic surgeon at St. Christopher's, spoke with Lynne Adkins from KYW about his new technique to treat overuse injuries.
June 17, 2015
St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children is pleased to announce the appointment of J. Mark McLoone, FACHE as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the hospital. Mr. McLoone joins St. Christopher’s, located in Philadelphia, PA, effective June 08.
Mr. McLoone was born in North Philadelphia and comes to St. Christopher’s with more than 30 years of healthcare management experience, most of which has been in children’s hospitals. After graduating from LaSalle University with a Bachelor of Arts in Biology, he began his career in healthcare management at the Mercy Hospital in Wilkes-Barre, PA. Returning to Philadelphia, Mr. McLoone received his M.B.A. degree from St. Joseph’s University while working for the Albert Einstein Medical Center. His leadership experience in pediatrics began during his tenure as Vice President at Einstein, as the pediatric department was a part of Mr. McLoone’s responsibilities.
Mr. McLoone was the Chief Operating Officer for the duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, DE for many years as that organization was transformed from a children’s orthopedic hospital to a full service academic children’s hospital and regional referral center. Mr. McLoone has served as the Chief Executive Officer of the Children’s Hospital at OUMC (the University of Oklahoma’s pediatric teaching hospital and part of HCA, Inc.) where he was simultaneously a Chief Operating Officer of the roughly 800 bed, three hospital campus.
Mr. McLoone’s most recent children’s hospital leadership position was with the Methodist Children’s Hospital (MCH) in San Antonio, TX where he served as Chief Executive Officer for eight years. During his tenure, MCH and Mr. McLoone were recognized with two Studer awards for excellence in Patient Satisfaction, achieving and sustaining top decile performance based on independent survey data. Mark also led MCH to the leading position (as measured by market share) amongst the children’s hospitals in San Antonio, the seventh largest city in the United States.
“I am delighted to join such a remarkable and clinically excellent organization. St. Christopher’s mission is consistent with my own personal philosophy and the medical and hospital staff’s devotion to the community is palpable and was part of what drew me to this opportunity,” says Mr. McLoone. “Achievements such as recognition by the Leapfrog Group, Magnet status for the hospital, and others are a clear indication of the highest level of skills and services St. Christopher’s brings to those whom we serve and I look forward to working with our physicians and all the other extraordinary professionals here to build upon these achievements.”
“This is an exciting time for a new leader at St. Christopher’s with the recently opened Center for the Urban Child and construction of a new Critical Care Tower,” says Erik Wexler, CEO, Tenet Northeast Region. “With Mark’s experience as a pediatric hospital leader, we’re confident that he will not only further improve our excellent performance at St. Christopher’s, but will help the hospital maintain its commitment to meeting the needs of communities in the greater Philadelphia area with clinically excellent, family-centered care in a healing and comfortable environment.”
Mr. McLoone has been a member of several healthcare committees and boards, and presently participates in the American Hospital Association President’s Council for Children’s Hospital Executives. He is also a Board Certified Healthcare Executive. Throughout his career, Mr. McLoone has received numerous awards and recognitions, including the 2013 Studer Group Evidenced Based Leadership Healthcare Organization of the Month award, the Distinguished Service Award from American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) in 2012, the Healthcare Executives Service Award from ACHE in 2009 and he is a two time recipient of the ACHE’s Regent Award for the most innovative program. His professional leadership includes seven years as a Regent of the ACHE, including full terms as Regent for the State of Delaware and another for the Central and South Texas region which encompassed two of the 12 most populous cities in the nation.
Mark lives with his wife Martha, who is an RN and former Assistant Nurse Manager of the Albert Einstein Medical Center Mother/Baby Unit, and their son Mark Jr., all of whom are Philadelphia natives.
June 11, 2015
While there are many things that make the older generations different than today’s youth, one of the most controversial topic falls in the area of activity levels and sports overuse.
“Kids don’t have an off season or a resting period anymore,” says Shannon Safier, MD, Orthopedic Surgeon at St. Christopher’s Hospital forChildren. “Kids are specializing in single sports year-round and the level of intensity is only getting higher.”
Because of this, Dr. Safier has seen a tremendous uptick in the number of young athletes who come to his clinic with overuse injuries, like Osteochondritis Dessicans (OCD).
“Osteochondritis Dessicans is a disorder in the subchondral bone that results in a loss of support of overlying articular cartilage. Eventually the cartilage can fragment and separate from the bone due to a disruption to the blood supply,” says Dr. Safier. “We most commonly see it in the knee but other joints can be affected as well.”
Dr. Safier adds OCD may occur for a number of reasons, including repeated stress or overuse and trauma
Take Blake Becker, 16 year old from Yardley, PA, for example. An avid year-round baseball, basketball, and football player, Blake tried to ignore the minor pain in his left knee for as long as he could.
When Blake arrived at Dr. Safier’s office, he had been experiencing pain, locking and stiffness in his knee. It was quickly apparent that Blake had an OCD in the femoral condyle of his knee, which likely developed from his high activity and overuse through multiple sports.
Dr. Safier told the Beckers what most patients in Blake’s case are told – he would require surgery to take down the damaged cartilage and stimulate the body to regrow cartilage.
Unfortunately, following surgery, Blake’s OCD reoccurred.
“Ten years ago, we would have had to tell a patient with a reoccurring OCD that there isn’t much else that can be done,” says Dr. Safier. “It usually meant the athlete couldn’t return fully to the level of sports they were at before. For the 10 percent of patients who fall into this category, there weren’t really other options.”
Now, Dr. Safier is approaching cases like this in a different way: with a more aggressive approach.
“Blake’s second surgery required a mini-open incision with a takedown of lesion and application of Micronized cartilage matrix, which is made up of allograft cartilage,” says Dr. Safier. “This ‘patch’ serves as a scaffold and inducer of new cartilage to grow.”
According to Dr. Safier, in patients who fail conventional treatments for OCD’s, this new treatment has been tremendously successful. Most are able to return to the same level of high-activity and return for follow-up appointments about once a year.
“Unfortunately, Blake’s case isn’t unique,” says Dr. Safier. “We are seeing more and more kids, adolescents and young adults who experience these overuse injuries. Today we have more effective ways to combat this growing problem in the young athlete.”
June 10, 2015
In past years, St. Christopher’sHospital for Children celebrated the annual Doctors’ Day with a luncheon during which each physician received a small gift to honor their hard work and dedication to helping and healing children. This year, the physician group requested that the hospital replace the luncheon and gift with an opportunity to give back even more by donating to local organizations that have relationships with the hospital. Each of the following ten organizations received a donation of $1,000.00, which was presented to a representative during a ceremony at the hospital on May 1.
The organizations that received donations include:
- Children’s Crisis Treatment Center
- Legal Clinic for the Disabled
- Health Tech
- Medical-Legal Partnership
- Anti-Violence Partnership
- Legs Against Arms
- Women Against Abuse Shelter
- Covenant House
“All of the doctors agreed that we wanted to do something impactful this year that would support the organizations that work so hard to help our patients and their families,” says Mary M. Moran, MD, Interim Pediatrician-in-Chief at St. Christopher’s. “We chose these 10 organizations because the hospital and physicians have maintained a long-standing relationship with each and the mission of each organization is in line with our mission at St. Christopher’s – to help children live the healthiest, safest, and best lives they can. I hope that we can continue in this tradition.”
June 09, 2015
Blog post by Alex Hurtado, PT, DPT, NCS, Physical Therapist at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children
The concept of warming up for a sports practice or game is certainly not new. Most people are familiar with the typical routine of jogging around a field, and maybe some static stretches, then going out to play or practice and full speed. However, this type of routine is remedial at best.
The first thing that needs to be established is the purpose of a warm up. Decreasing the likelihood of injury should be a primary goal. Unfortunately, most people leave out important components that can decrease injury risk.
The first part of a good warm up is, not surprisingly, to warm up the muscles, increase blood flow to areas that are going to be worked, and simply to remind the body that it’s about to do something athletic.
This can consist of jogging or a similar form of calisthenics, but is best when made to be sports specific – don’t sit on a bike if you’re going to play basketball, for example. Whatever the chosen exercise is, it should be performed for 5 minutes at most.
