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  • Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital Performs First Pediatric Epilepsy Surgery

    A new surgical epilepsy program at Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital successfully performed its first pediatric surgery aimed at stopping seizures in children with epilepsy. The newly established pediatric epilepsy surgical program at the hospital’s Neuroscience Center is the first of its kind in Broward and Palm Beach counties.

    The medical team performed the four-hour surgery on a 10-year-old Broward child who was suffering from epileptic seizures for the last three years. The child had been on multiple daily medications and still continued to have seizures, doctors explained. 

    During the June 17 procedure, surgeons began by placing electrodes directly on the child's brain. Neurologists and clinical technicians were inside the surgical suite and were able to monitor brain activities in real time. 

    “They were able to confirm that a lesion found in the child's left frontal lobe was causing the seizures,” said Dr. Daxa Patel, the pediatric neurosurgeon who led the surgery.

    The surgeons safely removed the lesion without injuring the child's brain, speech or motor functions. 

    The epilepsy team’s medical director, Dr. Syndi Seinfeld, now leads multiple specialists and clinicians in providing expert and individualized care for children whose lives are hampered by uncontrolled seizures. 

    "This is significant to the South Florida community, because there is now an experienced pediatric epilepsy team that provides an effective and safe option for children with intractable epilepsy," said Dr. Seinfeld, a board-certified epileptologist.

    In addition to Seinfeld and Patel, the team consists of two additional board certified pediatric epileptologists, two pediatric neurosurgeons, a neuropsychologist, a neuroradiologist, a neuropathologist and an electroencephalographic (EEG) technician. They will use advanced imaging tools and a robot that can assist during surgeries.

    Putting together the medical experts and acquiring the latest in surgical and imaging technology was crucial in establishing the pediatric epilepsy surgical program.

    "The program has three main components - physicians, staff and equipment," Patel said. "Now that we have all of these, we can offer a full spectrum of pediatric epilepsy care and provide children with a better quality of life.”

    Epilepsy occurs when the electrical signals in the brain misfire, causing temporary miscommunication between nerve cells. An individual who experiences recurrent seizures is thought to have epilepsy.

    Epilepsy can occur at any age, but most new diagnoses are in children.

    According to the Centers for Disease Control, it’s estimated that approximately 470,000 children in the United States have the neurological condition.

    The Neuroscience Center diagnoses and treats various types of epilepsy, including: fever (febrile) convulsions (seizures in children with fever), generalized tonic clonic seizures, infantile spasm, myoclonic epilepsy, neonatal epilepsy, partial (focal) seizure and petit mal (absence) seizures.

  • US News Best Children's Hospitals Badges

    Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital Ranked Among the Top 50 by U.S. News & World Report

    Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital has ranked among the top 50 children’s hospitals in the nation for Orthopedics and Cardiology and Heart Surgery, in the new 2020-21 Best Children’s Hospitals ranking by U.S. News & World Report, the global authority in hospital rankings and consumer advice. The hospital is once again the highest ranked children’s hospital for Pediatric Orthopedics in Florida, and among the 25 best in the U.S., and ranked among the top 50 in the nation for its Cardiology and Heart Surgery program, based on patient outcomes, clinical resources and utilization of best practices.

    “It is an honor for Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital to be recognized among the top nationally-rated children’s hospitals once again,” said Caitlin Stella, MPH, Chief Executive Officer, Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, Memorial Healthcare System. “The prestigious rankings of Orthopedics and Cardiology and Heart Surgery, reflect the expertise and commitment of our entire care team who works diligently to deliver the region’s highest quality and most innovative pediatric healthcare. It is with great love and compassion for the community we serve that we accept this recognition. We will continue to advocate for children’s health and provide the highest quality care for children right here close to home.”

    This recognition reflects the innovative and multidisciplinary medical expertise available at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital. The Department of Orthopedic Surgery is the largest group of fellowship trained pediatric orthopedic surgeons in South Florida, and one of the busiest in the country, providing world class care for a variety of musculoskeletal conditions and sports-related injures affecting children, adolescents and young adults. The Pediatric Heart Institute at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital is one of only three programs in the state offering comprehensive heart care, including congenital heart disease and heart transplantation, and most recently spearheaded a multi-disciplinary team to treat children experiencing MIS-C, an inflammatory illness associated with COVID-19.

