Specialists who are seeing more young patients every year
expect that having two centers will make visits better for families.
Denise Eagley, a patient care associate, reads a book with a patient waiting for her appointment.
[February 2010] For a 3-year-old who loves dinosaurs and superheroes, and counts on his routines, going to a new doctor’s office can be a big change.
But Yale Medical Group physicians and others who helped to plan a new Pediatric Specialty Center at One Long Wharf in New Haven made the new offices as bright, comfortable and child-friendly as possible. Fatima Santos thinks the change will be seamless for her 3-year-old son, Christian, who has had three surgeries for spina bifida and needs follow-up visits every four months.
“He sees a a pediatrician, an orthopaedist, a urologist, and if needed a neurologist—all in one visit,” she says. “Each one is checking different things – speech, cognitive skills, if he needs new leg braces. He gets antsy. The most important thing is that the place is comfortable enough that you can keep a child entertained through a visit like that.”
Creating a pleasant environment was always a goal at the Pediatric Specialty Center at Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital, and the same is true at the specialty center that recently opened on Long Wharf in New Haven, just a few miles away. Families who visit the new center walk into the building’s large lobby and take an elevator to the second floor, where they complete a one-step registration process. They wait in comfortable chairs in a large sitting area painted in bright colors. The waiting room also has a play area, a glassed-off isolation room for families concerned about exposure to germs, and a lactation room.
Paul McCarthy, MD, stands in the hallway of the new, brightly painted Pediatric Specialty Center at Long Wharf.
The Long Wharf Center hasn’t replaced the original one on the second floor of Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital, where families have gone for years to visit pediatric cardiologists, nephrologists and other specialists. The Children’s Hospital Center, which has reorganized its consultation and exam rooms, is still the primary center for patients who require sedation, monitoring and complex diagnostic tests. Children with cancer now see doctors at Smilow Cancer Hospital and at the Pediatric Hematology-Oncology office in Guilford.
What the Long Wharf Center does do is provide enough additional room so that physicians at both places can see more patients, shorten waiting times and offer the best possible experience for families and patients. Depending on the type of specialist they need, families may come here for care ranging from one-time consultations, to treatment for chronic to acute medical and surgical conditions.
“We hope that the added conveniences of the new space will help to alleviate some of the stress families experience when a child needs to see a specialist,” says Alia Bazzy-Asaad, MD, chief of pediatric respiratory medicine at YMG and one of the physicians involved in planning the Long Wharf Center.
The same day patients come in for consultations or exams, they can access other services in the building, such as blood drawing, lung function tests, and diagnostic imaging tests such as ultrasound and fluoroscopy.
Pediatric nephrologist Jeffrey Mark Stein, MD, talks to the mother of one of his young patients in a Long Wharf exam room.
In addition, Long Wharf’s new design makes it easy for children who see multiple specialists. “A decade ago, we identified a key responsibility to provide multidisciplinary care for patients during visits, so that if patients have a complex problem they can see different specialists in one visit,” says Paul L. McCarthy, MD, chief of clinical services. To make this as efficient as possible, the Long Wharf Center is sectioned into four pods, each containing three exam rooms and a conference room. Each pod can accommodate up to three pediatric and/or surgical disciplines simultaneously.
Some of the specialists moving to Long Wharf had seen dramatic increases in numbers of new patients, and were looking for room to expand. “There is a growing need for pediatric orthopaedic care, and I have been seeing more patients every month,” says pediatric orthopaedist Brian G. Smith, MD.
Now he is looking forward to adding a second orthopaedist, opening a new Muscular Dystrophy Clinic jointly staffed with Geoffrey Miller, MD, of pediatric neurology, and adding more appointment availability. “The exciting thing about the new center is that it will enable all of us to accommodate expansion and provide better services for more patients,” Smith says.
Story by Kathy Katella
Photographs by Robert A. Lisak
Yale Medical Group physicians are now treating Pediatric Specialty Center patients at several sites. While some clinics have moved to the new Long Wharf Center, the Pediatric Specialty Center in the Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital is still the primary outpatient center for certain patients, including those who require sedation, monitoring or complex diagnostic tests.
Pediatric hematology and oncology services will see patients at Smilow Cancer Hospital, 4th floor and at the Pediatric Hematology & Oncology office in Guilford.
Pediatric Specialty Center at YNHCH
Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital
2nd Floor, West Pavilion
1 Park St
New Haven, CT 06510
Pediatric Specialty Center at Long Wharf
One Long Wharf Drive
New Haven, CT 06511
Monday through Friday,
8 am to 4:30 pm
Monday through Friday,
8 am to 4 pm