FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:         

Contact:        Colleen Valdini,
Public & External Affairs Manager
Christine Hendriks,
VP, Public & External Affairs
Phone:          (631) 376-4104
                  
Date:           November 17, 2011 

West Islip, NY – With 1 in every 110 children diagnosed with autism, the need for effective treatment plans is tremendous.  Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center’s Center for Pediatric Specialty Care is a centralized resource that coordinates the multidisciplinary needs of this growing population.  The various areas of expertise include cardiology, neurology, pulmonology, endocrinology, hematology, gastroenterology, infant/child development and sleep disorders. 

“There is no time like the present to address the ongoing cost of raising an autistic child.  The new autism insurance bill signed by Governor Cuomo will provide New Yorkers with better insurance coverage for early screening and treatment for autism, which will help this population as a whole,” stated Sarita Duchatelier, MD, Chief of Child Neurology at Good Samaritan’s Center for Pediatric Specialty Care.  “As with any disease, early diagnosis and treatment are essential to ensuring a better quality of life for individuals with autism.”

“Having access to many different services at one location has had a positive effect on my daughter, Makiya.  Autism affects the entire family and we have seen significant results since Makiya began her treatment with Dr. Duchatelier,” stated Lisa Maynard.
 
Autism is a complex developmental disorder that affects language and social behavior.  It is what is known as a “spectrum disorder”, which means it shows itself differently in each person and with varying degrees of intensity.  For parents of young children, learning about this increasingly prevalent disorder could have an enormous positive impact if a child shows signs of autism and is evaluated early. 

A pediatrician may refer a child to Good Samaritan’s Center for Pediatric Specialty care when further testing and diagnosis are needed.  For more information, please call (631) 376 4444.

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Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center is a 537-bed (including 100 nursing home beds), voluntary, not-for-profit hospital located in West Islip.  The medical center, which has more than 4,500 employees and almost 900 physicians on staff, had nearly 30,000 patient admissions and more than 95,000 emergency department visits in 2010.  Good Samaritan is a member of Catholic Health Services of Long Island. Visit the website at www.good-samaritan-hospital.org.

Good Samaritan provided more than $49 million in community service and charity care in 2010.  The medical center supplies residents with the tools necessary to maintain good health.  This includes community lectures, screenings, health fairs and other community programs and services.