Strong A.I. duPont and Jefferson Affiliation Makes a Perfect Fit To
Further Joint Pediatric Mission in the Delaware Valley
Some years ago, the executive leadership of Jefferson and Alfred
I. duPont Children's Hospital in Wilmington, Delware, shared a vision which
today we can see unfolding as a new combined mission for pediatric care
over a wide area of the Delaware Valley tri-state region.
The Jefferson and duPont leaders saw a world-renowned academic health center
whose name and reputation for quality care are well known by potential patients
and referring physicians in the Delaware Valley ­p; but which lacked
many specialty resources to treat children.
Simultaneously, the leadership saw an outstanding pediatric facility doing
extraordinary specialized work with children ­p; but lacking recognition
as a children's hospital.
Brought closer together, the two institutions would make a natural fit to
offer a range of outstanding pediatric care to greater numbers of families
in the tri-state area.
Bringing them together in this complementary fashion was proposed and set
into motion by Paul C. Brucker, MD, president of Thomas Jefferson University;
Joseph S. Gonnella, MD, senior vice president for academic affairs and dean,
Jefferson Medical College; Robert A. Doughty, MD, PhD, medical director
of A.I. duPont; W. Jeffery Wadsworth, general manager, Nemours Foundation;
Thomas J. Lewis, chief executive officer and president of Thomas Jefferson
University Hospital; and Thomas P. Ferry, administrator of A.I. duPont.
The appointment a year ago of Alan R. Spitzer, MD, the Robert L. Brent Professor
and chairman of Jefferson's pediatrics department as well as pediatrician-in-chief
at Alfred I. duPont Children's Hospital, symbolizes the desire by Jefferson
and Alfred I. duPont to work more closely together.
"We concluded that we would mutually benefit from closer ties because
duPont and Jefferson offered each other a previously 'missing piece' in
the healthcare market," Dr. Spitzer explains. "As a stand-alone
hospital, duPont would benefit from a strong university affiliation, and
Jefferson would benefit from the pediatric speciality resources in which
"Partnering our strengths to build a larger pediatric presence offers
a clear option to referring physicians and patients. We want our option
to be attractive to families living in the Philadelphia and Wilmington areas,
including the suburban counties and South Jersey, so that these families
can select one of our locations to receive their care," Dr. Spitzer
Dr. Spitzer himself splits his time between Jefferson and A.I. duPont, as
will much of the pediatrics medical staff. This means doctors will see patients
at both Jefferson or A.I. duPont.
"As we respond to changing reimbursement structures and increasing
consumer awareness by patients, we're also able to provide high quality
care from the strengths of two complementary institutions at two separate
locations covering a wide area," he explains.
"For example, we know there are patients in Philadelphia whose families
traditionally use Jefferson but not necessarily for pediatrics. With added
subspeciality strength from duPont, Jefferson can now take children with
more complex illnesses through screening at Jefferson for treatment at duPont,
in addition to providing more basic care at Jefferson."
In summarizing the common duPont-Jefferson mission, Dr. Spitzer says: "We
are attempting to build a number of programs that will enable pediatrics
to really grow at both places, and permit both institutions to thrive in
many ways not possible with stand-alone programs. "As we combine the
images of these two institutions, our goal is to build a pediatric program
equal to or better than the other pediatric programs that already exist.
And to do this in a cost-efficient way without duplicating subspecialty
care," Dr. Spitzer concludes.
Jefferson and A.I. duPont: Strengthening Our Common Mission Through New
Several staff appointments help further the combined pediatric mission of
Jefferson and the Alfred I. duPont Children's Hospital, reports Alan R.
Spitzer, MD, professor and chairman of Jefferson's pediatrics department
and pediatrician-in-chief at A.I. duPont.
"Appointed in 1995 as chief of neonatology, Jay S. Greenspan, MD, associate
professor of pediatrics, has done an outstanding job of developing new programs
in neonatology as well as new hospital affiliations," says Dr. Spitzer.
Dr. Greenspan's accomplishments are consistent with the decision made to
continue to build Jefferson's general pediatric program and its strong neonatology
program, keeping its intensive care nursery strong and thriving, Dr. Spitzer
"Stephen Baumgart, MD, professor of pediatrics and director of our
ECMO program, has been named a vice chairman in pediatrics and has been
working very hard to build the pediatric presence of Jefferson and duPont
in the region," says Dr. Spitzer.
Gary A. Emmett, MD, clinical assistant professor of pediatrics, appointed
as director of general pediatrics at Jefferson, has been instrumental in
building a thriving private practice while also strengthening the academic
mission of teaching medical students and pediatric house staff, says Dr.
"Especially through our preceptor program for residents, we are in
the process of building a primary-care network in pediatrics that we think
will have some very beneficial effects for Jefferson and for subspecialists
at duPont," says Dr. Spitzer. "In addition, we are recruiting
new physicans in several subspecialty areas at duPont, some of whom have
already begun establishing clinics and seeing patients at both Jefferson
Among the new recruits are:
Balu H. Athreya, MD, whom Dr. Spitzer describes as "a major addition
and one of the preeminent rheumatologists in the country. He came to us
from the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and is now rapidly building
his rheumatology practice at both duPont and Jefferson, seeing patients
at both places."
Dev Mehta, MD, gastroenterology, and Michael H. Goodman, MD, neurology,
both of whom came from Cooper Medical Center.
"They are now primarily at duPont, but will also ultimately be taking
care of patients on the Jefferson campus," says Dr. Spitzer.
"We also will have a number of other subspecialist pediatricians joining
us in the very near future in infectious diseases, nephrology, pulmonology
and cardiology," he adds.