Healthy children are a challenge to raise in our complex, and often confusing, world. But imagine the difficulties of caring for a child who is born physically or mentally disabled, is stricken with cancer, has a chronic illness such as cystic fibrosis, or suddenly needs brain surgery. Picture the sense of helplessness many parents feel until they identify specialists who can provide the child with optimal care. These relationships — between parents and the professionals who provide specialty services to children — often span decades, forming a safe bridge for that child to cross into adulthood.
On September 30, the University dedicated the new, state-of-the-art Child Health Institute of New Jersey, located in New Brunswick. The Institute — which will be the
cornerstone of pediatric research for UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School — allows investigators to combine their scientific and clinical initiatives to identify treatments for conditions such as autism, mental retardation, juvenile diabetes, pediatric cancers and asthma, among others. An ambulatory care center for pediatric sub-specialties is also housed in the building, which is linked to the new Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital and the soon-to-be-constructed PSE&G Children’s Specialized Hospital.
What better time for UMDNJ Magazine to focus on special topics in children’s health. I am exhilarated both by a vision of the future that is more positive for our children and a knowledge that right now they are in very capable hands. In this issue, you’ll read about UMDNJ experts in childhood cancer, epilepsy, orthopedics, Tourette’s syndrome, neurosurgery, sex abuse, and other areas. These dedicated individuals have had an amazing impact on the well-being of children and their families. Read about the work and lives of some of these specialists, and I know you will be as inspired as I am.
John Petillo, PhD