The next part of warming up, that is often missed, is neuromuscular training. This is actually the area for which there is the best evidence for decrease in injury risk/incidence. This consists of unweighted strengthening exercises (lunges, squats, etc.), light plyometrics (jumping, hopping, etc.), and sport specific agilities (cone drills, skipping, etc.). This type of training should make up the bulk of a warm up, about 10 minutes or so.
The last part is stretching. This needs to be individualized, as some kids are very flexible naturally, and too much stretching can actually cause problems. Some kids certainly can have poor flexibility and will benefit from stretching more, but still this should be limited in warm up. If improved flexibility is a goal, it can be addressed after practice, or even at home before sleep is a good time to stretch. Pre-practice stretching should be limited to 5 minutes total, and each stretch should be held for 15-30 seconds.
At St. Chris Sports, our staff is available to help develop sports specific warm up routines. If you have specific questions/concerns, contact your physician or other health care provider. Learn more about our St. Chris Sports: Therapy for the Young Athlete services and our many locations.
June 04, 2015
Patients, families and staff at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children have been getting a taste of the Jurassic era thanks to three life-size dinosaurs that have been donated to the hospital from art students at CCA Baldi Middle School, located in Philadelphia.
The middle school students, who are among the “dino-crew,” have been working with CCA Baldi art teacher William Mathes for the past year on the three dinosaurs. The dedicated crew generously donated a triceratops, t-rex, and velicoraptor to the hospital.
Ranging in size, the dinosaurs were made from various materials, including lumbar, foam core, paper mache, gesso, and paint. Mathes, who has been an art teacher at the school for four years, says the idea to create dinosaurs wasn’t inspired by a fascination with the creatures.
“Sculpting is actually not my forte,” says Mathes. “But we lacked a good display place for ‘traditional’ art at the school so I needed to come up with creative displays. I thought dinosaurs would be fun to make and would stand out since they’re such large installations.”
Nearly 35 art students joined Mathes’ dino crew and started working on the first of six dinosaurs. The decision to donate three of the dinosaurs to St. Christopher’s stems from a personal connection that Mathes has with the hospital.
“In 1980, when I was just six months old, I was badly burned. I was treated at St. Christopher’s and received great care,” says Mathes. “So, I’ve always had a special place in my heart for the hospital. And I imagine had something like this been here when I was staying at St. Chris, my mom would have taken me around to see it and we would’ve been excited about that.”
“We’re very fortunate and thankful to receive the dinosaurs from Mr. Mathes and his middle school art students,” says George Rizzuto, Interim CEO and CFO at St. Christopher’s. “The children and families at St. Chris are very excited to see the life-size sculptures; they are great additions to our lobby and lower atrium.”
“The students have been so excited and really owned this project,” says Mathes. “They keep talking about how great it will be for all the of kids at the hospital to see the dinosaurs. I’m so proud of them – this is truly a great project made for kids by kids, and it’s not only taught them art skills, but also a valuable lesson about giving and sharing.”
May 28, 2015
Guest blog post by Kathleen Carickhoff, RD, LDN
Clinical Dietitian, Department of Clinical Nutrition
Question: What do Peyton Manning, Tiger Woods, Mia Ham & Michael Jordan all have in common?
Answer: These high profile athletes are all sponsors of Gatorade who appear in numerous commercials and ads touting the message that “winning” is achieved with Gatorade.
These marketing campaigns are compelling with images of admired athletes who are dripping Gatorade instead of sweat. Kids are drawn to this notion that if a little sweat falls, then a sports drink is a must! Throughout colleges and high schools, athletes can be seen drinking from “Gatorade” cups. Even at T-ball games children as young as 4 years old can be seen drinking a sports drink provided by the now mandatory “snack mom” who believes she is providing something “healthy”.
These athletes promote the importance of sports drinks in replacing water and electrolytes commonly lost during extended exercise. While Gatorade provides 75 mg of potassium to help aid in cramping of muscles, it also provides 130 calories and 35 grams of sugar per 20 oz bottle, not to mention chemical food dyes to make the various “flavors”. A young athlete may think that they are enhancing their performance by drinking these sports drinks. However, what they don’t realize is that the amount of sugar in their Gatorade is equal to that in a can of regular cola (such as Coke or Pepsi). If you were to ask that same athlete if they would drink a can of soda after a long game of football, the answer would mostly likely be no. The electrolyte replenishment promoted in sports drinks can be achieved with H2O and a banana, which provides 422 mg of potassium, along with only 105 calories.
That being said, there are some pediatric athletes who perform beyond 60-90 minutes where Gatorade may be beneficial in replenishing these electrolytes, vitamins and minerals rapidly. However, for most children involved in ordinary physical activity, good ole’ H2O will do just the trick and is endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) as the recommended source of hydration instead of sports drinks.
An easy tip for parents to remember is to be sure their children are well-hydrated before they begin their activity and encourage frequent water breaks every 15-20 minutes during activity. If they are looking for a more flavorful option than water, try adding fresh fruit into their H2O. A little lemon, lime or orange can go a long way & you will be saving your child calories, chemicals & yourself a whole lot of money!
Learn more about St. Christopher's Sports & Nutrition services.
May 18, 2015
"I leaned down and kissed his forehead and I had a hold of his hand," says Laurel.
"He'd always been squeezing my finger, but always a little weak. At that moment, he squeezed my finger so hard; it was the hardest he ever squeezed it. I knew it was sign from him that it'd be OK...
In that moment, I think he was stronger than his mom was."
Learn more about this and other patient stories.
May 14, 2015
St. Chris has awesome nurses! On Sunday, May 10, a group of nurses from St. Chris’s 4South unit surprised one of our patients, Rachel, with her very own prom. Rachel, of Reading, PA, was unable to attend her high school prom at Exeter Senior High School on Saturday, May 9, because she is at St. Chris. Feeling sad for Rachel missing her prom, the group of nurses coordinated dresses, hair and makeup, dinner and dessert, and music, and helped her celebrate prom as Prom Queen. One of the male nurses even came in to assume the role of Prom King – he even brought her a corsage. Rachel says she was very surprised and had a ton of fun; her favorite part was dancing to Taylor Swift’s “Shake it Off.”
May 11, 2015
Part 2: Motherhood
This is a 3-part blog series by Laurel Youse, a mother of a St. Chris patient named Luke. Visit our social media sites later this week for part 3.
Mothers dig deep. We open ourselves to love in spite of the cost, in spite of the unknown. We harbor great burdens, hide sorrows only our hearts can know, and we relish in great victories and amazing joys. We cling to hope that is steadfast and sturdy and cherish the moments when a tiny, smiling face, an intentional and knowing glance, the tight squeeze from a fragile hand, can cast all doubt away. We find strength often times not of this world. We find the power to love unconditionally and without reserve. We find faith. Or maybe it finds us.
In the months and year that would follow, our little growing family would find itself faced with multiple challenges – a diagnosis of HELLP Syndrome for me, requiring early and immediate delivery of our Luke, heart surgery at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children for Luke and the diagnosis of a kidney defect, ongoing physical and occupational therapies, and always more tests and procedures. And in the midst of all this – this path I certainly did not choose – I have found joy. Yes. Beautiful, bountiful joy.
While life can still be scary and uncertain, and although the original dreams I once had are gone, they have been replaced with better ones. Brighter ones. More meaningful ones. The plans I made - expectations of the perfect birth, hearing his first cry, snuggling my newborn on my chest, nursing my son – those things still hurt a little. Some days, they hurt a lot. Maybe they always will. Developmental milestones – I will never take for granted a spoken word and no step will ever be considered ordinary. Yet, I’ve had great privilege – the honor – to know my child more intimately than most. I’ve sat at his isolette for hours, memorizing every feature, every crease and line. I’ve fought for him, prayed for him, whispered into his ear how loved he is, how his mommy is always there. I taught him how to drink from a bottle! I’ve shuffled bunches of machines and tubes and wires just to hold my baby only to have the pulse ox alarm with every slight movement. I have navigated my way through medical jargon and cared for my child in ways that are natural and ways that are very unnatural. I have learned him like the back of my hand. I have seen his heart from the inside. And his heart – his beautiful, perfect heart – was broken so that mine would one day heal.
This year – MOTHERHOOD – has taught me FAITH, JOY, PATIENCE, LOVE...and even more FAITH.
