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Chronic Illness Management Program

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Our Specialized Services

The Chronic Illness Management Program at Children's Specialized Hospital is designed for children, up to age 21, with chronic, life-altering conditions that affect their daily lives. Examples of such conditions include, but are not limited to diabetes, HIV/AIDS, cystic fibrosis, sickle cell, heart disease, autoimmune disorders, metabolic disorders, and organ transplants. This program is also intended for children who require strict adherence to prescribed treatment regimens, such as those recently treated with organ transplantation. Since parents and caregivers play a crucial role in supporting their child's health, we encourage parent/caregiver participation in medical education, nutritional and psychological counseling sessions to ensure the greatest success.

Our Individualized Approach

The Chronic Illness Management Program is typically a four week program that follows a multidisciplinary model and behavioral apporach to care that addresses the physical, emotional, and psychosocial needs of each patient. The goal for each child is always to improve self-management of the disease.

The behavioral approach includes:

  • Direct instruction to develop new skills/knowledge
  • Shaping of appropriate behavior
  • Reinforcement of positive behaviors
  • Experiential learning
  • Generalization of skills across activities and settings
  • Use of visual tools
  • Medication education
  • Structured nutritional counseling and instruction
  • Supportive psychological counseling

The treatment environment includes:

  • Intensive and varied daily exercise
  • Shopping/cooking experiences to promote good nutrition
  • Multiple daily therapies/activities
  • Outings to promote community reintegration
  • Family education and counseling
  • Psychological and educational testing, as indicated, to identify learning issues

Continuous glucose monitoring is available for diabetes patients in combination with focus on gaining metabolic control. Together, this represents a powerful vehicle for making effective and informed changes in each individual's diabetes care.

At the conclusion of an inpatient stay, our expectation is that each patient is significantly more independent at managing their medical condition. A principal goal of the program is to ensure a healthy transition back into the community. This means we help patients work with their outpatient medical treatment team, school, and community-based agencies to ensure success once they return home.

The Chronic Illness Management Program is for children with chronic medical conditions, such as:

  • Diabetes
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Heart disease
  • Metabolic disorders
  • Chronic respiratory disease
  • Post-organ transplant
  • Other chronic medical illnesses consider on an individual basis

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Dr. Colin O'Reilly, Medical Director, Pediatric Palliative Care

Children's Specialized Hospital
200 Somerset Street
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
(732) 258-7000
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