Nov. 2, 2021 — A University of Florida Health Alliance with Shriners Children’s that began in 2019 has culminated in projects to improve the lives of children with musculoskeletal issues and rare bone diseases, including a new UF Health Pediatric Orthopaedics practice space.
Beyond the renovations focusing on the layout and flow of the space, special attention was paid to improving the visual experience for young patients. Whimsical, colorful art throughout the patient areas encourages movement and imagination — both important for a healing environment. UF Health held a special ribbon cutting in October, celebrating the new clinical space with members of Shriners Children’s Florida Board of Governors.
In addition to an expanded staff, new renovations to the patient care space will streamline patient visits. Services in the pediatric orthopaedic practice are now centralized, with patient check-ins, scans and an EOS imaging system, a cast room, X-ray rooms and physical therapy all in one place — a move met with overwhelming approval from patients and their families.
Shriners Children’s committed support to UF Health two years ago, creating a professorship in pediatric orthopaedics, fellowship in pediatric orthopaedics and funding for improvements of the UF Health pediatric orthopaedic practice space, all aimed at enhancing the patient experience. That support has provided funding for research, faculty and staff development, program and facility enhancements and continuing education related to the care of pediatric orthopaedic patients at UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital and the UF Health Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine Institute.
In January, Stephanie Ihnow, M.D., a UF College of Medicine pediatric orthopaedic surgeon, was named interim division chief for pediatric orthopaedics. Ihnow joined UF Health after completing her residency at Northwestern University and her fellowship at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. She treats patients with all needs and specializes in spinal deformities. The search for an additional pediatric orthopaedic faculty position is underway, which will allow for increased patient volume and the ability to focus on more research.