The Pediatric Home Ventilator Program

The Pediatric Home Ventilator Program at Riley Hospital for Children is dedicated to supporting the care of children with respiratory problems that require chronic mechanical ventilation via tracheostomy at home. Our goal is to safely and seamlessly transition children from the hospital to home, provide state of the art care to our patients both at home and in the hospital,  with the ultimate goal of improving the quality of life for technology dependent child and the entire family.

Inpatient Ventilation Care

Our team works with at least two of the child’s caregivers to provide appropriate education in all aspects of  medical care that best meets the child’s needs. We provide multidisciplinary, comprehensive training and support to optimize every aspect of our patients’ environment, from selecting the most appropriate portable ventilation equipment to helping establish a medically and socially safe environment at home. Our support is ongoing: we will work with families to help their child achieve optimal growth and development, minimize hospital visits and improve quality of life.

Outpatient Ventilation Care

A key part of a successful home ventilation plan is quality outpatient care. We see our patients monthly once they are transitioned to home, until their condition improves or their medical condition stabilizes, and then less frequently. Outpatient visits take place in the Pulmonary Medical Service Area of the Riley Outpatient Center.

Clinic evaluations include a comprehensive history and physical examination, assessment of growth, measurements of oxygenation and ventilation and, when possible, other measurements of lung function.  Furthermore, we maintain ongoing communications with the primary care providers and other subspecialists involved in these patients’ care.

Our Home Ventilator Program Team includes:

Dr. Veda Ackerman, MD, Medical Director
Dr. A Ioana Cristea, MD, MS, Associate Medical Director
Donna Shelley RN –Home Ventilator Program Coordinator
Aries Lowden CPNP –Pediatric Nurse Practitioner for the Home Ventilator Program
David Westenkirchner RRT – Home Care Clinical Specialist
Jenifer Westerman MSW, LSW – dedicated Social Worker for the home ventilator program