In the words of singer Mary Chapin Carpenter, “change comes of its own free will”. And change has come to Pediatric VIEW. On May 20 I was informed that my hospital system was “sunsetting” my program. It took me a moment to associate such a lovely image with such a disappointing turn of events.
Pediatric VIEW began in 1999 as an outgrowth of the hospital NICU developmental follow up programs. Pediatric VIEW was established to meet an unmet gap in addressing the needs of children who have complex needs including conditions that can be associated with visual impairment. This tiny little program eventually blossomed by word of mouth into one that is almost exclusively attended by families whose children have CVI. I have evaluated about 1800 children at Pediatric VIEW using the CVI Range and have felt honored to be in a position to meet and support families from all over the world. I have learned much and frankly, have never been anything but thrilled to come to work at Pediatric VIEW. I have been so lucky to work in a number of capacities that include teaching, research, and writing but nothing compares to the what I have always described as “the most important work I do”, sitting in a room, face to face with parents and their child. That’s the best, most authentic work I can imagine.
So, back to the change. The Administration of West Penn Hospital in the Allegheny Health System has decided to close Pediatric VIEW. The details do not belong in this blog but one thing is for certain, it is not because the program has been less than successful. The schedule is booked full through June, 2022. The need is there but the model is not going to be supported. Pediatric VIEW at West Penn Hospital will end in August, 2021. But, I do not plan for Pediatric VIEW to end…I will find a new venue and carry on. I am already working on Pediatric VIEW 2.0 and will announce the changes as soon as my next steps are arranged.
If you currently have an appointment or, wishing to make one, Marie and I are working hard to accommodate you. If for some reason we miss your contact, please reach out to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org And, thank you so much for entrusting your children in my care. I hope we can all go forward to the next version of Pediatric VIEW together.