Luke’s heart taught me how to use my own: To be present in all the moments of life because tomorrow is never promised to any of us. So laugh. Cry. Give sloppy, wet kisses and squeezy hugs. Be positive – even when it’s hard and you think you can’t; dig deep. Give freely – your time and your love. Be not only a pillar, but an example of strength for your family. If you are reading this you have likely been touched by a child and although our journeys may be different, in many ways they are much the same. The story in your heart is the universal story of mothers. A mother’s heart always knows, always believes, and always whispers hope. Each one of our children has been born to us of perfect love and in that love we too, have been reborn as Mothers.
There is faith. There is joy. There is kindness. There is purpose in pain – we have to find it. And when we do, embrace it – as tightly and lovingly as a mother embraces her child. Nurture it and watch beautiful, bountiful life flourish. The gift, the blessing, of motherhood.
Part 3 of the blog will feature an update on Luke and Laurel and a touching video of the Youse's journey.
May 08, 2015
Part 1: Mother’s Day
This is a 3-part blog series by Laurel Youse, a mother of a St. Chris patient named Luke. Visit our social media sites next week for parts 2 and 3.
I was never really any good with kids. Growing up, I rarely babysat and the times I did, I really didn’t care for it much. Once I actually figured out how to hold the baby, it was guaranteed he or she would cry. If anyone had told me when I was younger that they thought I would be a great mother, I could be certain that they were lying. As a child, I didn’t have the best role model for motherly love – frankly, my experience taught me what a mother is not. My inept maternal instinct led me to believe it was best I did not venture in to the realm of children. That was all up until the last couple of years, when everything changed.
When Scott and I married 10 years ago, our life was perfect – just the two of us. We enjoyed our carefree lives –worked hard, played hard. We did what we wanted, when we wanted. Life was good and life was simple. And then it came calling…that still, small voice, deep from within – we wanted more. It doesn’t happen for everyone, but for us it did – that parental calling – the desire to be someone more and give to someone “more.”
This Mother’s Day marks two years since I knew I was pregnant. I say “knew” because it’s true – I knew long before a test could tell me. In that instant, that sweet moment in time, I was changed – at a cellular level, I was altered. I now had a fire in my soul and an instinct to go with it.
Just as the tiny baby in my belly was growing, so too, was the love and joy quickly building in ways I had never before imagined. The moment it all became very real, that defining life moment, as I lay on an exam table at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children and first heard the words “life-threatening,” “critical” and “heart defect.” My breath caught in a place somewhere between Heaven and Earth and I could hear my own heart beating out of my chest. Time stopped. All of it. Within mere hours every dream, every plan I had made was replaced with fear. How could I love a baby I might lose? How could I open myself to the possibility of that devastating pain? But I did – how could I NOT?
I vowed to love and protect my son – every ounce of him. In the weeks leading up to his diagnosis in utero, something within me already knew. I have no way to describe it, only that my heart was being prepared for Luke. I would love him if he were born with a syndrome, if he were born with a deformity, if he were born in any way other than what this world deems “perfect” because for me, through the eyes of his mother, he was already perfect in every way just as he was. My commitment to love him was pure and honest, and I knew it might even hurt. It has hurt. A lot.
May 07, 2015
Congratulations to the physicians at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children who have been named as a top doc in South Jersey Magazine, SJ Magazine, and/or Philadelphia Magazine:
Best Children’s Doctors South Jersey Magazine
- Dr. Rose Cummings, Cardiology
Top Docs for Kids SJ Magazine
- Dr. Rose Cummings, Cardiology
- Dr. Michael Wolf, Sports Medicine
- Dr. Peter Pizzutillo, Chief, Orthopedics
- Dr. Brooke Burkey, Plastic Surgery
- Dr. Susan Conley, Nephrology
- Dr. Rajeev Prasad, Surgery
Top Docs Philadelphia Magazine
- Dr. Nadja Peter, Pediatrics
- Dr. Agustin Legido, Chief, Neurology
- Dr. Joseph Melvin, Neurology
- Dr. Eric Faerber, Chief, Radiology
- Dr. Endla Anday, Neonatology
- Dr. Maria Delivoria-Papadopoulos, Neonatology
- Dr. Nicole DeLarato, Ophthalmology
- Dr. Martin Herman, Orthopedics
- Dr. John Murphy, Cardiology
- Dr. Fancesco DeLuca, Chief, Endocrinology
- Dr. Gregory Halligan, Chief, Oncology
- Dr. Susan Conley, Nephrology
- Dr. David Zwillenberg, Otolaryngology
- Dr. Danna Tauber, Pulmonology
- Dr. Donald Goldsmith, Chief, Rheumatology
- Dr. Matthew Moront, Surgery
- Dr. Maria McColgan, Child Protection
- Dr. Francis McNesby Jr., Special Needs
- Dr. Paul Glat, Chief, Plastic Surgery
- Dr. Keirsten Arthur, Orthopedics
- Dr. Robert Steckler, Urology
April 22, 2015
On Saturday, May 09, 2015, St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children will host the second annual dodgeball tournament at Lighthouse Field, located across the street from St. Christopher’s main location at 199 East Erie Avenue in Philadelphia. The tournament will begin at 11 a.m.
The event is open to the public. In order to participate, a team must register beforehand and must consist of five players with at least one female. The cost is $25 per team member and can be made out to St. Christopher’s Foundation for Children. Online donations can be made at http://weblink.donorperfect.com/ReachOutAndRead and are due by May 1.
All proceeds will benefit the St. Chris Reach Out and Read program. Reach Out and Read is a nonprofit organization of medical providers who promote early literacy and school readiness in pediatric exam rooms nationwide by integrating children’s books and educating parents on the importance of reading aloud into children’s well-visits. Through the program at St. Chris, each child is given a new book during a well-visit.
“Reading together as a family is so important and teaching fundamental reading skills to children at a young age is crucial,” says Hans Kersten, Medical Director of the Grow Clinic at St. Christopher’s. “Reach Out and Read at St. Chris is great because we’re not only educating families, we’re getting kids excited to read. They really enjoy receiving a new book at each appointment.
Dr. Kersten adds that participating in the dodgeball tournament is a fun way to support this tradition at St. Chris and other institutions.
“Dodgeball was a blast year – and very competitive,” says John DelGiorno, MD, resident at St. Christopher’s and organizer of the annual dodgeball tournament. “Our teams come out and get amped up about facing off against their colleagues, community members and families. And at the end of the day, they know that they supported a great cause that is helping kids throughout the community.”
April 21, 2015
The team at St. Chrisopher's works hard every day to ensure that each child seen is living a safe and healthy life. To expand these efforts, St. Christopher’s recently hosted ts first Suspected Child Abuse & Neglect (SCAN) Training.
The SCAN Program of the PA Chapter has led the way in developing effective child abuse education and prevention programs since 1988. SCAN training is designed for professionals who are mandated reporters of suspected child abuse and neglect under the Pennsylvania Child Protective Services Law. The goal of the training is to help professionals recognize and report suspected abuse and neglect in children.
SCAN’s “Recognizing and Responding to Children at Risk” training program was led by Maria McColgan, MD, Director of the Child Protection Program at St. Christopher’s and SCAN Advisory Board. Dr. McColgan testified before the PA Child Protection Task Force and the PA House Children and Youth Committee to encourage legislators to strengthen our commonwealth’s laws to better protect children. As a result, 23 new laws were enacted in PA, such as amending the definitions of child abuse and requiring all licensed professionals to receive training in recognizing and reporting abuse. For more information, go to KeepKidsSafe.pa.gov.
ABC was there to cover the event:
April 16, 2015
The team at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, located in Philadelphia, works hard every day to ensure that each child seen is living a safe and healthy life. To expand these efforts, St. Christopher’s is hosting its first Suspected Child Abuse & Neglect (SCAN) Training on Friday, April 17 at 160 East Erie Avenue.
The SCAN Program of the PA Chapter has led the way in developing effective child abuse education and prevention programs since 1988. SCAN training is designed for professionals who are mandated reporters of suspected child abuse and neglect under the Pennsylvania Child Protective Services Law. The goal of the training is to help professionals recognize and report suspected abuse and neglect in children.
