Pediatric Infectious Diseases

Stony Brook Medicine

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    Overview Unique in Suffolk County, the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at Stony Brook Children's provides inpatient and outpatient consultation services for children with all types of infectious diseases — acute and chronic, covering pathogens ranging from bacterial, viral, fungal and parasitic to Tuberculosis. We also offer a Travel Medicine Clinic in conjunction with the Department of Preventive Medicine. Our specialists, all of whom are board certified, not only provide advanced clinical services for sick children, but also teach medical students, residents and fellows about infectious diseases.

    Research is a key component of our work. Located at the epicenter of Lyme disease in North America, Stony Brook investigators are developing new diagnostic tests, vaccines and treatments for that disease as well as many others affecting children's health. We offer participation in investigations of new vaccines and new therapies for prevention and treatment of many childhood infectious diseases. As Suffolk County's only Pediatric-Maternal HIV/AIDS Center, we also have an extensive basic and clinical research program, bringing cutting edge therapies to the region.  

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    Contact Us Stony Brook Children's Services
    37 Research Way
    East Setauket, New York 11733
    (631) 444-KIDS
    (631) 444-7692
    Fax (631) 444-7292

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    Our Team The faculty of the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases consists of four full-time, board-certified physicians performing clinical care and consultations. For their research, they work closely with a clinical trials team including nurse practitioners and study nurses devoted to pediatric infectious diseases. To provide comprehensive care for our HIV-infected patients, we also tap into the many other services including all the pediatric and surgical specialties that our academic medical center has available. In addition, we have a nutritionist and social worker primarily devoted to HIV-impacted families as part of our multidisciplinary approach to this disease.

    Sharon Nachman, MD – Division Chief
    Christy Beneri, DO
    Sumita Bhaduri-McIntosh, MD, PhD

    Saul Hymes, MD
    Denise Ferraro, MS, FNP-BC, Nurse Practitioner

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    Services The Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases offers a comprehensive range of services—preventive, diagnostic and therapeutic—for children and families in Suffolk County affected by all aspects of infectious diseases.

    Inpatient services include more than 500 consultations each year on all types of infectious diseases. Consultations include patients on the pediatric acute units, the Pediatric Emergency Department, the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU).

    On an outpatient basis, the division provides more than 1,000 consults a year, not including the HIV clinic or clinical trials programs. For about 70 HIV infected children and teenagers, we provide ongoing, comprehensive, coordinated and family-centered services including HIV specialist medical care and case management, nutritional assessment, education, crisis intervention and psychosocial support.

    Our extensive clinical trials program includes studies conducted on both in and outpatients. Total number of patients vary with the current trials available. Past trials included evaluations of new vaccines, novel antibiotics and new diagnostics.

    In addition, a weekly Travel Medicine Clinic is offered in conjunction with the Department of Preventive Medicine.

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    Patient Resources The Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases provides a number of patient resources programs and support groups.

    Suffolk Project for AIDS Resource Coordination (SPARC). The SPARC project, funded by the federal Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) under Part D since 1995, leads a collaboration among multiple Suffolk County community-based organizations and agencies to address the spectrum of issues and needs faced by HIV-impacted families. The primary goal of the SPARC project is to improve coordination of and access to HIV-specific services for HIV-infected women, children and adolescents. In addition to coordinating this county-wide consortium, SPARC provides patient transportation and respite services, providing relief from caretaking responsibilities for families of HIV-infected patients. The goal of these services is to provide access to counseling and support services, benefit/entitlement programs, court appointments or to address their own medical needs.

    Ryan White Part A Programs. The Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases is also funded under the Ryan White CARE Act Parts A and B which helps those who have insufficient health care coverage or financial resources cope with HIV disease — providing both primary care and essential support services. These programs include one of only nine New York State Department of Health, AIDS Institute designated Center of Excellence in Pediatric Care in the state, providing expert HIV medical and psychosocial services. In addition to the Center of Excellence initiative, Part A funds mental health services, nutrition services, medical case management, and emergency financial aid for patients in need.

    Weekly Adolescent Support Group: Facilitated by a certified social worker, a weekly group is held for younger adolescents (ages 12 to 17). The group serves as an important and safe outlet for children living with HIV to discuss issues that are unique to them. In addition to group process, members participate in recreational activities throughout the year including an annual summer camp.

