Expanding Access to Pediatric General Surgery in York and Adams Counties

By Valerie Lauer
Friday, November 11, 2016

In September, WellSpan Health and The Johns Hopkins Children’s Center launched a new pediatric general surgery practice in York, solidifying a collaboration to better serve patients in south central Pennsylvania.

With its Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and team of dedicated neonatologists, WellSpan York Hospital is already positioned as a leader in pediatric care in the communities it serves.

“For the past several years, we have searched for a partner who would allow us to expand and add pediatric surgical services,” says David Turkewitz, MD, Chair of the Pediatric Department, WellSpan York Hospital. “It was a matter of finding the right group — one that is as dedicated to providing high-quality, community-based pediatric surgical care as we are and who embraced the outreach model of care. Johns Hopkins Children’s Center is the right fit.”

Stronger Together

With an outpatient consultation clinic located just half a mile from the WellSpan York Hospital campus, Johns Hopkins Children’s Center General Pediatric Surgery, in collaboration with WellSpan Health, serves as a satellite location for Johns Hopkins Children’s Center pediatric surgeons.

These surgeons, with the support of referring physicians and the WellSpan York Hospital team, resolve common pediatric health concerns in a community setting, utilizing the advanced operating suites at WellSpan York Hospital.

“We share a common goal with our colleagues at WellSpan, which is to provide the best pediatric surgical care in South Central Pennsylvania,” says David Hackam, MD, PhD, Surgeon-in-Chief for the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center. “Our shared vision is to ensure that whenever possible, pediatric surgery should be delivered in the community where the child and family live to make the experience as stress-free as possible. For more complex pediatric surgical cases, we seek to build on our existing relationships and to ensure rapid and easy access to all of the services available at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center.”

Depth and Breadth of Care

Among them, the eight Johns Hopkins Children’s Center pediatric surgeons working at WellSpan York Hospital cover multiple specialties, including thoracic, vascular and oncologic surgeries, gastrointestinal disease procedures, digestive disorder care, airway interventions and advanced laparoscopy. These doctors surgically treat appendicitis, congenital malformations, traumatic injuries and other health concerns.

“It is vitally important, especially when caring for premature infants, to minimize the stress for patients and their families,” Dr. Turkewitz says. “That’s what the new pediatric general surgery program lets us do. And, if a more complex case requires additional support, the surgeons we have can go with their patients to the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center to continue care in that setting. It’s a win-win.”

24/7 Coverage

Outside of clinic hours and scheduled OR time, the same pediatric surgeons who work in York also provide emergency surgical interventions, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“Whether it’s an emergency procedure or something more routine, there are a variety of considerations to take into account when caring for a pediatric patient,” Dr. Turkewitz says. “We saw a need for more specialty pediatric surgical care here. The collaboration makes it possible, and our patients and their families are the ones who benefit.”

Call 717-812-4390 to refer a patient or for more information.