St. Joseph's Children's Hospital: Powerful Medicine Close To Home

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Photo 02 StJosephs HealthQtrly ChildrensHealthPaterson, NJ [August 21, 2012] - Why do so many children from across New Jersey and around the world land at St. Joseph's Children's Hospital (SJCH), located at St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center in Paterson, New Jersey? A leading academic medical facility with board-certified physicians representing virtually every specialty and subspecialty under one roof, SJCH offers the highest level of care, through a combination of expertise and convenience unmatched by other hospitals in the region. The multidisciplinary staff, capable of performing medical miracles when children are facing life-threatening diseases or injuries, has but one goal—to help patients achieve the best possible outcomes in order to lead healthier lives in a friendly environment that feels more like a home than a hospital.

As a major teaching hospital, St. Joseph's experts collaborate through academic affiliations with other talented physicians from leading medical institutions including St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, Columbia University School of Medicine, and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. These include a pediatric dentistry residency program in association with Seton Hall University School of Health and Medical Sciences - one of only two pediatric dentistry residency programs in the state and one of 87 programs in the nation; and the establishment of an affiliation with New York Medical College, a member of Touro College, that includes medical education and research in Pediatrics, among other specialty focuses.


Additionally, SJCH is proud to be part of the New Jersey Council of Teaching Hospitals/Council of Children's Hospitals and the Children's Oncology Group, an international collaborative of top medical facilities.


"Clinical partnerships with other high-level research institutions enable our patients to benefit from St. Joseph's wide array of leading-edge treatments, many not yet available at most other hospitals," Michael Lamacchia, MD, Chairman of Pediatrics at St. Joseph's Children's Hospital says.


SJCH is also involved in clinical trials, offering new treatment strategies for such diseases as sickle cell anemia and leukemia, two common, but often difficult-to-treat, illnesses.


St. Joseph's is equally adept at diagnosing and treating routine and obscure conditions. Care is provided by pediatric experts at multiple St. Joseph's Children's Hospital locations in Northern New Jersey and throughout the world, thanks to high definition 3-D telemedicine and video teleconferencing connectivity provided in partnership with Medical Missions for Children at SJCH. This high-tech approach enables consultations during which physicians at St. Joseph's provide expertise to distant patients' primary pediatricians during "real time" patient examinations, an innovative process that saves lives.


In one such instance, physicians at St. Joseph's used video teleconferencing to consult on the case of a child in Armenia who was having intractable seizures. The St. Joseph's team recommended altering the child's medication and the outcome was successful.


One of the most recent telemedicine applications at SJCH is helping parents of children who have feeding and swallowing difficulties. Such disorders are common, especially during the first two years of life and among autistic children. In fact, approximately 30 to 40 percent of autistic children have difficulty swallowing food and liquids. The causes can include behavioral, anatomical or developmental issues, as well as food allergies, injuries or premature birth.


It can be heartbreaking when a child has a birth defect. No one understands this better than the health care professionals at The Alfiero & Lucia Palestroni Birth Defects Center at SJCH, established to diagnose and treat a wide range of birth defects. With a multidisciplinary team of pediatric specialists, the Palestroni Center is one of a few such centers in the United States, and the only one of its kind in New Jersey. The goal of the Center is to provide a medical home for children with complex conditions and to support families in what is often a very stressful situation.


The latest innovations in diagnosis and treatment can be found at SJCH. Many procedures that once required multiple surgeries and lengthy hospital stays can now be accomplished more quickly using minimally invasive techniques. St. Joseph's Children's Hospital has long been recognized as a leader in the treatment of craniofacial deformities. Consider, for example, a common condition known as craniosynostosis, in which a baby's skull is malformed because of early fusion of the sutures. With an early diagnosis, craniofacial surgeons at St. Joseph's can usually correct the problem by making two small incisions and operating with the assistance of an endoscope instead of having to open the entire skull, as was once necessary. This less invasive approach has fewer complications. The patient is in and out of the hospital in one to two days, instead of five or six days, there is minimal blood loss, and the chance of a successful outcome is excellent.


Whether reshaping a skull, repairing a defective heart or helping a child with a clubfoot to take his first steps, St. Joseph's Children's Hospital treats more patients with birth defects than any other hospital in the region. And more experience means better results.


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