Yale-New Haven Children's Hospital is still a primary destination, but many patients find the option of a center off the main campus makes life easier.
Jessica Wexler, RN, spends time with a child in the new center's waiting room.
(October 2012) After a premature delivery, Logan Borowiec was diagnosed with renal insufficiency resulting from renal obstruction and a multicystic dysplastic kidney. Now 3 years old, and a veteran of three surgeries, he's thriving. But it has meant lots of time traveling from his home in Norwalk to New Haven for doctors' visits.
Now the doctor is the one who drives to see Logan.
Starting this summer, Adam B. Hittelman, MD, the pediatric urologist who has cared for Logan at Yale-New Haven Children's Hospital (YNHCH) since his birth, is one of several Yale pediatric specialists seeing young patients in a new YNHCH Pediatric Specialty Center located in the heart of Fairfield County, in Norwalk, Conn. "Honestly I would follow Dr. Hittelman anywhere he went, he is that important to our family—but this is so much better for us," says Eileen Borowiec, 33, Logan's mom and an emergency room nurse.
Dr. Hittelman checks on his patient in one of Norwalk's new exam rooms.
The new center doesn't replace the original Pediatric Specialty Center on the second floor of YNHCH, where families have gone for years to visit pediatric cardiologists, nephrologists and other specialists, or the YNHCH Pediatric Specialty Care that opened three years ago at One Long Wharf in New Haven.
The center at the hospital is still the primary destination for patients who require sedation, monitoring and complex diagnostic tests. Children with cancer now see doctors at Smilow Cancer Hospital and at Yale Pediatric Hematology/Oncology in Guilford. The Long Wharf Center opened in 2010 partly to provide another location for specialists who were seeing dramatic increases in their caseloads. One such specialist, Brian G. Smith, MD, now sees patients at Long Wharf and Norwalk. “There is a growing need for pediatric orthopaedic care,” he says.
Dr. Hittelman (left) consults with pediatric nephrologist Davoud Mohtat, MD. The center is set up to make it easy for a doctor to walk down the hall and easily seek out the opinion of a colleague in different specialty.
The centers at Long Wharf and in Norwalk provide care ranging from one-time consultations, to treatment for chronic to acute medical and surgical conditions. All three centers have similar goals:
Dr. Hittelman says having other specialists at the same site is especially helpful in his practice. "Many of our patients have complicated problems, requiring them to see several physicians. We offer a multidisciplinary approach to our patient management, such as our pediatric nephrology-urology stone clinic, and parents appreciate knowing their child can see doctors, have their studies performed, and leave with a management plan on the same day," he says.
The center's interactive wall was designed by The Stepping Stones Children's Museum of Norwalk.
The Norwalk Center, which is also available to patients from New York State who seek out Yale specialists, is accessible from both I-95 and the Merritt Parkway. It has an indoor garage with ample free parking. The center is spacious, filled with natural light, and decorated in a bright palette of orange, yellow, green and blue—the same colors that YNHCH uses. The Stepping Stones Children's Museum of Norwalk designed and maintains an "interactive wall" that has digitally projected animation and games that change with movement.
The Norwalk facility has eight exam rooms and a multi-purpose procedure room. There are on-site radiology services, including fluoroscopy, ultrasound and X-ray, along with a blood draw station.
Pediatric gastroenterologist Uma Phatak, MD, says the ease of access is more convenient for many of the families she works with, especially those who come from Fairfield County. "It's an added benefit to have pediatric surgery here as well for our GI patients with surgical needs. This way, local families can avoid travel to multiple sites, especially all the way up to New Haven," she says.
Dr. Hittelman agrees. "Since families don't have to commute all the way up to New Haven for YNHCH, they do not have to commit a full day to an office visit, so school-age children don't miss as much school and parents don't miss as much work," he says.
Story by Nicole Wise
Photos by Robert Lisak
Yale pediatric specialists treat patients at several sites. 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 specialists see patients at Smilow Cancer Hospital, 7th floor, and at the Pediatric Hematology & Oncology office in Guilford. But many other services are available at convenient centers in Norwalk and at One Long Wharf in New Haven.
747 Belden Avenue
Norwalk, CT 06858
Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital
2nd Floor, West Pavilion
1 Park St
New Haven, CT 06510
One Long Wharf Drive
New Haven, CT 06511