Hasbro Children's Hospital Expands Pediatric Medical-Psychiatric Programs

October 7, 2015

Child_and_motherThe Medical/Psychiatric Program at Hasbro Children’s Hospital has recently completed renovations on both its inpatient unit and its partial hospitalization program to accommodate an increased demand for integrated medical/psychiatric care for children and teens.

“Within the past year, our Medical/Psychiatric Program has received patients sent to us from some of the largest academic medical centers nationwide – places like North Carolina and California,” said Henry Sachs, MD, chief medical officer at Bradley Hospital. “Here in Rhode Island, we are uniquely equipped with a program that can meet a growing local and national need for this type of care, and this expansion allows us to help more children in need.”

The Medical/Psychiatric Program at Hasbro Children’s Hospital addresses the needs of children and adolescents between the ages of 6 and 18 with complex pediatric illnesses. Diagnoses might include eating disorders, medical illness complicated by psychiatric co-morbidity, chronic pain and somatoform disorders. It is the only program in the region designed to provide family-based, integrated care for this patient population.

A collaboration between Bradley Hospital, the only hospital in New England dedicated exclusively to children’s mental health, and Hasbro Children’s Hospital, the program is staffed by a multidisciplinary team of pediatricians, child psychiatrists, psychologists, advanced practice psychiatric nurses, social workers, pediatric nurses, mental health workers and nutritionists. Coordination of care also occurs with hospital-based rehab specialists and pediatric subspecialists as needed.

Patients requiring inpatient treatment are admitted to the Inpatient Medical/Psychiatric Program at Hasbro Children’s Hospital, a secure unit located on the sixth floor of Hasbro Children’s Hospital. The recently completed renovation expanded the program from eight to 16 beds, offering both private and semi-private rooms and areas for family, group and milieu therapy.

“To provide optimal treatment for children with psychiatric and medical illness, the inpatient unit was designed with input from both pediatric and psychiatric experts,” said Phyllis Dennery, MD, pediatrician-in-chief of Hasbro Children’s Hospital. “This integrated care model is critically important to children who would not otherwise be able to heal unless they can receive total treatment of both body and mind. It showcases the unique ability of our two hospitals to seamlessly partner to treat any child who needs our help.”

Also expanded during the renovation is the Hasbro Children’s Partial Hospital Program, which has extended capacity from 16 patients to 24. The partial program, opened in 1998, is the only day treatment program in New England for children with combined medical and psychiatric illness.

It offers a safe, nurturing environment that allows children and families to participate in activities and therapy in a climate of healing five days per week, while also providing access to the same range of services available to patients admitted to the inpatient unit, including consultation with specialists and comprehensive diagnostic testing.

“Children in our partial program may not require an inpatient stay, but do require a high level of support due to impaired functioning in the home and school settings, or limited response to outpatient intervention,” said Michelle Rickerby, MD, psychiatric director of Child Med/Psych Services for Lifespan. “Some patients may step down to the partial program after a stay as an inpatient, while others at high risk for hospitalization may be able to avoid an inpatient stay by participating.”

Both programs specialize in family-based, integrated care. Families are involved in the creation of an individualized treatment plan, incorporating a balance of medical and psychological support with the goal of the child’s successful transition to full functioning at home and school. Family involvement includes nursing and nutrition education sessions, multidisciplinary team meetings, family therapy and involvement in multifamily groups. For more information about the Medical/Psychiatric Program at Hasbro Children’s Hospital, visit the Hasbro Children's Hospital Medical Psychiatric Program web page.