Wheeling Hospital's Center for Pediatrics aims to provide Ohio Valley families with a medical home for their children.
Director Dr. Judy Romano said the center continues to grow in terms of the kinds of care it offers, which includes primary to acute care services, child and adolescent psychiatry, rehabilitation, behavioral health and pediatric endocrinology.
The center also has partnered with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center's Children's Hospital to provide pediatric cardiology, general and thoracic surgery, otolaryngology, neurology and hematology and oncology services, urology, orthopedic surgery and gastroenterology.
Madisyn Stewart of Shadyside receives a checkup from Mary Johnson, a registered nurse at Wheeling Hospital.
Because of this partnership, Romano noted, parents won't have to take their children to Pittsburgh, as the specialists come to Wheeling.
"In the last four years we've made huge strides to provide pediatric care for children and their families," Romano said. "We have eight board certified pediatricians."
The center also serves children with special needs, and offers diagnosis of and treatment for autism.
Q: Wheeling Hospital now has a Center for Pediatrics. What need does the center fill in the Ohio Valley?
A: With the hospital's relationship with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center's Children's Hospital, it means that families with sick children now won't have to travel to Pittsburgh for many services, as doctors from Children's Hospital come here each week to see patients.
"We didn't have that three years ago," she noted.
Romano noted when construction of the hospital's new Tower 5 addition is complete, there will be one floor dedicated to inpatient care of children - a service not offered in the past.
"We're growing every day. It's a very innovative way to approach pediatric services in a community hospital. ... We're making it as much a one-stop shop as possible," she said.
"One of our goals in creating Wheeling Hospital's Center for Pediatrics ... was to add new types of specialized children's care, long needed in our area. This partnership between hospitals, supported by the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, is a significant milestone on the road to that goal.
"Kids are my life. This is a first-class, very unusual model to have here for them. I'm so pleased that everything we've attempted has been achieved," Romano added.