Maimonides Expands CALM Program Providing Specialized Care for Vulnerable Children

At Maimonides Children’s Hospital, child well-being is our highest priority. As the only hospital-based multidisciplinary child protection team in Brooklyn, we are one of a select number of facilities nationwide with physicians specializing in child abuse. Maimonides provides expert care for multiple kinds of abuse and neglect, and supports children and families affected by these difficult circumstances.

Maimonides’ CALM (Child Advocacy-Like Model) Program is committed to best outcomes for child welfare-involved children and the efforts required for the prevention of trauma. When prevention efforts fail, a comprehensive assessment is always our next step, followed by culturally informed management. The program is led by Ingrid Walker-Descartes, MD, MPH, MBA, Medical Director for Child Maltreatment Services and Vice Chair of Education, Department of Pediatrics. Dr. Walker-Descartes is board-certified in child abuse — one of only a few hundred physicians in the U.S. with this board certification. She was also instrumental in the development of the first Child Abuse Fellowship in New York State at Maimonides.

The CALM Program’s multidisciplinary team includes a child abuse pediatrics fellow, a licensed clinical social worker, a mental health provider, and a program coordinator. It was recently expanded with the addition of Madeline Zito, DO, attending pediatrician, who is also trained in child abuse, expanding access for patients in need of this uniquely specialized clinical care.

The team works to distinguish between accidental injuries and inflicted injuries, determining when involvement from the city’s Administration for Children’s Services is necessary, and assessing a family’s need for education and resources. Comprehensive services, including medical evaluations and mental health screenings, are available at any time for children who need them, from infants to adolescents.

Learn more about Maimonides Child Abuse Services or contact Program Coordinator Christine Amodio at (718) 283-8020 to refer a patient.

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