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Look: Cook Children’s Launches Institute for Mind Health

The Justin Institute will house nine specialties under one roof to integrate mental and neurological health.
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Look: Cook Children’s Launches Institute for Mind Health

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Children with neurological disorders will now be able to receive interdisciplinary, integrated care at the Jane and John Justin Institute for Mind Health on the Cook Children’s Health Care System campus in Fort Worth.

The institute will house nine specialties, including neurology, neuropsychology, neurosurgery, pain management, physical medicine and rehabilitation, psychology, psychiatry, developmental pediatrics, and developmental psychology. The co-located specialties will be more convenient for patients with neurological conditions, who often have to see multiple specialists.

The new center will be housed on the fourth floor of the 240,000-square-foot Dodson Specialty Clinics building, which opened in March as the newest addition to Cook’s Children Medical Center and is meant to provide convenient access to more than 35 specialty clinics.

The complexity of nervous system diseases often leads to associated mental health issues, which lend themselves to a collaborative approach to treatment. A study in Medicine found that the ability of patients to receive integrated mental health care reduces overall healthcare system utilization of primary care and emergency room visits.

“The opening of the Justin Institute marks the culmination of years of hard work on behalf of a multi-disciplinary team of physicians and clinicians,” said Rick Merrill, president and CEO of Cook Children’s Health Care System. “Thanks to their outside-of-the-box thinking, nine specialties now reside under one roof, making the trip from one specialty appointment to another much easier on our patients. We know this connection, collaboration, and convenience will make all the difference for our medically complex children and their families.”

Cook Children’s Neurosciences Research Program will be aided by the new institute, which will provide opportunities for cross-specialty studies. Right now, the research program is examining the impact of epilepsy on children’s psychological health. The plan is to take ongoing research on epilepsy, cerebral palsy, and movement and expand into autism, pain, stroke, and other conditions.

The Justin Institute will also feature a curated art collection from by artists who treat or live with nervous system disorders, from PhD neuroscientists to those with nervous system disorders. Head of neurosciences and director of the Jane and John Justin Institute for Mind Health at Cook Children, Dr. Scott Perry, chose the pieces to reflect neurology. A three-piece mural representing Fort Worth and paying homage to Cook Children’s neurology and neurosurgery departments with hidden Easter Eggs is by John Bramblitt, who is visually impaired and living with epilepsy.

The institute’s art includes watercolor brains infused with natural images like rivers and trees, infused glass brains representing neuroscience, child study, psychology, and psychiatry, and wooden animals constructed to look like connected brain cells.

The art will help connect the patients and caregivers in a collaborative environment. “Many of our patients are seen by neurology and developmental pediatrics and developmental psychology specialties, so we are hoping that being part of one institute will help increase collaboration amongst the disciplines and get patients to the appropriate resources more quickly,” said Dr. Kristen Pyrc, Cook Children’s co-medical director of psychiatry.


Will Maddox

Will Maddox

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Will is the senior writer for D CEO magazine and the editor of D CEO Healthcare. He's written about healthcare…