If there’s one message that Matthew Moront, MD, Head, Division of Pediatric Surgery at Children’s Regional Hospital at Cooper, wants to communicate to the region’s referring physicians, it’s this: “We have the expertise to handle easily 90 percent of the pediatric surgical care a child may need—and to do it as well as any other facility in the region,” he says. “This means that for the vast majority of pediatric surgical issues, there’s no reason to send a child across the bridge to a quaternary facility.”
“For anxious, time-strapped South Jersey parents, particularly those who work or have other children to take care of, keeping a hospitalized child closer to home is a real advantage,” he adds.
Dr. Moront also notes that referring pediatricians are often surprised by the breadth of what a pediatric general surgeon can do.
“In addition to routine abdominal procedures such as appendectomies and cholecystectomies, we also perform thyroid surgery, lymph node dissections, and remove lesions on the head and face and congenital lung lesions,” he says. “We also do simple urologic procedures to address hernias, hydroceles, normal circumcision, and undescended testicles. And we perform gynecologic procedures such as ovarian cyst removal.”
“Many of these are performed minimally invasively,” he points out.
Prior to joining Cooper, Dr. Moront and his colleague Douglas Katz, MD—both fellowship-trained in pediatric surgery—honed their expertise at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in Philadelphia, and Nemours/ Alfred I. DuPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Delaware, respectively. Another distinguishing feature of Cooper’s pediatric surgery program is its emphasis on personalized care.
“Because of the relatively small size of our program, children here don’t get lost in the shuffle,” Dr. Moront says, noting that the team is made up of two full-time surgeons and a third who provides support when needed, a physician assistant, and a nurse practitioner. “We take a caring, kid- and family- friendly approach that reassures parents that their child is in good hands.”
Dr. Moront and his team are equally attentive to the pediatricians who refer their young patients to Cooper for surgery.
“We’re very responsive about consults here at the hospital and in the community,” he says, explaining that he and his team hold clinics at Cooper locations in Voorhees and Egg Harbor Township in addition to Camden. “We give our cell numbers to referring physicians, and encourage them to call us if they ever have questions about the most appropriate provider for a particular situation. Our aim is to always ensure that a child gets to the right place at the right time; it doesn’t serve anyone if a child has to be rerouted.”
“And we never forget that these children are the referring physicians’ patients,” he stresses. “We just ‘borrow’ them—and enhance their experience by providing great care to the patients and superior customer service to the referring pediatrician.”
That service includes a direct call to referring physicians about their patients’ status.
“If a child comes in with belly pain, we’ll call and let the referring physician know if an operation is or isn’t necessary,” Dr. Moront says. “Of course, we send a discharge summary, but we think a timely call as soon as the patient is seen is a more personal touch.”
“Affability, availability, and ability— that’s the essence of what we’re offering at Cooper,” he adds. “And it’s all right here, close to home.”
24 Hours a day/7 Days a Week Surgical Coverage for Your Pediatric Patients
|Common Reasons for Referrals:|
|Chest wall deformities|
failure to thrive
procedures such as
ovarian cyst removal
|Hernias – Hiatal,
|Masses and tumors||Pilonidal Disease||Thyroid surgery||Trauma|
Douglas Katz, MD, Pediatric Surgeon
Matthew Moront, MD, Head, Division of Pediatric Surgery, Children’s Regional Hospital
For a physician-to-physician referral to Pediatric Surgery at Cooper, please contact our office at 856.342.3250.