October 9, 2019
Shakeika Fields of Fort Washington, Maryland, near Washington, D.C., helped solve one of pediatric pulmonologist Lydia Kim’s problems and one of her own, too. When Kim called and asked Fields if a sleep clinic in Howard County would shorten her commute to Johns Hopkins pediatric outpatient clinic for follow-up appointments for her daughter, 7 year-old Madison, Fields immediately replied, “Oh yeah, sure thing. You’ll cut 30 minutes off our trip.” For Kim, that meant another patient who would justify opening a remote sleep clinic on the campus of Howard County General Hospital, a Johns Hopkins Medicine member hospital.
“While we’ve had a sleep lab at Howard County to conduct sleep studies, children with issues like sleep apnea would have to come into East Baltimore to be evaluated for one,” says Kim. “Now we also have a sleep clinic that allows patients to be evaluated and followed up at one suburban location.”
In addition to making care more accessible for existing patients, Kim hopes the clinic will also improve community pediatricians’ detection of sleep-related disorders ranging from insomnia and night terrors to snoring and sleep apnea. Pediatricians in turn, she notes, will then steer young patients to appropriate care.
“My fear is that a lot of times we’re not capturing kids with sleep disorders that go undiagnosed,” says Kim. “A sleep clinic like this raises more awareness and gets pediatricians on the lookout for the atypical symptoms associated with sleep disorders.”
The Johns Hopkins Howard County Sleep Clinic is located at 11085 Little Patuxent Parkway, Suite 210, Columbia, MD 21044. For more information, visit the Johns Hopkins Pediatric Sleep Center website.