SCAN’s “Recognizing and Responding to Children at Risk” training program will be led by Maria McColgan, MD, Director of the Child Protection Program at St. Christopher’s and SCAN Advisory Board. Dr. McColgan testified before the PA Child Protection Task Force and the PA House Children and Youth Committee to encourage legislators to strengthen our commonwealth’s laws to better protect children. As a result, 23 new laws were enacted in PA, such as amending the definitions of child abuse and requiring all licensed professionals to receive training in recognizing and reporting abuse. For more information, go to KeepKidsSafe.pa.gov.
The free training program meets the state mandate requirements for child abuse education. It is being held at the hospital as a part of St. Christopher’s activities to honor April as Child Abuse Prevention month. It is open to the first 150 professionals who sign up. Pre-registration is required.
“Within the Child Protection Program at St. Christopher’s, we see thousands of children who are abused and neglected. We need to make sure that every community member is trained to recognize abuse early, so that we can prevent it from continuing and allow children to grow and thrive in nurturing environments,” says Dr. McColgan. “By providing this education, we are making sure that every professional at St. Christopher’s is well equipped to help patients and families. The SCAN training is crucial for anyone who works with children and I am so pleased that we are able to offer it at St. Chris this year.”
The Child Protection Program (CPP) at St. Christopher’s provides outpatient visits for children in whom there is concern for abuse. The CPP is currently working on expansion to include colocation at Philadelphia Children’s Alliance and with the Bucks County Child Advocacy Center. The CPP also provides education to many community agencies, including the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office. For more information on the program, please visit www.stchristophershospital.com/cpp or call 215-427-6869. The team is also available 24/7 for help by calling 215-427-5000 and asking to be connected via pager to a team member from the program.
Continuing Medical and Nursing Education:
St. Christopher’s is offering continuing education credits for physicians and nurses who participate in this course.
SCAN trainings will also be held at the hospital on June 8 and on September 9, 2015. Pre-registration is required three weeks prior. Please contact email@example.com to register for June 8 and Loreen.Meyer@tenethealth.com to register for September 9.
April 09, 2015
Alex Hurtado, PT, DPT, NCS
Physical Therapist at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children
As baseball season nears (or has already started for some) it is important to keep in mind the unique demands of this sport, especially on pitchers. Baseball pitchers can be at a particularly high risk for overuse injuries. The motion of throwing a baseball demands taking the shoulder and elbow through extreme ranges of motion, while at the same time generating a tremendous amount of force through those joints.
As stated in our last post, excessive volume of a repetitive motion is a major factor that can lead to injury. This is particularly true of the pitching motion. This is why it’s important to monitor and limit the amount of pitching that a child performs. Little League Baseball publishes a set limit on how many pitches that a child can throw and how much rest a pitcher should have. A summary of their regulations can be found below:
Age/Limit per day
17-18 years old - 105 pitches
13-16 years old - 95 pitches
11-12 years old - 85 pitches
9-10 years old - 75 pitches
7-8 years old - 50 pitches
For ages 14 and under: # of Pitches/Rest Days Required
66+ - 4
51 to 65 - 3
36 to 50 - 2
21 to 35 - 1
1 to 20 - 0
For ages 15-18: # of Pitches/Rest Days Required
76+ - 4
61 to 75 - 3
46 to 60 - 2
31 to 45 - 1
1 to 30 - 0
One problem that persists in youth baseball is the fact that many kids play for more than one team, and not every school or travel team may follow the above rules. So the amount of pitches a kid ends up throwing may exceed the recommendations. It is up to parents to make sure that volume is limited to a safe level. According to the American Sports Medicine Institute, young pitchers who throw past the point of fatigue often are 36 times more likely to end up in surgery.
Another major risk factor, according to the American Sports Medicine Institute, is playing year-round baseball without rest – they recommend at least 4 months a year away from throwing completely.
As stated in the previous post, a child may have areas of inflexibility or weakness that increase risk of injury. These are best assessed by a professional, such as a physical therapist, who can prescribe a course of action to address these impairments.
If you have specific questions/concerns, contact your physician or other health care provider. Learn more about our St. Chris Sports: Therapy for the Young Athlete services and our many locations.
April 08, 2015
Laurie Varlotta, MD, attending pediatric pulmonology physician and medical director of the Cystic Fibrosis Center at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in Philadelphia, PA, has accepted the 2015 Unsung Heroes recognition from Wishes & Dreams for Cystic Fibrosis.
According to wishesanddreamscf.org, Wishes & Dreams for Cystic Fibrosis works to raise awareness and funds for Cystic Fibrosis. Unsung Heroes is a program that recognizes the achievements of people who have done extraordinary things to make a difference in the lives of patients with Cystic Fibrosis (CF) and in the fight to cure and control CF and improve the quality of life for people living with CF. The 2015 Unsung Heroes include medical professionals, volunteers, CF patients and family members.
Board-certified in pediatrics and pediatric pulmonology, Dr. Varlotta received her medical degree from the State University of New York at Downstate in Brooklyn, NY. She completed a residency at Albert Einstein College of Medicine-Montefiore Medical Center in Bronx, NY, followed by a fellowship at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia in Philadelphia, PA.
Dr. Varlotta, who currently resides in Montgomery County, PA, has been at St. Christopher’s since 1992 and has served as the director of the Cystic Fibrosis Center at St. Christopher’s since 1999. She is involved in a number of clinical research studies, including multi-center trials involving individuals with CF.
She is a past member of the National Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF) Center Committee, Quality Improvement Consortium for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Newborn Screening Group, CFF National Newborn Screening Quality Initiative (SIP) Consortium and Quality Improvement Strategic Planning Committee. Dr. Varlotta is also a member of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Technical Advisory Board for Newborn Screening and a board member of the Delaware Valley Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Chapter.
“I’m honored to be recognized as a 2015 Unsung Hero,” says Dr. Varlotta. “I’m among a group of people who are taking great strides in raising awareness of Cystic Fibrosis and improving the quality of life of those who are living with it.”
April 06, 2015
It's dodgeball time! Create a team and show off your skills at the 2nd annual Dodgeball Tournament on May 9 at Lighthouse Field. All proceeds benefit the St. Chris Reach Out and Read program. Who knows -- you may find yourself across the field from some of your favorite St. Chris doctors, nurses & staff members.
When: Saturday May 9th, 2015 at 11:00 am
Where: Lighthouse Field, 199 East Erie Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19134
What: Dodgeball Tournament – teams of 5 will play in a round-robin tournament
How: Get a team of 5 together and enter the tournament
How much: $25 per team member, or $125 per team
Each team should have at least 1 female/woman
Checks should be made out to St. Christopher’s Foundation for Children
Online donations can be made at http://weblink.donorperfect.com/ReachOutAndRead
ALL payments are due on Friday May 1st, 2015
Register: Contact John Delgiorno, MD at firstname.lastname@example.org
April 03, 2015
St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children is pleased to welcome Vineet Bhandari, MBBS, MD, DM, FAAP, to its team. Dr. Bhandari joins St. Christopher’s as Chief of Neonatology.
As Chief of Neonatology, Dr. Bhandari will be supervising an outstanding group of neonatologists in providing excellent quality care to the neonates in the various NICUs and community hospitals affiliated with St. Christopher’s. He will be actively interacting with the hospital and departmental leadership to develop care standards and assist hospital leadership in programmatic development. He will be actively involved in fostering an academic environment and enhancing research opportunities for the trainees and faculty in neonatology.
In addition to this role, Dr. Bhandari will provide clinical services and be involved in teaching as an attending neonatologist at St. Christopher’s and Hahnemann University Hospital neonatal intensive care units (NICUs). He will also be establishing his pulmonary developmental biology and neonatal sepsis bench research at the Neonatal Research Laboratory at Drexel University College of Medicine.
Sub-board-certified in neonatal/perinatal medicine, Dr. Bhandari received his medical degree from Armed Forces Medical College in Pune, India. He completed his residency and a neonatal fellowship at P.G.I.M.E.R. in Chandigarh, India, followed by a neonatal fellowship at UCONN School of Medicine in Farmington, CT.
Prior to joining St. Christopher’s, Dr. Bhandari held several other positions with regional institutions as an attending pediatrician or neonatologist, including at St. Luke’s Hospital in Newburgh, NY, at Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia, and at Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital in New Haven, CT.
