Changes will improve access to the pediatric center’s services for children with developmental disabilities and their families
Siskin Children’s Institute announces that effective July 1, the Center for Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics, previously in partnership with Erlanger Health System, will become managed and operated exclusively by the Institute under the name of the Siskin Center for Developmental Pediatrics (SCDP). The center will be affiliated with the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Tennessee College of Medicine Chattanooga (UT-COM).
The center opened on July 22, 2009 and has provided services to more than 1,000 children and families with more than 5,300 patient visits just in the past year. Since it opened, the center has cared for children and families in 149 communities regionally, nationally and internationally. The center accepts referrals from primary and subspecialty pediatric care physicians for children up to 10 years of age, offering assessment and diagnosis for a wide range of developmental conditions. Once in the program, children can receive treatment and support up to 21 years of age.
“There is a tremendous need for access to developmental pediatric subspecialty services in the United States as well as here in this region,” said Regina Gargus, M.D., FAAP, board certified developmental behavioral pediatrician and medical director of the SCDP. “Children need early identification of developmental disorders for best long-term outcome. Siskin Children’s Institute brings hope to the families of our region by increasing their access to services close to home.”
As of July 1, the center will implement an electronic health system, which will enhance center registration, scheduling and billing and payment services. It also will institute computerized patient medical records, electronic prescription refills and a patient portal for parents to access the center online.
“We are committed to continuously improving our services to the community,” said Gerald Jensen, president and CEO of Siskin Children’s Institute. “In doing so, we strive to provide the highest quality care for children with special needs and their families. That goal is what drives every decision we make.”
Children receiving care at the center will continue to have access to current clinical healthcare providers, including Regina Gargus, M.D., FAAP, Brandon Rodgers, Ph.D. and Michelle Kimball, APRN, CPNP-PC. The center will continue to offer speech-language, occupational and physical therapy evaluation and treatment services.
In preparation for the July 1 transition, the center is recruiting additional care providers. The Institute will welcome Michael Cupoli, M.D., FAAP, a second developmental pediatrician, to the practice by January 2013. A second nurse practitioner and licensed practical nurse (LPN) also have been hired, and the center plans to hire other medical support staff and administrative staff in the coming months. “This will reduce patient wait time from referral to initiation of care,” Gargus said.
Gargus also serves as clinical associate professor at UT-COM Department of Pediatrics. “The pediatric center’s affiliation with UT-COM demonstrates the Institute’s ongoing dedication to clinical care and education as it serves as a training site for professionals from various disciplines who care for children with special needs,” Gargus said.