We are facing a tidal wave of young people with significant developmental disabilities turning 21 - years of age and both leaving their school districts and their pediatrician based medical homes. This group includes the first youngsters diagnosed in the "Autism Tsunami". While services exist now for children on the Spectrum, those services evaporate when a young person turns 21. They are forced to enter an adult medical services world. That world is totally unprepared.
Families coping with significant behavioral issues are forced to turn to doctors with no experience in dealing with them, while at the same time trying to find accurate diagnosis and treatment for significant medical concerns.
Parents are forced to bring sometimes out of control older adolescents and adults to diagnostic testing centers not equipped to deal with them. The result is clear - a fast growing segment of our population is not receiving appropriate medical care.
We feel the opening of the Cooper Medical School; together with the existing State of the Art medical care currently in place at Cooper provides the perfect opportunity to meet this need.
We are asking for the creation of a center staffed with physicians trained to deal with this population, who can refer out to specialists based at the same center. The location of lab and x-ray facilities on site would ease the burden on families enormously.
The Center should also offer mental health services and medication management.
The location of a dental center on site providing sedation dentistry would allow for a vital coordination of care. Testing and examinations that can only be done under sedation could be done at the same time dental work is completed. The coordination would call for only one sedation and greatly decrease the risk of complications for patients.
The Center would offer invaluable hands on teaching experience for medical students, working under the direct supervision of Hospital and Medical School staff.
Families are desperate and we are turning to the leading South Jersey provider of health care for help.