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Written by Rhonda S., Sprout Volunteer

When a doctor tells you your child has a heart problem, what to you do? Where do you go?

Some twenty years ago when our toddler was suddenly diagnosed with a serious heart condition, we found ourselves thrust into the world of finding cardiac care for a child. At the time, there was little available in Erie and our son was flown to Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh.

For many years after that fateful day and in all kinds of weather, we frequently made trips to Pittsburgh for pacemaker check-ups, tests and treatment. It was tiring, stressful and very time consuming.

But then things changed for the better!

About ten years ago, St. Vincent’s Health Center and Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh partnered to offer a Pediatric Cardiology Clinic right here in Erie. Every month (except July) Dr. Lee Beerman, a cardiologist from Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh, spends an entire day at St. Vincent’s examining and monitoring local children with heart problems.

The clinic is held in the St. Vincent Hardner Building located across from the hospital’s emergency room entrance. If needed, the facility is equipped to do bloodwork, x-rays, a cardiac echo, a pacemaker check-up or even a defibrillator check-up for children with cardiac concerns.

Children are usually referred to the Pediatric Cardiology Clinic by their primary care physician or cardiologist. For additional information on the clinic and its services, contact Lil Zielinski at 452-5658.