Stony Brook Children’s Hospital Continues Growth at Record Pace

These are exciting times for Suffolk County’s only children’s hospital. During the past year, Stony Brook Children’s Hospital has added new programming, expanded key services, brought in more physician-scientists and invested in enhanced technology.

Ronald McDonald Family Room

Ronald McDonald Family Room

Thanks to an anonymous donor, all support for the children’s hospital is being matched dollar for dollar, creating a unique opportunity to double each gift’s impact on the health of Long Island children.  “We feel an immense responsibility to provide the children of Suffolk County the most advanced pediatric care possible,” says Margaret McGovern, MD, PhD, Physician in Chief, Stony Brook Children’s. “We are not only committed to providing dedicated children’s medicine with all that entails — including more than 140 physicians practicing in 30 different pediatric specialties, age-appropriate and developmentally appropriate care, and a family focus — but we are doing so close to home.”

In July, the hospital opened the first and only comprehensive celiac disease center on Long Island. Led by Anupama Chawla, MD, the Celiac Disease and Gluten Sensitivity Center takes a multidisciplinary approach to the diagnosis, treatment, management and support of children and families with celiac disease. It builds on more than a decade’s pioneering experience by Dr. Chawla and her team.

In August, Stony Brook Children’s held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Ronald McDonald Family Room, a family respite area on the 11th floor of the hospital. Built in partnership with the Ronald McDonald House of Long Island, the Family Room provides a soothing, restful environment for families of hospitalized children, along with many of the amenities of home.

“We believe the room will improve parents’ ability to advocate for their children,” says Dr. McGovern. “Research shows that a family’s presence helps children heal faster and cope better with the stress of being in the hospital.”

The Family Room offers a fully stocked kitchenette and dining room, private showers and lockers, laundry facilities, laptops with Internet connections, a lounge area with a flat screen TV, and a designated van to transport families to airports, doctor’s appointments and drug stores.

The hospital also recently launched a Children’s Healthy Weight and Wellness Center to help combat the crisis levels of obesity in New York. This Center offers a multidisciplinary approach for this complex problem, including nutritional counseling, a physical fitness component, and medical and surgical management for appropriate patients.

Also new in the past year are programs for specialized infant pulmonology testing with equipment that can measure lung function of the tiniest premature babies; advanced cardiac imaging capabilities in our new pediatric echocardiography lab, thanks to the recruitment of pediatric cardiologist James Nielsen, MD; an expanded pediatric nephrology department following the recruitment of Robert P. Woroniecki, MD, (a “Best Doctor in America” 2009 to 2012); the kick-off of “Opt to Quit,” a smoking cessation initiative for parents designed to keep developing children free from second-hand smoke; and the addition of new physicians in Pediatric Psychiatry, Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, Neonatology, Pediatric Gastroenterology and Child Neurology.

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