Stories about: Frances (Kitty) O’Hare

Young adult transitions: In search of the Triple Aim

door open transition pediatric to adult care
(Oleksandr Rozdobudko/Shutterstock)

On a recent clinic day my first patient was Maria, a 25-year-old woman who was born with a serious heart condition. She had surgery as a baby and has been doing quite well as far as her heart is concerned. However, her cardiologist recently realized that Maria has not had a primary care doctor in years. Today I want Maria to have her first Pap smear and her first cholesterol check. But Maria also wants to talk about whether it is safe for her to get pregnant. She also wants help finding a new cardiologist, because her pediatric cardiologist said that she is getting too old for the children’s hospital. …Read More

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Expert’s Corner: The Pediatric to Adult Heart Care Transition

Pediatric to adult transition Heart Center

Anne Marie Valente, MD, the outpatient director of the Boston Adult Congenital Heart Service (BACH), says there is no set age at which every person should transition from a pediatric cardiologist to an adult congenital specialist. “It’s a process that begins with teenagers increasingly taking ownership of their own care,” she says. “Lots of times, patients seek out an adult specialist because of a life event; for women, it’s often pregnancy. We want the transition to be a process and a partnership between the patient, family and cardiology teams.”

Valente says that pediatricians can assist with a heart patient’s transition to adult care by making the initial contact to the pediatric cardiologist proposing the idea. …Read More

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