Caring for Medically Complex Children with Mark Neumann
The nature of pediatric hospital care is changing. Because of the success of immunization, communicable diseases are much less common among children today. But some children have chronic physiologic disabilities that create greater need for technological interventions. These children are often in the emergency room, and frequently require hospitalization, sometimes for extended periods of time.
A number of hospitals, including Gunderson Lutheran Medical Center in La Crosse, Wisconsin, are working to create a medical home that is more welcoming to medically complex children and their families, and provides special services to meet their special needs. As one small example, a child who makes frequent visits to the emergency room should be well known to ER providers, and the parents should not have to repeat the child’s entire medical history. Mark Neumann will join the call to talk about how this and other issues are being approached to provide truly supportive care to patients and their families.
Mark Neumann, MD, is a pediatric critical care provider at the Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center in La Crosse, WI. He maintains an ongoing interest for understanding and learning how notions of complexity theory can aid health care workers to provide higher value services for patients and communities.
Mark interrupted his pediatric residency in the mid-1980’s to travel to central Africa where he participated in a health care delivery project in the northeast region of Zaire. After several years he returned to the U.S. to complete his residency training and then moved to the southern region of Zaire to participated in another health care project for several years as the country disorganized in the political and administrative chaos associated with the passing of a 30 year dictatorial regime. By the late 1990’s he found his way back to the U.S. and discovered a different pediatric practice in the hospitalist model that was just then becoming recognized as a new way to provide physician services in the hospital setting.
In 2007, after his experiences of chaotic life in Zaire and the complexity of modern hospital based health care delivery, Mark took a fellowship in Pediatric Critical Care Medicine and brought with him a desire to study how complexity theory can offer insight into safer and more effective hospital care practice. After his fellowship Mark moved to La Crosse, WI, where he joined the Gundersen Lutheran Health System. He now works with others who are implementing a plan to design and build a medical home for children with medical complexity and their families.