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Children's Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA)

With 452 licensed beds in three hospitals (Egleston, Hughes Spalding and Scottish Rite),  an affiliate specialty outpatient center (Marcus Autism Center) and 16 neighborhood locations throughout Atlanta, CHOA enhances the lives of children through excellence in patient care, research, and education.  With more than a half a million annual patient visits, CHOA is one of the largest pediatric healthcare systems in the country. CHOA is recognized for excellence in cancer treatment, cardiology, transplant services, etc. and is ranked as one of the top twenty children’s hospital in America.  It is also accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO).  Marcus Autism Center is one of only three facilities nationwide designated as an Autism Center of Excellence by NIH.  CHOA is recognized for its many pediatric specialties, including the neurosciences and rehabilitation divisions.  Child magazine ranks CHOA as one of the top twenty children’s hospitals nationwide, and CHOA is among U.S. News & World Report’s top twenty pediatric hospitals. 

Pediatric Psychology (CHOA – Egleston and Scottish Rite). Two full-time pediatric psychology postdoctoral fellowship positions with a specialty in Hematology/Oncology at CHOA at Egleston and Scottish Rite. These positions provide inpatient and outpatient services to children and adolescents receiving treatment for cancer and blood disorders (hemophilia, sickle cell). Clinical responsibilities include consultation with interdisciplinary teams and/or single disciplines; individual and family therapy; and psychological and neuropsychological evaluations. There are opportunities for specialized training in biofeedback, hypnosis, acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), and other cognitive-behavioral modalities.

One full-time pediatric position with a specialty in Solid Organ Transplant and Dialysis Programs is offered.  This position, based on the Egleston Campus of CHOA provides inpatient and outpatient services to children and adolescents being evaluated for, waiting for or after receiving, a solid organ transplant (liver, heart or kidney).  Clinical responsibilities include consultation with interdisciplinary teams, individual and family therapy; and psychological and neuropsychological evaluations.

Child Protection Center (CHOA – Scottish Rite and Hughes Spalding). Three full time positions will be available working with children and their families in the Child Protection Center (CPC) at CHOA Scottish Rite and/or Hughes Spalding. Responsibilities with these positions include providing assessments and offering therapy to abused children and their non-offending caregivers, offering brief psychological screens to children who come to the CPC, providing consultation to a multidisciplinary team of providers at the CPC, and engaging in research related to childhood maltreatment.

Pediatric Neuropsychology/Division of Neurosciences (CHOA – Egelston and Scottish Rite).  Three full-time pediatric Neuropsychology positions are available through the Neuropsychology department and offer the necessary experiences required to pursue board certification from the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP/CN). The program has been approved for affiliation by APPCN and is designed to meet criteria set forth by the Houston Conference on Specialty Education and Training in Clinical Neuropsychology guidelines.  Residents participate in ongoing research studies that are underway in the department. Clinical training consists primarily of supervised neuropsychological evaluations of inpatients and outpatients with neurological, developmental, and behavioral disorders. Rotations occur in the following interdisciplinary clinical areas:  (1) Comprehensive Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit (28 bed) and the Day Rehabilitation Program (up to 22 patients) for intensive rehabilitation after  brain injury, (2) Twelve bed VEEG monitoring unit for presurgical candidates undergoing epilepsy evaluations, and (3) the outpatient neuropsychology department. Responsibilities on the epilepsy rotation include inpatient neuropsychological assessments (including fMRI and advanced neuroimaging procedures (e.g., DTI and Fiber Tracking Wada testing and cortical mapping), collaboration with medical team, and leading the epilepsy support group for children and parents. During the rehabilitation rotation, services include functional bedside neuropsychological evaluations; psychoeducation with caregivers about diagnosis and related neuropsychological consequences; co-treatment and consultation with the rehabilitation/medical staff; and individual/family therapy.  Outpatient and clinic (e.g., Aflac, spina bifida, NF1, craniofacial) neuropsychological evaluations are provided for a wide range of acquired and developmental neurological diagnoses during the acute and follow-up phases of clinical management.  Cognitive remediation interventions also are offered to treat children with neurological deficits and neurocardiac conditions.

