The Aerodigestive Special Care Center designation is awarded to programs by the California Children’s Services program.
For release: October 7, 2022
PALO ALTO, Calif. — The Aerodigestive and Airway Reconstruction Center at Stanford Medicine Children’s Health has been named the first California Children’s Services (CCS) Aerodigestive Special Care Center (SCC) in the state.
This designation requires programs to meet specific standards, including offering a highly specialized multidisciplinary care team and clinical support, that are needed to take care of children with complex aerodigestive needs. These children have conditions that make it difficult for them to breathe, speak, and swallow.
“As one of the busiest programs in the United States, we offer the most cutting-edge diagnostic and therapeutic options available anywhere in the world,” says Douglas Sidell, MD, FACS, pediatric otolaryngologist and director of the Aerodigestive and Airway Reconstruction Center at Stanford Medicine Children’s Health. “Each of our providers has specialized training in aerodigestive disorders, advanced interventional endoscopy procedures, and voice and swallowing problems in children. We’re extremely proud that our work is being recognized.”
The Aerodigestive Center treats patients with conditions of the upper airway (larynx and trachea) and upper gastrointestinal tract, as well as pulmonary disorders (involving the lungs/lower airways). Many times, these conditions involve each of these overlapping organ systems, which require several specialists. Generally, that means multiple clinic visits, diagnostic studies, and procedures. It can be difficult for families and providers, so Stanford Medicine Children’s Health brings all specialists together under one roof.
“We work to understand the patient and their condition even before they are seen in our clinic to coordinate and streamline care,” Dr. Sidell says. “After gathering information about the child and their medical history, all specialists on the team review and create an itinerary for the family. They then schedule an appointment to see each of the specialists together in our one dedicated clinic. If an operative evaluation or intervention is needed, this is scheduled with all providers for a single visit.”
The team consists of specialists from otolaryngology–head and neck surgery (ENT), pulmonary medicine, gastroenterology, pediatric cardiology, pediatric surgery, and speech and language pathology to provide the highest quality of care.
“Our dedication is to our patients—they’re in this with us, and we’re in this with them,” says Dr. Sidell. “Each child is an individual, and we treat them with this at the front of our minds. We love what we do, and I think that translates directly into the care that we provide every day.”
Stanford Medicine Children’s Health, with Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford at its center, is the Bay Area’s largest health care system exclusively dedicated to children and expectant mothers. Our network of care includes more than 65 locations across Northern California and more than 85 locations in the U.S. Western region. Along with Stanford Health Care and the Stanford School of Medicine, we are part of Stanford Medicine, an ecosystem harnessing the potential of biomedicine through collaborative research, education, and clinical care to improve health outcomes around the world. We are a nonprofit organization committed to supporting the community through meaningful outreach programs and services and providing necessary medical care to families, regardless of their ability to pay. Discover more at stanfordchildrens.org.