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Outpatient Services Guide
Click here for detailed information on outpatient services and support groups at Valley.
Mailing Address:
The Valley Hospital
223 N. Van Dien Avenue
Ridgewood, NJ 07450
Pediatric Physiatry Services
 

Physiatry is the medical specialty otherwise known as physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R). A pediatric physiatrist is a physician who specializes in treating children with physical, cognitive, and/or language disabilities and helps patients reach their maximum potential.

The Valley Hospital Kireker Center for Child Development is the only center in Bergen and Passaic counties to offer the expertise of a pediatric physiatrist. Angela D’Alessandro, M.D., partners with our physical, occupational, and speech-language therapists to create and implement an individualized treatment plan for each child, with a goal toward helping him/her function as independently as possible.

Dr. D’Alessandro also directs our Center for Pediatric Spasticity, the only facility in the area that provides comprehensive care for children with muscle tightness and spasms caused by cerebral palsy, stroke, or other neurological issues. Our center offers patients and their families the convenience of seeing several pediatric specialist physicians during one appointment time.

Our Physiatry Services

Our board-certified pediatric physiatrist, Angela D’Alessandro, M.D., provides specialized treatment and ongoing medical care for children with:

  • developmental delays
  • cerebral palsy
  • post-traumatic brain injury
  • post-spinal cord injury
  • neuromuscular problems
  • spina bifida
  • toe-walking
  • musculoskeletal injuries
  • congenital and traumatic amputations
  • burns

She collaborates with a team of pediatric physicians and therapists to develop a unique treatment plan for each child that meets his/her unique needs. Dr. D’Alessandro also refers patients and their parents to other physicians or to community services and resources, if necessary.

Because many of our patients require the use of orthotic or prosthetic devices, Dr. D’Alessandro works closely with orthotists/prosthetists on site to create custom-made devices for each patient. Once a device is ready, Dr. D’Alessandro oversees the fitting and any adjustments that need to be made. She also provides specific instructions for orthotics so patients get optimum use from them. Dr. D’Alessandro also works with equipment vendors and the child’s treating therapists to order customized wheelchairs, strollers, standers, positioning chairs, and bath/toileting equipment.

Infant Feeding Consultations

Dr. D’Alessandro specializes in infant feeding concerns and regularly consults with Valley’s neonatologists, other physicians, nurses, therapists, and parents to develop therapy plans to help infants and children develop oral motor skills necessary for drinking and eating.

The Valley Hospital Center for Pediatric Spasticity

As director of The Valley Hospital Center for Pediatric Spasticity, Dr. D’Alessandro collaborates with a team of pediatric specialists and therapists to treat and manage the care of children with hypertonicity and muscle spasms caused by:

  • cerebral palsy
  • stroke
  • other neurological issues

The Center for Pediatric Spasticity is the only one of its kind in the area. Joining Dr. D’Alessandro’s medical team are pediatric neurosurgeon Richard Anderson, M.D.; pediatric orthopedist David E. Konigsberg, M.D.; and pediatric neurologist Peter Heilbroner, M.D. The pediatric spasticity team also includes physical, occupational, and speech-language therapists; social workers; orthotists/prosthetists; and other professionals involved in the care of children with spasticity. The center offers parents the convenience of having their child see several specialists during one appointment time.

Treatment for spasticity might include:

  • physical therapy
  • occupational therapy
  • speech-language therapy
  • oral medications
  • injectable medications
  • bracing
  • orthopedic surgery
  • neurosurgery, including selective dorsal rhisotomy (SDR)
  • Botox to relax tightened muscles
  • intrathecal medication pumps delivering medications directly to the cerebrospinal fluid to reduce spasticity
  • orthotic devices for day- or nighttime use

Angela D’Alessandro, M.D.

Our pediatric physiatry team is headed by Angela D’Alessandro, M.D., a physiatrist who is board-certified in both adult and pediatric rehabilitation medicine. Dr. D’Alessandro received her medical degree from Howard University Medical School in Washington, D.C. She completed her residency in physical medicine and rehabilitation at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, where she is currently an assistant professor of clinical rehabilitation medicine. Prior to coming to the Kireker Center for Child Development, Dr. D’Alessandro was an attending physician at Blythdale Children’s Hospital in Valhalla, N.Y., where she served as acting chairman of the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine. Dr. D’Alessandro is a member of the American Academy of Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine.

For More Information

Dr. D’Alessandro sees patients at the Kireker Center for Child Development Wednesdays through Fridays from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information or to make an appointment, call her office at 201-251-3304.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is a physiatrist?
A. A physiatrist is a physician who has graduated from medical school and has completed a residency in physical medicine and rehabilitation. A physiatrist specializes in helping patients with disabilities reach their full potential. Physiatrists do not cure patients, but prescribe for them therapy, medications, assistive devices, orthotics, prosthetics, and other devices and services that help patients improve their quality of life. A pediatric physiatrist, such as Dr. D’Alessandro, treats children only.

Q. What do I need to bring with us when my child comes for an appointment with Dr. D’Alessandro?
A. Please bring with you the results or films of any brain-imaging studies, spine and hip studies, laboratory tests, X-rays, or any orthopedic background information about your child that you have. For insurance purposes, please bring your insurance card and any referral forms, pre-authorization forms, or co-payments that your individual health policy requires.

Q. What do I need to bring with us when my child comes for an appointment with Dr. D’Alessandro?
A. Please bring with you the results or films of any brain-imaging studies, spine and hip studies, laboratory tests, X-rays, or any orthopedic background information about your child that you have. For insurance purposes, please bring your insurance card and any referral forms, pre-authorization forms, or co-payments that your individual health policy requires.

Q. Who are the other physicians my child will see at the Center for Pediatric Spasticity?
A. Your child may benefit from seeing several other pediatric specialists while he/she is here. They may include pediatric neurosurgeon Richard Anderson, M.D.; pediatric orthopedist David E. Konigsberg, M.D.; and/or pediatric neurologist Peter Heilbroner, M.D. Our pediatric spasticity team also includes physical, occupational, and speech-language therapists; social workers; orthotists/prosthetists; a nurse practitioner; and equipment vendors.

Q. When will I receive the results of my child’s evaluation?
A. You will receive immediate feedback at the end of your child’s visit as to what our findings were and what interventions might help your child maximize his/her potential.

Q. Where is the Center for Pediatric Spasticity located?
A. Our center is located on the second floor of The Valley Hospital Kireker Center for Child Development at 505 Goffle Road in Ridgewood, N.J. 07450.

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