Newswise — Baltimore, MD – Oscar Taube, M.D., director of the Pediatric Outpatient department and the coordinator of Adolescent Medicine at the Herman & Walter Samuleson Children’s Hospital at Sinai, has been awarded a grant from the American Academy of Pediatrics to provide adolescents, young adults and their family members with the tools to make a smooth transition from pediatric medical care to adult medical care.
Taube’s program, Building Bridges to Adult Medical Homes, received a Community Access to Child Health (CATCH) grant to focus on young people from the Southern Park Heights community of Baltimore, especially those with special health care needs. Pediatricians are referred to as “pediatric homes” and internists and family practitioners are called “adult medical homes” in the grant’s wording.
“There are two overall goals of this program. The first goal is to help young adults with chronic physical, medical and behavioral health conditions to move from a child-centered to an adult-oriented health care system so that their conditions can be properly treated during the next phase of their lives,” said Taube. “Teamwork among pediatricians, pediatric specialists, internal medicine doctors, adult medicine specialists, community organizations and disease-specific advocacy organizations will be a cornerstone of this process.”
In most cases, pediatricians begin with prenatal care and treat their patients through age 21. However, some chronic conditions, such as sickle cell anemia, autism, obesity and cystic fibrosis, make that transition to adult medical care more difficult because without factors such as the proper support from families, knowledge about their illnesses and understanding about the specifics of their own conditions, patients may not be able to communicate the information that their new doctors need to treat them as adults.
Additionally, adolescents can also face other obstacles to getting the care that they need including poverty, a lack of transportation, normal adolescent attitudes, inadequate living arrangements and shortages of medical resources.
The "Building Bridges to Adult Medical Homes" program is designed to explore the nature of these obstacles, to work toward solutions and to develop a program to turn things around.
The second goal of the program is to work with pediatricians, internists, school health educators and family practitioners to address their concerns and to come up with ways for them to feel comfortable in caring for conditions that they may not be used to treating.
Sinai Hospital is part of LifeBridge Health, one of the largest and most comprehensive health care systems in the Baltimore region, which also includes Northwest Hospital, Levindale Hebrew Geriatric Center and Hospital, Courtland Gardens Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, and related affiliates and subsidiaries.