Transition from pediatric to adult care

Message from Dr. Harvey Guyda, Associate Executive Director, MCH

The MUHC advantage
The MUHC has established a Transition Department to oversee and facilitate the numerous changes required for the redevelopment of the MUHC. At The Montreal Children’s Hospital (MCH), transition also refers to the carefully planned movement of teenagers and young adults with chronic medical conditions from the MCH to a MUHC (or other) adult hospital. This particular form of transition needs to be carefully managed in a coordinated and integrated manner to ensure optimal patient outcomes. For this reason, I am very pleased to announce that we have engaged Dale MacDonald as Activities Coordinator for Transition from Pediatric to Adult Care. Ms. Macdonald will report to Dr. Ste. Marie, MCH Associate Director of Professional Services. She will begin her mandate in May.

Ms. Macdonald is an MUHC Social Worker and has been the Social Services representative on the new Office of Post-Hospital Care and Community Support. She is the former Chair of the MUHC Long Term Care Network Advisory Group (2002-2005).

Ms. Macdonald will work with various interdisciplinary teams involved in pediatrics and adult care of the MUHC and its community partners. Her role will be to create effective and efficient integration processes for our pediatric patients with chronic and complex health issues who require ongoing adult care.
As you know, the MUHC’s ability to treat patients from conception through to their golden years is what sets us apart from other health care institutions in Quebec and Canada.  It is therefore incumbent on us to be leaders in the field of transition not only to give credence to the MUHC model, but also to provide our patients with quality care that is both age appropriate and delivered in an appropriate environment.

Thanks to improved survival rates for previously fatal childhood conditions, we are feeling more pressure than ever to make sure young adults easily move from pediatric to adult care. There will be a learning curve for all of us. At the pediatric level, we will have to learn to let go and let our young charges attain independence and take charge of their medical condition(s).

We will have to work hand in hand with our adult partners to ensure that adult services meet their needs. This may require both a change in attitude and a realignment of adult resources.
Our patients deserve transition to the best adult care possible. The literature shows that the impact of “failed transition” for young people ranges from a lack of continuity of care and reliance on crisis services, to “falling through the cracks”, with significant adverse health consequences. 

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