Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital recognized for diabetes, endocrine work – New Haven Register
NEW HAVEN >> The hospital where the insulin pump was created ranks fourth nationally this year by U.S. News and World Report for its pediatric diabetes and endocrine services.
Doctors at Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital say the ranking was earned because of the hospital’s high quality in both treating patients and in research.
“We are thrilled that the excellent work of our Children’s Hospital and our Yale [School of] Medicine faculty and the great care they deliver is recognized nationally, as well as the cutting-edge research they do in obesity [and] diabetes,” said Dr. Clifford Bogue, chief medical officer at the Children’s Hospital.
“The insulin pump was first used here at Yale, so the Yale School of Medicine has always been at the forefront for treating children with diabetes,” he said.
Most recently, a Branford teen with type 1 diabetes was the first pediatric patient in the world to wear a new insulin pump that both measures her blood sugar level and delivers insulin accordingly to better manage her disease.
“The idea is to get tight control of glucose,” Bogue said.
Dr. Stuart Weinzimer, professor of pediatrics at the Yale School of Medicine, said he is the lead investigator “in several different studies that have been going on,” including the automated hybrid closed-loop pump.
“It was a multi-center study but I was the lead investigator here at Yale. We were one of the nine sites in the United States that did that study,” he said.
Weinzimer said that work factored into the hospital’s ranking.
“One of the areas that I think that the Yale diabetes and endocrine program is internationally known for is our research in type 1 and type 2 diabetes,” he said. “We’re one of a handful of places in the entire world that do this kind of work.”
He credited the work of Dr. Sonia Caprio, who specializes in childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes in children, as “really where a lot of our reputation and recognition comes from.”
Children present special challenges, Weinzimer said, because of their different behavior patterns, diet and development. “In six months they’re totally different because they’re growing and you have a whole new kid,” he said.
“A lot of medications that are used to treat type 2 diabetes in adulthood [are] not approved for use in children,” he said. “Part of the research that is done here is to test the safety and effectiveness of these medications in the pediatric population.”
Weinzimer said the diabetes and endocrine program also treats those who are transitioning between genders.
“We have … a very comprehensive clinic that incorporates both the medical aspects and the psychological aspects of this condition,” he said. The endocrine system, which produces and regulates hormones, plays a role in gender identification.
Dr. William Tamborlane, chief of pediatric endocrinology and diabetes at the medical school, said he’s seen the program grow over the 40 years he’s been involved.
“I started as a post-doctoral trainee at Yale in 1975,” he said. “At the time I think there were about three of us in the entire division. … Now we have a group of wonderful individuals numbering 45.
“We have some big hitters at the top but we have some wonderful young people working with us as well,” Tamborlane said. “That’s one of the hallmarks of our clinical and research staff.”
Tamborlane said “the strength of our program is we deal with patient-related issues. The focus of our research has been better care … for children with diabetes and endocrine disorders.”
He said Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital ranks highly despite its not being as large as others, which “rank one or two in almost all the specialties.”
“We have a wonderful hospital but it’s not as big as the big city hospitals, Boston and Philadelphia.”
U.S. News ranked Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital nationally in eight pediatric specialties overall.
Bogue credited “the volume of patients that are seen for various disorders, the quality and safety of the hospital” for the high ranking. He said the hospital has scored in the top 10 “for many years in a row. … It’s a strong, consistent, high-quality program.”
Call Ed Stannard at 203-680-9382.