Specialized services for teens, young adults

Stephen Sondike, MD, Director, Adolescent Medicine

Akron Children’s division of Adolescent Medicine offers several specialty services to meet the unique needs of this patient population.

Available services:

  • Dermatologic care, including the use of Accutane for moderate to severe recalcitrant acne
  • Treatment for eating disorders
  • Routine gynecologic care
  • Contraceptive services, including long-acting reversible contraception
  • Treatment for school concerns, substance abuse and sexually transmitted diseases
  • Treatment for abnormal menstrual bleeding

Eating disorders

Akron Children’s eating disorders clinic has a comprehensive, multidisciplinary team, including adolescent medicine specialists Stephen Sondike, MD, and Jessica Castonguay, DO, a registered dietitian, psychologist, nurses and clinical nurse specialists. Together they restore physical and emotional health through balanced nutritional intake, address body image issues and help patients implement coping skills to overcome their illness. Effective treatment includes therapies with strong research support including:

  • Family-based therapy
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • Dialectical behavioral therapy
  • Motivation enhancement therapy

New patients receive a full diagnostic evaluation, including a medical examination, psychosocial assessment and nutrition assessment. Supplemental testing may be performed such as lab work to check for anemia, electrolyte abnormalities or hormonal changes, metabolic assessments, or DXA scans to access bone health. Formal recommendations are provided to the family immediately after the evaluation.

Outpatient program

Our outpatient services for eating disorders may reduce the need for extended stays in residential treatment programs. Services are focused on helping families learn the skills they need to manage eating disorders at home and include:

  • Diagnostic evaluations
  • Family, individual and group therapy
  • Medical monitoring
  • Medication management
  • Nutritional counseling
  • Medical nutrition therapy
  • Parent-supported meal planning
  • Coached therapeutic meals

“If you have the slightest suspicion of an eating disorder, we encourage you to follow your instincts and refer the patient for further evaluation,” said Dr. Castonguay.

Indications for referral

  • Weight loss or failure to gain along the curve, even if weight is normal
  • Increasing restriction of portion sizes or caloric intake, cutting out food groups, skipping meals, binge eating, purging and excessive exercising
  • Fatigue
  • Syncope
  • Bradycardia
  • Hypotension

Make a referral to Adolescent Medicine through Epic or by calling 330-543-8538.

Abnormal menstrual bleeding

For abnormal menstrual bleeding, Akron Children’s offers a monthly clinic with adolescent medicine specialist James Fitzgibbon, MD, and pediatric hematologist-oncologist, Stephanie Savelli, MD, to determine if menorrhagia is caused by regular heavy periods or a bleeding or platelet disorder. The Young Women’s Bleeding  Disorder Clinic is located in our Showers Family Center for Childhood Cancer and
Blood Disorders. Von Willebrand disease is the most common cause of excessive bleeding. This genetic condition, which occurs in 1 to 2 percent of the population, affects the blood’s ability to clot properly. Von Willebrand disease can range in severity and is often diagnosed following a girl’s first menstrual period.

Indications for referral

  • Menstrual cycles more frequent than every 21 days (Normal cycles may range from 21 to 42 days)
  • Periods lasting more than 7 days or using more than 7 pads per day
  • Excessive bleeding with fatigue, syncope or near syncope, tachycardia or pallor

Make a referral for abnormal menstrual bleeding through Epic or by calling
330-543-8538 (Adolescent Medicine) or 330-543-8580 (Hematology).


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