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Published on April 01, 2009

Crozer-Keystone Unveils 'Tots to Teens Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology' Program

The Tots to Teens program provides an interdisciplinary team to address gynecologic issues affecting girls and teenagers. The team includes a gynecologist and an adolescent medicine specialist to diagnose, manage and treat medical and surgical issues.

Crozer-Keystone’s program is the only one of its kind in the Greater Delaware Valley for pediatric gynecology and is among a select group of providers who offer adolescent gynecology services.

Tots to Teens is a comprehensive gynecologic resource for girls through young adults (girls ages 2-21). Many people think that GYN issues are reserved for women. What they don’t realize is that teens, pre-teens and even young girls can — and do — experience gynecologic problems. Some may feel embarrassed to talk about it. Others may not even realize that they have a problem. And if a young girl is having a problem, such as frequent vaginal discharge or discomfort, it is up to her parents to reach out for proper medical attention.

“Joining gynecology and adolescent medicine in Tots to Teens offers a wonderful opportunity to provide young girls and female adolescents with care tailored to their needs,” says Rima Himelstein, M.D., adolescent medicine specialist for Crozer-Keystone Health System. “As an adolescent medicine specialist, I have a special interest in medical issues related to menstrual and other gynecologic problems. I will be doing consults on teenage girls who are experiencing problems in these areas.”

While Himelstein will be handling the older girls, Karen Simon, M.D., CKHS obstetrician/gynecologist, will address gynecologic issues in younger children as well as teens. “Younger girls with gynecologic problems may not know who to turn to for these types of medical issues,” Simon says. “Pediatricians may not feel comfortable providing gynecologic care, gynecologists may not feel comfortable seeing young girls, and parents may not know who to turn to. We hope to bridge this gap, offering a service that is currently lacking in Delaware County and in many parts of the country. 

“In terms of adolescents,” Simon continues, “I have always enjoyed the challenges of serving this population. Many gynecologic issues are easy to fix, but teens may not feel comfortable discussing their periods, their breasts or their reproductive organs. In addition, with a bit of effort, sexually transmitted infections and unintended pregnancy are quite preventable, and I would like to make a public health impact on these all-too-common occurrences. Once a comfortable doctor-patient relationship is established, we hope to really make an impact on teen sexual health.”

Both physicians say they are excited to work with each other on such a groundbreaking initiative. The program officially launched April 10, 2009.

Himelstein and Simon are trained to diagnose and treat a multitude of problems, including:

  • Vulvar and vaginal issues (such as infections, inflammation and dermatologic problems)
  • Recurrent yeast and/or urinary tract infections
  • Pelvic pain
  • Breast problems
  • Ovarian cysts
  • Menstrual irregularities
  • Hormonal issues
  • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
  • Endometriosis
  • Sexually transmitted infections
  • Abnormal Pap tests
  • Pregnancy
  • Contraception.

The Tots to Teens program is a collaborative effort between the Pediatrics and OB/GYN departments of Crozer-Chester Medical Center.

“This is a very special and much-needed program, providing services to a population of girls and young women who otherwise might neglect important issues,” says Joel Noumoff, M.D., chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Crozer. “This is especially exciting since it represents collaboration between the Departments of Pediatrics and Obstetrics and Gynecology. Quality patient care must cross departmental lines, and working together to achieve the best results for our patients produces programs such as Tots to Teens.”

Services are provided at the Tots to Teens office located in Suite 208 of the Healthplex Pavilion 1 at Springfield Hospital. The office is staffed on the second Friday of every month from 8 a.m. to noon. Most major insurances are accepted and garage parking is available. For an appointment, call (610) 338-1816.

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