New pediatric clinic: Simple solution to coordinate complex cases

New pediatric clinic: Simple solution to coordinate complex cases

Parents juggling multiple medical appointments for a child seeing several subspecialists get hit with needs of other family members, job demands and, for some, the challenges of making a lengthy trip to Jackson if home is hours away.

Doctors have no-show appointment rates as high as 25 percent, taking up time in which other patients could be seen.

Meanwhile, children with medically complex conditions wind up in the emergency room for worsened conditions that could have been treated earlier in an office visit or for maladies such as eczema that aren't serious and could be treated in a clinic.

A new Children's of Mississippi clinic is trying to solve these problems by assisting families with children who have either three or more major diseases or disabilities or three or more subspecialists on their care team.

Opened June 13, the Complex Care Clinic is housed at the Jackson Medical Mall, said Dr. Sara Weisenberger, who moved to the clinic from her current practice at the Children's North Clinic off I-55 in northeast Jackson. A second pediatrician will be hired for the new clinic, and it will also be staffed with a social worker and a nutritionist. Adding a psychologist to the staff is a later goal, and UMMC's telehealth program will help with outreach.

“We are using a model that's loosely based on studies on coordinated care and case management that have been published nationally,” Weisenberger said.

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FIXing genes: a first at UMMC

This spring, Ryan Hallock helped bulldoze 10 acres of land. He felt sore afterwards, the usual aches and pains that come from hard labor, but otherwise fine.

“Last year if I did that, I would be down for a whole week with joint pain,” said Hallock, 23. He has hemophilia B, a genetic disorder that impairs blood clotting. In Hallock's case, it also caused recurrent bleeding in his knees and ankles.

In December, the Jayess resident came to UMMC and was the first person - in the world - to participate in a new gene therapy clinical trial to treat hemophilia B. The results are promising.

“The patients have experienced no bleeds, no immune response to the treatment and an improved quality of life,” said Dr. Spencer Sullivan, an assistant professor of pediatrics and hematologist who treated Hallock. “This therapy looks like the leading candidate for hemophilia B.”

Sullivan presented early data from four subjects, Hallock included, at the European Hematology Association's 21st Congress in Copenhagen, Denmark on June 11.

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FIXing genes: a first at UMMC

#AskTheHIVDoc campaign taps Mena’s STD expertise

#AskTheHIVDoc campaign taps Mena’s STD expertise

Dr. Leandro Mena considers himself a shy person. He doesn't do Facebook, and he barely tweets.

But his international reputation as an expert in the field of sexually transmitted infections has placed him in a sweeping social media spotlight. He's one of three “smart and sexy docs” answering questions on an array of topics in #AskTheHIVDoc, a YouTube-based series of short-form, question-and-answer videos in English and Spanish produced through the initiative Greater Than AIDS.

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Andy Research Lecture, grad studies dean's talk top week's slate

A number of interesting events is scheduled for the upcoming weeks at the Medical Center.

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Andy Research Lecture, grad studies dean's talk top week's slate
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