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Members of the YNHCH Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology program include (l-r): Elizabeth Foden, RN; Alla Vash-Margita, MD; Julia Cron, MD; and Amanda Kallen, MD.

A look at: YNHCH’s Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology program

 Alla Vash-Margita, MD, hears it frequently from patients’ mothers: “I wish there had been a program like this when I was 15!”

That’s because Dr. Vash-Margita, Julia Cron, MD, and Amanda Kallen, MD, provide more than medical care at Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital’s Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology program.

“A girl is not simply a small woman,” said Dr. Vash-Margita, chief of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology, YNHCH. “Young girls have unique medical, gynecologic and psychosocial issues.”

The program, which started a year ago, treats girls from birth through adolescence and into early adulthood for a variety of concerns related to the menstrual cycle, congenital anomalies, hormone problems and other issues.

In addition to the physicians, the program has a full-time, dedicated nurse coordinator, Elizabeth Foden, RN.

Program clinicians work closely with experts in other pediatric specialties, including adolescent medicine, endocrinology, general pediatrics, urology, surgery, psychology/psychiatry, nutrition and social work. Dr. Kallen is a board-certified reproductive endocrinologist whose focus is the Fertility Preservation program for young females.

Dr. Vash-Margita and Dr. Cron provide routine and preventive gynecologic care and address complex gynecologic concerns. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that girls have their first visit with a gynecologist between ages 13 and 15. A patient’s first routine visit to the Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology clinic usually does not include a pelvic exam, but does include a regular physical exam and discussion about issues related to general and reproductive health and well-being.

“For patients 13 and older, I usually conduct a confidential interview,” Dr. Vash-Margita said. “I want the patient to feel free to talk about her life, relationships, sexuality and other subjects so we can meet her emotional and psychological needs.”

Dr. Vash-Margita became interested in pediatric and adolescent gynecology while practicing general obstetrics and gynecology at YNHH. She is a member of the North American Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology and completed fellowship training in this sub-specialty at the University of Michigan.

Patients are seen at the Pediatric Specialty Centers at YNHCH and One Long Wharf in New Haven, at Greenwich Hospital and at Park Avenue Medical Center in Trumbull.

“The clinics have become quite busy in the last 12 months,” Dr. Vash-Margita said. “The positive response from the community physicians has been very rewarding, as this was a much-needed subspecialty in the state.” For information or to schedule an appointment at any of the program locations, call 203-785-4081.