Services for Children and Adults with Special Needs

MetroHealth provides primary and specialty care for patients with special health care needs—meeting the standards of the National Center for Quality Assurance (NCQA).

Call 216-778-5198 to schedule a visit.

Boy in Wheelchair

Comprehensive Care Program

Our Patients

The Comprehensive Care Program is designed to help people who have complex medical needs. We see patients with a variety of chronic health problems, including:

  • Autism evaluation and treatment
  • Cerebral palsy or abnormal tone evaluation and treatment
  • Conduct and behavior concerns
  • Craniofacial disorders and disorders of the head, neck, ear, nose and throat, like cleft lip and/or palate and concerns about skull or head shape
  • Developmental delays, cognitive delays and intellectual disabilities
  • Down syndrome and other genetic disorders
  • Hydrocephalus treatment
  • Metabolic disorders
  • Spina bifida evaluation and treatment

Your illness doesn't need to be serious, complicated or overwhelming in order to take advantage of our services. We encourage you to visit us sooner rather than later, so you receive the support you need to manage your chronic condition properly and focus on maintaining your health.

The Comprehensive Care Clinic sees patients of all ages. We often develop long-term relationships with the patients and families we serve. Our patients don’t have to find a new primary care physician just because they have a birthday. When they turn 21, patients transition from pediatric providers to internal medicine providers, staying in the same clinic, staffed by care coordinators they know and trust.

How the Program Works

We cover all aspects of care, from basic physical exams to accessing community services. The management of a chronic health problem takes time and extra care, so we provide longer appointments to truly assess your needs and answer all your questions.

Each patient or family is assigned an RN care coordinator. These professionals spend time getting to know you—and your specific needs—and they work hard to make sure you get the care you need. When your appointments are complete, these professionals can also make sure that you follow through with instructions and prescriptions, and connect you to community resources that provide additional help.

A care coordinator is also a go-to resource when questions and concerns come up. Since this person knows the ins and outs of your treatment plan, this professional can answer questions, make appointments and provide support—even in a crisis.

Comprehensive Care Program staff make appointments with specialists. When you need multiple appointments, we coordinate them—and we shoot for same-day visits whenever possible.

Specialty Clinics in the Comprehensive Care Program

While coordinated primary care can help you to manage a complex health issue, there may be times when you need just a bit more to keep symptoms under control. Our specialty clinics provide targeted care for those in need.

To visit these clinics, you don't have to be a patient of the Comprehensive Care Program or even a MetroHealth patient. Call to make an appointment, or get a referral from your doctor.

Our Specialty Clinics

Behavior Assessment Clinic. This clinic evaluates developmental and behavior concerns, including autism. People meet one-on-one with a comprehensive care physician who is board-certified in neurodevelopmental disabilities and behavioral pediatrics. The Behavior Assessment Clinic is held once a month, usually on Tuesday afternoons.

Cerebral Palsy Multidisciplinary Clinic. This clinic provides a team evaluation for patients of all ages. The team includes a pediatric neurologist, physical therapists, dietitians and liaisons from the Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities. We provide cerebral palsy specialty clinic several times a month. The clinic is open on Friday late mornings and afternoons.

Craniofacial Team Clinic. This clinic cares for patients with congenital head and neck disorders. These include craniosynostosis, cleft lip and/or palate and ear or nasal malformations. The American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association recognized the clinic as a certified center of excellence. The team includes specialists from plastic surgery; ear, nose and throat (ENT); maxillofacial surgery; dentistry; orthodontics; developmental pediatrics; psychology; genetics; audiology; speech and language therapy and social work. Consultations with psychology and neurosurgery are also available. This clinic is held 10 times a year on Tuesday afternoons.

Down Syndrome Clinic. This clinic cares for people who have Down Syndrome. It includes a developmental pediatrician or internal medicine provider, a social worker, a genetics physician, a registered dietitian and liaisons from the Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities. As needed, the clinic also provides access to a pediatric gastroenterologist and a cardiologist.

Spina Bifida/Hydrocephalus Multidisciplinary Clinic. This clinic provides spina bifida treatment and/or hydrocephalus treatment once or twice a month. This team includes a pediatric neurologist, a genetics physician, a neurosurgeon, a urologist and liaisons from the Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities. The clinic is open on Friday afternoons.

After a visit at a specialty clinic, we compile detailed reports. Copies go to you, your public health nurse (if needed) and your primary care physician. This ensures that everyone is aware of what happened in the appointment. Each report outlines what was done at the clinic. It also lists recommendations from each specialist.

Expertise in Comprehensive Care

The Comprehensive Care Program was the first of its kind in Ohio. In 2011, it was the first MetroHealth practice to be awarded an NCQA Level 3 Recognition for Excellence of Care (the highest possible level available).

Our Team

  • Irene Dietz, MD, FAAP, medical director, board-certified in pediatrics, neurodevelopmental disabilities, developmental and behavioral pediatrics and hospice and palliative care medicine
  • Ronald Magliola, MD, FAAP, board-certified in general pediatrics and internal medicine
  • Emmanuel Boayke, MD, board-certified in general pediatrics and internal medicine
  • Lisa Torres, MD, board-eligible in general pediatrics and internal medicine
  • Sarah Bodrock, RN, BSN, care coordinator
  • Christine Crump, RN, BSN, care coordinator
  • Sarah Woernley, RN, BSN, care coordinator
  • Calley Kish, LISW, social work
  • Sarah Upton, RN, BSN, triage/advice nurse
  • Jayna Chelm, RD, LD, nutrition services
  • Amy Andler, liaison associated with the Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities

Parent/Caregiver Advisory Group

The Comprehensive Care Program is the leading special needs clinic in Cleveland, but we always have more to learn, and we know that patients, parents and caregivers have unique insights to share. Our Advisory Group works closely with the Comprehensive Care team. The group suggests, evaluates and assists with changes to improve care.

We encourage all patients, parents and caregivers to join the Advisory Group. Your input is valuable. It's OK if you can only attend once in a while.

Meetings are held about once every 2 to 3 months. We meet on MetroHealth Medical Center's Main Campus. Parking is paid for, and we serve light refreshments. Different members of the Comprehensive Care team, as well as community providers, attend each meeting. We invite the community speakers and set the times based on parent requests.

Do you want to learn more? Contact Calley Kish, LISW, at 216-778-5551.

Appointments

Call 216-778-5198 to schedule a visit at any Comprehensive Care clinic. We're available Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

After you schedule your first appointment, a care coordinator will contact you. We often start services before your visit.