New Pediatric Services Offered For the First Time at Utah Valley Regional
Two new pediatric services are now available for the first time at Utah Valley Regional Medical Center, which means fewer children from Utah County will need to travel to Salt Lake City for healthcare.
Thomas Sutton, MD, is providing full-time pediatric gastroenterology (GI) and Matthew Steinfeldt, MD, and Shad Outsen, MD, are in charge of the new Pediatric Hospitalist Service. Both services were brought to the hospital in an effort to bring the highest quality healthcare closer to children and their families who live south of Point of the Mountain.
“We’re reaching a new level of excellence with the addition of these new services. Children and families in Utah County and other areas of central Utah now have the opportunity to receive specialty care close to their homes and loved ones,” said Steve Smoot, administrator at Utah Valley Regional.
Dr. Sutton, who went to medical school at Virginia Commonwealth University and trained at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., cares for children and young adults with chronic abdominal pain, chronic constipation, irritable bowel syndrome and vomiting. He also sees patients with GERD, failure to thrive, Celiac disease, Crohn’s disease and a wide variety of other chronic abdominal problems.
A pediatric GI physician addresses many areas that are extremely important for a growing child, said Dr. Sutton. One example is a child with poor weight gain which could be due to insufficient diet, ADHD therapies or a condition such as Celiac disease. Chronic constipation is another condition that can be frustrating to a child who is about to start school.
“Children aren’t just little adults and the diseases and symptoms they develop are different than grown-ups. It takes someone who is specifically trained to be able to know what signs and symptoms to for in order to optimize the diagnosis and therapy,” said Dr. Sutton.
Utah Valley Regional’s Pediatric Hospitalist Service is designed to help community physicians be more efficient in their offices. Physicians with young patients who need to stay in the hospital can admit them to the
Pediatric Hospitalist Service, where a highly-skilled hospital-based pediatrician will oversee their care. Once the hospital stay is done, patients return to the primary care provider.
Dr. Steinfeldt said a pediatric hospitalist program was necessary in order for Utah Valley Regional to continue to expand its pediatric care. The hospital has explored recruiting additional specialists such as pediatric neurologists, cardiologists, surgeons and orthopedics, but each one wants a pediatric hospitalist program in place before he or she would consider relocating to Utah County.
“Utah County has one of the largest pediatric populations per capita in the United States. There’s a recognized need to provide access to pediatric subspecialists without families having to leave the county. Utah Valley Regional has been working diligently over the last several years to make this happen,” said Dr. Steinfeldt.