    “Even in the midst of a pandemic, children have healthcare needs ranging from routine vaccinations to life-saving surgery and chemotherapy,” said Ben Harder, Managing Editor and Chief of Health Analysis at U.S. News. “The Best Children's Hospitals rankings are designed to help parents find quality medical care for a sick child and inform families’ conversations with pediatricians.”

    U.S. News introduced the ‘Best Children’s Hospitals’ rankings in 2007 to help families of children with rare or life-threatening illnesses find the best medical care available. The ratings, according to the publication, are a comprehensive source of quality-related information on U.S. pediatric hospitals and rely on clinical data and on an annual survey of pediatric specialists. The 2019-20 rankings started with 4,653 hospitals, which represent virtually all U.S. community inpatient facilities. The rankings methodology considers clinical outcomes, such as mortality and infection rates, efficiency and coordination of care delivery and compliance with best practices.

    About Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital

    Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital is one of South Florida’s leading pediatric hospitals, offering a comprehensive scope of healthcare services and programs in a caring, compassionate setting designed specifically for children. Part of the Memorial Healthcare System, the level one pediatric trauma center combines advanced technology, the expertise of some of the region’s most diverse, board-certified specialists, and a patient and family-centered focus to heal the body, mind, and spirit of those it touches. To learn more, visit jdch.com and connect with @jdchospital on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and  Instagram.

    About U.S. News & World Report

    U.S. News & World Report is a digital news and information company that empowers people to make better, more informed decisions about important issues affecting their lives. Focusing on Education, Health, Money, Travel, Cars and News, USNews.com provides consumer advice, rankings and analysis to serve people making complex decisions throughout all stages of life. More than 40 million people visit USNews.com each month for research and guidance. Founded in 1933, U.S. News is headquartered in Washington, D.C.

  • Frank DiMino Campus

    “Frank DiMino Campus” Unveiled at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Health Specialty Center

    Joe DiMaggio Children’s Health Specialty Center, a medical home close to home for Palm Beach county children with specialized and/or acute medical needs, is now located on the “Frank DiMino Campus” in Wellington. The designation was added to signage on the building, near the entrance, and in its lobby to recognize Mr. DiMino, a 93-year-old philanthropist.

    The Wellington resident made a significant contribution to the nonprofit Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital Foundation, which chose the campus naming as a way to honor the donor. The gift was one of the largest in the foundation’s history.

    “This will help us improve access to and delivery of high-quality pediatric care for children and families in South Florida,” said Aurelio Fernandez, III, the CEO of Memorial Healthcare System, the specialty center’s parent organization. “So, this generous donation goes a long way toward keeping our kids safe.”

    Mr. DiMino recently visited the specialty center and was met by staff carrying signs expressing appreciation. He connected with Fernandez and other Memorial leaders that included Nina Beauchesne, Caitlin Stella, and Kevin Janser. “I’m honored to support such an outstanding organization that does so much for the health and well-being of children and families in South Florida,” said Mr. DiMino.

    The donation was made to the foundation’s “Catch the Love” capital campaign, which will help underwrite the cost to expand Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital in Hollywood. The initiative will double the size of the stand-alone facility, to 320,000 sq. ft. within an eight-story building. “It’s a $150 million construction project, with $50 million, or a third of it, being raised through philanthropy. This donation will help underwrite the additional four stories that will be added to the existing structure,” said Fernandez.

    The expansion will provide ‘Joe D.’ the additional space it needs for specialized cardiac, intensive care, and medical surgical capabilities. It will also increase access to leading-edge pediatric care and treatments, including those for cancer, orthopedic, neurology, and neonatal patients. Additional services will also be extended into the community and support provided to families during their most challenging times.

    The donation is Mr. DiMino’s second significant contribution to the children’s hospital foundation. A previous gift, through his own family foundation in 2018, resulted in the DiMino name being added to the emergency department at the children’s hospital.

    “We’re just so happy to now have something he can drive by, in his community, with his name on it,” said Stella, CEO of Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, referring to Mr. DiMino. “It’s a great legacy for him and a great gift for us, so we’re very thankful.”