For more than 22 years, Dr. Bhandari has been practicing neonatology in multiple Level III academic NICUs and has experience in basic/translational/clinical research. He has numerous original research publications, and has presented his work at multiple international conferences. Dr. Bhandari’s clinical research interests include bronchopulmonary dysplasia, noninvasive ventilation and sepsis in neonates.
“St. Christopher’s is fortunate to have Dr. Bhandari join as Chief of Neonatology,” says Gabriel Hauser, MD, MBA, FCCM, FAAP, Chief Medical Officer at St. Christopher’s. “Dr. Bhandari has the experience and the background that enables him to advance his vision of building a neonatal program that provides top notch clinical care to our most vulnerable patients while maintaining its strong position as a leader in research and scholarship in that discipline .”
March 30, 2015
St. Christopher’s and the Philadelphia/Delaware Valley Chapter of Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America is hosting the third annual Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Family Education Day at St. Christopher’s, located at 160 East Erie Avenue in Philadelphia. The event will be held on Saturday, April 11 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
The free event is open to the public and will provide patients, families and caregivers and opportunity to learn about Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative Colitis from experts at St. Christopher’s. The day will feature a variety of fun and educational presentations, including:
IBD 101 with Kevin Kelly, MD
Nutrition & IBD with Jill Guiseppe, RD
What Your Social Worker Can Do For You with Robin Witts, MSW, CPRP
Transition from Pediatric to Adult Gastroenterologist with Neilanjan Nandi, MD
IBD & Pregnancy with Robin Rothstein, MD
Current & Future Treatments – Risk & Reward with Philip Stein, MD
Free parking, giveaways and refreshments will also be provided to program attendees. To register online, please go to online.ccfa.org/stchriseducationday2015.
March 25, 2015
The 6th annual #RMHCCBS3 #PhoneBank raised over one million dollars to support #RMHC families! St. Chris was proud to be one of the sponsors of the event. In case you missed it live, view our check presentation:
March 24, 2015
St. Christopher’s is pleased to announce changes to its Governing Board leadership.
Dianne L. Semingson, who has served on the board since 2002, was named Chair of the Board of Governors. Harry G. Hayman III, who has served on the board since 2003, will become Vice Chair. Semingson follows Stephen Madva, former Managing Partner of Montgomery, McCracken, Walker and Rhoads, LLP law firm.
The founder and president of DLS International, a strategic market planning and marketing communications company, Semingson has had successful careers in both the public and private sectors. She has worked with government officials and chief executives throughout the United States and abroad and led cultural and trade missions to Europe and Asia. From 2011 – 3013, Semingson also was President and CEO of Semingson Enterprises, Inc., a natural resources, real estate, and hospitality company through the transition from its founding father.
Semingson previously served as regional director for the U.S. Department of Commerce, overseeing economic development programs in the six-state mid-Atlantic region. For five years, she and her staff provided briefings for the White House and the U.S. Secretary of Commerce on regional economic and industry affairs. Upon leaving government, she was named director of government and industry affairs for ARCO Chemical Company and later Senior Vice President, Hill International.
She is a member of the Board of Directors of Urban Engineers, Inc., PNC’s Wealth Management Advisory Board, and many of the Philadelphia region’s community organizations including the Philadelphia Freedom Valley YMCA Association, The Committee of Seventy, and Avenue of the Arts, Inc., which she chairs. She is a member of the Pennsylvania Forum of Executive Women and Women Corporate Directors.
Semingson has been recognized as one of Pennsylvania’s Best 50 Women in Business and received the Women of Distinction Award from the Philadelphia Business Journal and National Association of Women Business Owners. A graduate of the University of Oregon, she completed executive management programs at Duke, Harvard and Northwestern universities.
Mr. Hayman is senior vice president of Metro Bank responsible for the corporate and specialized banking groups.
Prior, Hayman was the managing director and head of wholesale banking at Commerce Bank, where he was responsible for overseeing the international, institutional and specialized middle market, financial institutional and syndications, healthcare and leasing groups. He previously managed the international banking/global treasury management group at PNC Bank and was senior vice president/managing director at CoreStates Bank, where he was responsible for international banking, including opening offices around the globe.
Hayman is a graduate of Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and completed the Graduate School of Credit and Financial Management Program at the London School of Business.
“Dianne Semingson and Harry Hayman are respected and accomplished professionals and community leaders,” said St. Christopher’s CEO Carolyn B. Jackson. “They are active, valued members of the Board of Governors, and we are delighted each has stepped up to lead the next phase of this invaluable, 140-year old children’s hospital. We are honored to have them supporting the mission and values of St. Christopher’s.”
March 19, 2015
St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children is pleased to announce that Kate Sachs, MSW, LSW, social worker at St. Christopher’s Center for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs, has been named as the recipient of a 2015 “Children with Special Health Care Needs Community Activity Grant” from the Philadelphia Department of Public Health. The funds from this grant are being allocated to the creation of a pilot program for the clinic’s deaf and hard-of-hearing patient and family populations.
According to a statement Sachs provided in her grant proposal, there are nearly 20 million deaf and hard of hearing individuals in America. About 250,000 to 500,000 of these individuals use American Sign Language.* Sachs adds that about 90 percent of deaf children are born to hearing parents, 88 percent of whom do not learn to communicate effectively with their children.
“When parents are unable to communicate adequately with their deaf children, it creates significant implications for the families’ ability to impart necessary health-related information to their child or to appropriately advocate for their deaf or hard of hearing child’s needs,” says Sachs, a resident of Mount Airy, PA. “Deaf and hard of hearing patients have unique cultural and linguistic needs which are often inadvertently overlooked by larger hospital systems. Barriers to healthcare provision can include prejudice, lack of adequate environmental accommodations, and a lack of access to interpreters. We have a large number of deaf and hard of hearing patients in our clinic, so we see this issue quite a bit and we recognized it as something that needs to change. Receiving this grant is one step in the process of making that change.”
To address this, the grants funds are being used to create a streamlined program for these patients in the Center for Children with Special Health Care Needs, which includes:
- Cultural sensitivity training for clinic staff
- Basic American Sign Language courses for staff
- Creation of improved workflow/documentation procedures for interpreter requests and patient accommodations
- Parent education resources
- Deaf and hard of hearing clinic “toolkits,” including assistive technology such as visual door knockers to alert patients when a doctor or staff member is about to enter the exam room and handheld alert devices for the waiting room
- Adaptations/auxiliary aides to ensure that the clinic environment is fully accessible
“Research shows that a streamlined program with best practice guidelines and accommodations for serving deaf and hard of hearing patients will help promote improved patient care, patient satisfaction, and positive health outcomes. As a primary care office for children with special needs, we feel we are perfectly situated to take the lead in becoming a role model to the hospital and the larger Philadelphia community,” says Sachs. “Implementing this pilot program is incredibly exciting, and we are already seeing a positive impact within our clinic. Our overall goal is that this can also be introduced throughout all of St. Christopher’s so that patients hospital-wide who are deaf or hard of hearing have access to the resources to which they are entitled.”
*Marschark, M. (1997). Raising and educating a deaf child. New York: Oxford University Press.
March 17, 2015
The St. Chris Child Life team visited Brightside Academy for a Teddy Bear Clinic! The children received their own teddy bear & rotated through various stations to give their teddy bears a "check-up," including height/weight, listen to their heartbeat, vaccinations, blood pressure & eye/ear exams. Fox 29 was there as Child Life specialists educated the preschoolers on how & why each piece of equipment is used & provided tips on going to the doctor.
March 12, 2015
St. Christopher’s has again attained Magnet® recognition as part of the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s (ANCC) Magnet Recognition Program®.
This voluntary credentialing program for hospitals recognizes excellence in nursing. This credential is the highest honor an organization can receive for professional nursing practice.
“St. Christopher’s was honored to receive the Magnet recognition in the past and we feel even more accomplished to have received this credential for another three years,” says Heidi Baur, RN, MS, NE-BC, ChiefNursing Officer at St. Christopher’s. “This is a tremendous honor and I am extremely proud of the entire nursing team. The Magnet recognition further solidifies St. Christopher’s long-standing commitment to providing high-quality and safe care to each of our patients.”
