Chronic Disease

The Pediatric Section of Chronic Disease offers comprehensive services for children with chronic illnesses and long-term disabilities, including cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, asthma, chronic pulmonary diseases, sickle cell disease, failure to thrive and diabetes. The section also includes comprehensive child abuse/child trauma and children’s advocacy center programs.

The section’s goal is to manage the physical and emotional problems associated with complex chronic disease in children and adolescents so that they may reach their full potential.

Clinical Programs:

Using multidisciplinary care teams, clinical services are provided to children and adolescents with a number of chronic conditions, including the following: 

  • Cerebral palsy
  • Down syndrome
  • Chronic pulmonary diseases
  • Ventilator management
  • Failure to thrive
  • NICU Follow Up Clinic and Premier Kid Program
  • Psychological services for trauma and maltreatment cases
  • Obesity/weight management
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Sickle Cell Disease
  • Nephrologic complications of diabetes mellitus and sickle cell disease
  • Enuresis, encopresis and incontinence

Most of these clinical services are located at La Rabida Children’s Hospital. In addition to providing psychological services to children coping with chronic conditions, the Behavioral Sciences Department also provides care and support to young victims of physical abuse, sexual abuse and neglect and also serves children and adolescents in the Burn Center at the University of Chicago Medicine. The Children’s Advocacy Center in Park Forest performs forensic interviewing for sexually abused children and provides diagnoses and therapies for them. The La Rabida Chicago Child Trauma Center on Stony Island Avenue provides diagnostic and therapeutic services for children exposed to both physical and psychological trauma. This Center is a member of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network.

The Chicago Children’s Diabetes Center has programs at La Rabida Children’s Hospital. This unique Center offers thorough diagnosis and evaluation, medical management, nutritional support programs, personalized counseling and family education.            

The Sickle Cell Disease program addresses the special needs of families affected by all types of sickle cell disease, including sickle cell anemia, sickle C disease, and sickle-beta thalassemia conditions. Services such as genetic counseling, disease management, and pain management are provided.        

Clinical services are provided for ventilator-dependent children, both while they are in the hospital and when they are transitioning to their home environment.  The NICU Follow Up Clinic and Premier Kid Program is in conjunction with the University of Chicago program and provides multidisciplinary primary and specialty care, education and assistance to families with twins, triplets and babies with premature birth.