Children’s Medical Center – Heart Center
Name of Program: Children’s Health – Cardiac Neurodevelopment Program
Year Program Established: 2015
Program Leaders: Corinne Anton PhD ABPP – Program Director and Thomas Zellers MD – Physician Lead
Key Staff and Specialties:
Thomas Zellers MD – Physician Lead
Corinne Anton PhD ABPP – Psychologist, Program Director
Erin Gordon DO – Critical Care Specialist
Veronica Bordes Edgar PhD ABPP – Neuropsychologist
Angela Canas PhD – Neuropsychologist
Anna Jones APRN PNP-AC/PC – Nurse Practitioner
Joscyln Patrick APRN PNP-AC/PC – Nurse Practitioner
Marsha Siebenmorgen PhD – Neuropsychologist
Andrea Torzone APRN PNP-AC – Nurse Practitioner, Clinical Nurse Educator
Brittney Harris MA CCC-SLP – Speech Language Pathologist
Stefanie Rogers MOT OTR – Occupational Therapist
Betsy Beall MS CCLS – Child Life Specialist
Caroline Brown MS CCLS – Child Life Specialist
Hannah Dillon MS CCLS – Child Life Specialist
Stephane Mikus MA MT-BC – Music Therapist
Age Range of Patients Served: Neonates – 25 years of age
Description of Inpatient Program(s):
The Inpatient Cardiac Neurodevelopmental Program provides a family-centered approach to comprehensive developmental care for babies and children at risk for developmental differences. Our Inpatient Developmental Care Team works with families throughout the hospital admission to discuss goals and strategies to support every aspect of each child’s ongoing development.
The Inpatient Development Care Team visits caregivers and patients at the bedside via Developmental Rounds to discuss ways to support each child’s development in the hospital. We continue support after rounds by providing individualized developmental plans and caregiver activities that outline therapy and developmental goals.
Description of Outpatient Program(s):
The Outpatient Cardiac Neurodevelopmental Program provides comprehensive screening, evaluation, treatment, and resources for children with congenital heart disease who are at risk for developmental differences. During outpatient cardiology appointments our patients complete developmental screening beginning at 6 months through age 6. This allows us to monitor each child’s developmental progress over time and provide referrals as needed. The Outpatient Program offers three testing clinics:
The Developmental Clinic (ages 6 months – 2.5 years) aims to identify developmental differences in patients who would benefit from physical, occupational, and speech-language/feeding intervention.
The School Readiness Clinic (2.5 years through 6 years) aims to identify each child’s unique abilities to best support the child’s transition into a learning and social environment. During this appointment caregivers also meet with our cardiac school services liaison who provides information and support on school transition, school support services, and answers school related questions.
Cardiac Neuropsychological Clinic (6 years – 25 years) focuses on testing cognitive, psychosocial, and behavioral abilities. Our neuropsychologists evaluate a wide range of skills to determine the most appropriate intervention services, assist in academic/vocational planning, and provide caregivers with strategies to improve patient outcomes.
All clinics offer bilingual services.
Description of research or QI projects in cardiac neurodevelopment – undergoing or accomplished:
The Cardiac Neurodevelopmental Program has ongoing research and QI projects, including:
- Investigation of neurodevelopmental outcomes and screen time usage
- Cognitive and behavioral functioning in pre- and post-Fontan patients
- Investigation of inpatient developmental plan implementation and utilization
- Mood and anxiety presentations in pediatric heart failure and heart transplant patients
- Factors impacting staff implementation of developmental care in a cardiac intensive care unit
Unique features and strengths of this program:
- We provide comprehensive neurodevelopmental education and support, beginning at fetal diagnosis through adulthood and transition to adult care.
- We offer bilingual services throughout all aspects of our cardiac neurodevelopmental program, which allows us to fully serve our large volume of diverse patients.
- Education is a significant aspect of the program. Team members dedicate their time and expertise to educate colleagues in their specialty on cardiac neurodevelopment.