'We Searched the World for You'... Winthrop's International Adoption Program Helps Bring Families Together


Vol. 13, No. 1
April, 2003

  • Winthrop Researchers Publish Major Breakthrough - Results Impact Life-Threatening Lung Disease in Premature Babies

  • Winthrop's "Dome of Light and Hope" Dedicated to a Four-Year-Old Miracle of Love

  • During These Uncertain Times Winthrop Takes Measures to Ensure Health of Hospital and Community

  • Winthrop's Bioterrorism Plan - a Hospital at the Ready

  • Winthrop Offers New Hope for Patients Living with Chronic Digestive Diseases

  • Plans for a New, Expanded Endoscopy Suite Underway

  • Allergy Season Can Wreak Havoc on Asthmatics - Know the Warning Signs of Asthma and its Triggers

  • 'We Searched the World for You'... Winthrop's International Adoption Program Helps Bring Families Together

  • Winthrop Takes Giant Leap to Eliminate Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Healthcare

  • Winthrop's New Pre-Admission Testing Center Offers Patients Streamlined Services in One Modern Location

  • Accolades for Winthrop's Diabetes Education Center's Self Management Program

  • 'Winthrop's New Pediatric Diabetes Program Receives National Recognition from American Diabetes Association

  • Jay's World Childhood Cancer Foundation Pledges $100,000 to Winthrop-University Hospital's New Pediatric Inpatient Center

  • Tips for living better with asthma

  • Winthrop's Newly Renovated Emergency Department Officially Dedicated

  • 18th annual golf tournament

  • Copyright

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  • Phen Melissa and Steve Maroney of Lynbrook decided to adopt children, they never looked back and couldn't be happier with their decision. Now the proud parents of Jack, 4 and Branden, 11/2, both adopted from South Korea, the Maroneys are one big, happy family thanks in part to Winthrop-University Hospital's International Adoption Program, which helps families through the complex process of evaluating and ensuring adequate healthcare for children adopted overseas. Melissa and Steve were referred to Winthrop's program, a part of Winthrop Pediatric Associates, by a local adoption agency. They found that medical care was one of the most important aspects to the adoption process.

    "Before Jack, our first son, came to the United States at the age of four months, we didn't really think about medical issues," said Melissa. "Friends recommended Winthrop Pediatric Associates because of their specialization in children who come from other countries."

    The Maroneys are one big, happy family thanks in part to Winthrop's International Adoption Program. (l-r): Jack, Melissa holding Branden, and Steve.
    The International Adoption Program component of the practice caters to internationally adopted children from countries including China, Russia, Korea, Guatemala, Vietnam, Latin America and Eastern Europe, allowing them to focus exclusively on their unique health concerns.

    This medical expertise came in handy for the Maroneys when Jack became critically ill only four months after his adoption. They took Jack to Winthrop Pediatric Associates where doctors quickly diagnosed him with Kawasaki Disease, a severe childhood illness that causes inflammation of the blood vessels along with a prolonged fever. Left untreated, the disease, which is most common in young children of Japanese or Korean descent, can lead to life threatening heart disease.

    "They took one look at Jack and just knew," explained Steve. "Without their prompt and correct diagnosis, this disorder could have been fatal."

    Winthrop's Pediatric Emergency Team was standing by and prepared for Jack's arrival, ready to administer treatment. By morning, his rash and fever started to get better and today, Jack is doing just fine. "Another doctor who didn't specialize in children from foreign countries may not have picked up on this disorder as quickly," added Steve.

    Winthrop's unique program has helped countless families share their love and open their hearts to children from other countries. Working closely with adoption agencies throughout the region, Winthrop is one of only two medical international adoption programs on Long Island. Once an agency finds a child in need of a loving home, Winthrop works directly with the family, providing them with a wealth of important pre-adoption services including: medical record and videotape reviews, travel arrangements, counseling on common pediatric medical problems, travel prescriptions for antibiotics and other medications for the child and the family, and immunizations for adults traveling to foreign countries.

    "We are the lucky ones," said Melissa and Steve Maroney about their sons Branden (left) and Jack (right).
    In addition, families can receive urgent medical advice while overseas via telephone 24 hours a day. Physicians in Winthrop's International Adoption Program are also available to contact Spanish-speaking physicians abroad.

    According to Leonard Krilov, MD, Chief of Pediatric Infectious Disease at Winthrop and Director of the International Adoption Program, "Upon returning from overseas, Winthrop's team of pediatric specialists provide advanced medical care to the adopted child, from a complete physical to developmental assessments and referrals to specialists."

    Pediatric specialists in the program include infectious disease physicians, behavioral specialists and primary care physicians. The program also focuses on creating a community of families who have adopted children from other countries to form a social support system, ensuring both physical and psychological health for new families starting their life journey together. "There is nothing more important to us than our kids," said Melissa. "We couldn't love them more if they were our biological children. Many people say we did such a great thing by bringing Jack and Branden to our home...but we are the lucky ones."



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