For Dr. Gilberto Velez-Domenech, it was all about newborn care until his third year of medical school, when he made a 180 degree turn — trading in height, weight, and head circumference for reproductive health, eating disorders, and acne.
Last summer, Carter Brischler was doing flips off his grandfather’s boat and looking forward to starting school in the fall. But just eight months later, the 5-year-old daredevil spends his days in and out of the hospital, unable to see, hear, eat, speak or even move on his own— his little body ravaged by a rare disease that is rapidly attacking his brain.
NEW ROCHELLE – Officials found elevated levels of lead in the drinking water at the Davis Elementary School.
The drinking fountains in part of the school have been shut off.
School officials became aware of the problem after they ordered tests in every school in the district due to the contaminated water issues in Flint, Michigan, and Newark, New Jersey.
Officials say they acted quickly, closing off water fountains and sinks. They then set up water coolers so students had access to drinking water.
Dr. Allan Dozor, the director of the Children’s Environmental Health Center of the Hudson Valley, has called for people to remain calm.
“I think we need to take a deep breath and put it into perspective and recognize lead in water is one of many exposures,” he said.
Instead of being overly concerned about schools, Dozer says parents should turn their attention to their own homes to see if there is any potential lead exposure there.
Administrators at New Rochelle schools say they are also working closely with the Westchester County Health Department.
BOSTON (April 20, 2016) – Boston Children’s Hospital today announced that Children’s & Women’s Physicians of Westchester (CWPW) has been renamed Boston Children’s Health Physicians (BCHP). CWPW became a member of Boston Children’s northeast pediatric network, an integrated network of care locations and partnerships, in July 2015.
BCHP is comprised of more than 276 physicians across 60 locations serving families throughout New York’s Metropolitan Area, the Hudson Valley, Connecticut and New Jersey. Boston Children’s northeast pediatric network is guided by the vision of providing a network of pediatric care locations and partnerships. Together, Boston Children’s and BCHP deliver the highest-quality care in local communities and makes investments to ensure accessibility, affordability and enhancement in pediatric health.
“BCHP will strengthen Boston Children’s northeast pediatric network, as well as our shared mission of caring for more children in more places than ever before,” said Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO of Boston Children’s Hospital. “We look forward to growing our collaboration and achieving our goals of providing the best care to patients and families in the region.”
BCHP physicians will continue to practice in the same locations, and access to local specialists will remain unchanged. The alliance allows for improved access to Boston Children’s extensive resources and as clinical collaborations grow, patients and families will benefit.
“We’re very excited about our relationship with Boston Children’s Hospital and equally enthusiastic about our new name and image,” said Leonard Newman, MD, President of Boston Children’s Health Physicians, LLP. “Our affiliation with Boston Children’s Hospital will facilitate us in providing an even higher level of care, and support access to some of the finest minds in pediatric medicine.”
About Boston Children’s Hospital
Boston Children’s Hospital is home to the world’s largest research enterprise based at a pediatric medical center, where its discoveries have benefited both children and adults since 1869. More than 1,100 scientists, including seven members of the National Academy of Sciences, 11 members of the Institute of Medicine and 10 members of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute comprise Boston Children’s research community. Founded as a 20-bed hospital for children, Boston Children’s today is a 404-bed comprehensive center for pediatric and adolescent health care. Boston Children’s is also the primary pediatric teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School. For more, visit our Vector and Thriving blogs and follow us on our social media channels: @BostonChildrens, @BCH_Innovation, Facebook and YouTube.
Boston Children’s Health Physicians Pediatric Pulmonologist Esra Caylan MD was profiled in a News 12 Westchester Special on Muslims in our community.
THORNWOOD – Esra Caylan MD, is a pediatric pulmonologist with the Children’s and Women’s Physicians of Westchester, says her young patients and their parents are sometimes shocked by her Muslim clothing.
“Sometimes, I can see on their face they are like, ‘Who is this?'” Dr. Caylan says. “When they know you are a good doctor, doing a good job with their kid, it doesn’t matter where you are coming from or what you are wearing.”
Many Muslim women say that one of the biggest misconceptions about their religion is that they are treated unfairly. Women are often required to cover up with headscarves to enter their mosques and pray. Many wear similar cover in public.
Still, Muslim women’s attire here in the U.S. can often draw unwanted or unnerving attention from strangers.
And Dr. Caylan says she was once heckled in the middle of the street in Manhattan.
But behind the veil, Caylan says she wants what all mothers want, happiness for their children.
