Health Cover Stories

Family Care: SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital

Like most toddlers, Jamierson Montgomery loves singing along to music, looking at Dr. Seuss books and playing with his mom, but unlike many of his peers, he has faced several serious health concerns. He was born with Down syndrome, club feet, obstructive sleep apnea and tetralogy of Fallot, a complex heart defect. Despite these challenges, Jamierson is thriving, thanks in part to the care he receives at The Danis Pediatric Center at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital. The center, which also has a clinic in Midtown, provides pediatric primary care that supports the whole family to ensure young patients stay happy and healthy.

Jamie Montgomery, Jamierson’s mother, says doctors from The Danis Pediatric Center started visiting him in the hospital not long after he was born. The care and attention they showed her son left a big impression, and she notes that the support has continued as Jamierson has grown. “The staff at the center doesn’t treat him any differently than other kids,” she says. “Doctors and nurses stop to laugh and play with him. It’s a breath of fresh air, and I can’t stress how welcome they make us feel.”

Along with regular visits to the center, Montgomery receives support from Bridge4STL, a program that coordinates with pediatricians, obstetricians and social workers to help parents and combat infant mortality. Dr. Heidi Sallee, a SLUCare physician and the center’s medical director, explains that the program reflects SSM Health Cardinal Glennon’s mission to support the whole family. “We watch for postpartum depression in new mothers, offer assistance for families struggling with food insecurity or housing issues, provide resources to help develop parenting skills, and screen all parents for signs of domestic violence,” she says. “We want to be there for all patients as a healing presence.” The center provides care regardless of a family’s ability to pay.

To support The Danis Pediatric Center, St. Louisans can head fieldside to Kräftig Polo Club in Defiance on Sept. 21 for Glennon Gallop. “We could not do what we do without the support of this event,” Sallee says. “Plus, it’s really fun. How often do you get to watch polo?” Along with an exciting match, there are two unique experience options available. VIP guests gain access to a climate-controlled tent where they enjoy wines from A. Bommarito Wines, a luncheon catered by Bartolino’s Family of Restaurants, and live and silent auctions. The Field-Side Party offers a tailgate experience that includes live music from The Pickin’ Chicks, food vendors and a champagne toast on the field.

In the past, funds from the event have provided new equipment, including vision screeners for children under age 5. This year, some of the money raised by Glennon Gallop will go toward a new space to support the clinic’s growth. The Danis Pediatric Center originally was designed to accommodate 5,000 annual patient visits, and that number has grown to 22,000 between its two locations. Being able to expand the center is especially exciting for Sallee because of her special connection with it. The center’s namesake, Dr. Peter Danis, is her grandfather. “It’s an honor to continue the work he started,” she says. “I love working here. It’s a fun, upbeat environment, and The Danis Pediatric Center really is a special place.”

Glennon Gallop, Sept. 21 at Kräftig Polo Club, supports The Danis Pediatric Center at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital. Pictured on the cover: Danis Pediatric Center patient Jaimerson Montgomery. For tickets and more information, call 314.577.5605 or visit glennon.org/gallop.
Cover design by XX | Cover photo by Colin Miller of Strauss Peyton Photography

Pictured at top: SLUCare pediatric nurse practitioner Beth Rhyne, Jamierson Montgomery, Jamie Montgomery
Photo courtesy of SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital

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