Kirch Developmental Services Center
Our team includes professionals who specialize in the care of children with developmental and behavioral challenges. They work together to provide the best care to children.
Introducing Our Health Care Team
Our physicians have completed training in pediatrics and in developmental-behavioral and/or neurodevelopmental pediatrics (with board certification). This means that they have training and expertise in assessment and treatment of children with developmental delays, disabilities, special health care needs and behavioral difficulties. Our physicians meet with children and families for initial evaluation or diagnosis. They work with families to develop a plan of care. They work as a team with our Nurse Practitioner team to provide follow-up care. They also see children who are in the hospital and answer emergency calls at night or on the weekends. Our physicians train new pediatricians in the care of children with delays and disabilities, conduct research about the diagnosis and treatment of children with autism and other problems, and speak at local and national conferences. Drs. Susan Hyman, Steve Sulkes, Jessica Roesser, Susan Strahosky and Robin Adair are the Developmental Behavioral pediatricians for the team.
Our fellows are pediatricians who have completed their residency. They have chosen to do an extra 3-year training program in the care of children with developmental issues. Stephanie Straka and Abigail Kroening are the fellows on the team. They work with and are supervised by attending physicians. They see children and families for initial evaluation and provide follow-up care. They talk with families between appointments when there are problems or concerns.
Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (PNP)
Our PNPs are advanced practice nurses with Master’s degrees in nursing. Each is nationally board certified and specializes in the care of children and families. They have particular knowledge and advanced training in developmental, behavioral and mental health conditions. Lynn Cole, Patty Corbett-Dick, Lorna Patanella, Melissa Ryan and Johanna Stump are the PNPs on the team. Our PNPs spend most of their time providing follow-up care. They meet with children and families and listen to family health and behavior concerns. They evaluate the child and work with the family to develop a treatment plan. PNPs can diagnose developmental and health conditions, order tests, prescribe medicines, advise families about treatment of health and behavior challenges. In addition, our PNPs teach nurses and others about developmental and behavioral health, lead and participate in research projects, and develop patient and family education materials.
Our child psychologists have completed undergraduate, Masters and Doctoral training and have expertise in assessment and treatment of children with developmental delays and disabilities. The psychologists do a variety of things in our division. They often assess children who have symptoms of autism or another disability. They may also work with children and families to improve behavior problems. They teach parents ways to help with their child’s behavior in our Behavior Interventions for Families Program. They also work with children who have problems with feeding, sleeping or challenging behavior. Dr. Laura Silverman, Dr. Kelley Yost and Dr. Kimberly Brown are the psychologists on our team.
Pediatric Social Workers
Our social workers have masters degrees and specialize in working with children and families. They have many roles in our program. Our social workers do intake interviews, schedule families for their first appointment, and help families know what to do while waiting for their appointment. They often meet with families during their first appointment and talk to families after a new diagnosis. They meet with families who need help with working through the system of care, need information about programs and resources, are transitioning to adulthood, or need help with things like insurance, food, or safe care for their child. They are also involved in research projects, the Institute for Innovative Transition, and Information and Referral resources. Our social worker is Angela Huss.
Registered Nurses (RNs)
Our RNs are nurses with bachelor’s degrees. They have extra skills in child and adolescent health, developmental disabilities, behavior, and medication management. They are available each workday for phone calls regarding medicines, side effects, health concerns and behavior challenges. They help families with concerns about feeding, toileting, sleeping and other behavior difficulties. They call families with test results and work with health insurance providers when prior authorizations are needed. When taking phone calls, they work with our Pediatric Nurse Practitioners, who make decisions about medical treatments or medicines. Beth Bullen and Linda Howell are the RNs on our team. They also participate in research projects, Quality Improvement projects, teaching professionals in the community and development of patient and family education materials.
Registered Dietician (RD)
Our RD is a specialist in child and adolescent nutrition. She has special skill in the nutritional issues for children autism or other disabilities. She works with families to assess nutrition and feeding behaviors. Together, they create a nutrition plan that is right for the child and family. Brianne Schmidt is the RD for the team. She is active in research and clinical activities.
Our administrator oversees clinic operations, intake, support staff, and clinical schedules for the team. She works with families who have complex evaluation scheduling needs. She communicates with community physicians. She works with Early Intervention to address the needs of very young children. Kathy Purcell is our Program Administrator.
Our support staff attends to all of the details that make our program run. Team members talk with families on the phone to schedule appointments, take messages, and help families. They manage paperwork for patient visits. They make sure insurance referrals are accurate and up to date. In clinic, they check in patients, schedule appointments, and print patient information. Florine Lofton-Shaw, Patty Longdue, and Comfort Udofa are our office support staff.