MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Starting today (July 1), families in the Summersville area can receive care from WVU Children’s Hospital specialists at a new WVU Healthcare clinic located at the Summersville Regional Medical Center.

Larry Rhodes, M.D., physician-in-chief at WVU Children’s Hospital and chair of the WVU Department of Pediatrics, said that pediatric clinics have been held along the borders of the state for several years. The Summersville clinic provides a more central location in the state and has the potential to serve a nine-county area.

Initially, doctors from six pediatric specialties – neurology, cardiology, general surgery, gastroenterology (GI), orthopaedics, and a clinic for children with metabolic syndrome – will see patients on Tuesdays and Fridays.

“The hopes are that in the late fall or early winter, we’ll see patients there three days a week,” Dr. Rhodes said. “The ultimate goal is to be there five days a week.”

Eventually, Rhodes added, several other specialties will join the mix, including otolaryngology (ENT), endocrinology, pulmonology, neurosurgery, urology, nephrology, metabolics/genetics, and adolescent medicine. Rhodes also hopes to get behavioral medicine into the rotation, as well.

The Summersville clinic will also be home to the Fetal Diagnostic Center, which will provide pregnant women with fetal ultrasounds, which can be read by a WVU Children’s Hospital specialist through telemedicine.

“If something is found on the ultrasound, a neurosurgical issue, for example, and I’m there, while I’m not a neurosurgeon, I am a pediatrician, so I can go over the basics with that mother and tell her that one of our neurosurgeons will be here on whatever date to go over the specifics with her,” Rhodes said. “While I may not be the expert, at least there’s someone for these families to talk to.”

While patients will still have to travel to Morgantown for surgery, most, if not all, pre- and post-operatory appointments can be held at the Summersville clinic, he said, thereby making it easier for families in the area to receive the highest quality care possible.

“The Summersville community has been very supportive and receptive,” Rhodes said. “And, we’re very excited, too.”

To schedule an appointment with a WVU Children’s Hospital specialist at the Summersville clinic, call 844-862-4751.

For more information: Angela Jones-Knopf, News Service Coordinator, 304-293-7087
ajk: 06-24-14