Linda Lombroso, email@example.com 11:25 a.m. EDT May 11, 2015
Jack Weiss, 11, of Suffern has EOE, a severe food allergy that affects the esophogus. He has started a facebook page as a support group and to raise awareness. (Video by Peter Carr/The Journal News)
Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) is a chronic allergic inflammatory disease of the esophagus. Cases have risen dramatically in the past 20 years, say doctors, and there remains no cure for the disease.
- Eosinophilic esophagitis is a chronic allergic inflammatory disease of the esophagus
- Many people are not aware they have the condition, which is increasing in prevalence
- Symptoms include stomach pain, throat pain, reflux, regurgitation and difficulty swallowing
- If left untreated, eosinophilic esophagitis can lead to narrowing of the esophagus
Most people have never heard of the disease that runs Jack Weiss’ life.
But eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) is on the rise, say doctors — and many children and adults have no idea they’ve got it. Left untreated, the condition can lead to narrowing of the esophagus and severe difficulties swallowing. Treatment options vary, but there exists no cure.
“Everybody knows about Lyme disease and celiac disease, but they’re totally blindsided when you bring this up,” says Dr. Howard Bostwick, a pediatric gastroenterologist with Children’s and Women’s Physicians of Westchester. “It’s become probably one of the major diagnoses we make.”
Symptoms of EoE can include throat pain, abdominal pain, vomiting and trouble swallowing, according to the Cincinnati Center for Eosinophilic Disorders, one of the nation’s few research centers devoted exclusively to the condition. Young children with the disease may have slow or poor growth. Adolescents who are undiagnosed may suddenly have food impacted in the esophagus.
Regurgitation and reflux-like symptoms are also common in children, says Bostwick.
Jack, who lives in Suffern, found out he had EoE three years ago, when he was 8, after he started getting stomach aches and throat pain at summer camp. “I was thinking it was in my head, but my allergist and the GI doctor said to take an endoscopy, and that’s how they diagnosed me,” he says.
The condition, a chronic allergic inflammatory disease of the esophagus, is caused by an overgrowth of white blood cells called eosinophils. Most who are diagnosed with EoE must dramatically alter their eating habits or risk causing permanent damage.
“You take a 14-year-old boy who’s eating, and all of sudden the food sticks and he becomes completely unable to swallow it,” says Bostwick. “Overwhelmingly, when this happens to a child of this age and we investigate it, they turn out to have eosinophilic esophagitis.”
While Jack’s family was aware of his peanut allergy, finding out he also had EoE opened up a dark new world. “I was hopeful the diagnosis could put us on the road to recovery, so he would feel better,” says Alyssa Weiss, Jack’s mother. “But I was devastated to find out this may be a lifelong battle for him.”
Alyssa began researching treatment options for Jack, and learned the choices were limited. Children with EoE are sometimes put on feeding tubes. Others need to drink an elemental amino acid formula that tastes so terrible, many can’t get it down. Some are treated with steroids.
Ellyn Kodroff, the president of CURED (Campaign Urging Research for Eosinophilic Diseases), first learned about EoE when her daughter, Jori, was diagnosed in 2003 at the age of 11. At the time, doctors told the family that 1 in 10,000 had the conditon. Now it’s up to 1 in 1,000, she says.
Bostwick says the reason for the rise in cases of EoE remains unclear. But the toll it takes on patients and families is profound, says Kodroff.
At 14, Jori had to go on formula and stop eating all food. Now, at 22, she is able to eat only six things: apples, pears, bananas, shrimp, broccoli, potatoes and lettuce. She has been on steroids for 10 years.
Alyssa didn’t want Jack to go the steroid route. So, with the help of an allergist and a gastroenterologist, he started an elimination diet that omitted foods believed to provoke an allergic reaction. Since his diagnosis, he’s had an endoscopy every two to three months and is responding well to his current diet, which allows for about 20 foods, including corn, bananas, raspberries, chicken and rice.
The severe food restrictions means Jack can’t go to restaurants. Birthday parties are difficult. And family trips require extensive planning.
But Jack considers himself lucky. He’s feeling better, he’s not on steroids, he’s doing well in school and he’s kicked off a fundraising campaign through his own Facebook page, Allergy Island, aimed at raising awareness of EoE.
So far, he’s gotten more than 1,000 likes — and his original dance, the Allergy Island shuffle, is finding people jumping around on camera in hopes of helping Jack spread the word. He’d like to see the dance go viral, the way the ice-bucket challenge put the spotlight on ALS.
