Officials from the Children’s Rehabilitation Institute of TeletónUSA (CRIT-USA), a nonprofit pediatric research and rehabilitation center for disabled individuals and their families, and the Baylor College of Medicine at the Children’s Hospital of San Antonio announced a new partnership Friday that will bring a genetics sub-specialty clinic to the CRIT-USA facility, located at 10839 Quarry Park.
A large amount of CRIT-USA patients have genetic abnormalities. Friday marked the first day that certified genetic counselors from the Baylor College of Medicine at the Children’s Hospital of San Antonio, Rebecca Littlejohn and Kimberly Nugent, visited CRIT-USA to educate such patients and their parents or guardians about their conditions and possible treatment plans as well as programs to assist them.
“The Genetics Clinic at The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio provides evaluation, diagnosis, genetic counseling, treatment, and management for pediatric and adult patients,” the Children’s Hospital website states.
Going forward, Littlejohn and Nugent will visit the facility once a month to provide the necessary counseling services, which are in a critical shortage nationally.
CRIT-USA first started in Mexico in 1999 when the country opened its first rehabilitation center. Over time, United States citizens caught word of the facility, which provided a quality of care that wasn’t available in the U.S., and began traveling to the facility for treatment. The TeletónUSA Foundation was later created as a means to raise enough funds to establish a similar facility in the U.S. A televised fundraising event in 2012 made that possible.
CRIT-USA – which is located across the way from Morgan’s Wonderland, a 25-acre theme park for special-needs individuals, and San Antonio FC‘s Toyota Field – opened in San Antonio in 2014 and is one of the largest acute pediatric rehabilitation systems in the world. It offers services that are based on a “pay what you can” model, drawing families and patients who wouldn’t otherwise be able to receive such comprehensive care.
By incorporating the genetic counseling services from the Baylor College of Medicine, a premier academic health science center, and the prestige of the Children’s Hospital, the partnership is expected to elevate the already unique and effective CRIT-USA treatment model and concept.
Top image: The main entrance to CRIT USA. Photo by Iris Dimmick.