Pediatric Feeding Disorders and Pediatric Psychology Programs (Marcus Autism Center, a Division of CHOA). The Pediatric Feeding Disorders Program provides a trans-disciplinary approach to assessment and treatment of serious feeding problems in children from birth to age 18 years. In keeping with the Marcus Center’s mission to provide information, services and programs to people with developmental disabilities and their families, the Feeding Program helps children overcome feeding difficulties related to their complicated medical histories or developmental delay.   Typical problems include food refusal; tube feeding dependence; failure to thrive; food selectivity by color, texture, or type; and feeding skill deficits. The team consists of professionals in the fields of medicine, nursing, nutrition, occupational therapy, behavioral psychology (with an emphasis on applied behavior analysis), and social work.  We evaluate the factors that contribute to the feeding problem, use this information to develop treatments, train caregivers to implement procedures to get their child to eat, and provide long-term follow-up care.  Fellows participate in all levels of service, including a multidisciplinary assessment/consultation clinic, intensive day treatment, and weekly outpatient behavior therapy.  This environment provides rich opportunities for fellows to learn about the contributions and unique needs of multiple disciplines, which include nutrition, speech pathology, occupational therapy, nursing and medicine. Interventions focus on empirically supported treatments that utilize primarily behavioral techniques.  These interventions involve not only the child who is the identified patient, but also parents and other caregivers as well. Services are provided at the Marcus Autism Center, a Division of CHOA.  Training activities include providing direct consultative and outpatient services, supervising behavioral technicians or trainees who provide treatment, participating in ongoing research projects, individual and group supervision, learning about administrative support structures for these services, and participating in training seminars. 

Behavior Treatment Clinics (Marcus Autism Center, a Division of CHOA). The Behavior Treatment Clinics provide applied behavior analytic interventions for children who exhibit skill deficits or significant problem behaviors. The Clinics are composed of three broad service lines, including the Language and Learning Clinics, Severe Behavior Programs, and School Consultation Program. The Language and Learning Clinics focus on the acquisition of skills in children, most of whom have a diagnosis on the autism spectrum. Typical skills targeted for intervention include language, social, self-help, vocational, and academic skills. Services are delivered in a variety of settings, including a day-treatment clinical setting, schools, and in homes. There is also a strong emphasis on caregiver training. The Severe Behavior Programs focus on remediation of severe problem behaviors, including aggression, self-injury, destructive behavior, tantrums, pica, elopement, and stereotypy. Approximately 64% of the children served in the Severe Behavior Programs have a diagnosis on the autism spectrum, with the remainder presenting with a variety of developmental disabilities, learning disabilities, low-incidence genetic syndromes, and typically developing children. Services in the Severe Behavior Programs are delivered in an intensive day-treatment program, a one day outpatient clinic, and in a home-based parent consultation program. The School Consultation Program works with school systems to provide individual case consultation for students a school may not be equipped to serve, as well as in capacity building endeavors, such as establishing model classrooms that serve as examples of best practices for serving children with autism. 

Pediatric Neurodevelopmental Center (Marcus Autism Center, a Division of CHOA).  This placement offers advanced clinical training in the assessment of children with an array of childhood disorders. The fellow will provide neuro-developmental and psychological evaluations as well as provide parent consultation and behavioral and cognitive-behavioral therapy to children and families affected by a range of childhood problems.  Typical problems of children presenting at the clinic include developmental disorders, behavior problems, anxiety disorders, and mood disorders.  In addition, this fellowship provides the opportunity to work within a multidisciplinary team that provides diagnostic and intervention services to children who are referred for autism spectrum disorders. The multidisciplinary team includes clinical psychologists, school psychologists, developmental pediatricians, speech pathologists, case managers, and nurse practitioners.  The team focuses on early and accurate diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders, and also provides treatment planning for children and their families.  The fellow may provide follow-up intervention services such as parent training, behavioral family therapy, and parent-child interaction therapy.  The Fellow may also participate in existing research and conduct supervision (under supervision) of graduate students. 

Clinical Research (Marcus Autism Center, a Division of CHOA).  This placement offers advanced clinical and research training in neurodevelopmental disorders. Clinical training will take place in the Clinical Assessment Core of the Marcus Research Program, which consists of a multidisciplinary team of licensed psychologists, speech pathologists, care coordinators, a nurse practitioner, and a phlebotomist. The Fellow will conduct clinical and diagnostic assessments on children participating in research paradigms ranging in age from infancy through young adulthood. Assessments include conducting parent feedback sessions and providing written reports with recommendations for treatment and intervention. Opportunities for participating in clinical treatment protocols are an option. The Fellow will also conduct an independent research project and/or contribute to existing experimental paradigms. Opportunities for presenting at related conferences and preparing for publications will be provided. The Fellow will also be provided with opportunities to conduct supervision (under supervision) of undergraduate and graduate students. Weekly and monthly clinical and didactic sessions, including Marcus Grand Rounds, clinical case conferences, and data management tutorials, will be offered.