Cook Children’s Hyperinsulinism Center Named a Center of Excellence
Cook Children’s Health Care System is proud to announce its Hyperinsulinism Center is now one of six Hyperinsulinism Centers of Excellence in the world. The designation, awarded by Congenital Hyperinsulinism International, recognizes centers that provide the highest level of multi-disciplinary care to congenital hyperinsulinism (CHI) patients and their families.
Hyperinsulinism is a rare genetic disease in which the pancreas produces too much insulin, driving blood sugar levels dangerously low and depriving the brain of important fuels it needs to function. It affects about 1 in 20,000 to 30,000 newborn babies each year.
"The treatment of congenital hyperinsulinism is very complex," said Paul Thornton, M.D., medical director of Cook Children's Hyperinsulinism Center. "It's really important that patients with rare diseases have access to multidisciplinary teams such as are at Cook Children's Hyperinsulinism Center where the approach and the experience of the team members caring for these patients results in better outcomes with shorter lengths of stay, getting the patient's home to their families as fast as possible."
The Centers of Excellence designation comes on the heels of Cook Children’s Hyperinsulinism Center’s 10th anniversary, which was celebrated in November 2020. Dr. Thornton built and leads the program at Cook Children’s, which includes a team of physicians specialized in endocrinology, pediatric surgery, neonatology, neurology, gastroenterology, pathology and radiology. The team is supported by a dedicated CHI nurse practitioner, social worker, clinical therapist, child life specialist, nutritionist and feeding and speech therapists.
“There are some superb institutions known for providing excellent HI care and participating in groundbreaking research, yet until now there has not been a review process or certificate awarded to these institutions for the care of those with HI,” said Julie Raskin, executive director of Congenital Hyperinsulinism International.
The awarded centers are:
- Hyperinsulinism Center at Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth, Texas
- Congenital Hyperinsulinism Center at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, PA
- Great Ormond Street Hospital Congenital Hyperinsulinism Service in London, in the United Kingdom
- Charite-Universitatsmedizin Berlin and the University Children's Hospital Duesseldorf partnership in Germany
- Collaborative Alliance on Congenital Hyperinsulinism headquartered in Magdeburg, Germany
- Northern Congenital Hyperinsulinism Service in Manchester and Liverpool, in the United Kingdom
About Cook Children’s Hyperinsulinism Center
Learning that one of the world's most respected congenital hyperinsulinism centers is right here at Cook Children's can be a life-saving moment. Congenital hyperinsulinism is the most common cause of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) in infants more than 3 days old, as well as children. If this rare, and often severe, genetic disorder is not treated, these children are at risk for seizures or even permanent brain damage. Finding the right care is very important in preventing irreversible damage and improving quality of life.
One of the first programs in the nation, Cook Children's Hyperinsulinism Center uses a specialized team approach to treat hyperinsulinism (HI). Hyperinsulinism affects many areas of the body, so to truly treat every aspect of HI each child is seen by top physicians, nurses, researchers and specialists in the field. These medical professionals have spent additional years of intense study and have dedicated their practice to focusing on HI. That means your child has access to the best care available. It is this level of treatment that has helped earn our program a distinguished international reputation for extraordinary care and achieving positive results.