Magnet recognition has become the gold standard for nursing excellence and is taken into consideration when the public judges healthcare organizations. In fact, U.S. News & World Report’s annual showcase of “America’s Best Hospitals” includes Magnet recognition in its ranking criteria for quality of inpatient care.
To achieve Magnet recognition, organizations must pass a rigorous and lengthy process that demands widespread participation from leadership and staff. The process begins with the submission of an electronic application, followed by written documentation demonstrating qualitative and quantitative evidence regarding patient care and outcomes. If scores from the written documentation fall within a range of excellence, an on-site visit will occur to thoroughly assess the applicant. After this rigorous onsite review process, the Commission on Magnet will review the completed appraisal report and vote to determine whether Magnet recognition will be granted.
An organization seeking to reapply for Magnet recognition must provide documented evidence of how Magnet concepts, performance, and quality were sustained and improved over the four-year period since the hospital received its most recent recognition. In particular, the Magnet model is designed to provide a framework for nursing practice, research, and measurement of outcomes. Through this framework, ANCC can assess applicants across a number of components and dimensions to gauge an organization’s nursing excellence. The foundation of this model is composed of various elements deemed essential to delivering superior patient care. These include the quality of nursing leadership and coordination and collaboration across specialties, as well as processes for measuring and improving the quality and delivery of care.
March 10, 2015
Congratulations to seven St. Chris physicians who were named to SJ Magazine's "Top Docs for Kids."
To compile the list, physicians were asked to tell the magazine who they would recommend if their child needed medical attention. Here are the St. Chris physicians who made this year's list:
- Rose Cummings, DO, Cardiology
- Michael Wolf, MD, Sports Medicine
- Peter Pizzutillo, MD, Chief, Orthopedics
- Brooke Burkey, MD, Plastic Surgery
- Susan Conley, MD, Nephrology
- Rajeev Prasad, MD, Surgery
March 09, 2015
One of the most common, and most preventable, problems in sports medicine is overuse injury. These can present anywhere from an ankle to a wrist, and everywhere in between, depending upon a child’s chosen sport(s). Two major factors that contribute to overuse injury are excessive volume and abnormal movement patterns that can increase stress on a particular area.
Often the excessive volume that leads to injury presents in kids who specialize in a particular sport at an early age. Repetitive movement, such as throwing a baseball/softball or running for long distances, can over-stress specific areas and lead to injury if not managed properly. It is best to expose children to a wide variety of sports and activities to decrease the likelihood of such problems and promote the learning of diverse movement abilities as they are developing.
Another problem can be a sudden increase in training volume or intensity when a child’s body is not ready. Children are very adaptable but this takes time; a sudden training increase without a gradual build up can cause injury to tissues that have not had the opportunity to yet adapt to the increased load.
Sometimes kids can move in imbalanced or asymmetric ways that will increase the likelihood of overuse injury. This often means poor technique, which can be coached and improved - so it’s important that any coaches or trainers working with kids focus first and foremost on proper technique. In some cases, kids physically are unable to maintain perfect technique due to decreased strength, flexibility, or coordination. Ideally, these problems are best addressed before a child has pain. Often these are the issues are addressed in physical therapy to ensure a complete and safe return to sports.
If you have specific questions/concerns, contact your physician or other health care provider.
March 05, 2015
St. Christopher’s is pleased to announce that Lee M. Pachter, DO, FAAP, Chief of General Pediatrics at St. Christopher’s, has been named as the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics (JDBP). Previously, Dr. Pachter served as Associate Editor of the Journal since 1997.
JDBP is a leading resource for clinicians, teachers, and researches involved in pediatric healthcare. It is the official publication of the Society for Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics. It covers challenging disorders affecting child development and behavior, including ADHD, autism, depression, eating disorders, developmental disabilities, and sleep disorders. With contributions from some of the most respected and experienced leaders in the field, JDBP publishes a mix of original research articles, reviews, reports and commentary. More information can be found at http://journals.lww.com/jrnldbp/pages/default.aspx.
As Editor-in-Chief of JDBP, Dr. Pachter will be responsible for all of the scientific and editorial activities of the journal, including developing the focus of the journal, inviting editorial board members, assigning reviewers, making decisions regarding publication of submitted manuscripts with the help of his editorial team, developing new electronic media initiatives, and inviting special submissions.
“The Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics is a very respected journal that is constantly working with top medical leaders to publish and distribute cutting edge research in the area of behavioral and developmental pediatrics,” says Dr. Pachter. “It’s an honor to be announced as Editor-in-Chief and I look forward to entering this new role and helping to give experienced and new contributors the opportunity to share their research.”
Board-certified in pediatrics, Dr. Pachter received his medical degree from Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine in Philadelphia. He completed his residency at St. Christopher’s, followed by a fellowship at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia in Philadelphia. He has been Chief of General Pediatrics at St. Christopher’s since 2010. Dr. Pachter has published and conducted research in the areas of behavioral pediatrics, sociocultural determinants of child health and development, childhood adversity, and health inequities.
February 23, 2015
As a parent, you’ve probably been here:
You cook a well-balanced meal for your children and make every effort to make those dreaded vegetables tasty. You serve the meal and you feel like the next hour is spent staring down your child as you convince them eat the healthy meal you just created.
Now what -- face this battle on a regular basis or learn to address your little picky eater?
Deborah Sandrock, MD, physician at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, has fielded her share of questions about picky eaters in more than 25 years as a pediatrician.
“Most parents are aware of how important a well-balanced and healthy meal is for their children,” says Dr. Sandrock. “But I always warn parents that they must be careful when approaching meals with picky eaters. You want them to grow to enjoy the meals you cook, remain firm in wanting them to eat healthy meals, but at the same time you don’t want to have to beg your children – this will only lead to conflict.”
Dr. Sandrock offers a few tips when it comes to picky eaters:
- Introducing healthy foods and a variety at an early age will help expand the palate
- When introducing new foods, offer them with other foods – something that they are already familiar
- Don’t get discouraged when your child doesn’t like something you’re introducing right away! It can take 10-15 trials of a new food before a child will accept it
- Respect your child’s appetite. Sometimes they really are just not as hungry as you think they may be. Kids will eat when they’re hungry, but they can be tempted to eat when they are not hungry. Forcing them to eat when their appetite is not all there could create bad habits
- One tablespoon of fruits, vegetables, and meat per year of age up to age five is usually recommended. A child’s plate should be offered to encourage proper portion
- Limit juice to 4-6 ounces per day. This will help prevent spoiling of appetite before or during a meal
- Don’t become a “short-order cook.” Don’t get stuck making “special meals” because it is what your child is requesting. Offer small portions of what is served, even when eating out
- Make meal times fun and exciting so children look forward to trying new foods
“It’s not uncommon for kids to be turned off by new foods or show their dissatisfaction with a food they don’t like,” says Dr. Sandrock. “But as parents, it’s your job to introduce them to new foods that will help them grow up strong and healthy. It’s important to mold healthy children who understand that they can’t just demand junk food for dinner and expect to receive it. The younger you start with introducing kids to healthy foods, the easier it becomes and the broader a child’s palate.”
February 09, 2015
St. Christopher’s welcomes three new physicians, Vanessa Durand, MD, Clarice Robinson, MD, and Shruti Roy, DO.
Vanessa Durand, DO, is an attending hospitalist at St. Christopher’s. She is board-certified in pediatrics and received her medical degree from Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. Dr. Durand completed her residency at St. Christopher’s. Prior to joining St. Christopher’s, she was a staff pediatrician at Westside Family Healthcare and a staff pediatrician at Christiana Hospital.
Board-certified in adolescent medicine, Clarice Robinson, MD, is an attending physician at St. Christopher’s. She received her medical degree from Thomas Jefferson University Medical School in Philadelphia and completed a residency at Martin L. King General Hospital in Los Angeles, CA. Dr. Robinson also completed a fellowship in adolescent medicine at New York University Medical Center in New York. Her clinical interests include attention deficit disorder, adolescent gynecology, adolescent medicine, sports medicine and sexually transmitted diseases.
Shruti Roy, DO, is an attending physician in the emergency department at St. Christopher’s. She received her medical degree from Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine in AZ and completed a residency at St. Christopher’s. Dr. Roy’s clinical interests include pediatric procedures, parenting preparation, and teaching.
