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Healthcare Professionals / Progress Notes / LG Health News / New pediatric cardiology practice’s goal: Keep care local

New pediatric cardiology practice’s goal: Keep care local
2/15/2012 – Lancaster General Health Pediatric Specialists welcomes Devyani Chowdhury, MD, a board certified pediatric cardiologist, who provides pediatric cardiology services not previously available in Lancaster County. While the practice, which opened in November 2011, is currently limited to pediatric cardiology, future growth may include pediatric specialists in gastroenterology, neurology and other areas.

"The goal is to offer expanded treatment and diagnostic options so our pediatric patients don't have to travel out of the community," said Dr. Chowdhury.

Located in the office building connected to Women and Babies Hospital, Lancaster General Health Pediatric Specialists offers outpatient cardiology tests like EKG, Echocardiogram and Holter monitors.  In addition, 30 day ECAT (External Cardiac Ambulatory Telemetry) monitoring, cardiac MRI, and cardiopulmonary stress tests are now being performed in children for the first time in Lancaster County. Other services are preventive cardiology, including management of lipid disorders and hypertension. The hypertension is managed using 24 hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring, adhering to the latest American Heart Association standards.

Introducing Devyani Chowdhury, MD

Devyani Chowdhury, MD, a board certified pediatric cardiologist, previously worked at Penn State Hershey Medical Center, where she served as an Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Director of Outpatient Practice and as Director of the Pediatric Cardiology Fellowship Program. She received her medical degree from Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi, India and completed her residency in Pediatrics and a Pediatric Cardiology fellowship at North Shore University Hospital-Cornell University Medical College in Manhasset, New York. She is actively involved in clinical research protocols on an ongoing basis, studying ventricle disease, chest pain in pediatric patients, aortic valve disease and other conditions. Physicians wishing to discuss a patient case can contact Dr. Chowdhury at 717-544-0375 (office) or 717-723-7391 (cell)

The practice also offers an innovative home monitoring program for infants with complex heart conditions which includes a pulse oximeter and infant scales that are provided to the parents. By having parents monitor at home, the child can avoid re-hospitalizations and frequent visits to PCPs and to the practice.

"The patient only needs to leave the area for cardiac surgery, cardiac catheterization or intensive care; we are able to do everything else here," Dr.  Chowdhury noted.

Dr.  Chowdhury consults at LGH's pediatric units and the ED, in the newborn nursery and NICU at WBH as well as at Maternal-Fetal Medicine Specialists for antenatal diagnoses.

"We now can deliver babies here who have congenital heart disease who may have had to leave the area for care. We work with Maternal-Fetal Medicine Specialists and follow fetuses with several complex heart problems like AV canal, Tetralogy of Fallot, Hypoplastic Heart Syndrome and Transposition of the Great Vessels. There are very few lesions that require urgent cardiac surgery at birth, so many can be delivered at WBH and later referred to appropriate tertiary care centers for surgical care.  This avoids separation of the baby and the mother at birth and allows the mother to delivery in the community," Dr. Chowdhury explained.

On the outpatient side, Dr. Chowdhury works at the Clinic for Special Children in Strasburg with Drs. D. Holmes Morton and Kevin A. Strauss.

Dr. Chowdhury is also working with Dr. Roy S. Small and Dr. Ron M. Jacob and other members of The Heart Group. They have developed an adult congenital heart clinic for treatment of individuals born with congenital heart disease who have reached adulthood. "There are currently more adults with congenital heart disease than pediatric patients. These patients now don't have to travel and can receive care in the community," she said.

On a separate note, Dr. Chowdhury is working to implement a quality improvement project, Standardized Clinical Assessment and Management Plans (SCAMPs), developed by the Children's Hospital of Boston. SCAMPs uses targeted data collection to reduce practice variation, improve care and reduce unnecessary utilization over time. The program should "allow us to institute cost saving and provide a higher level of quality care," Dr. Chowdhury predicted.


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