LAS VEGAS – The Pediatric Palliative Care Clinic at the Children’s Specialty Center of Nevada is the state’s first outpatient clinic to provide specialized services to children affected by life-limiting conditions. The clinic officially opened in February of 2016.
Now, seven months later, palliative patients will be seen in a new and larger clinic area located on the fourth floor in Suite 420, at 3121 S. Maryland Parkway, Las Vegas, Nevada 89109. The expanded location includes six examination rooms, as well as a dedicated integrative therapy room for patients undergoing massage therapy, reiki, guided imagery therapy and meditation training.
Families, medical providers, referring physicians and the public is invited to learn more about the clinic and the important services available in this specialized field during a special Open House on Thursday, September 22, 2016, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
“We are so pleased with the response from patients and families in providing these services that they can’t get anywhere else in Nevada on an outpatient basis,” said Angela Berg, Pediatric Palliative Care Director. “Now that we have expanded into a larger location, we know we can serve our patients more efficiently and provide a better experience.”
Every day, children are born with illnesses, conditions or injuries that threaten or will limit their lifespan. Unfortunately, the current healthcare system is complex and full of specialty care options that are often difficult and sometimes nearly impossible for parents to navigate on their own. That is why the Pediatric Palliative Care Clinic was formed and began offering services on an outpatient basis.
Kathleen Gates, M.D. and Angela Berg, DNP, APRN, CPNP will oversee the program. Dr. Gates is the only physician in Nevada with extensive experience in both pediatric palliative care and pediatric hospice care. Berg was a registered nurse for 25 years before earning her Doctorate in Nursing Practice in 2015.
Palliative care can be a confusing term for the public and even those within the medical community. Palliative care is not imminent, end-of-life hospice care. A child diagnosed with a congenital condition may live for several years. Palliative care offers support and expertise in making parents feel supported as they consider the many options that provide the best quality of life for their child, however long they may have them.
Although the American Academy of Pediatrics identified the need and value of these services as far back as 2000, outpatient pediatric palliative care has been lacking, especially in Nevada. Currently, programs only address these needs for children who are in the hospital. Once discharged, the services are no longer available.
Pediatric palliative care is covered by many insurance companies under major medical coverage, not under the hospice benefit. As a program of Cure 4 The Kids Foundation, the Palliative Care Clinic will provide these services to children with or without medical insurance and regardless of the family’s ability to pay.
In addition to palliative care, the expanded location will also house the Neuropsychology Program. In 2015, Danielle Bello, Ph.D., became the clinic’s first full-time, in-house clinical psychologist and neuropsychologist. Neuropsychological services are important to help understand a patient’s thinking skills after treatment, and how treatment, or the illness itself, have impacted how a patient thinks. As part of Dr. Bello’s involvement, a patient’s emotional functioning and behavior after treatment are also evaluated. Specifically, these areas can have an effect on relationships, coping skills and even compliance with treatment. Dr. Bello works to maximize a patient’s post-treatment learning potential and encourages a patient’s future success by guiding interventions and recommendations.
Pediatric Rheumatology and Genetics Program patients will also be treated in the new fourth-floor facility.
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About Cure 4 The Kids Foundation
The Children’s Specialty Center of Nevada and the Hemophilia Treatment Center Of Nevada are funded, in part, by Cure 4 The Kids Foundation. The 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization was founded in 2007 to ensure children with life-threatening illnesses received proper medical attention regardless of their family’s income or presence of health insurance. To date, more than 10,000 patients have been treated by physicians and medical staff at the Children’s Specialty Center and Hemophilia Treatment Center. The Children’s Specialty Center provides medical treatment to children facing devastating diseases such as cancer, rheumatological diseases, as well as rare and ultra-rare diseases. All our providers are Board Certified in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology. The Hemophilia Treatment Center (HTC) of Nevada is the only federally recognized HTC in the state. It is one of 140 HTCs around the country which provides individual services to children and adults with inherited bleeding disorders. Studies show people with Hemophilia, who are treated at federally recognized HTCs have lower overall healthcare costs, lower hospitalization rates, and lower mortality rates than non-HTC users. Cure 4 The Kids Foundation’s Charity Care plan ensures patients at The Children’s Specialty Center and the Hemophilia Treatment Center receive medical treatment regardless of family income or presence of medical insurance. www.cure4thekids.org
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