February 03, 2015
St. Christopher’s is pleased to welcome Michael L. Spear, MD, MSEdL, to its team. Dr. Spear joins St. Christopher’s as director of the Palliative Care Program and attending neonatologist.
In these roles, Dr. Spear will dedicate his time to providing leadership and clinical services in both departments. He will be coordinating and directing a hospital-wide palliative care program, both inpatient and outpatient.
Board-certified in hospice and palliative care medicine and neonatal-perinatal medicine, Dr. Spear, of Wynnewood, PA, received his medical degree from Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Philadelphia. He completed a pediatric internship and residency at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, followed by a neonatal-perinatal fellowship at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. In 2013, he earned his Master’s in Medical Education and Leadership from the University of New England Osteopathic School of Medicine in Maine.
Prior to joining St. Christopher’s, Dr. Spear served as a partner at Christiana Neonatal Associates in Newark, DE from 2000 to 2013. He most recently was a consultant, neonatal/perinatal palliative care IMPACT team at Christiana Care Health Services and part of the neonatal/perinatal CORE palliative care team at Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia. Dr. Spear has been a neonatologist for 30 years and has been teaching palliative care for 15 years.
Throughout his career, Dr. Spear has developed three neonatal-perinatal programs. He has written and contributed to numerous papers and abstracts in palliative care and neonatal-perinatal medicine. He has also participated in national presentations about palliative care/education and neonatal-perinatal medicine and has been recognized multiple times as a Top Doc in his community.
“Dr. Spear is well-known for his innovative teaching strategies and expertise in the areas of palliative care and neonatal-perinatal medicine,” says Carolyn Jackson, CEO at St. Christopher’s. “We’re looking forward to him leading an already strong palliative care team at St. Chris and making it a more robust and comprehensive program. We’re honored to have him join St. Christopher’s.”
January 12, 2015
St. Christopher’s is pleased to welcome Gabriel Hauser, MD, MBA, FCCM, FAAP, to its team. Dr. Hauser joins St. Christopher’s as Chief Medical Officer and joins Drexel University College of Medicine (DUCOM) as Vice Chair of Pediatrics.
As CMO, Dr. Hauser oversee patient safety, quality improvement, risk management, regulatory compliance/accreditation, process improvement, infection prevention, physician advisor and medical staff office. He will provide clinical care in critical care areas when on service. As Vice Chair of Pediatrics at DUCOM, Dr. Hauser will provide leadership and day-to-day oversight of the clinical programs within the department of pediatrics.
Board-certified in pediatric critical care medicine, Dr. Hauser is a nationally-renowned pediatric intensivist with experience in the areas of quality and patient safety. Dr. Hauser earned his medical degree from the Sackler School of Medicine in Tel-Aviv, Israel. He completed a Pediatric Internship and Residency training at the Tel-Aviv Medical Center in Israel and a Pediatric Critical Care Fellowship at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C.
Dr. Hauser established the Pediatric ICU at Georgetown University Hospital in 1989. Initially Chief of the Division of Pediatric Critical Care, he later was asked to expand his responsibilities to Pulmonary Medicine. He established and directed a fellowship training program in Pediatric Critical Care Medicine. Prior to joining St. Christopher’s, Dr. Hauser served as Professor of Pediatrics, Pharmacology and Physiology at Georgetown University School of Medicine and the Vice Chairman of the Department of Pediatrics; Medical Director of the Pediatric Inpatient Services; Chief of the Division of Pediatric Critical Care and Pulmonary Medicine; and Director of the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Georgetown University Children's Medical Center in Washington, D.C.
Dr. Hauser has received multiple teaching awards throughout his career. Twice, he has been awarded the Georgetown University Children’s Medical Center Teacher of the Year award as well as the Kaiser Permanente Award for Excellence in Clinical Science Teaching. He was a founding member and the second President of the Washington Area Critical Care Society and won that Society’s Outstanding Basic Science Award.
Dr. Hauser is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the College of Critical Care Medicine.
“St. Christopher’s is fortunate to have Dr. Hauser as a medical leader who will make a great impact on the areas of quality, patient safety and inpatient care,” says Jackson. “Our hospital was recently recognized as a Top Children’s Hospital by The Leapfrog Group for quality and patient safety and with his background and new role at St. Chris, I look forward to seeing how he can help our hospital maintain this status as well as continue to improve upon these areas.”
January 07, 2015
Hans Kersten, MD, physician at St. Christopher’s professor of pediatrics at Drexel University College of Medicine, recently received the Pat Temple-West Award from the Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger. Dr. Kersten was presented with the award during the 2014 Hunger Fighter Awards at the City Line Hilton in Philadelphia.
The Pat Temple-West Award honors a person who is using “innovative efforts toward building a hunger-free community,” according to hungercoalition.org. This is the first time that Dr. Kersten is receiving the prestigious award. It is named in honor of the founding director of Nutritional Development Services, the late Pat Temple-West, who was the driving force behind many anti-hunger programs in Philadelphia, including the Coalition, SHARE and Philadelphia Food Bank.
Dr. Kersten was recognized for his hard work around food insecurity screening and his dedication to St. Christopher’s efforts to fight hunger in the community, including the Farms to Families program, food drives, and providing patients access to a variety of resources.
“At St. Christopher’s, we work as a team to address hunger and implement creative, cutting-edge initiatives that help fight food insecurity,” says Dr. Kersten. “We have been able to achieve a great amount of success through our many programs and I’m honored to be recognized for being a part of that.”
Dr. Kersten was one of the early adopters of the FreshRx program at St. Christopher’s. FreshRX is an extension of a successful Farm to Families food share system launched in 2010 by nonprofit St. Christopher’s Foundation for Children. The goal behind the program is to make healthy farm-fresh food available and affordable in Philadelphia year-round.
In addition, Dr. Kersten was instrumental in bringing the WIC Clinic back to St. Christopher’s, which is now located in the new Center for the Urban Child, and provides women and children with healthy foods and nutritional counseling.
Recognizing that the holidays are one of the hardest times for some families, Dr. Kersten also spearheads the annual Turkey Dinner Drive at the hospital. Each fall, St. Chris’ employees raise money through November to purchase Thanksgiving dinners for families at the hospital.
The meals, which include enough food to feed a family, are distributed the day before Thanksgiving at the hospital. In the five years since the drive’s inception, St. Chris has provided meals to 1,600 families at Thanksgiving time.
Another hospital-wide food drive that Dr. Kersten is heavily involved is the cereal drive, which is a national competition to raise servings of cereal for children. St. Christopher’s participated in 2014 for the first time and raised an impressive 130,000 servings of cereal, which benefited Philabundance. Dr. Kersten and his peers hope to beat that number in 2015. For more information in the 2015 cereal drive and how to help as a community member, please contact SCHCemail@example.com.
“Dr. Kersten is very deserving of this incredible award,” says Carolyn Jackson, CEO at St. Christopher’s. “He is at the forefront of improvements in healthcare through the initiatives he is implementing at St. Chris. He is truly an inspiration in helping our team work to develop a hunger-free community.”
Board-certified in pediatrics, Dr. Kersten received his medical degree from Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia. He completed a residency at St. Christopher’s, followed by a fellowship at Michigan State University in Michigan. Dr. Kersten is the medical director of the Grow Clinic at St. Christopher’s, an outpatient clinic that evaluates children who are underweight or are diagnosed with Failure to Thrive (FTT).
While this is the first time he is receiving the Pat Temple-West Award, Dr. Kersten has gained local and national attention for his efforts to fight hunger in Philadelphia, particularly for his work with Farms to Families.
January 06, 2015
Happy New Year! St. Christopher's had a great 2014. Here are some of our many accomplishments:
- Dr. Sarah Long, chief, infectious diseases at St. Christopher’s, appointed to FDA Committee.
- Dr. Marshall Schwartz, surgeon-in-chief at St. Christopher’s, appointed as Vice Chairman for Academic Affairs and Affiliations in the Department of Surgery at Drexel University’s College of Medicine.
- Dr. Marshall Schwartz, surgeon-in-chief at St. Christopher’s, elected as an Honorary Fellow in the Royal College of Surgeons of England (RCS). Read more.
