Pediatric Mitochondrial Medicine Clinic recognized for expertise with Center of Excellence designation

Just under one year after opening on June 15, 2021, the Pediatric Mitochondrial Medicine Clinic at Texas Children’s has been designated as a Mitochondrial Center of Excellence and accepted as part of the national Mitochondrial Care Network (MCN). This designation was received jointly with Baylor’s Adult Mitochondrial Disorders Clinic.

The Pediatric Mitochondrial Medicine Clinic is co-led by directors Dr. Fernando Scaglia and Dr. Lisa Emrick, with support from Dr. Keren Machol, Dr. Jill Ann Jarrell, nurse coordinator Erika Idlebird and nurse practitioners Gina Santucci and Melody Hellsten, and the team has expanded to include ketogenic diet clinical coordinator Lauren Kronish and registered dietitians Erin Lindhorst and Arturo Zaldana, who assist with specialized diets.

Congratulations to the amazing Pediatric Mitochondrial Medicine Clinic team on your designation as a MCN Center of Excellence! The Clinic is one of the few clinics specializing in mitochondrial disorders in this area.

“This designation is an important recognition of our efforts to establish excellent multidisciplinary team focused care for patients with mitochondrial disease,” said Dr. Scaglia. “Through this approach, this complex patient population can get a comprehensive plan for the management of their disorders, receive information on integrated standard of care treatments, natural history studies and emerging therapeutic clinical trials.”

The team looks forward to celebrating one year of operation in June and continuing their work to help more patients and families who are seeking treatment for, and understanding of mitochondrial disorders.

Mitochondrial disorders are associated with genetic anomalies within the genetic material of the mitochondria or within nuclear genes that impact the function of the mitochondria. These genetic changes can lead to a broad spectrum of issues for the patients including epilepsy, myopathies, developmental delay, hearing loss, sleep disorders, pain, muscle weakness and fatigue.

The MCN was created in 2018 to help improve the quality of mitochondrial patient care and implement best practices and standards of care in mitochondrial medicine.