The Celiac Disease Program at
Children's National Health System
The Celiac Disease Program at Children's National Health System is dedicated to improving the way pediatric celiac disease is diagnosed and treated. Working in partnership with concerned members of our community, our Celiac Disease Program brings together a team of expert physicians, nurses, nutritional consultants, a psychologist and education specialists dedicated to developing a national model for detecting and treating celiac disease in children and families.
The Program’s goal is to aggressively attack celiac disease through improved diagnosis, comprehensive treatment and management strategies, exceptional educational resources, and awareness programs, using a five-pronged approach:
1. Clinical Excellence
- Provide comprehensive care for patients and families using the most up-to-date and state-of-the-art methods.
- Screen children with any of the broad range of symptoms of celiac disease who are seen in all specialties at Children’s National.
- Create a Celiac Registry and Database for education and research efforts.
- Offer nutritional education programs and practical solutions for how to begin a gluten-free lifestyle.
2. Psychological Health and Well-Being
- Employ integrative medical techniques, such as biofeedback, to help children deal with the stress associated with their lifestyle change.
- Empower children to feel confident when explaining their dietary needs to others.
- Treat feelings of isolation and depression resulting from their diagnosis.
- Create support groups for children and their families.
- Establish telemedicine options for offering psychological health services to patients nationwide.
3. Education and Training of Healthcare Professionals
- Host annual conferences to discuss new knowledge and best practices.
- Increase awareness of celiac disease and its potential for misdiagnosis.
- Organize educational seminars for all groups of healthcare providers across various medical disciplines.
- Encourage doctors to test ALL family members of affected children to identify anyone who has the atypical form of the disease.
- Ensure that gastroenterology fellows at Children’s National have engagement with the Celiac Disease Program.
4. Community Education, Outreach and Advocacy
- Create and maintain a website that will become an important resource for families and physicians.
- Develop outstanding educational resources for patients, families and community members to help with successful management of the gluten-free diet.
- Create a model for improving gluten-free diet compliance that includes innovative approaches to education including nutrition, cooking, and grocery shopping.
- Host annual community education forums that promote better understanding of celiac disease and the gluten-free diet, as well as build a robust and unified local gluten-free community.
- Visit schools to educate teachers, administrators, cafeteria staff, and nurses to make celiac disease a better understood condition and provide a safe experience for students.
- Establish a research database that tracks patient symptoms, behaviors and needs that will be used to develop new approaches to diagnose, treat and support patients with celiac disease.
- Foster collaborative, interdisciplinary research projects that will increase the understanding of this complex disease and define new approaches to diagnosis and care.
- Investigate the connection between celiac disease and other autoimmune diseases.