Sisken Children’s Institute announced as of July 1, the Center for Development Behavioral Pediatrics, previously in partnership with Erlanger Health System, will be managed exclusively by the Institute under the name of the Sisken Center for Developmental Pediatrics.
“There is a tremendous need for access to developmental pediatric subspecialty services in the United States as well as here in this region,” said Dr. 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.”
The center will be affiliated with the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Tennessee College of Medicine in Chattanooga.
“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.”
As of July 1, the center will implement an electronic health system, which will enhance center registration, scheduling and billing and payment services. It will also institute computerized patient medical records, electronic prescription refills and a patient portal for parents to access the center online.
Children receiving care at the center will continue to have access to current clinical health care 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.
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.
The Institute will welcome Michael Cupoli, M.D., FAAP, a second developmental pediatrician, to the practice by January 2013. This move was made in preparation for the transition. A second nurse practitioner and licensed practical nurse 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.
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.
For more information about the Siskin Center for Developmental Pediatrics, visit online at siskin.org/pediatrics or call 423-490-7710.