- 22 St. Chris Physicians were named to “Top Docs” Philadelphia Magazine’s. Read more.
- Dr. Agustin Legido, Neurology
- Dr. Joseph Melvin, Neurology
- Dr. Eric Faerber, Diagnostic Radiology
- Dr. Endla Anday, Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine
- Dr. Maria Delivoria-Papadopoulos, Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine
- Dr. Nicole DeLarato, Ophthalmology
- Dr. Martin Herman, Orthopedic Surgery
- Dr. Francesco DeLuca, Endocrinology
- Dr. Gregory Halligan, Hematology-Oncology
- Dr. Jill Foster, Immunology
- Dr. Susan Conley, Nephrology
- Dr. David Zwillenberg, Otolaryngology
- Dr. Mark Dovey, Pulmonology
- Dr. Danna Tauber, Pulmonology
- Dr. Donald Goldsmith, Rheumatology
- Dr. Matthew Moront, Surgery
- Dr. Francis McNesby, Pediatrics
- Dr. Lee Pachter, Pediatrics
- Dr. Paul Glat, Plastic Surgery
- Dr. Kiersten Arthur, Sports Medicine
- Dr. Robert Steckler, Urology
- US News and World Report 2014 Best Children’s Hospitals.
- Orthopedics, ranked #33 (ranked #46 last year)
- Nephrology, ranked #39 (not ranked last year)
- Diabetes & Endocrinology, ranked #46 (not ranked last year)
- St. Christopher’s nursing team receives 2014 ADVANCE for Nurses Best Nursing Team award.
- St. Christopher’s receives Tenet’s Five-star Patient Satisfaction Award
- St. Christopher’s receives Tenet’s Grassroots Champion Award
- Dr. Nancy Spector Receives the 2014 APA Miller Sarkin Mentoring Award.
- Dr. Lee Pachter’s, chief, general pediatrics,presentation “The Relationship Between Racial Discrimination and Mental Health in African American and Afro-Caribbean Youth: Results from a National Study” was selected to highlight to the media at the 2014 Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) meetings in Vancouver.
- Six St. Chris Physicians were named to SJ Magazine’s 2014 Top Docs for Kids:
- Dr. Susan Conley, Nephrology
- Dr. H. Huntley Hardison, Neurology
- Dr. Robert Steckler, Urology
- Dr. Joseph Rosenblatt, Orthopedics
- Dr. Michael Wolf, Sports Medicine
- Dr. Brooke Burkey, Plastic Surgery
- St. Christopher’s receives full approval as Cleft Palate Team and Craniofacial Team from the Commission on Approval of Team s (CAT) for a period of six years, beginning Jan. 1, 2014.
- Dr. Achintya Moulick, chief, section of cardiothoracic surgery, receives Military Gold Coin by Pararescue students in the United States Air Force (USAF), Pararescue Paramedic Program, Guardian Angel Training Center.
- Dr. Renee Turchi, attending physician director of the Center for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs at St. Christopher’s,selected as the recipient of the 2014 Philadelphia County Medical Society Practitioner of the Year Award.
- Darin Toliver, social worker at St. Christopher’s, selected as part of the Mayors Commission on African American Males, a group that advocates on issues that impact African American men and boys in Philadelphia. He was invited by the Mayor to attend this year’s commission
- Dr. Maria Delivoria-Papadopoulos, chief, section of neonatal care at St. Christopher’s, was awarded a grant from the Philadelphia Chapter of UNICO, an Italian-American service organization, for her research in therapeutic interventions for extremely ill premature infants.
- St. Christopher’s ECLS Center has received the ELSO Award for Excellence in Life Support for 2014 from the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization. (second time St. Christopher’s has received this honor).
- Dr. Maria Delivoria-Papadopoulos, chief, section of neonatal care at St. Christopher’s, recently was announced as the 2014 recipient of the Trust Fund of the alumni association of women’s Medical College MCP Phyllis Marciano, MD, Women in Medicine Award.
- Dr. Yanick Vibert, neonatologist at St. Christopher’s, has been selected as therecipient of the 2014 Roosevelt Award for Service to Humanity by the March of Dimes for her outstanding service to the underserved and desperate victims of catastrophic, devastating diseases and extreme poverty.
- Dr. Rebecca Purtell, resident at St. Christopher’s, receives the ORR Community Service Award.
- Dr. Marshall Schwartz, Surgeon-in-Chief at St. Christopher’s, receives the Coe Medal by PAPS.
- Carolyn Jackson, CEO at St. Christopher’s, named as a 2014 Up & Comer by Modern Healthcare.
- Dr. Dan Taylor, attending physician at St. Christopher’s, receives a 2014 Drexel University President’s Award.
- St. Christopher’s receives the Joint Commission’s Top Performer on Key Quality Measures 2013 for its asthma program.
- Dr. Hans Kersten honored with Pat Temple-West Award from the Coalition Against Hunger
- Dr. Marcelino de Santos was voted one of the best pediatricians in Bucks County in the annual Best of Bucks poll conducted by the Bucks County Courier Times
- Carolyn Jackson was appointed as CCFA’s Take Steps’ Corporate Revenue Chair for the Philadelphia/Delaware Valley.
- Dr. Nancy Spector is Chair of National I-PASS Handoff Study, which seeks to reduce medical errors by improving caregiver-to-caregiver communication. St. Chris was one of 11 institutions to participate in the national study. The study was recently featured in the New England Journal of Medicine.
- Dr. Roberta Laguerre-Frederique, clinical director, section of immunology; attending immunologist at St. Christopher’s, honored with the 2014 Red Ribbon Award for Outstanding Researcher from the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for AIDS Research Community Advisory Board (CFAR CAB).
- St. Chris is the only hospital in PA – pediatric or adult – to be awarded a 2014 Leapfrog Top Hospital Distinction.
January 05, 2015
Achoo! A sneeze, a cough, a sore throat…these are the dreaded first signs of two common wintertime illnesses. Figuring out whether a child’s symptoms are from a cold or the flu can sometimes be difficult.
“Despite what most people tend to think, symptoms from colds and the flu can actually vary quite a bit,” says Evan Weiner, MD FAAP, interim chief of emergency medicine at St. Christopher’s. “It’s important to recognize the differences so that if your child develops either, you are prepared to properly manage it and get them healthy again.”
Dr. Weiner shares some of the differences between the two wintertime illnesses:
- People typically assume a fever indicates the flu. However, in children a fever can be present in both a cold and flu, so paying attention to other symptoms or consulting a pediatrician can help distinguish
- Severe body aches are common of flu; body aches from colds are usually slight
While colds can occasionally cause headaches, they’re more prevalent with the flu
- Fatigue and weakness are also a good indicator that it is the flu – these symptoms can last up to three weeks
- A runny nose suggests a cold. While the flu can cause cough, it rarely causes the nose to run the way a cold does
“Parents often ask me when it’s time to contact the doctor if their child has any of the symptoms related to the flu or a cold,” says Dr. Weiner. “I recommend calling your child’s pediatrician if your child has a fever that lasts more than three days, if a cough lingers past two weeks, if there is pain around the eyes and thick nasal discharge after a week, or if a sore throat is so severe it is making swallowing difficult.”
Dr. Weiner adds that in some cases, a trip to the emergency room or a pediatric urgent care may be necessary. He suggests seeking immediate medical attention if a child is experiencing:
- Bluish skin color
- Difficulty breathing
- Fever with a rash
- Lethargy and failure to interact normally
- Not drinking enough fluids
- Persistent vomiting
- Rapid breathing
- Severe chest pain
- Severe headache
- Symptoms that were improving and then suddenly got worse
“Whether it’s the flu or a cold, being sick is never fun, especially for children,” says Dr. Weiner. “That’s why it’s so important to recognize when it’s a cold that will get better with rest and lots of fluids, or if it something more serious like the flu, which requires a call to the doctor or a visit to an urgent care or emergency room.”
Located in Philadelphia, Pa., St. Christopher’s is a free-standing pediatric hospital that has expert physicians and specialists who are trained to detect and treat a variety of illnesses. For children who are experiencing symptoms of a cold or the flu, please visit www.stchristophershospital.com/locations to find a specialty location or urgent care close to home or call 1-888-CHRISKIDS.