Genesis, UI Children’s Hospital Unite To Help QC Kids
Pediatric specialty clinic opens in Bettendorf
For Quad City-area families who have children with special health needs, the road to Iowa City and the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital is a well-travelled one.
A visit to their child’s pediatric specialist can be an all-day commitment, with parents having to take off work, kids missing school and the cost of gas and lost wages posing a financial hardship. Then there’s the stress of arranging child care for other children or getting home in time to meet them at the bus when school lets out.
A new collaboration between Genesis Health System and UI Children’s Hospital will bring highly specialized pediatric care closer to home with a new joint pediatric specialty clinic located in Bettendorf, leaders announced Monday.
“The University of Iowa Children’s Hospital has been in this community for many years, but this is really the first time we are bringing multiple pediatric specialties here to work with the community,” said Jean Robillard, M.D., UI vice president for medical affairs. “We look forward to working with Genesis to make this a real success for the community, as well as for the children of Iowa.”
Services offered include Pediatric Cardiology, Electrophysiology, Genetics, Nephrology, Neuromuscular, Surgery and Child Health Specialty Clinics for children with special needs. The specialists are in Suite 500 at the Genesis Health Group offices located at 865 Lincoln Road in Bettendorf.
“This is really a great day for our youngest patients and their families,” said Doug Cropper, president and CEO of Genesis Health System.“It’s a pleasure for Genesis to be able to collaborate with one of the leading children’s hospitals in the country and to do it in a way that increases the level of care provided locally.”
It’s a natural fit for both Genesis and UI Children’s Hospitals, Cropper added. “We’re both committed to quality; we’re both committed to excellent patient care; and, we’re both committed to service and high patient outcomes. The bottom line is this: The winner today is children and families in the Quad Cities because they won’t have to travel as far.”
UI Children’s Hospital is one of the most respected children’s hospitals in the world and is highly ranked nationally by many entities.
A history of collaboration
Genesis and the University of Iowa already have a successful history of collaboration. Highly skilled UI Children’s Hospital neonatal intensive care physicians care for sick and at-risk babies in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Genesis Medical Center, East Rusholme Street, Davenport.
“Families who live here prefer to have their babies closer to home,” said neonatologist Sunny Arikat, M.D. “Babies are not just alone...they’re a close unit with mom and dad. Maternal bonding and breastfeeding are so important, too.”
He practices with fellow UI neonatologists Drs. Ram Niwas, Jeffrey Segar and Zahi Zeidan, the NICU’s medical director.
Since University of Iowa specialists are based at Genesis, “Parents can spend more time with their baby and have more trust and faith, knowing that there’s continuity of care between here and University of Iowa,” Dr. Arikat added.
For the past 14 years, Vickie Pyevich, M.D, a clinical associate professor in the UI Department of Pediatrics, has provided pediatric cardiology care and treated children diagnosed with lipid disorders at the Genesis Heart Institute.
“It’s scary to have a child with special health needs. Families so appreciate the ease and comfort of staying home, knowing their children can receive care from a highly trained sub-specialist who will come to their hometown,” said Dr. Pyevich, who will remain at her office at the Genesis Heart Institute. “I’m so proud to be part of two health care institutions that find it important to collaborate so we can bring these experts to town.”
In addition, Riad Rahhal, M.D., and Judith Heckman, P.A.-C., see patients twice a month in a special pediatric gastroenterology clinic at the Center for Digestive Health and Gastroenterology Associates P.C., located at 2222 53rd Ave. in Bettendorf.
“Our specialists provide pediatric specialty care to communities throughout the state in collaboration with local providers,” said Thomas Scholz, M.D., interim head of the UI Department of Pediatrics and physician-in-chief of UI Children’s Hospital. “Relationships with local providers not only improve access to pediatric specialty care for children and their families, but also lead to better health outcomes and lower medical costs.”
Dr. Scholz added, “Initially, we will have two full days of clinic in Bettendorf a week. That’s roughly 40 families a week who now will be spared making a trip to Iowa City. We anticipate the number of these clinics will only expand.”
“One of the wonderful aspects of this collaborative effort is that it provides us a central location. Previously when we had a clinic in the Quad Cities area, we had to identify a location and it wasn’t always the most accessible to patients.”
Dr. Pyevich’s practice illustrates successful growth of a pediatric specialty in the Quad Cities. When she began her clinic 14 years ago, it was twice a week. Today, the clinic operates four days a week and has a six-week waiting list. As a result, UI Children’s Hospital has brought in another pediatric cardiologist to come twice a month, Dr. Scholz said.
Offering eight pediatric specialties is only the beginning, Cropper added. “Likely, the next step in addition to other specialties are diagnostic and testing services for children so families don’t have to travel to University of Iowa.”
He concluded, “In the Quad Cities, Genesis is the leader in pediatric care, but there are so many sub-specialties, we can’t offer them all. Collaborating to bring more specialists here for the children of the Quad Cities is a huge opportunity.”
Children who require additional care, or more urgent consultation, will receive care at UI Children’s Hospital in Iowa City.
To schedule an appointment, call (877) 891-5350.