Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC and Shriners Hospitals for Children® - Erie Partner to Provide Enhanced Pediatric Orthopaedic Care

May 18, 2010

Additional orthopaedic care for children will soon be available in Erie due to a new partnership between Shriners Hospitals for Children® - Erie and Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC. Pediatric orthopaedic surgeons from Children’s Hospital will begin treating children at the Shriners Hospitals for Children®, complementing the hospital’s existing orthopaedic staff.

“This agreement marks a milestone in our efforts to further enhance the orthopaedic medical care available to patients who come to our hospital,” said John D. Lubahn, M.D., Chief of Staff at Shriners Hospitals for Children® Erie. “This relationship will clearly benefit our patients.”

Children’s Hospital orthopaedic surgeons will treat patients at the Erie Shriners Hospital three days a week in the hospital’s outpatient clinic and perform ambulatory surgery in the hospital’s surgical suites. Over time, plans call for the Children’s Hospital surgeons to be present at Shriners Hospitals for Children® - Erie five days each week.

“Children’s is committed to helping Shriners continue providing the extremely skilled orthopaedic care it is renowned for,” said W. Timothy Ward, M.D., chief of the Division of Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgery at Children’s Hospital. “Our surgeons will see outpatients and perform ambulatory orthopaedic surgery at Shriners. For patients who require more complicated, inpatient surgical procedures, those patients can be treated at Children’s Hospital’s new state-of-the-art campus in Pittsburgh.”

The team of pediatric orthopaedic surgeons from Children’s Hospital will be led by James W. Roach, M.D., a pediatric orthopaedic surgeon at Children’s Hospital and former Chief of Staff of Shriners Hospitals for Children® - Salt Lake City. Dr. Roach is the current president of POSNA, the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America.

“As a former Shriners surgeon, I’m familiar with the high standards for orthopaedic care for which the organization is known and look forward to continuing that tradition in Erie.” Dr. Roach said. “This agreement also gives families in the Erie region access to the world-class care Children’s Hospital is known for.”

“We have a team of outstanding physicians at our hospital,” said Charles R. Walczak, hospital administrator. “However, in recent years, we have been challenged in recruiting additional full-time pediatric orthopaedic surgeons to join our medical staff. This is primarily the result of a nationwide shortage of pediatric sub-specialists, including pediatric orthopaedic surgeons.”

Walczak noted that the agreement with Children’s Hospital addresses not only the physician manpower challenges, but will bring to Erie some of the best pediatric orthopaedic surgeons in the country.

“The Children’s Hospital physicians, working with our current medical staff, will provide the Erie Shriners Hospital with the manpower and continuity of services it requires to address the medical needs of the thousands of children we see every year,” Walczak said.

This new agreement between the Shriners Hospitals for Children® - Erie and Children’s Hospital is the first step in building a relationship that could result in additional Children’s Hospital pediatric sub-specialists coming to Erie to treat children with a variety of medical conditions.