State OKs pediatric kidney transplants at Cohen

The New York Department of Health has approved a new pediatric kidney-transplant program for Cohen Children's Medical Center in New Hyde Park.

New York health officials have greenlighted a new pediatric kidney-transplant program at Cohen Children’s Medical Center.

The state Department of Health has approved plans for a program to be housed within the Division of Pediatric Nephrology at the New Hyde Park hospital. The program, which is expected to include an outpatient center deemed crucial to pre- and post-operative phases, is slated to debut later this year, according to a statement from the Northwell Health system.

Ernesto Molmenti: Kidney transplant pro.

Ernesto Molmenti: Kidney transplant pro.

Cohen’s Children’s Medical Center Executive Director Charles Shleien said the transplant program – which will incorporate existing medical, surgical and nursing teams into program-specific services – will not only provide the highest level of care but will provide “greater convenience while eliminating the need for extensive travel” by Long Island pediatric kidney patients and their families.

“Children requiring a kidney transplant are currently referred to other institutions in Manhattan, and return to Cohen post-operatively for long-term management,” noted Schleien, also a Northwell Health senior vice president and the health system’s pediatrics chairman. “The addition of a transplant program will allow Cohen’s patients to receive the full continuum of nephrologic care at the hospital.”

That’s another gold star for a pediatric hospital where renal clinicians see more than 1,100 unique kidney-disease patients annually, including approximately 50 children with end-stage kidney disease and 13 dialysis patients, according to the statement. Cohen Children’s Medical Center’s Division of Pediatric Nephrology is already recognized as one of the state’s largest pediatric nephrology programs.

The new program will be led by doctors Pamela Singer and Ernesto Molmenti, surgical director of Northwell Health’s adult kidney-transplant center at Manhasset’s North Shore University Hospital. Since 2007, Molmenti and Louis Kavoussi – Northwell Health’s urology chairman – have performed more than 235 kidney transplants, the statement noted.

Singer, who will serve as the new program’s medical director, said state approval for the new kidney-transplant program elevates Northwell Health’s ability to provide complete care for children with end-stage renal disease and other pediatric kidney patients.

“The transplant program will complete the spectrum of chronic kidney disease services provided by the Division of Pediatric Nephrology at Cohen,” Singer said in the statement.