When the newly renovated Mariner’s Harbor Houses Child Health Clinic opens later this month, Staten Island families can be assured that their children and adolescents will get more than just basic health care.
“Our pediatricians develop relationships with the families, so they can be more open about issues like substance abuse or economic problems. We’re not just using a medical model here. We want to treat the whole person and their families,” said Dr. Warren Seigel, Chairman of the Department of Pediatrics and Director of Adolescent Medicine. Seigel, who oversees the clinic, feels that addressing psychosocial issues is an important part of caring for children’s health.
The center has moved from 142 Brabant Street to 2040 Forest Avenue to increase capacity with expanded clinic space and better parking for families. It’s also accessible by public transportation. At the clinic, which serves children from birth to 21, families can see their own pediatrician and can get same day appointments.
Services include vaccinations, lead screenings and tests to chart motor, language and social skills. The clinic is also addressing childhood obesity, helping overweight children to shed pounds and teaching them how to make better nutritional choices. Exercise is stressed and families are encouraged to limit the time their children spend in front of the computer or TV.
“Adolescents have different needs than younger children. To fully assess the older child, we are careful to find out if teens are at risk for tobacco, alcohol and/or drug use, involved in sexual activity or having problems at school,” said Seigel.
Seigel notes that children also have access to specialists outside of the center, including a wide range of pediatric subspecialists. The center makes seeing a specialist as convenient as possible by calling and making the appointment for the family.
The Mariner’s Harbor Child Health Clinic is one of over 80 community health clinics HHC operates throughout New York City. HHC clinics provide all the medical care children need to stay healthy – immunizations, physicals, treatment for a common cold or more serious conditions like asthma. For a list of HHC’s child health clinics, visit nyc.gov/hhc.