419-354-8900

Wood County Hospital Program Receives $25,000 United Way Funding

Wood County Hospital has received a $25,000 grant from United Way in wood COunty for its newly established Center for Child Deelopment.

The Center, which opened in August, serves children impacted by developmental and behavioral health issues ranging from learning disorders to genetic disorders and associated cognitive delays, such as Down syndrome. United Way funding will directly provide care and services to these children.

"United Way is pleased to provide funding for this much needed service," says Michael George, Director of United Way in Wood County. "We focus on education, income and health because we consider these the building blocks of a good life and this program obviously directly contributes to the overall health and well-being of our community."

"The United Way's Wood County Community Solutions Team and Advisory Board unanimosly approved funding for the Center for Child Development at Wood County Hospital because it is such a new, innovative service for our area that so completely aligns with the target goals of the United Way," he adds.

"Wood County Hospital is grateful to United Way and its Community Solutions Team and Advisory Board for this very generous grant," says Stan Korducki, Wood County Hospital President. "It will enable us to provide essential serices close to home for families of children with special health care needs."

According to George, the grant funds services the Center provides to children under the age of 18 whose family income precludes them fron having government assistance but who cannot afford private insurance.

"The reality is that without this grant to pay for these serices, many children and teenagers simply would not receive services they truly need. This could have a very negative effect on their health and well-being throughout their entire lives." Korducki observes. We may never fully appreciate the number of lives impacted and improved as a result of this Wood County Hospital program and the extremely kind fudning from the United Way.

Wood County Area Underserved

It is estimated that 15 to 18% of children have developmental disabilities, meaning that there may be as many as 18,000 children with such conditions in Wood and surroudning counties. Yet, in all of Ohio, there are only 33 fellowship-trained developmental pediatricians, and only 2.5 in Northwest Ohio. Fortuantely for the residents of Wood County and the surrounding area, the Center offers a new source for comprehensive care for these situations.

Until now families of children with develeopmental issues in Wood County had to travel as far away as Akron, Cleveland or Columbus to receive assessment services. Now, the Center and its highly skilled staff, led by Sherri Thomas, MD, developmental-behavioral pediatrician, provides an opportunity for children to receiwe diagnosis, treatment and follow-up in one location closer to home.

"There is evidence that early intervention increases the development and eduactional gains for the child, improves the functioning of the family and reaps long-term benefits for society," notes Dr. Thomas. "Early recognition of problems can often get a child into therapies sooner, and help families identify the areas in which medical expertise is needed."

"Many conditions have other associated problems to watch for, such as cardiac conditions or seizures. If we can properly diagnose a child, we can not only start therapies sooner, we can also monitor the child appropriately for associated problems." Dr. Thomas adds.

The Center for Child Development at Wood County Hospital is now open with offices at 1037 Conneaut Avenue, Suite 203. To make an appointment, call 419-354-3295.