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One of a kind specialist is improving lives of local children

READ MORE: One of a kind specialist is improving lives of local children
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A new medical specialist in our area is changing the lives of families in more ways than one. It started with New Hanover Regional Medical Center recruiting a one of a kind specialist to improve the lives of some children. The Picken family had no idea just how much the diagnoses of diabetes would not only change the life of seven-year-old Madison, but their entire family. Earlier this month, Madison was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Since, the Nunnelee Pediatric Clinic at New Hanover Regional Medical Center has become her family's safe haven, and their saving grace has been pediatric endocrinologist Doctor Kateryna Kotlyarevska. "Every week we are getting more patients," said Dr. Kotlyarevska. The reason, Doctor K is the only specialist of her kind in the Wilmington area. She was recruited from UNC Chapel Hill to treat children diagnosed with diabetes, thyroid disorders and disorders of puberty. Before, families like the Pickens would have had to make the journey to Chapel Hill for care. "Driving 150 miles to see somebody else - that's more than an inconvenience,” said father, Craig Picken. “We are very fortunate." Madison’s mother, Lisa said, "It's just so comforting to know that if anything arises, it's not a phone call to Chapel Hill, but there is somebody here." Since February, Doctor K has seen patient registration sky rocket. After just two months at New Hanover, she is already treating more than 100 patients. "It's more accessible for the whole community to have an endocrinologist,” said Dr. Kotlyarevska. “I hope I will be the first in a chain of many other specialists coming to this new hospital." Dr. Kotlyarevska hopes to expand the endocrinology program to include specialized nutritionists and psychologists to cater to families.

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