Children's Hospital Community Report 2012 - page 9

2 012 • Commu n i t y R e p o r t
7
C h i l d r e n ’s H o s p i t a l o f P i t t s b u r g h o f U PMC
T
o control
symptoms
from a movement disorder known as dystonia
,
a pediatric
neuro­surgeon at Children’s ­Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC implanted a device in
Nicolas Griffith’s brain when he was 6 years old.
Sometimes called a “brain pacemaker,” the deep brain stimulator (DBS) sends a continuous stream of electrical
impulses to part of Nicolas’ brain in order to block its abnormal firing of neurons. The procedure had the great-
est potential of helping Nicolas, who lives with his family in Boonsboro, Md., about a four-hour drive away from
Pittsburgh.
Traveling with Nicolas can be tough. He uses a wheelchair and has to be fed and given medications on a strict
schedule. His DBS also has to be adjusted regularly by Keith Coffman, MD, Nicolas’ neurologist in the
.
If the Griffiths had to travel to Children’s main campus in Lawrenceville for
­Nicolas’ routine visits, each outing could be an all-day, intensive, exhausting affair.
Fortunately for them and many other families throughout the region, Children’s has dramatically expanded its
presence— and accessibility— through western Pennsylvania, eastern Ohio, and northern West Virginia over
the last five years. Its outreach locations in communities that are relatively far from Pittsburgh, as well as its
burgeoning
,
have made Children’s specialists more available to families who live far from
Pittsburgh.
Nicolas can have his DBS settings adjusted at Children’s Hospital Specialty Care Center Johnstown, which is about
two hours away from their home. Dr. Coffman says, “It turns what could be an all-day journey into one where
they are home in time for lunch.”
T
he
program
has received significant funding
to support regional development of telemedicine
services, including $1.2 million from UPMC FOR YOU
to develop a community hospital emergency care
network of 20 hospitals, nearly $800,000 in support
of telemedicine from the friends of Arnold Palmer
in honor of his 80th birthday, $75,000 from the state
of Pennsylvania, and $50,000 from Highmark for
pediatric dermatology. Others supporting this project
include The Erie Community Foundation and Carolyn
and Mark Snyder. Funding from the Hillman Founda-
tion is ­being utilized for telemedicine services for
cardiothoracic patients with The Children’s Home.
­Children’s Hospital also received a grant from
the Department of Health and Human Services.
­Philanthropic support will fund ­equipment and
technology-related expenses.
Telemedicine
Health Care
Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh
of UPMC is a leader in using
advanced communications
technology to provide specialty
pediatric consultations and care
to children in remote locations.
Children’s specialists provide
consults via teleconference
to cardiac intensive care unit
physicians at three hospitals in
­Colombia, as well as to transplant
physicians at UPMC’s ISMETT in
Palermo, Sicily. Today, tele-
medicine capabilities have been
installed at all five of
e will continue
to show that these services not
only provide convenience to pa-
tients, but that they significantly
improve patient outcomes,” says
Harun Rashid, vice president,
Global Health Services and chief
information Officer.
+
View more of the far-reaching benefits
of our telemedicine capabilities.
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