Weinberg Center and Columbia Primary Care Partner to Enhance Continuity of Care for CP Patients
The traditional care model for cerebral palsy involves a coordinated team of specialists including rehabilitation medicine, orthopedics, neurology and therapy. However, people with cerebral palsy also have specific needs from primary care. The Weinberg Family Cerebral Palsy Center (WFCPC) has teamed up with Columbia Primary Care to enhance preventative and continuity of care for people with cerebral palsy. The referral and care model reinforces the CP Center’s holistic approach to lifespan care.
"My patients tell me all the time that they want a doctor who understands their CP," said Jason B. Carmel, MD, PhD, Executive Director of the WFCPC. “Having a primary care doctor who understands cerebral palsy can help to know whether new symptoms are related to that condition or are a sign of something else.”
Primary care for people with cerebral palsy requires a person-centered approach often beyond medical needs. Columbia Primary Care offers a consistent care team of pediatricians, family physicians and internal medicine physicians who can provide the needed preventive, acute care, chronic care, and care coordination services for people with CP, especially as they transition from child to adult specialty services. The partnership with Columbia Primary Care sites at Tarrytown, Manhattan Valley, Manhattan Midtown will aid in the prompt access of care closer to their homes, and connection to local resources.
“I think everyone in the U.S. needs a primary care provider and that goes double for anyone living with a chronic condition like cerebral palsy,” said David W. Buchholz, MD, Senior Founding Medical Director of Columbia Primary Care. “Our close and growing partnership with the Weinberg Family Cerebral Palsy Center ensures our primary care doctors are well versed on the nuances of providing excellent care to patients with CP and it allows for seamless bidirectional referrals between our programs so that patients get the best care, in the best location, and at the right time.”
"The goal of this collaboration is to have the primary care doctors and specialists function as a team for people with CP,” adds Dr. Carmel. “To meet that goal, the team meets for interdisciplinary rounds each month. We also sponsor primary care doctors to attend our educational events and the CP national meeting (AACPDM) so that we can all learn how best to care for patients and how to function as a team. A key to teamwork is care coordination, led by Jennifer Pimentel.”
With a formal path from primary care to specialty care at the CP Center, patients with CP can receive collaborative and shared care from a multidisciplinary team of primary care providers and specialist providers. Working together with our patients over time and addressing needs early should help optimize the health and well-being of CP patients and their families.