    Youth Advisory Committee (YAC): The Youth Advisory Committee consists of young people (ages 18 to 24 years) who are either HIV infected or affected. Facilitated by a certified social worker, the group meets quarterly to discuss service delivery and other issues related to living with HIV. Through the YAC, young people are encouraged to become advocates for those living with HIV/AIDS.

    Community Advisory Board (CAB): The CAB is comprised of parents and caregivers of HIV-infected children and adolescents, some of whom are also HIV-infected. This group serves as an educational venue for families as well as a forum for discussion of program and services advocacy.

    Community Education: Our faculty and staff regularly offer lectures and information on infectious diseases prevention and treatment to the community, schools, Head Start programs, and the media. Timely topics have included hand-washing, MRSA, H1N1 flu and seasonal flu, HIV and Lyme disease.

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    Research and Education A leader in research, Stony Brook's Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases oversees a growing clinical study population. National pediatric clinical trials conducted on site include studies of novel vaccines, antibiotics and antivirals for children with severe influenza.

    For children growing up with HIV, access to clinical research can make a tremendous difference in their quality of life and prognosis. As the Designated AIDS Center (DAC) for Suffolk County, Stony Brook has been heavily involved in studying new therapies and new combinations of therapies to treat HIV since 1985. Pursuing new and better ways to prevent, diagnose and treat HIV-infected children, the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases offers 15 to 20 clinical studies of new medications and therapy at any given time. These include trials sponsored by National Institutes of Health (NIH) as well as industry- funded studies. The Division has been a PACTG/IMPAACT funded site since 1992 and is currently offering participation in 11 HIV/AIDS clinical trials, including three that assess H1N1 flu vaccines in HIV-infected women and children.

    Faculty members within the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases have been published extensively in national medical journals.

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    New GuidelinesUpdated guidelines for the prevention and treatment of opportunistic infections (OIs) in children infected with HIV are now available.

    Developed by the National Institutes of Health, PIDS and HIVMA, updates to the guidelines include:

    • Greater emphasis on the importance of antiretroviral therapy (ART) for prevention and treatment of OIs, especially those OIs for which no specific therapy exists;
    • Increased information about diagnosis and management of IRIS;
    • Information about managing ART in children with OIs, including potential drug-drug interactions;
    • Updated immunization recommendations for HIV-exposed and HIV-infected children, including pneumococcal, human papillomavirus, meningococcal, and rotavirus vaccines;
    • Addition of sections on influenza, giardiasis, and isosporiasis;
    • Elimination of sections on aspergillosis, bartonellosis, and HHV-6 and HHV-7 infections; and
    • Updated recommendations on discontinuation of OI prophylaxis after immune reconstitution in children.

     Click here to view the guidelines online. 

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    Advances and Recognitions

    Advances Data from studies conducted by the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases have resulted in changes to both vaccine schedules and therapies for HIV-infected populations. For example, Stony Brook's research on conjugate pneumococcal vaccine in HIV-infected infants resulted in the inclusion of this vaccine in the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommended infant vaccination schedule. In addition, this data from the Stony Brook site was included in the World Health Organization's guidelines for prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV.

    Recognitions Pediatric Infectious Diseases Division Chief Sharon Nachman, MD, has appeared among New York's top doctors listings by Castle Connelly and is a past recipient of the "Changing the Face of Medicine: Local Legends" from New York for demonstrating commitment, originality, innovation or creativity in the field of medicine. Other awards honoring Dr. Nachman include the Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) Distinguished Graduate Alumni Award, the Excellence in Teaching Pediatric Residents Award (2001,02,03,06), the 2006 Community Heroes Award by the Pediatric AIDS Clinical Trials Group, and the 2007 Clinical Trial Exceptional Service Award by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA).

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    Definitions HIV - The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) weakens the immune system by destroying cells that fight disease and infection. The advanced stage of an HIV infection is AIDS, or Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome.

    Lyme Disease - This bacterial infection, transmitted by tick bites, can cause abnormalities in the skin, joints, heart and nervous system

    MRSA - Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteria may cause infections of the skin, lungs and other areas. Most MRSA infections are not serious but some can be life threatening.

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