Switching from pediatric to adult care can be very challenging for many of our patients. Beginning treatment with a different doctor and care team is often a big adjustment, not to mention the new school or work environments patients encounter as they grow up. Our Chronic Care Transition Team helps our teenage patients ease into their new surroundings through our programs and support. We are committed to making sure these patients have continued access to high-quality health care throughout their adult lives.
What Is Transition to Adult Care & What Does It Mean for My Care & for My Family?
The transition to adult healthcare means that you will eventually be moving from seeing pediatric providers to seeing adult providers in an adult medical setting. We believe that moving to adult providers will provide the best healthcare for you as an adult. We know that changing providers can sometimes be challenging. Lurie Children’s will help support you and your family throughout this process.
This means that at around age 12-14, some of your providers will start talking with you about learning to manage your own healthcare. This also means that at some point you may be having time alone during visits with your providers to discuss your healthcare.
At age 18, our goal is for you to be fully involved in your own healthcare through an adult model of care. A pediatric model of care is where parents/caregivers make most choices. An adult model of care is where you will make your own choices.
We will work with you to decide the age for moving to an adult provider. We recommend this happen by the age of 22. There are certain conditions that Lurie Children’s will continue to manage and treat after this age, and your providers will work with you to maintain this until a transition is needed.
This process will be adapted for people with intellectual disabilities or special healthcare needs.
Our medical teams and social workers can help you make this transition and support you along the way, and you will receive help to transition your care to providers outside of Lurie Children’s that treat adults
Preparing for Adult Healthcare
We make sure we’re involved in every aspect possible of the transition process and are as helpful to our patients as possible. Our team is in constant collaboration with clinical areas to make sure we’re completely aware of a patient’s situation, and that they will be well-prepared for their transition to adult care.
The Chronic Care Transition Team works closely with our patients' clinical teams to:
- Build relationships with adult providers for primary and specialty care
- Develop comprehensive, efficient and satisfactory methods for care transfers
- Improve readiness of young adult patients to transfer care
- Prepare young adults to enter the adult world with regards to professional and social maturity
- Ensure patients and families are aware of all public benefits and insurance opportunities
- Support specialty clinics to implement transition programming
The team is led by Parag Shah, MD. Dr. Shah is the Chronic Illness Transition Team Medical Director and a hospitalist physician who works primarily with children with chronic illness.
Angela Berger, LCSW, is the Manager and Social Worker for the Transition to Adult Care team. She brings to the team over 20 years of experience working across numerous medical specialties. Most recently, she spent five years as the Pulmonary & Sleep Medicine and Cystic Fibrosis Center social worker at Lurie Children’s where she focused on transitioning youth.
We work closely with several divisions to help patients transition to adult care. Learn more about our ongoing collaborations.
The Lurie Children's Transition Program operates on a referral basis to provide transition support for complicated patients. Patients should call 1.800.543.7362 (1.800.KIDS DOC®) to make an appointment after referral or visit our Appointments page for more information. Clinic typically is held the fourth Monday of the month in the mornings and the fourth Friday of the month in the afternoons.
Resources & Support
We have various resources in English and Spanish for teens beginning to transfer their care.
Our team regularly participates in care transition studies to:
- Improve transition methods
- Better understand adolescent- and transition-related issues
Education for Patients, Families & Providers
We’re committed to educating patients, families and providers about the transition process. We provide training and guidance in the following areas:
- Transition competency training for providers
- Transition preparation education for patients, families and the community
- Education for outside medical providers on the adult healthcare needs of our patients
We can be reached about any questions or concerns at 312.227.5356 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your support is vital in helping us continue to make a difference in the lives of patients and families. Lurie Children's relies on philanthropic funding to enhance its programs, services and research for children. To learn more, please e-mail the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago Foundation at email@example.com or call 312.227.7500.