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Pediatric Update

August 26, 2013

Five Yale-New Haven Children's Hospital specialties are recognized by U.S. News & World Report

U.S. NewsYale-New Haven Children's Hospital (YNHCH) has been ranked among the best in the nation for five of its pediatric subspecialties in the 2013-14 Best Children's Hospitals rankings, published online by U.S. News & World Report. YNHCH ranked in cancer (#31); diabetes and endocrinology (#4); gastroenterology and GI surgery (#25); pulmonology (#44); and urology (#37).

"We are honored to be recognized as a regional leader in advancing pediatric medical care," said George Lister, MD, physician-in-chief of YNHCH and chair of pediatrics, Yale School of Medicine. "These rankings acknowledge the deep dedication of our doctors, nurses and staff, who strive to deliver excellent and compassionate care to the children and families at YNHCH while we continue to improve access to our services across the state and region."

This is the third consecutive year that at least five YNHCH specialties are ranked by U.S. News & World Report.

"Our sustained commitment to provide the very best care for the children of this region across a broad continuum of specialty and subspecialty services is in evidence in these rankings," said Michael G. Caty, MD, surgeon-in-chief at YNHCH and chief of pediatric surgery at Yale School of Medicine. "Our physicians and staff work hard each day to offer comprehensive expertise and compassionate care to our patients and their families."

Pediatric Gastroenterology and Hepatology at YNHCH

A message from Anthony Porto, MD, MPH
Associate clinical chief, pediatric gastroenterology and hepatology
Director, pediatric gastroenterology, Greenwich Hospital

I am pleased to give you an update regarding Pediatric Gastroenterology and Hepatology at YNHCH and Yale School of Medicine. Our section provides clinical services in New Haven and continues to expand our services in Fairfield County.

Since my arrival in May 2011, significant expansion has occurred in the section in both Norwalk and Greenwich. Yale Pediatric GI at Greenwich Hospital has expanded to three days per week providing outpatient, inpatient and emergency room consultative services. It is the only pediatric gastroenterology practice in Fairfield County where office visits, diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, including endoscopies and medication infusions, are provided in one location. GI outpatient services have also expanded in Norwalk with office hours available multiple times per week.

Further expansion into Fairfield County is expected later this year upon the arrival of Ninfa Candela, MD, who will provide inpatient consultative services and perform upper and lower endoscopies at Bridgeport Hospital and also hold office hours in Fairfield County creating a model similar to our Greenwich practice.

Earlier this year, Udeme Ekong, MD, MPH, joined our faculty as Medical Director Hepatology and Liver Transplant. She provides consultative and outpatient services for children with liver diseases.

Our section continues to provide wide range of care for children with gastrointestinal, liver and nutritional conditions, including:

  • Abdominal pain 
  • Abnormal liver function tests
  • Autoimmune hepatitis
  • Celiac disease 
  • Chronic diarrhea 
  • Constipation
  • Failure to thrive 
  • Feeding problems/swallowing problems 
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) 
  • Gastrostomy tubes and enteral nutrition 
  • Hepatitis (viral and autoimmune)
  • Inflammatory bowel disease 
  • Lactose intolerance 
  • Liver transplantation
  • Lysosomal diseases
  • Metabolic liver diseases
  • Neonatal cholestasis
  • Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
  • Nutritional support of acute and chronic disease
  • Pancreatitis 
  • Peptic ulcer disease
  • Polyps 
  • Primary sclerosing cholangitis
  • Wilson's disease

We also collaborate with pediatric surgery for the care of patients with short gut syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease.

For more information about our program, please call 203.785.4649, or email me:

Meet the team:
Nadia Ameen, MD Dinesh Pashankar, MD,
Clifford Bogue, MD Uma Pashye Phatak, MD,
Udeme Ekong, MD, 
Anthony Porto, MD, 

YNHCH Family Advisory councils:
Strong and respected partnerships

Yale-New Haven Children's Hospital continues to benefit from the perspective of experienced families through the Children's Family Advisory Council and the Neonatal Family Advisory Council. This important partnership of hospital leadership, staff and families plays a critical role in improving the experience of patients and families while in our care.

The Family Advisory councils (FACs) provide feedback and recommendations to the hospital leadership and staff on a vast array of topics from facility improvements to safety initiatives to patient food selections. Parent members of the councils actively participate on committees and workgroups when available and provide vital input on issues such as Improving Patient and Family Experience, Pain Reduction in IV Access, Care Coordination for Medically Complex Children and Family-Centered Medical Rounds.

"Our monthly agenda is always jam-packed as staff recognize the value and perspective of this committed group of parents, many who have jobs and busy family lives, but still make the time to partner with us to improve the experiences of others," said Karen Zrenda, YNHCH liaison to FACs.

Cheryl Cunneen, a parent member, added, "I continue to be impressed with how supportive and welcoming senior management has been in regard to truly hearing our collective parent voice and implementing our recommendations."

The FACs welcome the recommendations of new family members to either join the councils or to become a family advisor who can participate on specific projects. Referrals or questions can be directed to 203.688.4342 or

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