Clinic provides access to services residents would have to travel several hours for
Gordon, Neb. — A comprehensive genetics clinic is now open at Gordon (Neb.) Memorial Hospital through a partnership with the Munroe-Meyer Institute (MMI) Department of Genetic Medicine at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.
The clinic, which is funded by the Mentally Handicapped Children’s Program through the state of Nebraska, will provide much needed access to genetics diagnostic services to children in the northern part of the state via a telemedicine cart equipped with computer equipment that will allow providers, patients and their families access to experts at MMI.
“It’s an expansion of services that are already being provided in places like North Platte and Scottsbluff,” said Omar Rahman, M.D., director of the MMI Department of Genetic Medicine at UNMC. “After looking at where services were lacking Gordon seemed to be really an ideal place to set up our next clinic.”
The clinic will be conducted through the telehealth link by Dr. Rahman and a genetic counselor at MMI in Omaha and in Gordon, Cate Jones-Hazledine, Ph.D., a licensed psychologist and Shanna Rosentrater, a licensed mental health provider, will be on site with the patient and their family.
“As a clinical psychologist in the rural Nebraska panhandle for many years, I have seen numerous cases in which additional evaluation was needed to understand what children need to maximize their potential,” said Dr. Jones-Hazledine, who owns and operates Western Nebraska Behavioral Health in Rushville, Neb., just 15 miles west of Gordon.
Previously, these type of services required significant travel for families but the opening of a clinic in Gordon changes that.
“It will be a great addition to the services we are able to offer to the community,” said Doris Brown, CEO of Gordon Memorial Hospital. “Our staff are particularly happy with the new clinic.”
Dr. Rahman said patients who are appropriate for referral to this clinic are those with a suspected genetic disorder or syndrome; abnormal genetic test results (i.e. chromosome analysis, microarray or another specific genetic test); Autism; developmental delay and/or intellectual disability; and multiple congenital anomalies.
“The majority of our patients are referred to us by general pediatricians who are dealing with kids with complex diseases or multiple birth defect that they don’t understand,” he said.
Helping the health care provider and families understand what the condition is and the extent of it empowers them and can help them get connected to all of the right specialists who can help their child, he said.
Karoly Mirnics, M.D., Ph.D., director of MMI, said the new clinic addressed an important part of MMI’s mission.
“Our mission is to serve Nebraska families, and the clinic is an example of our growth as we expand our reach and bring much-needed genetics services to people throughout the state of Nebraska,” Dr. Mirnics said.
For more information about the genetics clinic in Gordon people can call Shanna Rosentrater at (308) 760-9776.