Cook Children's opens multi-specialty clinic in Tyler

Cook Children's opening in Tyer

TYLER - Multi-specialty clinic Cook Children's is opening in Tyler. Services include endocrinology, oncology, genetics and pediatric surgery.

The grand opening is Thursday between 8:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., and administration will be on site to answer questions.

Some parents said they are driving to Fort Worth to find the care they need. 

"I turned around in the first parking lot I could, came back and literally ran inside the building and said, 'Who's coming here? What are we going to have? What specialties are we going to have?'," Charity Robinson said.

She's the proud mother of five children. Three are adopted. Robinson said she's traveled to Fort Worth at least 30 times since August.

One of her thee-year-old twins, she said, is medically fragile.

"He has a traumatic brain injury which has led to seizure disorder," she said. "He has a chromosomal anomaly. He has hypoglycemia. He has three heart conditions."

Robinson said she sees multiple specialist each month in Ft. Worth, including a cardiologist, neurologist, endocrinologist and neurologist.

Anytime they visit the doctor, they have to bring suitcases - and quite a bit of medical equipment - in case of an emergency.

"Going to Cook Children's is practically like moving," Robinson said, describing the medical demands of her children. 

Assistant Vice President at Cook Children's, Beau McNeff, said there is an underserved need for specialists in East Texas. He said they've been working on making the move to Tyler for several years.

"Our mission, as you can read, is knowing every child's life is sacred. We're here to fill those gaps," McNeff said. 

He walked CBS19 through the new facility, pointing out the room for telemedicine.

Those services include infectious disease, nephrology, neurology, psychiatry and urology.

McNeff said he hopes to have all telemedicine services offered on-site by the end of the year, and said a urologist should join the "in-office" services within a month.

"We try to work with the families and coordinate appointments, but sometimes, that's not always possible," said Dr. Joel Steelman, a pediatric endocrinologist at Cook Children's in Fort Worth.

Dr. Steelman said he's able to see more patients without limits. In the last 24 hours, he said he's seen patients in Midland, Odessa, Waco and Tyler. 

"I'm in heaven," Robinson said. "This is a great blessing for me and my family, and I know lots of other families, too, just to be right here in our back yard." 

© 2017 KYTX-TV


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