The Sie Center – 1,000 Patients in 3 Years

Anna and John J. Sie Center for Down Syndrome

Children from across the United States are benefiting from the efforts of the multi-disciplinary team at the Anna and John J. Sie Center for Down Syndrome at Children’s Hospital Colorado.

The Global Down Syndrome Foundation is a founding donor of the Sie Center and continues to provide financial and advocacy support.

Since opening in 2010, the Sie Center has grown to be one of the largest centers in the United States that specializes in treating children with Down syndrome.

“We see patients from 24 states, especially Colorado and its neighbors,” said Fran Hickey, M.D., Medical Director of the Sie Center and Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Children’s Hospital Colorado. “Our center is really unique because of the collaboration in the hospital and the emphasis on excellent medical care and clinical research.”

Anna and John J. Sie Center for Down Syndrome

A Multi-disciplinary Team and Subspecialty Care

The Sie Center has a multi-disciplinary team of 13 professionals working full-time treating patients with Down syndrome. Medical care, speech therapy, physical therapy, behavioral support, nutrition, assistive technology, social work and access to resources are integrated for each child.

The Sie Center also benefits from being housed in a top ten children’s hospital. Located at the Children’s Hospital Colorado, the Sie Center’s patients have access to over 20 subspecialists at the hospital, who focus on areas such as cardiology, sleep disorders, audiology, otolaryngology, and endocrinology. This is important since children with Down syndrome often are at increased risk for congenital heart conditions, leukemia, autoimmune disorders and sleep apnea.

“We have built a team of professionals dedicated to and passionate about children with Down syndrome,” said Patricia Winders, P.T., Senior Physical Therapist and Director of Therapies at the Sie Center. “This team embodies the difference between going to a typical physician appointment and being referred to specialists in different locations, compared to visiting one place where a group of medical professionals look at your whole child and collaborate about your child’s care. Our families tell us we make them feel at home, listened to, and well cared for.”

Anna and John J. Sie Center for Down Syndrome

Establishing a Baseline for Life-long Health

The medical professionals at the Sie Center have well over 100 years combined experience specializing in care for children with Down syndrome. Winders, who has just completed her 2nd edition of Gross Motor Skills for Children with Down Syndrome, has over 30 years of experience in treating children with this diagnosis. Her focus is on creating a healthy foundation for posture and movement, and a positive encouraging environment to meet milestones.

“We help children develop the strength, posture and motor skills they will need to be active as adolescents and beyond, so that as they mature, they can choose to do what they love,” she said.

Dr. Hickey and others at the Sie Center are designing and engaged in clinical research studies that will address a variety of issues including sleep apnea, swallow and feeding issues, pain management, and autoimmune disorders. Currently, Down syndrome research receives the least amount of federal funding of any genetic condition.

“Our research is going to benefit children with Down syndrome and typical children alike, since medical problems such as sleep apnea may affect any pediatric patient,” Dr. Hickey added. “We want to help children and families function as well as possible in every realm — health, education, and social well-being.” With excellent feedback from many of its 1,000 families it is clear the Sie Center and is delivering on its important mission to provide life-changing health care to children with Down syndrome.

To learn more about the multidisciplinary team at the Sie Center or to schedule an appointment, call 720-777-6750 or visit siecenter.org.

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