Two Specialty Clinics Open to New Patients

Failure to Thrive Clinic


Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Cathy Nelson conducts a clinic exam with 2-year-old Francis, a patient of the Failure to Thrive Clinic at American Family Children’s Hospital. Since his first visit in August 2011, Francis has been making good progress with his caloric intake and weight.Staffed by UW specialists in Pediatric Gastroenterology, the Failure to Thrive Clinic evaluates and treats infants or toddlers experiencing poor weight gain and growth issues. Patients will be assessed for adequacy of oral intake and receive the education, treatment and support needed to begin thriving properly.


"Most of our patients are between a few months and two years of age," says Cathy Nelson, APNP. "Our job is to figure out why a child is not gaining weight and then develop a treatment plan or refer the child to the appropriate pediatric specialty, be it endocrinology, genetics, or whatever is most appropriate."


Led by Pediatric Gastroenterologist Luther Sigurdsson, MD, the Failure to Thrive Clinic works closely with the child's primary care physician to ensure that communication goes both ways.


"We want to share the responsibilities for the child's care and make things as convenient as possible for the patient and family," she says.


In addition to Dr. Sigurdsson and Cathy Nelson, the interdisciplinary Failure to Thrive Clinic is staffed by a child health psychologist and pediatric clinical nutritionist.


Questions about the Failure to Thrive Clinic can be directed to Cathy Nelson at (608) 265-9702 or


Down Syndrome Clinic


Anna Dusick, MDLocated directly across the street from American Family Children's Hospital, UW's Waisman Center operates pediatric clinics for patients with developmental disabilities and their families.


Among these is a recently created Down Syndrome Clinic created for the care of infants and children with this genetic disorder.


"We see our role as assisting the family and primary care physician with the special needs of infants, children and adolescents with Down syndrome," says clinic Medical Director Anna Dusick, MD. "Our contribution lies with our team of highly-trained specialists in developmental pediatrics, genetic counseling, audiology, speech and language therapy, and social work. Once a care plan is developed, we collaborate with the patient's primary care provider and other pediatric specialists to ensure that everyone is looped in."


Dr. Dusick, who partners with Tina Iyama, MD, notes that each visit is customized to the particular needs of the infant or child as identified by their parent or guardian, and will follow the American Academy of Pediatrics Standards in the Care of Children with Down Syndrome (August 2011).


Bull, M and the Committee on Genetics. Clinical Report-Health Supervision for Children with Down Syndrome. Pediatrics 2011 Aug;128(2):393-406.


Questions about the Down Syndrome Clinic are directed to Dr. Dusick at or clinic coordinator Susan Heighway, PNP at (608) 263-3301.