October 20, 2023 / Care,CDCC Spotlight

CDCC Spotlight: Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital

Open Doors Creating Connection

At a routine multidisciplinary clinic appointment, individuals meet their neuromuscular provider, subspecialists, and ancillary staff. But what if you were able to add “meeting other kids and families” to the list of people you see? At Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital’s Certified Duchenne Care Center (CDCC) in Grand Rapids, Michigan, this is an integral part of the clinic appointment. 

Neurologist and Center Director Dr. Jena Kreuger and her team developed the “Open Door Policy” during multidisciplinary clinic days. The team strategically places patients with similar diagnoses, like Duchenne and Becker, in the same clinic area during multidisciplinary appointments. As patients and families arrive to clinic, they are asked whether or not they would like to keep their door open. By providing this choice, families are encouraged to connect with one another in the downtime between seeing specialists. For those who have been to a multidisciplinary clinic, the days are long, cumbersome and occasionally difficult. The choice to pop out of the room and meet with others who are on the same journey, provides a sense of community and connection.

An additional benefit of allowing this choice is that if a family wishes to instead focus on the medical aspect of the appointment or are not comfortable meeting with others, they can keep their door closed without distraction and continue to have quiet time between specialists.

This small, yet critical strategy by the CDCC at Helen DeVos shows the dedication the team has to not only providing excellent medical care, but emphasizing the importance of social and emotional wellness as well. PPMD is delighted to have Helen DeVos as part of our Certified Duchenne Care Network. To learn more about the clinic at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, please visit our website or email careteam@parentprojectmd.org

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