Cook Children’s launches new program for spinal cord disorders

Innovative Care, News and Announcements | June 30, 2020 | cookchildrens

The Jane and John Justin Neurosciences Center at Cook Children's has a long history of utilizing interdisciplinary care to provide exceptional services for our medically complex patients, and now we're excited to announce our newest collaboration to help patients with spinal cord disorders. Spearheaded by our Urology team, this clinic combines the services of multiple disciplines to help us provide complete care to these patients.

Who can be referred?

The program focuses on the care of children and adolescents with histories of spinal disorders, such as spina bifida, spinal cord injury and spinal tumors. These patients require care from multiple specialists across a range of disciplines. The goals are to provide coordinated care for patients to reduce the number of hospital visits, to enhance the communication around care amongst multiple providers, and to improve medical and psychosocial outcomes for patients and their families. The program employs a dedicated clinical coordinator, serving as a single point of contact for families. The coordinator provides easy navigation of the health care system, coordinating all required visits and testing.

Who can parents expect to meet?

The program is comprised of physicians, nurse practitioners, a psychologist, a clinical coordinator and an orthotist. The providers come from multiple Cook Children's departments, including Urology, Orthopedics, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (Neurology), Psychology, Neurosurgery, and NICU Developmental Follow-up program. Additionally, we have colleagues in other departments, such as Gastroenterology, Neuropsychology and Rehabilitation (e.g., physical, occupational and speech therapy) to whom we can easily refer patients who have additional medical needs. Our team meets once per month to review patients who may have upcoming surgical procedures, who have been seen in the Emergency Department, or were admitted to the hospital. These meetings allow the specialists involved in treating the child an opportunity to provide input on their plan of care, resulting in a more complete and comprehensive treatment plan.

How can I make a referral?

Internally, you can refer a patient to the program through Epic, by typing “Spinal Care” in the referral orders section. This will alert our clinical coordinator, who then will contact the family to set up their first meeting with the team. For external referrals, please call 682-303-0419. Additionally, we're excited to partner with local maternal-fetal medicine specialists to offer prenatal counseling to expectant parents of children with spina bifida. These appointments can help ease some of the initial concerns and prepare the family for the upcoming months and years of their child's life.

For referrals, please call 682-303-0419. If you are a Cook Children's physician, you can refer a patient through Epic, by typing “Spinal Care” in the referral orders section. This will alert our clinical coordinator, who then will contact the family to set up their first meeting with the team.

Cook Children's Spinal Care program was recently recognized as a Spina Bifida Association Clinical Care Partner, which is equivalent to being named a Center of Excellence for the care of patients with spina bifida.

Contributing staff

Headshot of Kristen Taylor

Kristen Taylor, DO

Neurology

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