Pediatric Diabetes Care Now in Bethesda

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With her young patient at the center of attention, pediatric endocrinologist Sandra Salsberg.

January 8, 2020

Vladimir Nazor began his medical journey in 2015 in Las Vegas, where he was diagnosed with type I diabetes. It continued in Texas, where his parents were not enthralled with his care, but they were after they moved in August 2019 to central Maryland, near Johns Hopkins Children’s Center in Baltimore.

“I’m impressed. We’ve been through a lot of clinics, lots of places in Texas and Las Vegas, and this place really seems to care,” says his mom, Kimberly. “As soon as you walk through the door, everyone cares.”

The door, however, was not to the hospital but to a remote pediatric subspecialty clinic in Bethesda, Maryland, just north of Washington, D.C., off the I-270 corridor, which was very accessible to the suburban Severn family.

“This is a much better option,” says his father, Vladimir.

The parents knew of Johns Hopkins reputation and learned through the medical community that pediatric endocrinologist Sandra Salsberg “came highly recommended.” She and the clinic staff, the parents found, treated them like members of the care team.

“There’s a lot of discussion back and forth,” Kimberly says. “They’re interested in our perspective as well.”

The care includes diabetes nurse educators who address areas in which patients are struggling and provide supports to meet their needs. Diabetes, Salsberg explains, is a challenging disease that requires a lot of education and coordination with patients and their parents.

“We all work together to monitor the regimen, to make sure there are no complications and to manage dosing,” she says. “We see them every three months but we expect changes as kids grow, and we don’t expect our patients to wait for their visits to get in touch with us.”

Radiology and lab facilities are in the same complex as the clinic, Salsberg notes, and a diabetes physician is on call 24/7. The clinic also offers nutritionist visits via telemedicine. The Bethesda location for a Johns Hopkins pediatric subspecialty clinic was proposed by Children’s Center leadership after reviewing demographic data showing that children faced waits up to three months to see pediatric specialists.

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Pediatric neurologist Jessica Klein with a patient in the headache clinic.

“We’ve significantly decreased wait times compared with providers in the area,” says Cheryl Camm, ambulatory services manager. “We’re seeing patients from Washington, D.C., Virginia, Hagerstown and Frederick. That was our goal — to make high quality pediatric subspecialty care more accessible for patients in the D.C. metropolitan area.”

In addition to seeing patients with type 1 or 2 diabetes, insulin resistance or impaired glucose tolerance on Fridays, Salsberg sees patients with growth concerns, thyroid disease, pubertal issues and adrenal problems on Mondays.

Pediatric subspecialties at the Bethesda clinic include cardiology, endocrinology, gastroenterology, general surgery, nephrology, plastic surgery, pulmonology, and neurology, which holds a headache clinic.

The clinic is located at 6420 Rockledge Drive, Suite 2300, Bethesda, MD 20817. Phone: 443-997-5437.