“If I’m able to raise awareness and donations, bring us closer to a cure or make even a 1 percent difference, then I couldn’t ask for more,” he says.
Kodroff, whose foundation is the primary source of funding for EoE research, says Jack’s attitude is extraordinary. But for this 11-year-old, it’s just a matter of looking on the bright side.
“Everything happens for a reason,” he says. “If I could make one person feel less alone in this, one school more conscious of how they treat students with allergies, or help one person get answers, then I’ll be happy.”
CURED (Campaign Urging Research for Eosinophilic Disease): curedfoundation.org
Cincinnati Center for Eosinophilic Disorders: cincinnatichildrens.org/service/c/eosinophilic-disorders
American Partnership for Eosinophilic Disorders: apfed.org
Maternity: Doctors say childhood vaccines are critical
Vaccines protect infants, children and teens from 16 diseases, says the CDC. Pediatricians recommend that babies get vaccinated on schedule, as they’re most prone to complications from illness.
Between birth and age six, children get dozens of vaccinations — and with good reason. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, childhood immunizations have reduced the number of infections from vaccine-preventable illnesses by 90 percent.
Babies are at the highest risk for developing dangerous complications from illness, which means it’s critical to get them vaccinated on schedule, says Dr. Vicki Iannotti, a pediatrician with Children’s and Women’s Physicians of Westchester in Hawthorne.
“It all boils down to a simple thing,” she says. “The reason to immunize early is because the youngest are the most vulnerable.”
Vaccines can prevent infants, children and teens from developing 16 diseases, including whooping cough (pertussis), polio, measles, mumps, rubella (German measles), and bacterial meningitis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Infants get their first shot, against Hepatitis B, shortly after birth. The next round of immunizations is given at two months, against Hepatitis B, rotavirus, diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, polio, Haemophilus influenzae type B and pneumococcus. The recommended immunization schedule for children from birth to age six includes vaccines at regular intervals.
“The diseases of pertussis and Haemophilus influenzae cause the most serious infection in young babies,” says Iannotti.
“If you wait, you’re playing Russian roulette until the kids are vaccinated,” says Larchmont pediatrician Dr. Alain Le Guillou. “And as we’re seeing with measles, not only do you put your kids at risk, but all the other kids around you.”
The measles outbreak that started in late December at Disneyland, in California, led to 147 cases of the virus in seven states, according to the CDC, and reinvigorated the debate about vaccine safety.
“There are some people who feel the shots carry a danger as opposed to recognizing the danger is often in not doing the shots,” says Dr. Michael Lasser, a pediatrician in Cortlandt.
Parents who want to delay vaccines, or skip them altogether, are putting their children at risk, says Dr. Daniel Cohen of North Rockland Pediatrics in Garnerville. The first dose of the measles vaccine (MMR, which includes protection against mumps and rubella) is given to children between 15 and 18 months of age. “I think it’s dangerous on a public-health scale not to give the vaccine,” he says.
Le Guillou often sees families that question the efficacy of vaccines in general.
“It’s a strange misconception in some of the fairly educated young parents — who obviously are not reading and are just listening to some weird urban myth — that breastfeeding is going to be the key to keeping their children healthy,” he says. “That’s some bizarre myth, because it’s been proven for 5,000 years or more that it didn’t work enough to protect infants from dying at a very early age.”
Vaccines have gone through rigorous testing, says Iannotti, and are known to protect children from unnecessary illness.
But until infants can get their first round of shots, it is important that they’re shielded from infection. “I cringe when I see a newborn at a crowded event,” adds Iannotti. “Parents don’t realize they’re putting their baby at risk.”
If infants under the age of six-to-eight weeks develop a fever higher than 100.4, they need a sepsis workup, which requires hospitalization and includes a urine culture by catheterization, blood tests and a spinal tap, she says. “That’s because a throat or ear infection could develop into meningitis.”
Family members and caregivers of infants should be sure they’re up-to-date on their DTaP (diphtheria-pertussis-tetanus) vaccines so they can’t pass along whooping cough, she says. It is also crucial that parents, grandparents and caregivers get a flu shot each year, says Iannotti. Flu vaccines are recommended for babies, starting at six months.
Vaccinations are critical to children’s health, adds Iannotti, noting that the past several decades have seen additions to the list of immunizations, including shots against rotavirus, Hepatitis A, pneumococcus and chicken pox.
“It’s a long list, but it’s a matter of saying to parents, ‘This is what we can do to prevent serious illness,’ ” she says.