Fixing Smaller Bones

October 10, 2016

About 5,400 babies begin their lives at Saint Peter’s University Hospital each year, and many of them continue to receive the medical care they need at the hospital throughout childhood. A new program launched this month will provide pediatric orthopedic surgical care at The Children’s Hospital at Saint Peter’s University Hospital. “We want to offer patients 24/7 care for their pediatric orthopedic injuries and problems,” says Alfred Tria, MD, interim chair of the Department of Orthopedic Surgery. “A tremendous number of kids come in and out of the hospital, and it was time to take a serious look at this and develop this surgical specialty within our department.” “This service was really needed,” adds Bipin Patel, MD, chair of Pediatrics at The Children’s Hospital. “We are very happy to provide this service to our patients, and we can also service area community hospitals that do not have pediatric orthopedic surgery services. “To  launch  the  program,  the  hospital  hired two  new  pediatric  orthopedic  surgeons—Alexandra Kondratyeva, DO,who completed her fellowship at Columbia University Medical Center in New York; and Amie Kawashima, DO, who was a fellow at Shriners Hospitals for Children and St. Christopher’s Hospital  for Children,  both  in  Philadelphia. Only about 30 to 40 doctors a year earn pediatric orthopedic surgical fellowships a year, Dr. Tria says.  “We are lucky to have both Dr. Kondratyeva and Dr. Kawashima,” he says. The surgeons treat all types of medical conditions, including birth defects and deformities, traumatic injuries and spinal conditions.  The surgical treatment of scoliosis is among the treatment options also provided by the Division of Orthopedic Pediatric Surgery. “They are well trained in the full breadth of care and perform all types of orthopedic surgeries,” Dr. Patel adds. Dr.  Kondratyeva and Dr.  Kawashima like working with children and their families, and also find it very rewarding. “You treat a variety of conditions, and you can follow up with them from birth through age 20, says Dr.Kondratyeva.The Children’s Hospital at Saint Peter’s provides healthcare services for children from infancy to adulthood. This continuity of care can have a positive impact on a child’s health and well-being, as well as a parent’s peace of mind. The Children’s Hospital at Saint Peter’s is designated by the state of New Jersey as an acute care children’s hospital, one of the most advanced hospitals of its kind in the nation. The Saint Peter’s team of pediatric specialists and nurses collaborate with a child’s pediatrician to provide care. Other specialties include specially trained pediatric anesthesiologists. The Pediatric  Anesthesiology Program at The Children’s Hospital at Saint Peter’s has the largest number of board certified and fellowship trained  pediatric  anesthesiologists  in central New Jersey, making it one of the few hospitals to offer round-the-clock coverage. The newly renovated Dorothy B.  Hersh Pediatric Emergency Department is one of the largest pediatric emergency departments in New Jersey.  The 5,200 square-foot state-of-the-art facility provides pediatric emergency care to more than 20,000 infants, children and young adults annually. Dr. Kondratyeva and Dr. Kawashima will also see patients in the Emergency Department. The pediatric emergency department is carefully designed with children in mind.  A few child friendly highlights include small blood pressure cuffs and fine needles, private rooms, and television, toys and video games. Staff members are experts at dealing with children and can help to minimize stress for both parent and child. As is the case on the hospital’s pediatric inpatient units, a full-time child life specialist helps children and their families cope with the anxiety of being in the hospital. The new orthopedic program will continue to grow over the next six to 12 months, and Dr. Tria says they hope to hire another pediatric orthopedic surgeon in 2017. “Establishing this program establishes The Children’s Hospital as the community provider of 100 percent of the care needed for pediatric problems,’’says Dr. Tria. The story announcing the arrival of Dr.Alexandra Kondratyeva and Dr. Amie Kawashima can be found in the Fall 2016 issue of Central Jersey Health and Life, The Good Living Magazine from Saint Peter’s Healthcare System.

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