Manager, Public and Media Relations
"We already know that people living in rural communities are underserved in their surgical care, and it’s especially acute in the area of pediatric orthopedic care," notes Dutkowsky. Nationally, only 12-to-14 pediatric orthopedists are being trained each year. "We just don’t exist," says Dutkowsky, who sees 90 patients a week. They come to him from as far south as
Dr. John May, director of the Bassett Research Institute, says, "We are delighted with the St. Giles Foundation's recognition of the importance of Dr. Dutkowsky's proposed research. This project will benefit patients and families in our region by enabling Bassett to further improve the pediatric orthopedic services that can be offered."
Over a decade ago, when he first came to Bassett, Dutkowsky surveyed the parents of the children he was seeing and asked them what they needed. They said they needed specialty care in their communities and education to help them understand how to best help their children. In response, Dutkowsky took his care outside the walls of The Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital in
Over the next year, Dutkowsky and a team from the Bassett Research Institute will collect data on all children under the age of 18 seen by any of Bassett’s orthopedic providers. They will record the patient’s age, how far the patient traveled, and the diagnosis and treatment. They’ll also be searching for reoccurring problems in the timely, effective, and satisfying care of children with orthopedic problems. Changes to the treatment model will be implemented based on the analysis of the recorded data. A second study will be conducted in the following year to measure patient satisfaction and the effectiveness and efficiency of orthopedic care. The results of the research project will be presented at academic meetings and made available to government agencies responsible for public policy concerning the medical care of rural children living with orthopedic disabilities.
"We want to take the system of pediatric orthopedic care we have developed at Bassett and fine-tune it over the next three years in order to improve the orthopedic care of children and adolescents in rural areas. With the declining number of fellowship trained pediatric orthopedic surgeons, it is imperative that efforts be made to maximize the availability of services and quality of care to all children with orthopedic problems irregardless of social status, financial capability and geography," concludes Dutkowsky.
In addition to the research, the St. Giles Foundation grant will fund an educational conference each year for the next three years that will be offered to parents of disabled children in the region. For more information on pediatric orthopedic care at Bassett, call 607-547-4978.