As a medical home for children and adolescents, outpatient pediatric services are offered at four site locations in the Bronx. In addition to pediatric care, nutritional and mental health services are core to the services provided. At the BronxCare Third Avenue and Concourse Practices, adolescent medicine specialists provide care for adolescents BronxCare’s participation in the Medicaid Family Planning Benefit Program is also enabling teenagers to apply for health coverage on their own to confidentially cover reproductive health issues.
Clinical services are enhanced by special programs, many of which are supported through government and foundation grants. An Autism Support Group provides monthly educational and support services to parents and family members of children with autism. It addresses the day-to-day stresses faced by these families and also assists in the referral process. The Sickle Cell Transition Program helps adolescents with this disease learn about their medications, symptoms, and other self-management skills, as well as prepares them to move from pediatric to adult care. A Sexual Risk Avoidance Education Program also works with pre-teens to develop ideas about their futures, while also handling bullying, peer pressure, and other barriers.
It is noteworthy that the Pediatrics Department receives more than $1 million in funding from the National Institute of Health (NIH) to support children and adolescents infected with HIV and to prevent HIV transmission to their at-risk partners. In addition, grants from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and New York State Department of Health AIDS Institute fund case management and support services to this same population. Recently, the Pediatric Department was awarded a five-year grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), to provide testing for HIV, hepatitis, Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), substance use screening, and mental health issues. The World Childhood Foundation is also funding the Pediatrics Department as the lead agency in creation of the Bronx Human Trafficking Task Force. Dr. Sherman chairs this task force, which brings together social service, legal, education, advocacy, and other agencies throughout the Bronx, with a focus on addressing the needs of children, adolescents, and adults who are trafficked. It provides community education about how to identify victims and prevent trafficking in general. The New York City-funded Managing Asthma in Daycare Program brings services to more than 50 daycare and Head Start programs in the Bronx, where staff and families are educated about symptoms, treatment, and prevention of an asthma episode. This program also works with participating centers in providing education on COVID, child development, autism, and immunizations. In addition, smaller grants have allowed the department to develop quality improvement projects, receive virtual reality goggles to help children better tolerate long procedures, such as infusions, and participate in research. In 2020, special funding also allowed the department to distribute COVID prevention kits, consisting of masks, disinfectant wipes, and hand sanitizer to 400 families in daycare centers, as well as develop educational materials on Parenting.