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Pediatric Residency Program - Palliative Care

At Atlantic Health System, we have developed a pediatric palliative care  consultation service. Our faculty supervisors have worked to identify and support children with complex medical needs.

Faculty Supervisor: Sheryl Vassallo, MD

Pediatric palliative care affirms life by supporting the child’s and family’s goals for the future and hopes for cure or life prolongation. This type of care neither hastens nor postpones death; instead, it aims to guide and assist the child and family in making decisions that enable them to work towards their goals during whatever time they have.

With the generous support of the Liam’s Room Foundation, they have advanced their expertise in this field though the Harvard Medical School Program in Palliative Care Education and Practice. Our services in pediatric palliative care span Goryeb Children’s Hospital at Morristown Medical Center as well as Goryeb Children’s Center at Overlook Medical Center, Liam’s Room, our state-of-the-art comprehensive care rooms are designed to provide an increased level of support and comfort to children with complex medical and life-limiting conditions and their families. Residents rotating through the pediatric units will have exposure to pediatric palliative care on an ongoing basis, while managing patients in Liam’s Room as well as throughout the hospital. They will receive didactic lectures about palliative care throughout the year.

Breaking Bad News

Faculty Supervisors:  Mary Ann LoFrumento, MD

This special project was created to enhance residents' skill in communicating bad news to parents in challenging situations. Using improvisational actors in lieu of patients, the residents are videotaped in a simulated case scenario and evaluated by a team of physicians who work in palliative care, oncology, intensive care and neonatology. The resident receives immediate feedback from the faculty as they review the videotape. A series of didactic lectures devoted to communication skills in challenging situations further enhances the learning experience.

Adolescent Medicine

Faculty Supervisor: Jill Clark-Hamilton, MD

During the first-year adolescent medicine rotation, residents will have the opportunity to observe several services within Goryeb Children's Hospital and the community that cater to the various needs of the adolescent population. Residents will observe the Eating Disorders Program at Goryeb Children's Hospital, which offers care in both inpatient and outpatient settings through education and treatment for anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and related disorders. The Eating Disorders Program is the only multidisciplinary program in New Jersey exclusively for children and adolescents and provides a unique learning experience for residents. During their rotation, residents will also be called upon to research and answer many intriguing questions from Goryeb Children's Hospital’s pioneering and award-winning  website, TeenHealthFX.com. This highly regarded website has helped more than two million teens with their health issues and questions.